Mt. Baker Climb Day 1: 8 am group orientation and introductions at the USFS ranger station in Glacier, WA. Prior to the trip you will be contacted by our office to make sure you have all the gear you need and to arrange rentals of the items you do not own or want to buy. At this morning meeting we will conduct a thorough equipment check, distribute group gear, and help each member organize their pack for the hike in.
We will then drive for approximately 20 minutes to the trailhead at 3670' and begin our hike to our camp near the edge of the Coleman Glacier. The hike in is on a well-traveled trail until 4980' at which point we take a climbers trail up to the Hogsback Camp at 5890'. On the hike in your guides will discuss climbing efficiently and will orient you in the latest Leave No Trace (LNT) techniques. We usually camp at the Hogsback Camp, but can also place camps higher if this is the group's preference. We use the evening to cover a few basic skills, have a nice dinner, and enjoy the views.
Mt. Baker Climb Day 2: This day will be used to review the basic skills required for a climb of Mt. Baker, including: ice axe self-arrest, use of crampons, rope-travel, team arrest, climbing efficiencies, and making corners. We will also provide an introduction to crevasse rescue, giving you a very basic idea of how we can pull someone from a crevasse if someone ends up in one. This basic introduction involves a demonstration, review of some basic climbing knots and hitches, and a discussion of snow anchors. We will plan to get to bed early for a pre-dawn start the next morning.
Mt. Baker Climb Day 3: Climbs of the Coleman-Deming route always require an early start. We will be up before the sun and will rope up top climb up the massive and impressive Coleman Glacier until we reach 9100' where we follow the pumice ridge for just over 800 feet before finishing via the Roman Headwall on the Deming Glacier. This last climb is usually the steepest part of the route. Given the length of the hike out and the drive we will work to be back to camp by late morning and headed down by mid-day in order to get everyone back to Seattle that evening.
*Note on Baker North Side Climbs. There may be times when group strength and/or weather forecasts may encourage us to climb on Day 2 instead of Day 3 if we feel it gives us the best chance of getting to the top. In the event that we do this, on Day 3 we will offer other options in the morning such as additional technical training or ice climbing prior to the hike out.