Mount Baker Climbs and Mountaineering School
Mount Baker is located just south of the Canadian border and less than 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Its geographic location make it the target of massive winter storms coming in from the Pacific, and as a result Mount Baker receives a phenomenal amount of snow each winter. In fact, it currently holds the US record for total snowfall in one season, an astounding 1,140 inches (95 feet) of snow in the winter of 1998-99. Mount Baker's 12 glaciers cover an total of 44 square miles, giving it even more glacial coverage than Mt. Rainier to the south. Extensive glaciation, plus the fact that Baker is the 4th highest mountain in Washington State, make it the ideal place for your first glacier mountain climb, or as a training ground for bigger mountains.
We offer a variety of guided climbing options on Mt. Baker, including leisurely 3-day ascents via the Easton
and Coleman-Deming routes
as well as more technical climbs of routes like the North Ridge
and the Coleman Headwall
. For skiing enthusiasts, Mount Baker is an world class ski touring destination and holds good skiing well into the summer months.
Our climbs of the Easton and Coleman-Deming routes always involve a review of basic climbing techniques such as self-arrest, rope travel, and the use of crampons, and thus are perfect for those new to climbing. We offer both set date programs and custom programs on most of the regularly ascended routes.
Which Route should you take?
Those new to climbing should consider starting with a 3-day ascent of either the Easton Glacier Route
, or the Coleman-Deming Route
. In our experience the Easton is a bit easier, but still plenty challenging. The Easton is also slightly closer for those coming from Seattle as it is located on the South side of Mt. Baker. For intermediate to advanced climbers, we offer climbs on the North Ridge
and the Coleman Headwall
Mount Baker Beginner Climbs
Mount Baker Advanced Beginner Climbs
Mount Baker Advanced Intermediate Climbs
Charity Climbs & Group Climbs on Mt. Baker
Have a complete group and are just shopping around for a reputable company to organize your group or charity climb of Mt. Baker? Give us a call. We have organized these trips on Mt. Adams for Team Survivor Northwest & Moondance Adventures, on Mt. Rainier for the American Mountain Guides Association, and are currently working with Military Teen Camps and other groups. The Northwest Mountain School started in 1994 as a youth program and we are very familiar with the logistics involved in working with youth groups and can usually come up with a package to fit your budget.
Getting to Mount Baker
Mount Baker is located in the NW corner of Washington State. The closest airport is Bellingham, WA (BLI), but most people coming from out of the area choose to fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Southern Approach to Mt. Baker:
For climbs of the Easton Glacier we meet in the town of Sedro-Woolley, WA at the combined NPS/USFS Ranger Station on State Hwy. 20 in Sedro-Woolley. In light traffic it should take about 1 hour and 20 mins to get to Sedro-Wooley from downtown Seattle. Add about a half and hour if coming from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
South-side Mt. Baker Drive Times (assuming light traffic):
Downtown Seattle-Sedro-Woolley, WA: 1 hour 20 mins
Sedro-Woolley, WA-Trailhead (3200'): 1 hour
Bellingham, WA-Sedro-Woolley, WA: 45 mins
Leavenworth, WA-Sedro-Woolley,WA via US 2: 2 hours 45 mins
Leavenworth, WA-Sedro-Woolley,WA via WA SR 20: 4 hours 45 mins
Marblemount, WA-Sedro-Woolley,WA: 45 mins
Trout Lake, WA-Sedro-Woolley,WA: 5 hours 30 mins
Northern Approach to Mt. Baker:
Climbs of the North Ridge, Coleman Headwall, and Coleman-Deming Route all meet at the USFS Ranger Station in Glacier, WA. This can be reached in about 2 hours and 15 mins from downtown Seattle. Take I-5 North to exit 255 for WA-542E/Sunset Drive and follow 542 to the town of Glacier, WA. The usual meeting point in the USFS ranger station on the right as you leave Glacier heading east.
North-side Mt. Baker Drive Times (assuming light traffic):
Downtown Seattle-Glacier, WA: 2 hours 15 mins
Glacier, WA-Trailhead 93700'): 20-30 mins
Leavenworth, WA-Glacier, WA via US 2: 3 hours 30 mins
Leavenworth, WA-Glacier, WA via WA SR 20: 5 hours 30 mins
Marblemount, WA-Glacier, WA: 1 hour 45 mins
Bellingham, WA-Glacier, WA: 1 hour
Trout Lake, WA-Glacier, WA: 6 hours 30 mins
Qualifications for Mount Baker Climbs:
Follow the link to the specific Mount Baker climb for more details on qualifications for that climb. The Easton Glacier climbs are open to climbers of all experience levels, and is a very good first climb. The Coleman-Deming is just slightly more strenuous than the Easton, but is also a suitable first climb. Those attempting the North Ridge or the Coleman-Deming Route need to have significant previous climbing experience, including moderate ice climbing, excellent physical fitness, and familiarity with belaying and anchor systems. Mount Baker can provide very severe weather, and so all participants need to be prepared physically, and mentally for the challenges posed by the climb and need to arrive with suitable gear for the climb. It is best to contact the office at 509-548-5823 or by e-mail
to discuss this prior to registering to make sure we get you on an appropriate climb.
Why Choose us for your Baker Climb?
John began guiding on Mt. Rainier in 1989 and together John and Olivia have summited Mt. Rainier over 240 times, including winter ascents. We have guided a combined 29 Denali expeditions, 5 Cho Oyu Expeditions, 2 Everest trips, and we both hold IMFGA certification. In addition to Mt. Baker we have dedicated our lives to guiding classic routes in Washington, and worldwide, and are specialists in glacier and expedition climbing. As a small guide service based in Leavenworth, WA, we are able to provide an highly supported, intimate climbing experience and have the credentials to do it well. We are always happy to provide references if that will help you make your decision.
Other good sites for Mt. Baker Climbs:
Portions of this program take place on US Forest Service lands under a commercial-outfitter and guide permits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities and is an equal opportunity provider and employer.