Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel Course 3-Day 

Crevasse Rescue Glacier Course 1
Our ideal Baker North side course location location

Mountain: Mt. Baker (10,781')

Location: Lower Coleman Glacier

2017 Set Dates:
  • May 19-21, 2017
  • June 2-4, 2017
  • June 16-18, 2017
  • June 30 - July 2, 2017
  • July 14-16, 2017
  • July 28-30, 2017
  • August 11-13, 2017
  • August 25-27, 2017
  • September 8-10, 2017
  • September 22-24, 2017
  • Custom Dates also available

Set Date Cost:
  • $750 (2 person minimum)

Custom Cost:
  • $1350 1 person w/ 1 guide
  • $855 2 people w/ 1 guide
  • $750 3 people w/ 1 guide
  • $630 4 people w/ 1 guide
  • Call office at 509-548-5823 for details

Cost Includes
Guide fee, guide's expenses, group climbing equipment and camping gear.
Cost Does Not Include
Transportation to/from the course area, personal food, personal climbing equipment, trailhead parking pass fees.

Client to Guide Ratio: up to 4:1

Expedition PDFs 

Equipment List ยป

Crevasse Rescue Glacier Course 2
Crevasse Rescue Glacier Course 3
Crevasse Rescue Glacier Course 4
Don't have 6-days to take our complete glacier mountaineering course, but simply want to gain the skills needed to be a competent member of a group led by a more experienced leader? Our crevasse rescue and glacier travel course covers part 1 of our 6-day glacier mountaineering course and can be followed up with part 2 of that same course at a later date.

This course takes place on the easily accessible North side of Mt. Baker, the best spot in the state of Washington to practice your crevasse rescue, glacier travel, and cramponing skills on a complex glacier with features such as crevasses and seracs.

Skills Covered - Glacier Mountaineering Pt.1 

  • Crevasse Rescue
    • (2:1, 3:1, 5:1, and 6:1)
  • Climbing Rope Management
    • tying in, laying out rope, tying off excess line
  • Belaying and Ascending Fixed Lines
    • mechanical ascenders, prussics, reversos/guide ATC's
  • Knots and Hitches
    • figure 8, butterfly, prussic, autoblock, clove hitch, munter hitch, munter mule
  • Self-Arrest & Team Arrest
  • Rope Travel on Glaciers
    • proper interval, using knots in ropes, making corners
  • Rope Mangement
    • coiling, stacking, and belaying
  • Snow & Ice Anchors
    • Ice screws, v-threads, pickets, bollards
  • Crampon Technique for Ascending and Descending
    • french technique, front pointing, clearing crampons
  • How to Dress for Life in the Mountains
    • clothing selection and layering
  • Leave No Trace

Itinerary: 3-day Crevasse Rescue - Glacier Travel Course 

Day 1: Meet your guide at the Ranger Station in Glacier, WA at 9:00 am for group check-in, equipment check, and final packing. We focus on keeping packs as light as possible while remaining prepared for emergencies or poor weather. Once we are packed up we drive a short distance to the Heliotrope trailhead at 3700' and hike to our basecamp at 5000' This camp is lower than the camp we use for Coleman-Deming Climbs and puts us closer to the training area, generally on the lower Coleman Glacier. In camp we will review solid camp construction and spend the evening cooking and covering the basics knots and hitches that we will use for the next two days of training.

Day 2: If the weather cooperates we will get an early start and make sure we have a full-day out on the glacier. We will start on a moderate glacier and talk about glaciology and the forces that create icefalls, crevasses, and seracs. We then and cover how to properly use an ice-axe, dial in our crampon technique, and finally tie it all together with rope travel. In the afternoon we will go over snow and ice anchors and work on getting to the point where we have the ability to build a bomber anchor for crevasse rescue. We will cap the day off with ascending fixed lines using devices such as mechanical ascender as well as simpler systems such as prussics, the autobock, or the Klemheist. There is usually time to climb some steeper snow or ice and work on front-pointing. Following dinner your guide will begin to introduce some of the basic concepts of crevasse rescue.

Day 3: Today will focus entirely on crevasse rescue. To find a suitable crevasse we will need to travel through glacier terrain and can reinforce the glacier travel skills we developed the day before. This training works best in a real crevasse as it allows you to feel the full weight of the forces involved. We will start with simple systems such as the drop C (2:1), surface C (2:1) and the Z system (3:1). Once these systems are mastered we will move on to more complex systems such as the 5:1 and 6:1. We explain and demonstrate that with increased mechanical advantage you also place more force on your anchor, a factor that must be taken into account when choosing a system to perform a crevasse rescue. All of the training takes place with a second, bomber, back-up line in place to ensure climber safety. There is also time for people to work on their systems for self-extrication. The fixed line portion builds on what we covered the previous day. We will then pack up and head down with the goal of reaching the trailhead in time for people to make the drive back to the city with a few hours to spare in the evening.


No previous climbing experience is required for this introductory course, but participants do need to be in good physical condition and be prepared to carry backpacks weighing as much as 40 lbs. The entire trip takes place in a mountain environment in a wide variety of weather conditions that may include extremes of heat and cold. Call the office at 509-548-5823 or send us an e-mail to discuss you fitness if you think it will be an issue.

Equipment for your course 

One advantage of climbing with us over many of the other companies in the area is that we provide all of the group gear such as tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, screws, pickets, and such. You will need to bring your own personal equipment such as clothing, ice axe, harness, boots, crampons, etc. We realize that new climbers may not own all of this gear so we rent the following items: sleeping bags, sleeping pads, ice axes, harnesses, helmets, crampons, headlamps, trekking poles, & backpacks.

Our experience teaching these skills 

John and Olivia Race own the business and are IFMGA guides. Together they have guided on 8 - 8000 meter peak expeditions, 30 Denali expeditions, have summated Rainier 250+ times. Olivia is an instructor for AMGA courses and exams and is up to speed on the latest thinking on technical systems. Our guides include a mixture of AMGA certified and IFMGA guides, NOLS instructors, and guides with extensive previous experience guiding Denali, Mt. Rainier and other major peaks. We run a ton of Baker trips and have been operating in the North Cascades as a guide service for the past 20 years. Our guides not only know how to teach these skills to beginners, but they have the training and experience to make sure it is done in the most current, safest way possible. They are fully supported by our office in Leavenworth and each trip carries communications devices such as satellite phones, Spot devices, and cell phones to stay abreast of the weather forecast and contact outside help if there is an emergency.

Getting to Glacier, WA and meet point. 

Glacier is located on SR 542 on the road to the Mount Baker Ski area. It takes about 2 hours and 15 mins to get to Glacier from Seattle, WA, 1 hour from Bellingham, and 2 hours from Vancouver, BC with time allotted for the border crossing. All of our courses meet at the Glacier Public Service Center - Mt. Baker Ranger District at 10091 Mt. Baker Highway; Glacier, WA 98224. This is where we will register for our climb. You should arrive in Glacier with all of your gear with the exception of rental gear, which will be brought by the guide. It is possible to pick up a few snacks, have a meal, or grab a coffee in Glacier, but it is not possible to purchase or rent climbing gear.

Mt. Baker as a training venue 

There are only a few places in the star of WA where significant glaciers exist a short hike from a drivable road. The North side of Baker is the ideal location for this training. The lower Coleman glacier has an excellent mixture of crevasses, icefalls, and complex glacier terrain ideal because the short approach frees up a lot of time for training. We skip the summit climb on this course to give you the most hands-on training time for developing the skills covered. There simply is not time for both solid training and a summit bid.

Continuing on to Part 2 on future weekends 

This program is designed to build a foundation for part 2, which can generally be taken the following weekend or later in the summer. On part 2 we focus on route planning, navigation, time management and make a summit bid on the opposite side of Mt. Baker. This allows you to see both sides of the mountain and to end your two 3-day courses with a skill set similar to what you would get if you completed our 6-Day Glacier Mountaineering Course all together. Since we offer parts 1 and 2 at a lower cost we need 2 climbers to make the course run, but can often find and pair you with a second climber if you do not have someone to take the course with. Alternately you can sign up for one of our set-date 3-day Coleman-Deming or Easton Glacier Baker trips, or a 3-day trip the Sulphide Glacier or Fisher Chimneys on Mt. Shuksan, or one of our Sahale Climbs.