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Mount Baker North Ridge

Mount Baker North Ridge Overview

The North Ridge of Mount Baker is an iconic northwest climbing route up the imposing and aesthetic North Ridge which rises nearly 4,000’ directly to the summit of the highest peak in the North Cascades. Climbers can anticipate multiple pitches of steep alpine ice up to 70 degrees. This new four-day instructional course/summit is a perfect introduction to alpine ice climbing and intermediate mountaineering that we developed for graduates of our six day mountaineering program. An ascent of the Emmons Glacier on Mount Rainier in conjunction with the North Ridge of Mount Baker is a highly recommended intermediate/advanced combination. This would be an intense 8 days of climbing and instruction and serve as great Denali preparation for those climbers with crevasse rescue experience.

The North Ridge route is much more challenging than our standard Easton Glacier route and our four day program offers an itinerary that blends instruction with an exciting intermediate objective. We will spend a half day ice climbing on the steep ice of the lower Coleman Glacier developing efficient climbing technique on 60-70 degree ice walls prior to making our summit attempt. During the ascent, climbers will also gain familiarity and confidence moving efficiently and quickly through moderate alpine ice and steep snow. With a 2:1 climber-to-guide ratio, we offer a personal experience and hands-on training with an experienced guide team.

Maximum team size: Four climbers with two guides.

Tents Equipment & Meals

Provided: All group climbing equipment: climbing ropes and technical hardware; meals and tents.
Not provided: Personal equipment. You are responsible for all items on the gear list. Transportation is not provided for this climb. Climbers will need to provide transportation to the trailhead.

 

Reading List

This is a highly recommended shortlist and we would be happy to pass on a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.

Selected Climbs in the Cascades
by Jim Nelson, Peter Potterfield, Mountaineers Books
Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills
Don Graydon (Ed.), Kurt Hanson (Ed.), Mountaineers Society, Mountaineers Books
Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue
Andy Selters, Mountaineers Books
The Illustrated Guide to Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue
Andy Tyson, Mike Clelland, Climbing Magazine

Mount Baker Frequently Asked Questions

Please note you will be mailed specific information for your climb upon registration. The following is to serve as a helpful guideline.

HOW DO I RESERVE A SPACE FOR A CLIMB?

The best way to reserve space on a climb is to call our offices and place the deposit on a VISA/MC/AMEX. Our climbs fill quickly on a first-come, first-served basis, and registering over the phone is the best way to ensure reserving the climb dates you want. You may also submit an application by mail with a check, money order or credit card number.

WHAT KIND OF PHYSICAL CONDITION SHOULD I BE IN?

The weight of your pack is generally 60-65 pounds. We invite you to check out our Mount Baker Training page. We highly recommend checking with your physician before embarking on strenuous physical activity. We reserve the right to turn away those climbers who we determine to be in inadequate physical condition.

WHAT DOES THE GEAR CHECK COVER?

A mandatory gear check will take place the morning of your climb at 6:30am.  You are required to attend this meeting, so we can do a thorough gear check, provide packing suggestions, review the route we will be taking, discuss Leave No Trace Practices, and answer any questions you may have regarding the climb.

Location: Alpine Ascents office @ 109 West Mercer St., Seattle, WA

What to bring: Please bring your pack fully packed with all gear listed on the gear list.  Rental Gear can be picked up at the gear check.

WHEN SHOULD I FLY IN AND OUT OF SEATTLE?

Arrive in time to attend the gear check and plan to depart the day after your climb ends. There are variables that make it difficult to guarantee the exact time each climb will end. You will need to be ready to participate in the gear check at 6:30am on the morning your climb begins.

WHERE CAN I BUY FLIGHTS?

Alpine Ascents uses the services of Charles Mulvehill at Scan East West Travel: 1-800-727-2157 or 206-623 2157. They are very familiar with our International & Domestic Programs and offer competitive prices on all domestic and international flights. charles@scaneastwest.com

HOW DO I GET FROM THE AIRPORT TO MY HOTEL AND DOWNTOWN SEATTLE?

From Sea-Tac International Airport to the Marqueen Hotel, or any hotel in downtown Seattle:

Shuttle Express: Airport to Marqueen Hotel or downtown Seattle and return.
Cost: $21.00 (one way depending on number of riders)
The Shuttle Express also has regular service to downtown Seattle and can be easily found via Sea-Tac courtesy phones.

You can also take Link light rail to downtown and then take a taxi. Westlake Station is closest to our office and the Marqueen.

Lyft and Uber are both affordable options as well.

IF I AM DRIVING TO YOUR OFFICE WHERE CAN I PARK?

Street parking is limited to 2-hour meters. There are numerous pay lots located adjacent to and across from our offices.  Please note: Free long-term parking is generally difficult in the vicinity of Alpine Ascents. Extra gear may be stored in our offices until your return. Please give us a call if you have any problems.

HOW DO I GET TO ALPINE ASCENTS INTERNATIONAL?

Directions

  • From Interstate 5, take the Mercer Street Exit and follow the signs to Seattle Center/Space Needle. (A quick right turn onto Fairview Ave., and a quick left turn onto Valley St., which becomes Broad Street.)
  • After you pass the Space Needle on your right, make a right turn onto Denny Way.
  • Proceed to 1st Ave. North and turn right.
  • Proceed to Mercer Street and turn left.
  • We are located at 109 West Mercer Street, directly across the street from Bank of America and Next Door to Ozzie’s Tavern.
  • Street parking is limited to 2-hour parking meters, though there are several pay lots near our offices.
WHERE DO I STAY THE NIGHT BEFORE AND AFTER THE CLIMB?

There are several lodging options for our climbs. We meet at our office on the day of the climb at 6:30am. Alpine Ascents has partnered with our neighbors the Marqueen Hotel – located two blocks from our office. Reservations for your room should be made as soon as possible.

Marqueen Hotel
Phone: 206-282-7407
www.marqueen.com

Rates: Reasonable by Seattle standards, vary by season.

If you wish to share a room with another climb participant, the Marqueen can help with those arrangements. You will need a room for the night prior to the start of your climb and for the last night of your climb. The hotels are 2 blocks from the Alpine Ascents office. Extra gear may be stored at the Mediterranean or at our office until your return.

Staying elsewhere in downtown Seattle is another option. During the climbing season, hotels in Seattle are difficult to reserve and are a bit more expensive. You may elect to stay in any one of the numerous hotels in the area, but you will be responsible for getting to our offices by 6:30am the morning of your climb. We are a short taxi cab ride away from most of the downtown hotels and local equipment shops. Extra gear may be stored in our office until your return.

IS FOOD PROVIDED ON MY CLIMB?

Breakfast and dinners are provided on the climb. Please bring a cup, bowl and spoon. You are required to bring your own lunches (Please review the Sample Menu Plan in your confirmation package). If you have any food allergies or requirements, please let us know in advance. There is a place on the application to do this.  It is advisable to purchase most of your bulk foods before we meet. If you are staying in Seattle, there are numerous supermarkets for fresh and prepackaged foods.

HOW HEAVY WILL MY PACK BE?

The weight of your pack is generally 60-65 pounds.

HOW MANY CLIMBERS/GUIDES ARE THERE PER CLASS?

On our 4-Day North Ridge of Mount Baker climb, the climber to guide ratio is 2:1

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?

When you sign up for a climb we will send you a confirmation package that includes an equipment list detailing each piece of equipment you will need. Please read your equipment list very carefully. You are required to bring every item on the list so be as precise as possible when packing. Alpine Ascents rents quality technical equipment at reasonable rates. If you have any equipment-related questions please call us (206-378-1927). You can also email us at: Gear@AlpineAscents.com We have a full-time gear expert on staff.

WHERE DO I PICK UP MY RENTAL GEAR FOR THE CLIMB?

You will pick up your rental gear at our offices during the gear check.

ANY TIPS ON PACKING?

The mountains of the northwest and north coast are heavily glaciated temperate mountains. This means they are subject to highly variable weather conditions.

  • Pack everything in two layers of sturdy plastic. (Trash Compactor Bags work the best) Bring one large trash bag to completely and easily cover your pack. You should bring at least 4 bags.
  • It is likely that you will be asked to help carry some of the group equipment, so make sure there is some additional room in and on your backpack.
WHAT CAN I READ TO PREPARE FOR THE CLIMB?

You will get far more out of your climb by reading Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 6th ed., The Mountaineers. This book provides an excellent overview of the elements involved in alpine mountaineering. Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 6 review many of the aspects we will be covering during your training and familiarity with these aspects will greatly enhance your experience.

WHERE IS A GOOD, TRUSTWORTHY STORE TO PURCHASE GEAR?

We run our own retail climbing shop and online gear store, where all Alpine Ascents climbers receive a discount and can receive personalized advice from our gear experts.

I AM CONCERNED THAT THE GEAR I AM RENTING WILL NOT FIT OR WORK PROPERLY.

The boots, packs, crampons, ice axes, tents, and other items are cleaned and checked on a daily basis. Gear is sized at the gear check and changes can be made at that time. All of our gear is of the highest quality. Please note that double plastic boots do not break in.

IS THIS TRIP GOING TO BE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING?

Yes. See the training tips above, but… Keep in mind that you are climbing a mountain and it is not easy. If you follow our physical fitness tips and do some training on your own, you should complete the climb with no problems.

WHAT IF I NEED TO LEAVE THE CLIMB EARLY?

For climbers who need to be escorted from the climb, there is an evacuation fee.

If you want a first rate unparalleled experience, you will go with Alpine Ascents. I am biased of course, but I have had friends go to the same mountain with different services only to find themselves going back with Alpine Ascents because it just can’t be done any better

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Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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