Mount Baker 3 Day Climb Itinerary
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Fantastic wilderness experience! Mt. Baker feels like it’s a million miles from anywhere. – 2017 Climber
Day Before Climb
Mandatory 6 p.m. gear check at Alpine Ascents’ Seattle office, to ensure that everyone is fully equipped and prepared to depart the next morning. Rental gear is fitted and packed at this time. We’ll also review the functionality of each piece of gear, packing our backpacks, wilderness ethics and Leave No Trace. Duration: Approximately 2 hours.
We depart at 7 a.m. from the Alpine Ascents office and drive to Schrieber’s Meadow on the south side of Mt. Baker. We will spend most of the day on the moderately strenuous approach as we start hiking from 3,400 ft. in sub-alpine meadows. The hiking will continue through old-growth forest for the first two hours. We’ll exit the forest at 4,800 ft. and continue up the trail through high alpine meadows along with seasonal snow covered regions. We’ll aim to arrive at Sandy Camp (6,100 ft.), perched high on the south side of Mount Baker, in the afternoon. We will enjoy a spectacular view from camp of the Easton glacier while eating a hot meal prepared by the guides.
Instruction includes nutrition, hydration, rest steps, pressure breathing, and temperature management. Guides will also discuss camp setup, cooking in the mountains, and in-depth Leave No Trace information. During rest periods, we’ll have short discussions on mountain physiology and mountain environments.
After breakfast, training will begin. After pausing for lunch, training will continue through the afternoon. Guides will prepare an early dinner and will go over summit-day requirements. We’ll go to bed early and wake up around midnight to prepare for the summit climb.
Guides will cover important safety aspects of the climb, including: glacier travel, self-arrest, glissading, crampon technique, ice axe useage, anchors, and proper rope techniques including knots. Afternoon topics might include local history, glaciology, mountain weather, along with map and compass use.
Summit day. We’ll start our climb around midnight, depending on weather and route conditions. Guides will serve a hot breakfast, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and top off water bottles before embarking on our climb. The route begins with a climb to the top of the Easton moraine at 7,000 ft., where we’ll access the Easton Glacier. From there, we’ll ascend the gently angled Easton Glacier until we reach the crater rim at 9,800 ft. A nice break will allow us to look deep into the steaming crater of Mt. Baker. We’ll then climb up the Roman Wall and crest the summit plateau at just over 10,500 ft. A short walk leads up to the summit of Mount Baker, at 10,781 feet. At a moderate pace, the summit climb should take five to seven hours from Sandy Camp. Clear weather offers an inspiring 360 degree view from this most magnificent North Cascades summit.
After celebrating the summit and taking photos, we’ll descend carefully back to Sandy Camp. Here we’ll pack up our camp and descend to Schrieber’s Meadow. A summit celebration will take place at a restaurant as we return to Seattle.
Day 3 allows us to implement and enforce training from the previous days.
Itinerary subject to change due to conditions.
From start to finish, I knew we were with the right outfit. It was an unforgettable experience, a true lifetime experience. Across the board my guides all showed great leadership. I’m a teacher myself and these guys know how to teach. I not only learned and felt confident, but I had a great deal of fun in the process. People learn better when they are relaxed and enjoying themselves and they were awesome at this.