Mount Baker Climb Itinerary
Upon sign up, we will send you our richly detailed, pre-trip information package.
Day Before Climb
Mandatory 2 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 LNT. Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours.
We’ll start with a 7:30 a.m. meeting at Schrieber’s Meadow, on the south side of Mt. Baker. Most of the day is spent on the moderately strenuous approach, as we start hiking from 3,400 feet 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 feet 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. A spectacular view from camp of the Easton glacier is enjoyed over a hot meal prepared by your guides.
Instruction includes nutrition, hydration, rest steps, pressure breathing, temperature management. Camp setup, cooking in the mountains and an in-depth Leave No Trace discussion will take place. During rest periods, we’ll have short discussions on mountain physiology and mountain environments.
After breakfast, we’ll begin our training. Our guides will cover all aspects of walking on snow, self-arrest, glissading, and crampon and ice axe use, as well as proper rope techniques for climbing the mountain. After lunch, instruction will continue with learning knots, harness use, anchors and running belays all around Sandy Camp. An early dinner will be prepared by our guides, who will go over summit-day requirements. We’ll go to bed early and wake up around midnight to prepare for the summit climb.
We’ll discuss safety aspects of our climb, rope management, knots, anchors, crampon technique, self-arrest and glacier travel. 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. Our route will start with a climb to the top of the Easton moraine at 7,000 feet, 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 feet. 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 feet. 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° 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 back to Schrieber’s Meadow. A summit celebration will take place at a restaurant as we return to Seattle.
This day allows to implement and enforce what we have learned in 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.