Our Mt. Baker Ski Mountaineering course is the perfect course for the already experienced backcountry skier who is interested in exploring ski mountaineering in glaciated or more complex alpine terrain. It is also ideally suited as preparation for multi-day ski tours that are not hut supplied. The course locations could be anywhere on Mount Baker (Coleman Glacier on the North side, Easton and Squak Glaciers on the South side or the Park and Mazama Glaciers on the East side). It is important to note that due to weather, snow, and road access conditions, Pro Guiding Service needs to reserve the right to change course locations. Other locations include the North Cascades National Park or the Snoqualmie Pass area.
The course typically takes place on the north side of Mount Baker on the Coleman Glacier or on the south side of the mountain on the Easton or Squak Glaciers. It is hard to imagine a better course setting than the heavily glaciated terrain of Mount Baker. As mentioned, weather and conditions dictate the ultimate location. Other locations include the North Cascades National Park or the Snoqualmie Pass area. All areas mentioned offer amazing (while different) terrain for a ski mountaineering course. The Snoqualmie Pass region does not hold glaciers, but the compressed and steep terrain offers countless opportunities to work with ropes and to summit multiple peaks or rappel into wild couloirs. The North Cascades National Park offers both glaciers and steep terrain, which can be amazing or offer big challenges in hazard mitigation. While the original intent of the ski mountaineering course on Mount Baker is to get students comfortable in glaciated terrain (among other things), we can assure you that any of the mentioned course locations will be chosen with the best course outcome in mind given the conditions.
This course is also offered in the North Cascades, as a Splitboard Only course, and as a Women's course.
Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience
Fitness Level: Strenuous due to ski touring with overnight pack
This four day course has a full curriculum. Every day will include instruction while moving through terrain; therefore a high level of touring experience and good fitness are required. If weather, snow conditions, and group dynamics line up you may have the opportunity to summit Mt. Baker, but as always, it is condition dependent. This course is also offered in the North Cascades National Park and as a Women’s only course.
Pro Guiding Service does its best to provide a practical, movement based, course experience. Below is a sample (best case) scenario that is subject to change based on weather, snow pack, and access conditions.
We will meet at one of the jump off points that provides access to the North, South or East side of Mount Baker. The final meeting location will be communicated to you via the office and/or the guide in advance.
Curriculum Day 1:
Curriculum Day 2:
Curriculum Day 3:
Curriculum Day 4:
Please note that this is a suggested itinerary and is subject to change based on conditions.
Snow Travel Equipment
Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.