Our Mt. Baker Ski Mountaineering course is the perfect course for the already experienced back country skier who is interested in exploring ski mountaineering in glaciated terrain. It is also ideally suited as preparation for multi-day ski tours that are not hut supplied. The course takes place on the north side of Mt. Baker on the Coleman Glacier or the south side of Mt. Baker on the Squak or Easton Glaciers.
The course typically takes place on the north side of Mount Baker on the Coleman Glacier. It is hard to imagine a better course setting than the heavily glaciated terrain of the Coleman, Roosevelt and Deming Glaciers. Over the course of the four days you will also get an opportunity to summit Mount Baker. This is a learn on the go course with a full curriculum. Prior ski touring experience and good fitness are prerequisites.
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
Day 1: We will meet in the little town of Glacier, WA and commute up the Glacier Creek Road to the vicinity of the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead. We might have to walk a mile or so on the road before we get to climb up to the Hogsback Camp via old growth forest or the upper reaches of Glacier Creek. Either way we will make our camp at around 6000 feet. This should give us enough time to cover the following topics.
Day 2: After a leisurely start we will move camp to a spectacular camp on the Coleman Glacier at around 7200 feet. Becoming efficient at breaking down and setting up camp is part of the course and can prove invaluable on future multi day ski touring adventures. In the afternoon we will concern ourselves with the following:
Day 3: From our camp we climb up the Coleman Glacier under the North Face of Colfax Peak to the Coleman Deming Col and onward to the summit of Mt. Baker via the Roman Wall. There should be enough time during the climb to cover the following course topics:
Day 4: This day is reserved as a weather day or a great tour across the Coleman and Roosevelt Glaciers to the Mazama Col. This should really illustrate what glaciated ski touring is all about. We also have the option to practice the topics listed below before we head back down to the cars via Glacier Creek.
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.