Mt. Baker is one of the most beautiful volcanoes on the West Coast. Climbing this strenuous but technically moderate 10780 foot peak can be done as an overnight trip! We will be summiting via the gentle Easton Glacier route or the classic Coleman-Deming route.
Though technically not very difficult, the physical effort of climbing Mt. Baker as an overnight trip should not be underestimated. You will be gaining between 7000 and 8000 feet of vertical essentially in a 24 hour period, have a pre-dawn start and will have to have enough energy to drive back after a 12 hour day on the mountain.
Overall difficulty: Moderate
Skills required: No experience necessary (you will learn glacier travel in crevassed terrain with crampons and ice axe)
Fitness Level: Very strenuous: 3500 feet or more of vertical gain with a one day or overnight alpine climbing pack for consecutive days
The Easton Glacier Route
Day 1: From the Sedro Wooley Ranger Station we will commute to the trailhead at Schriebers Meadow. The hike to our high camp at around 6500 feet takes about 4 hours and will provide easy access to the Easton Glacier the next day.
Day 2: An early start will get us going on the gentle slopes of the Easton Glacier. The sunrise on the south side of Mt. Baker is truly spectacular. The route will take us up to the edge of the crater at around 9700 feet before we tackle the final 35 degree slope to the summit. It will take about 5 hours to get to the top and certainly 3 hours to get back down to camp. A quick rest will give us the needed energy to head back down to the trailhead.
The Coleman-Deming Route
Day 1: From the Glacier ranger station we will commute together to the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead at 3600 feet. A three to four hour hike will bring us to the spectacular camp at the base of Heliotrope Ridge at 6000 feet. The views from the Heliotrope Camp are amazing. Big, crevassed glaciers (that provide running water), sunset over the Puget Sound Islands, and the city lights of Vancouver create an amazing backdrop for this camp.
Day 2: This is a long day that requires an early start (but nothing a good cup of coffee can't take care of). Our route will take us high up onto the lower plateau of the Coleman Glacier, under the spectacular North Face of Colfax Peak and on to the 9000 foot high Coleman-Deming Col. From here we ascend the final pitch to the summit. If all goes according to plan, you can will be standing on Grant Summit by mid morning and be back at camp in the early afternoon.
A short rest will provide us with enough energy to pack up camp and head down to the trailhead. You can plan to be back at your car at around 4pm.
We will either climb the Coleman-Deming or the Easton Glacier route, depending on conditions and preferences.
No prior mountaineering experience is required; however, strong fitness IS required.
No, you are responsible for your own food. We are glad to help with food suggestions, though.
Try to fit your gear into a 50 liter pack. You could also consider a larger pack with an smaller summit pack.