Standing at 10,781 feet, Mt. Baker, also known as Koma Kulshan, is the third highest peak in the State of Washington and one of the Cascade's glaciated active volcanoes. Some of these glaciers drop below 4,000 feet. The surroundings are spectacular with Mt. Shuksan to the east, Colfax and Lincoln Peaks to the west, and the seemingly endless panorama of the North Cascades to the south. If you are fit and prepared, it is very attainable in two days and we think an incredible treat to stand on the summit.
Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience required. You should be able to ski black diamond ski slopes at ski areas in just about any condition, and be able to ski ungroomed slopes of intermediate difficulty without any hesitation. You should have a good amount of ski touring experience and have experience in moving through the landscape in a variety of snow conditions ranging from deep to frozen snow. You should be able to complete transitions from touring to skiing or boot packing with ease and good efficiency.
Very Good Physical Fitness; you should be able to hike or climb for 5 to 6 hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 lbs. and ascend 3,000 to 4,000 feet of vertical gain per day for 2 consecutive days.
Day 1: From the ranger station we will commute together to the end of the road at 3600 feet. We will hike through old growth forest up into the subalpine, then travel via the Hogsback to Heliotrope Ridge at around 6000 feet. The last 1 to to 1. 5 hours leads over glaciated terrain on the Coleman Glacier to our camp. After this 4-5 hour effort, we will arrive at our spectacular camp at the base of the Black Buttes at 7200 feet.
Day 2: This is a long day that requires an early start. If all goes according to plan, we will summit via the Coleman-Deming Route at around 9am. This should see us back to our tents around noon and back at the car before 3 pm.
Please be aware that the trip location might change to the Easton Glacier, Squak Glacier or Boulder Glacier route depending on road and/or route 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 trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.