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6-day Mountaineering course on Mount Baker with glacier travel

Join the certified guides of Alpine Ascents International for this 6 day mountaineering course. You will learn the skills you need for future adventures in the mountains!

Mountain RangeCascade Range
Duration6 days
Offer periodMay, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Skill LevelBeginner
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripGroup

Highlights

  • Learn the fundamentals of mountaineering from experts

  • Apply your new knowledge, skills, and techniques as you summit Mt. Baker

  • Build the fundamentals you'll need to tackle harder objectives

Description

During this 6 day mountaineering course, you will learn the skills, abilities, and techniques you need to safely tackle more complicated and challenging mountaineering objectives!

Any aspiring mountaineer knows that a lot goes into a successful summit. Months of training, lots of hard work, and careful planning are all required. This 6 day course is designed to give you the foundation you need to prepare for undertaking your next mountaineering objective.  During our time together, we will cover all the basics before putting our skills to the test as we climb to the summit of Mt. Baker. You will receive lots of hands on coaching from your expert instructor. Topics of instruction include: glacier travel, crevasse rescue systems, navigation, rappelling, rope skills, setting up a safe and secure camp, and much more. More information is provided in the day-by-day section below.

We will practice these important skills and techniques on the slopes of Mt. Baker, the highest peak of the North Cascades at 10,781 ft. It is a dormant volcano whose 12 glaciers are an ideal training ground. The area is filled with numerous peaks, beautiful ridges and valleys, and plenty of ice and snow. We will enjoy beautiful views as we enjoy our time exploring “The American Alps.” Our starting and ending point for this program will be the city of Seattle, from which Mt. Baker is easily accessible.

This program is meant for beginning to intermediate climbers and mountaineers who want to further their skill set for all their future mountaineering adventures.  Past participants have gone on to summit such mountains as Everest or Denali, and this is a great prerequisite for many other intermediate level climbs. It is a physically demanding course, so participants should have an appropriate level of physical fitness. You will also be responsible for bringing your own personal gear. A complete list will be provided, and for certain items we can assist with gear rentals.

Book this mountaineering course now to build the foundation you need to safely conquer your next mountaineering objective!

Check out other other mountaineering adventures – Kilimanjaro, 12-day trip with ascent via the Machame Route, Mount Adams, 2-day South Side summit and course, or 3-day Ascent of Mount Baker (3286m) with glacier training!

Details

Accommodation

Campsites on the mountain

Meeting point

We will meet in our Seattle office at 6:30 am on the first day for gear check and departure

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Photos


Itinerary

Day 1: Gear check and campsite prep

We meet in our offices in Seattle at 6:30am to begin the course with a gear check and trip overview. This is a critical step, as it is important that you have appropriate, well fitting gear before departing on any mountaineering trip. You will also learn the ins and outs of each piece of equipment.

Next, vehicle transfer to the trailhead where we begin the approach to Mt. Baker. This will be a hike of moderate intensity ascending from about 3,400 ft to 6,000 ft through scenic landscapes with great mountain views.

Late afternoon/early evening, we arrive at our campsite, where you will learn how to set up a safe camp. Specific topics include: sleeping in the cold, hygiene, Leave no Trace, personal maintenance. We’ll also learn about the basics of backcountry meal prep and cooking.

Day 2: Glacier travel & technical skills

We will hit the mountain today as we learn how to travel over icy and snowy terrain. We start with foot placement, rest spots, and balance before moving on to a lesson on self-arresting using an ice axe.

During the afternoon, we’ll work on some rope skills and learn different knots, coiling, and storage. Then, if there’s still time, we’ll hit the glacier for a traverse so that we can practice the skills we just learned.

Day 3: Ice Anchors, Belaying, & Rappelling

Today’s instruction begins with constructing snow and ice anchors under different conditions and scenarios. Then, we will test your skills with some rappels (but don’t worry – we’ll check all anchors before putting any weight on them to make sure they’re safe!)

With our anchors constructed, we will practice belaying and rappelling techniques before discussing hauling systems.

 

Day 4: Crevasse Rescue Systems

We put together the skills we practiced during the preceding days and begin learning crevasse rescue systems. We will practice on land and in actual crevasses using a 3:1 Pulley rescue system and a 2:1 Drop-C. We will also practice self-rescue techniques.

It is important to note that safety is always a priority, and guides will take the appropriate steps to minimize risks.

Day 5: Summit Push/Advanced Base Camp

Today we will test the skills we’ve learned as we ascend Mt. Baker. We will either head for the summit, or aim to build an advanced glacier camp, depending on weather conditions. This will allow us to practice our rope travel skills in a team, building a safe camp, as well as learning how to practice planning a summit push. This includes: creating a route plan, packing, ascending and descending past seracs and glaciers, and examining the hazards and risks.  It will definitely be a tough day, but a rewarding well as you will have a better understanding of what it takes to conquer a mountaineering objective.

Day 6: Break camp and return to Seattle

We will make our summit push if we were unable to the prior day.  We may also have the opportunity to cover more advanced topics such as advanced crampon walking, ice climbing, climbing at high altitudes, and more advanced rescue systems.

Then, we will break down our camps using the Leave No Trace principles we previously discussed. We depart the mountain and can expect to return to Seattle sometime in the evening, ending the trip with an optional group meal


About the guide

guide profile img

We are one of the prime guiding agencies in the US and our mountaineering school is among the most reputed in the country. We are recognized as industry leaders all across North America.

All our expeditions are carefully planned as we believe that our work prior to the start of the trip is key to helping climbers achieve their goals. We provide a wealth of important information to help participants plan more effectively and our guides are always available to answer questions.

We believe putting together cohesive groups is key and we ask participants important details about their training and climbing or hiking experience. This is key to our safety record, which stands as the finest in the industry. Injury prevention is always our top priority.

We think of climbers as modern-day explorers. Whether attending a mountaineering course or climbing Everest, you can expect us to treat every trip as a unique exploration. We know you have joined us to embrace a challenge and to learn through experience.


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Prices per person

Group of 1

USD 1392 each

Group of 2

USD 1392 each

Group of 3

USD 1392 each

Group of 4

USD 1392 each

Group of 5

USD 1392 each

Group of 6

USD 1392 each

Group of 7

USD 1392 each

Group of 8

USD 1392 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

Price details

Price includes: Professional guiding services, transfer to/from the trailhead, park entrance fees, group equipment (ropes, snow and ice protection, etc), liquid fuel for stoves, T-shirt.

Does not include: Personal equipment (gear list will be provided), meals, transportation between Seattle and your home city, accommodation in Seattle, transportation in Seattle, evacuation fees or similar, trip cancellation insurance.


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