Upgrade your backcountry skillset at Mt Baker—one of the best places for backcountry skiing in Washington! The area around this legendary peak offers vast and easy-to-access off-piste terrain with ever-solid snowpack, but there is a catch. Slopes here can get very steep and very high quickly—and what is usually an advantage may feel too demanding and risky for novice backcountry enthusiasts. Focusing on beginner off-piste options, this 5-day zero-to-hero camp at Mt Baker provides such skiers with a solid foundation for enjoying their time in snowy mountain wilderness. This means introductory avalanche education, as well as learning the backcountry fundamentals such as skinning techniques, movement skills, and navigation abilities. Join your expert guide and start feeling at home on those very slopes that were previously unattainable!

  • Stellar beginner and learners’ backcountry options

  • Insane amounts of powder—up to 700’’ (18 m) of yearly snowfall

  • Easy accessibility, both in terms of transportation and skinning

Itinerary

Meet your guide and fellow skiers in Glacier, WA, and step up your backcountry game with a ski camp in the Mt Baker area. After 8 hours of self-paced education with useful materials provided by your guide, get in the field for 5 days of practical education, including the AIARE Level 1 and AIARE Company Rescue courses, as well general backcountry education on the best powder-laden slopes in the area!

  • This 5-day ski camp at Mt Baker is preceded by 8 hours of self-paced online education. The field days will include indoor teaching lessons in the morning followed by practical outdoor education. The exact location of the field days will be based on current conditions, weather and the skill level of the participants. Once the course is completed, you will receive AIARE Level 1 and AIARE Companion Rescue Certifications. 

      • Use the gear necessary for avalanche rescue
      • Practice avalanche rescue responses 
      • Improve your response and times necessary for an avalanche rescue
      • Identify and analyze avalanche terrain
      • Analyze avalanche forecasts 
      • Make decisions and assess risk in avalanche terrain
      • Test stability of the snowpack 
      • Walk uphill (skinning)
      • Navigate in the backcountry
      • Kick turn efficiently/avoid kick turns

Meet your guide

Graybird Guiding
5.00
Graybird Guiding
Quality over quantity is what backcountry skiing is all about! Graybird Guiding focuses on high quality, experience-based trips full of champagne powder and shredding. Their certified guides will deliver as much quantity as you can handle, maximize your time and allow you to focus on the fun part of the adventure!

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, certified guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 5 days of field instructions, guiding, and mentorship
      • 8+ hours of self-paced online education
      • AIARE Level 1 Certification
      • AIARE Companion Rescue Certification
      • All meals during the camp (at the Guide House before and after field days)

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
      • Transportation to and from Glacier, WA 
      • Accommodations (plenty of great options in the area)
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To enjoy this ski camp at Mt Baker, you need to be in good physical shape. You will be on your feet for 5-7 hours a day for 5 full days, covering 6-10 miles (10-15km) of terrain every day and manage controlled descents in variable conditions.

    All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

  • Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with solid blue or black level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out on this ski camp at Mt Baker with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

  • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
      • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Helmet
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • Gloves and hat
      • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
      • Down jacket or vest
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
      • Food you can eat on-the-go
      • First aid kit
      • Sunscreen
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
      • Camera — optional
  • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent: 

    Ski rental locations are in Glacier, WA and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this group adventure, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 5:1. 
      • It takes a minimum of 3 people for this tour to operate. 
      • The cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows. 

    Backcountry skiing at Mount Baker can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • A 50% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to one hundred twenty (120) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. 
      • For cancellations ninety (90) to one hundred nineteen (119) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
      • For cancellations seventy-five (75) to eighty nine (89) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
  • To get to Glacier, WA, where you will be based, most people fly into Seattle Tacoma International Airport, which is three hours away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location in Glacier, WA. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures at Mt. Baker, please refer to the official Washington State website.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,

Itinerary

  • Arrive in Glacier, WA, and settle into your accommodation. If you are renting gear, pick it up from your rental store. You can also use this day to finish your online course if you haven’t already in order to get fully prepared before the camp starts. Tomorrow morning you will meet your guide and fellow ski camp participants and receive your first field instruction in Mt Baker’s backcountry.

  • You will meet your guide and fellow skiers at a predetermined location in Glacier on Day 1. From Day 1 to Day 5, your education will consist of morning indoor classes in the Guide House and outdoor practical instruction. You will also be provided with all the meals at the Guide House. Your guide will choose the appropriate locations each day depending on what will be covered on a particular day, weather conditions, and the abilities of the participants. Field instruction will include both learning the skills that envisaged by the avalanche course, but there will also be plenty of time for hitting the slopes since the goal of the ski camp at Mt Baker is to teach various general backcountry skiing skills. 

  • The last day of the ski camp at Mt Baker includes the regular indoor and outdoor backcountry and avalanche education, but it also marks the last day of your adventure. Say goodbye to your guide and fellow skiers and say goodbye to the Cascades and Mt Baker or continue touring on your own. 

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From $1900
/ 6 days
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