Backcountry Skiing at Mount Baker

Mount Baker | Washington
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go skiing at Mount Baker, WA

  • Trip Highlight

    Replace the crowds with Mt Baker’s boundless backcountry

  • Trip Highlight

    The area boasts 688″ (17.5 meters) of snowfall per season

  • Trip Highlight

    With abundant snow, you can ride even in the craggiest terrain

Being one of the most iconic mountains for skiing in the Lower 48, Mount Baker offers deep winter snow and the best spring corn skiing in Washington! While this active glacier-covered stratovolcano involves predominantly moderate skiing, the area also has slopes for any ski level. Learn the fundamentals on mellow angles and easy-to-skin routes or explore the impressive crevasses and steep descents. Try out some of the more-popular routes like Table Mountain, Bagley Basin, or Mount Herman that offer stunning terrain for intermediate and advanced skiers or stick to the basics in Swift Creek.

Season

December through April

Nearest city

Bellingham, WA, is an hour away

Duration

1 day

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your day

Private Intro to Backcountry Skiing

Full-day

If you are still new to backcountry skiing, but wish to explore and develop your skills, the Mount Baker area offers several perfect spots, such as Swift Creek. Take your first steps in the backcountry with a guide who will teach you useful techniques to master skinning on mellow, doable angles. You’ll then be ready for some fun laps in incredible conditions. Explore the best backcountry Washington has to offer and enjoy a day full of adventure!

A Customized Day of Private Guided Backcountry Skiing

Full-day

Whether you are looking for a day of learning new skills in the backcountry or wish to have the adventure of a lifetime, your guide will make all your powdery dreams come true! Choose from an array of possibilities and runs that make Mt. Baker a dream destination for skiers—and seize the day! Your guide will be there by your side to tailor the adventure according to your goals and objectives, so there is nothing stopping you from having the ski day you’ve always imagined. Tons of snow, amazing views and untouched snow await!

Lift-Accessed Backcountry Skiing

Full-day

Spend less time on the ascent and more time on the descent! Lifts provide easy access to some of the best parts of Mt. Baker— the resort offers 10 ski lifts with a total length of 7.8 kilometers! Let your local and experienced guide take you to some of the best secret powder stashes in the slackcountry within minutes. Save your energy, avoid the crowds, and spend more time on the exciting and challenging slopes off-piste.

Advanced Tours & Ski Mountaineering

Full-day

Spend a day on the most epic lines of the North Cascade mountain range with 2,000 vertical feet of untouched snow. If you are keen on challenging yourself, then you couldn’t have chosen a more rewarding terrain to test your outdoor skills! Push your personal limits and bring your skillset to a higher level. Join your guide and let him take you to the steep, yet challenging terrain Mount Baker is saving only for the most adventurous.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures at Mount Baker

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!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure: 

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A full day of backcountry ski touring

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Trip insurance
    • Food and snacks
    • Transportation
    • Lift tickets 

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels at Mount Baker, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blur or black level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with challenging blue or black level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out 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.

What equipment do I need to bring?

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

    • Alpine touring skis or telemark skis 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

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

Ski rental locations are REI and Backcountry Essentials in Bellingham, WA, and Glacier Ski Shop in Deming, 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!

What about group sizes and pricing?

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 4:1. All prices are per person.
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private lessons, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski with friends and family. 

Ski touring at Mount Baker, Washington 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.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Mount Baker, most people fly into Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Air­port, which is 2.5 hours away. From there you can rent a car or take a scenic bus or train ride to Bellingham. From Bellingham you can take a bus to the Mount Baker ski area.

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. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.

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Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

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