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At an impressive height of 10,781 feet, Mount Baker stands as an iconic Pacific Northwest landmark—offering an exhilarating challenge for mountaineers of all levels. It’s the ideal initiation into glacier travel and mountaineering, set against the breathtaking North Cascades backdrop. Master essential mountaineering skills, from rope handling to crampons to ice axe techniques and traverse seracs and crevasses along beginner-friendly routes like Coleman-Deming and Easton/Squawk Glacier. Guided by seasoned professionals, embark on an unforgettable summit attempt, ascending over 4,000 feet of snow-clad, steep slopes. This is your opportunity to elevate your alpine climbing experience to new heights!

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  • Glacier travel skills

    Navigate challenging seracs and crevasses on routes like Coleman-Deming and Easton/Squawk Glacier

  • Expert instruction

    Learn from mountaineering experts who will lead you through comprehensive training and guide you to success

  • Breathtaking wilderness

    Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the North Cascades, with stunning alpine vistas at every turn

Itinerary

Embark on a transformative 3-day Mount Baker mountaineering journey. Acquire essential mountaineering skills while immersing in the breathtaking North Cascades wilderness. Under the guidance of a seasoned guide, navigate challenging terrain, master alpine camping, and ascend over 4,000 feet on summit day. Your comprehensive package includes an experienced guide, gear check, and all necessary group equipment. This alpine odyssey on Mount Baker offers a profound and rewarding experience for those aspiring to become proficient mountaineers.

  • On the first day, the adventure begins at 8:00 am with a rendezvous in town. At this point, you’ll meet your guide, and a quick gear check will be conducted while the day’s plan is reviewed. The guide will provide insights into the route to camp, and any final adjustments will be made before setting off in a caravan to the trailhead. The remainder of the day will be dedicated to an exhilarating hike to camp, during which valuable camp craft skills will be learned.

    Snow-capped volcano of Mt Baker seen from the distance, rising from the forests at its foot.
  • The second day starts early, with a hearty breakfast that includes hot coffee or tea. After preparing the necessary food for the day, it’s time to gear up and venture out to cover a comprehensive mountaineering skills course. This includes an overview of mountaineering gear, ice axe techniques (including self-arrest and team arrest for glacier travel), crampon techniques, mastering the rest step for mountaineering efficiency, descending techniques, and the fundamentals of rope team travel. In the evening, an early dinner is prepared before retiring for the night.

    Alpine climbers navigating steep glacial terrain on their way to the summit of Mount Baker.
  • Summit day kicks off between 3:00-5:00 am with a quick breakfast before embarking on an early alpine start. The precise start time will be determined based on weather conditions and the day’s warming trends. Be prepared for a demanding day ahead, as over 4,000 feet in elevation will be gained, while various snow surfaces and steep slopes are traversed. Once the high point is reached, the descent back to camp begins. Following the descent, camp is broken down, bags are packed, and the journey back to the trailhead marks the conclusion of the exhilarating adventure.

    Mountaineers near an enormous rugged rock formation near Mt Baker.
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Meet your guide

Blackbird Mountain Guides
5.00
Blackbird Mountain Guides
Blackbird Mountain Guides is here to help you push farther, faster, and smarter. Their ultimate goal is to help you develop awareness, efficiency, and a good decision-making philosophy in the mountains. Whether they’re guiding a "type-1-fun" adventure, helping you develop skills to meet your next mountain objective, or playing in their time off, the Blackbird Mountain Guides team strives to move in good style.
5.00 (4 reviews)
Katie Lodge (source: Google Reviews)

Our guided climb up Mount Baker with Blackbird Mountain Guides was absolutely incredible. I highly recommend to anyone considering doing a guided climb. Zeb is a complete professional — a highly skilled guide and a patient teacher. He was extremely prepared and made us feel fully comfortable and safe throughout the climb. As a novice mountaineer, I very much appreciated his patience and support as I worked through my nerves. A huge value add, Zeb also photographed our journey and shared the photos with us afterwards. That’s not something I would have thought of in advance, but the last thing on your mind is taking pictures during the climb. However they are incredible keepsakes to have of the stunning vistas. A bonus, Zeb was great company to keep over our climb. We will 100% be booking with Blackbird Mountain Guides for our next adventure!

April Howard (source: Google Reviews)

Blackbird Guides is the best! I’ve been using their services for about 3 years and every adventure has been absolutely incredible. Each of the guides are full of knowledge and incredibly good at passing along their years of expertise. I refer everyone I know to Blackbird.

Mikael Ottosson (source: Google Reviews)

Blackbird are the best! They always beat my expectations, I can’t say enough of great things about them. Extremely professional, knowledgeable while making it fun, exciting and wanting to come back for more. If you’re thinking about getting your avi certification, mountaineering training or guided back country tour- look no further.

A Brar (source: Google Reviews)

Zeb at Blackbird Mountain Guides is literally the best guide, I’ve come across. I’ve worked with Zeb twice now including the most recent trip up Mt. Baker with my wife. Zeb provides excellent knowledge, route finding, and pace. Most importantly, his great attitude and patience really made the trip, especially for relative climbing novices like us. Put simply, Zeb is the best. I trust him and will definitely work with Blackbird Mountain Guides again!

Things to know

  • What you get in this adventure:

      • An experienced, certified mountaineering guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • A pre-trip meeting and gear check in Glacier, WA
      • 3 full days of mountaineering
      • All group gear, including tents, stoves, ropes, guide’s first aid kits, etc.

    What’s not included:

      • Personal technical mountaineering gear and clothes
      • Transportation
      • Accommodation before and after the tour (if applicable)
      • Food and snacks
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To participate in the guided 3-day Mt Baker mountaineering tour, it is important to be in excellent physical shape. Participants should be able to hike 8-10 miles, climbing 2,500 – 3,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. To ensure that you are physically prepared for the tour, it is recommended that you spend 3-4 days a week doing strenuous workouts. During the tour, you will be moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-1.5 hours between breaks. It is important to be able to spend a long, active day outside.

  • This guided Mt Baker alpine climbing adventure is open to people with no technical mountaineering skills—ice axe, crampon, and basic rope skills are encouraged, but not required.

    You can build those skills during the adventure (on Day 2), but having those skills means you will have more time for practical application. Keep in mind that you will always be accompanied by your guide who will take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, teach you how to manage the terrain, and keep your group safe.

  • For technical mountaineering gear, you will need to bring:

      • Climbing helmet
      • Headlamp
      • Climbing harness
      • Two locking carabiners
      • Triple action locking carabiner
      • Climbing boots
      • Gaiters
      • Crampons
      • Semi-technical ice tool — a curved tool with a pommel for glacier walking and steep snow/ice climbing
      • Technical ice tool — aggressive curved tool for steep ice
      • Trekking poles

    For clothing, we recommend bringing:

      • Sun hat
      • Sunglasses — dark lens glasses with side coverage
      • Goggles
      • Warm hat
      • Neck gaiters
      • Long sleeve base layer — lightweight, synthetic, or wool
      • 2 insulating top layers — light to midweight insulation layers
      • Puffy — midweight down or synthetic with hood
      • Hardshell jacket, hooded — waterproof, Gore-Tex, not insulated
      • Light & midweight gloves
      • Underwear — wool or synthetic
      • Socks — midweight wool/synthetic
      • Long underwear — wool or synthetic
      • Softshell climbing pants
      • Hardshell climbing pants – light, gore-tex pants, full zip are ideal to put on with boots/crampons on

    For food & camping equipment, you will need to bring:

      • Dinner — your favorite freeze dried or “just-add-hot-water” meal for each night in the field
      • Breakfast — your favorite freeze dried or “just-add-hot-water” meal for each morning in the field
      • Hot drinks — instant coffee, decaffeinated tea, hot cocoa, tang, whatever you prefer
      • Half liter nalgene bottle — a hard sided water bottled that can act as your mug for hot drinks and water bottle
      • Soft water bottle 1.5L — flexible water bladder
      • Water treatment or filtration
      • Bowl and spoon
      • Snacks & lunch for every day of the trip
      • Sleeping bag — down or synthetic rated to 20F
      • Sleeping pad — insulated inflatable air mattress
      • Compression stuff — to pack your sleeping bag; ultralight compression sack 10L
      • Backpack – lightweight, simple 50 liter pack

    Finally, here’s a list of other personal items we recommend bringing:

      • Sunscreen (SPF 30 minimum)
      • Lip balm (with SPF)
      • Hand sanitizer
      • Toilet paper
      • Wag bags (Solid Human Waste Disposal Bags)
      • First aid/blister Kit
      • Camera — optional
      • Chemical hand warmers — optional
  • Technical mountaineering equipment like ice axe, crampons, harness, and climbing helmet can be rented from your guiding service. You will also be able to discuss the gear and your packing list with your guide prior to the adventure. If you need help with renting equipment, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • Group sizes and pricing:

      • For this 3-day Mount Baker climb, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
      • The minimum number of participants for this tour is 3.
      • The price doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

    3-day alpine climbing on 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 this course on a case-by-case basis.

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

  • To get to Glacier, WA, the starting point of this tour, most people fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport 2,5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car, or take a bus or train.

    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 in Glacier 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.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies, and deposits are no longer refundable. The remaining 70% of the amount is paid the latest 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance.

    In the event that the minimum number of people to confirm the adventure is not reached, your guide can cancel the departure at most 2 months before the start of the trip. In that case, you can opt for a private tour at a discounted rate.

    In case you need to cancel the adventure, the following cancellation costs would be incurred:

      • The deposit is non-refundable once the trip has been confirmed
      • 70% of the adventure price is refundable if canceled 60 days or more before departure, once the trip has been confirmed
      • 50% of the adventure price is refundable if canceled 31-59 days before departure
      • 0% of the price of the trip if it is canceled within 30 days before departure
      • Rescheduling a trip is considered a cancellation and is subject to the same policies as cancellation
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