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Mount Baker Summit


Mount Baker Summit Attempt
Difficulty: 5/5
Meeting Locations: Northwest Adventure Center or Trailhead
Cost: $699
The quintessential glaciated Cascades peak, Mt. Baker, originally named Koma Kulshan or simply Kulshan, provides a fantastic climbing experience for both the novice and developed mountaineer. Unlike the geographically lonely Rainier, Mt. Baker looks into the heart of the Cascade Range for tremendous views of endless steep, snow-capped peaks. Mt. Baker offers the perfect introduction to mountaineering and is often considered the best glacier training venue in the US. A true wilderness outing, climbers carry gear to camp, spend a full day training, and summit via the beautiful Easton glacier.

Participants Restrictions: 18+, PHYSICAL CONDITIONING; In the best interest of personal safety, success, and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your needs.
Max participants: 9
ODR Provides: Permit, Transportation, Technical Gear and Equipment, and Climb Leaders.
You pack: There is an extensive packing list you will be provided prior to trip.

Day Before Climb
Mandatory 11:30 a.m. gear check at Adventures Unlimited, to ensure that everyone is fully equipped and prepared to depart the next morning. Rental gear is fitted and packed at this time. We willl also review the functionality of each piece of gear, packing our backpacks, wilderness ethics, and Leave No Trace practices. Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

Day 1
We depart at 6:30 a.m. from Adventures Unlimited and drive approximately 3.15 hours to Schriebers Meadow on the south side of Mt. Baker. We will spend most of the day on the moderately strenuous approach as we start hiking from 3,400 ft. in sub-alpine meadows. The hiking will continue through old-growth forest for the first two hours. We will exit the forest at 4,800 ft. and continue up the trail on high alpine ridgelines along with seasonal snow-covered regions. We will aim to arrive at camp (6,100-6,600 ft. depending on the year's snowpack), perched high on the south side of Mount Baker, in the afternoon.
After we settle into camp, we will rest for a bit. As time allows, we will learn about glaciology in anticipation of tomorrow's training. We will close out the day with dinner, while enjoying spectacular views of the Easton Glacier from camp. If route conditions or weather merit a Day 2 summit bid, we may opt to cover all practical snow school skills this evening.
Training and Planning:
On the approach, instruction includes nutrition, hydration, rest steps, pressure breathing, and temperature management. Climb Leader will also discuss Leave No Trace information in depth. During rest periods, we will have short discussions on mountain physiology and mountain environments. We will have the option to summit on Day 2 or Day 3 as conditions warrant. If we summit day 2 training will be completed afternoon of Day 1 for a Day 2 summit. One of the keys to this trip's success is having 2 possible summit days.

Day 2
After a good night's sleep to recover from our approach, we will begin a robust day of training. Climb Leader will cover important safety aspects of the climb, including glacier travel, self-arrest, crampon technique, ice axe usage, anchors, and proper rope techniques including knots. With a break for lunch and some additional practice to follow, training will take most of the day.
After an early dinner, we will head to bed in anticipation of a pre-dawn start for the summit, resting and recovering as much as possible.

Alternatively, if weather or route conditions require a Day 2 summit bid, we will begin our trip to the summit in the early morning hours (see Day 3 for more details), having trained in all necessary skills on the evening of Day 1.

Focus is on the battery of skills needed to safely climb Mt. Baker: self-arrest, roped travel, crampon techniques, ice axe usage, basic knots, and other techniques related to glacier ascent and descent.

Day 3
After a predawn breakfast, we will begin our journey to the summit. The route begins with a climb to the top of the Easton moraine at 7,000 ft., where we will access the Easton Glacier. From there, we will ascend the gently angled Easton Glacier until we reach the crater rim at 9,800 ft. A nice break will allow us to look deep into the steaming Sherman Crater of Mt. Baker. We will then climb up the Roman Wall and crest the summit plateau at just over 10,500 ft. A short walk leads up to the summit of Mount Baker, at 10,781 feet. At a moderate pace, the summit climb should take five to seven hours from Sandy Camp. Clear weather offers an inspiring 360-degree view from this most magnificent North Cascades summit. After celebrating the summit and taking photos, we will descend carefully back to Sandy Camp.
After packing up and taking a brief rest, we will descend the rest of the way to the trailhead. A summit celebration will take place at a restaurant as we return to JBLM. If we summited on Day 2, we will wake up for a leisurely breakfast, cover any final training topics such as glaciology and snow anchors, and descend to the trailhead to celebrate.

Our summit attempt allows us to implement and enforce what we learned the previous day.
Itinerary subject to change due to conditions.

Day 1: Schriebers Meadow, Sandy Camp or a little higher
Elevation gain: 2,775 - 3,000 ft
Hours - 3.5-5hrs
Miles 3.75
Pack weight 40lbs
Day 2: Skills around camp or Summit
Day 3: Sandy Camp to Mt Baker Summit
Elevation gain: 4,681 ft
Hours - 5-6hrs
Miles - 3 miles
Pack Weight - 15lbs
Summit to Parking lot
Elevation descent: 7,456
Hours 6-8
Miles 6.75
Pack Weight - 35lbs

*Caution. Climbing is inherently dangerous and could result in serious injury or death. You must me in good mental and physical condition to climb mountains. Mountaineering can be a very rewarding sport, but it is not without its hazards.