Mount Baker North Ridge

The Baker North Ridge is one of top 5 classic ice routes in the lower 48 states and one of the 50 classic climbs of North America. Standing at 10,781 feet, Mount Baker is the third highest peak in the State of Washington. This route is a super classic.

See full description below
$750.00
Difficulty rating and Skill requirements
Overall Difficulty Rating: DIFFICULT
Mountaineering Skills: DIFFICULT
Fitness Level: EXCELLENT
Technical Skills: MODERATE
 
The Baker North Ridge is rated a Grade III+ or IV depending on conditions. It involves substantial glacier travel, crampon front pointing and some moderately steep ice climbing.
Prior mounaineering experience required; 
You should have glacier travel experience and solid cramponing skills. Continuous movement in exposed terrain should not be a problem. Elementary rope handling skills such as tying in, rappelling and belaying are required.
Excellent physical fitness; you should be able to hike or climb for 6 to 10 hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 pounds and ascend 4,000 to 5,000 feet of vertical gain per day for several days.
  • Category: Alpine
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 2:1,4:2

* Required Fields

The Mount Baker North Ridge climb is one of the 50 classic climbs of North America - for good reason. Standing at 10,781 feet, Mount Baker is the third highest peak in the State of Washington. It is very glaciated with some of its glaciers dropping below 4,000 feet. The Baker North Ridge is one of top 5 classic ice routes in the lower 48 states. We'll cross the Coleman Glacier at first light to get to the base of the route. We then climb 50 degree snow and ice to reach ice pitches (steepness up to 70 degrees), and then you get to climb more 50 degree snow and ice to reach the summit. The Mount Baker North Ridge is a high quality classic ice route from the start to the end. Please call us directly at 425 888 6397 if you would like to arrange a private climb with a date that suites you. We do it all the time!
Suggested Itinerary:
Day one:
From the ranger station in Glacier, WA we will commute together to the end of the road at 3600 feet (The Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead). A two to three hour hike will bring us through spectacular old growth forest to about 5000 feet. From here we leave the well maintained hiking trail and head up the steep climbers trail past the Hogsback climbers camp at 6000 feet. We have the option of camping here or to continue another hour to the spectacular camp on Heliotrope Ridge at right around 7000 feet. Either one will put us in a great position for our summit day the next day. 
Day two:
It’s definitely a pre-dawn start. It takes about 2 hours to make it across the Coleman Glacier. Depending on the condition of the glacier, this can be very easy or quite adventurous. From the base of the route at around 8000 feet, we ascend the “access slopes” either on the west side of the North Ridge proper or climb up the Roosevelt Glacier until we can access the Mount Baker North Ridge proper between 8300 and 9000 feet. The crux ice pitches are encountered at 9500 feet. The setting of these pitches is hard to surpass. You will be climbing high above the Roosevelt Glacier Cirque in perfect glacier ice. Unforgettable! Above the ice pitches more moderate snow and ice pitches (up to 50 degrees) will provide more entertainment. The slope angle eases off at around 10'000 feet below the summit ice cap. Generally we cruise through this section via the summit slopes of the Roosevelt Glacier. From here it is not far to the top at 10,781 feet. The way off the mountain is quite easy via the standard Coleman Deming Glacier route and we should be back in camp in the middle of the afternoon. The work is done and we can enjoy a beautiful evening from camp. Views include our route, the Puget Sound, and the sprawling nightlights of Vancouver.
Day three:
After a leisurely breakfast we pack up camp, descend down to the Lower Camps and ice climb a couple hours on our way out. Depending on weather conditions we might also switch the order of day two and three.

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MOUNT BAKER NORTH RIDGE
FAQ’S and EQUIPMENT LIST
FAQ’S:
WHERE WILL WE BE CLIMBING?
WE WILL BE CIMBING ON THE NORTH SIDE OF MOUNT BAKER, MAINLY ON THE COLEMAN GLACIER. 
HOW MUCH PRIOR MOUNTAINEERING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED?
PRIOR MOUNTAINEERING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED, AND SOLID FITNESS WILL ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF THE TRIP SUBSTANTIALLY. 
WILL WE BE ABLE TO DO SOME ICE CLIMBING BEFORE WE DO THE ACTUAL ROUTE?
YES, THE LOWER COLEMAN GLACIER IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST SPOTS FOR SUMMER ICE CLIMBING IN THE LOWER 48 STATES AND WE INTEND TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.
 CAN I USE THIS CLIMB AS A PREP CLIMB FOR HARDER CLIMBS IN THE ALPS?
YES, THIS ROUTE HOLDS ITS OWN ANYWHERE. IT IS A VERY GOOD PREP ROUTE, AND THE LATER THE DATE, THE MORE TECHNICAL THE ROUTE BECOMES.
DOES PGS PROVIDE THE FOOD?
NO, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN FOOD.  WE ARE GLAD TO HELP WITH FOOD SUGGESTIONS THOUGH.
HOW BIG OR RATHER HOW SMALL SHOULD MY PACK BE?
TRY TO FIT YOUR GEAR INTO A 50 LITER PACK MAX OR BRING A SMALLER PACK FOR THE SUMMIT DAY.
HOW DO I GET TO GLACIER, WA?
Driving directions to the Glacier Ranger Station:
Take Interstate 5 north to Hwy 542 in Bellingham and go east to the town of Glacier. Driving time is about 3 hours from Seattle. The ranger station is located about 0.5 miles east of town on the right hand side.
 
EQUIPMENT LIST
 CLOTHING 
•            BASE  LAYER
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            Non-Cotton Underwear
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Socks - 2 pair
•            MID LAYER
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece Jacket - only one of these is necessary
o            Soft Shell type pants
•            OUTERWEAR
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves - wind block or fleece/wool type
o            Warm Gloves
o            Gaiters - low top or full size
•            INSULATION
o            Down or Synthetic Jacket
PERSONAL GEAR
o            Internal Frame Pack - 50 Liter (3100 cu in.) minimum
o            Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic, 20 deg. F. minimum
o            Sleeping Pad - closed cell foam or self inflating
o            Mountaineering Boots - leather or synthetic, crampon compatible
o            Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended w/ extra batteries
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Water Purification - tablets or filter
o            Bowl or Cup
o            Utensils
o            Small Knife
o            Glacier Glasses
o            Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Lighter or Matches
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, waterless hand cleaner, etc.
o            Small Personal 1st Aid Kit - blister repair, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
TECHNICAL GEAR
o            2 Ice Axes- moderate ice tools would be great
o            Crampons - 12 point steel, pre-fit to boots
o            Anti-ball plates - for crampons
o            Climbing Helmet - UIAA approved only
o            Climbing Harness - mountaineering style (e.g. B.D. Alpine Bod)
o            Locking Biners (2) - (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
o            Non-locking Biners (4) - any style, we prefer wire gate type
o            Cordelettes (2) - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o            Sewn Slings (2) - 1 single length (60 cm), 1 double length (120 cm)
o            Ice Screws (2) - 13-17 cm length
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate
o            Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) - nice to have for approach/crevasse navigation
o            Camera - we’re always looking for some shots for the PGS website!
o            Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebook works
o            Ropeman or Tibloc - used in the crevasse rescue system
o            Compass - adjustable declination required
o            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o            Map Case - large zip-loc will suffice
o            Collapsible Water Canteen -  good for storing water at camp
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS *Please contact the guiding office if you prefer to bring your own gear in place of any of our group gear.
o            Tents
o            Stoves
o            Fuel
o            Cooking Pots
o            Ropes
o            Technical Group Gear (ropes, elaborate crevasse rescue kit, ice screws, VHF radio or SAT phone)
o            Group 1st Aid Kit