Alpine Ice Course on Mount Baker

This course covers steep ice climbing, anchor systems, rope handling in alpine and glaciated terrain, multi pitch scenarios, gear selection, route and site selection and much more.

August 29, 2019 - September 1, 2019

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

No climbing experience required

Very good physical fitness;
you should be able to hike or climb for 5 to 6 hours with a pack varying from 20 to 40 lbs. and ascend 3,000 to 4,000 feet of vertical gain per day for 2 to 3 consecutive days.

  • Category: Alpine
  • Type: Instructional
  • Ratio: 4:1,8:2
This course has a slightly different focus than the winter Ice Climbing course. There will be a stronger emphasis on crampon technique as well as movement in alpine ice terrain. We will cover steep ice climbing, anchor systems, rope handling in an alpine setting and glaciated terrain, multi pitch scenarios, gear selection, route and site selection and much more. If you are an aspiring alpinist who wants to be prepared for the amazing variety of challenges alpine ice can throw at you, don't miss this course.
Course Curriculum:
1. Introduction to Gear
• a short history of crampons and ice axes
• comparing different ice axes and crampons
• general gear selection for alpine ice terrain
2. Crampon and Ice Axe Techniques
• the progression of classic crampon technique - uphill, downhill, side hill
• the progression of ice axe use - uphill, downhill, side hill
• easy crampon technique circuit on glacier ice
• hard crampon technique circuit using fixed ropes on glacier ice
3. Anchors and Technical Systems
• ice anchor, bollards, V - threads
• crevasse rescue systems
• self rescue systems
4. Alpine Ice Climbing
• multi-pitch techniques on classic ice routes
• rappelling on classic ice routes
• retrieval of ice screws after a rappel
• moat problem solving

Sign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental. Go to Pro Ski and Mountain Service

Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.

The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.

o  1 thermal bottom - midweight or lightweight
o  1 or 2 thermal tops - midweight or lightweight
o  Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o  Socks - 2 pair
o  Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece Jacket - only one of these is necessary
o  Soft shell type pants
o  Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o  Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants - may be omitted w/ soft shell type pants if the forecast is good.
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 or full size
o  Down or Synthetic Jacket
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, stiff soled, 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.
o   Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, plus ice tools if you have them
o  Crampons - 12 point STEEL, pre-fit to boots
o  Anti-balling plates - for crampons
o  Climbing Helmet - UIAA approved only
o  Climbing Harness - mountaineering style (e.g. B.D. Alpine Bod)
o 4 Locking Biners  - at least 1 large HMS style and 1 regular locker
o 4 Non-locking Biners  - any style, we prefer wire gate type
o 1 - 6 meter Cordelette (6mm)
o 1 - 3 meter Cordelette (6mm)
o 1 Single Length Runner (60cm)
o 1 Double Length Runner (120cm)
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 (ice tools, crevasse rescue kit, VHF radio or SAT radio)
o Group 1st Aid Kit

Should I tip my guide? And how much should I tip them? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.