4-Day Mount Baker Ski Mountaineering Course

Our Mount Baker Ski Mountaineering Course is the perfect course the already experienced back country skier who is interested in exploring ski mountaineering in glaciated terrain. It is also suited as a preparation for multi-day ski tours that are not hut supplied. The course takes place on the north side of Mount Baker on the Coleman Glacier.

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience

Fitness Level: Strenuous due to ski touring with overnight pack

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Instructional
  • Ratio: 4:1,8:2

* Required Fields

The course takes place on the north side of Mount Baker on the Coleman Glacier.  It is hard to imagine a better course setting than the heavily glaciated terrain of the Comeman, Roosevelt and Deming Glacier. Over the course of the four days you will also get an opportunity to summit Mount Baker. This is a learn on the go course with a full curriculum. Prior ski touring experience and good fitness are a prerequisite. 
Day One: We will meet in the little town of Glacier, WA and commute up the Glacier Creek Road to the vicinity of the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead. We might have to walk a mile or so on the road before we get to climb up to the Hogsback Camp via old growth forest  or the upper reaches of Glacier Creek. Either way we will make our camp at around 6000 feet. This should give us enough time to cover the following topics.
• Revision of the basics of a ski touring course
• The difference between ski touring and ski mountaineering explained
• Equipment specific to ski mountaineering
• Map work and time calculations reviewed
• The basic function of a glacier explained
Day Two: After a leisurly start we will move camp to a spectacular camp on the Coleman Glacier at around 7200 feet. Becoming efficient at braking down and setting up camp is part of the course and can prove invaluable on future multi day ski touring adventures. In the afternoon we will concern ourselves with the following:
• Crevasse formation and crevasse fall prevention
• Glacier travel on skis
• Roped travel on skis uphill and down hill
• Snow anchors in a ski mountaineering setting
• Crevasse rescue for ski mountaineering
• Self rescue for ski mountaineering
Day Three: From our camp we climb up the Coleman Glacier under the North Face of Colfax Peak to the Coleman Deming Col and onward to the summit via the Roman Wall. There should be enough time during the climb to cover the following course topics:
• Rappelling while side slipping on skis
• Basic snow climbing
• White out navigation in crevassed terrain
• The principles of short roping
• Elaborate rescue sled
• Improvised rescue sled
Day Four: This day is reserved a weather day or a great tour across the Coleman and Roosevelt Glacier to the Mazama Col. This should really illustrate what glaciated ski touring is all about. We also have the option to practice the topics listed below before we head back down to the car via Glacier Creek.
• Beacon search reviewed
• Multiple beacon search
• Avalache safety and incident prevention reviewed
• Emergency bivouac construction

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 MountaiService

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.

1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
Non-Cotton Underwear
1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
Ski Socks - 2 pair
Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
Schoeller™ type pants - soft shell
Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants 
Warm Hat - should cover ears
Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
Lightweight Gloves
Ski Gloves
Down or Synthetic Jacket
Internal Frame Pack - 50 Liter (3100 cu in.) minimum
Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic, 15º F to 20º F minimum
Compression Sack - for sleeping bag         
Sleeping Pad - closed cell foam or self inflating
Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
Bowl or Cup
Small Knife
Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
Lip Balm - SPF 15+
Personal Toiletries 
Small Personal 1st aid kit  and blister repair (Compeed™)
Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark
Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark – no downhill boots
Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
Climbing Skins
Ski Brakes or Removable Ski Leashes
Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only
Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, lightweight
Boot Crampons - check fit prior to departure
Anti-Ball plates - for crampons
Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style (no padding)
4 Locking Biners  - at least 1 large HMS style and 1 regular locker
4 Non-locking Biners  - any style, we prefer wire gate type
1 - 6 meter Cordelette (6mm)
1 - 3 meter Cordelette (6mm)
1 Single Length Runner (60cm)
1 Double Length Runner (120cm)
Ropes and elaborate crevasse rescue kits
Tents, stoves and fuel
Emergency communcation devices such as VHF radios and or Satellite phone

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.