Mount Baker Climb Itinerary
Day Before Climb 2:00pm
Gear check- Mandatory. A thorough gear check ensures everyone is fully equipped and prepared to depart the next morning. Rental gear is fitted and packed at this time. Location: Alpine Ascents Seattle office, 2:00pm. Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours.
Training: Review the functionality of each piece of gear, packing our backpacks, wilderness ethics and LNT.
Day 1: 7:30am meeting at Schrieber's Meadow, south side of Mt. Baker. Most of the day is spent on the moderately strenuous approach, as we start hiking from 3,400' in subalpine meadows. Hiking continues through old growth forest for the first two hours. We exit the forest at 4,800ft and continue up the trail through high alpine meadows along with seasonal snow covered regions. We aim to arrive at Sandy Camp (6,100ft) in the afternoon which is perched high on the south side of Mount Baker. A spectacular view from camp of the Easton glacier is enjoyed over a hot meal prepared by your guides.
Training: Instruction includes nutrition, hydration, rest steps, pressure breathing, temperature management. Camp set-up, cooking in the mountains and in depth Leave No Trace will be discussed. During rest periods we will have short discussions on mountain physiology and mountain environments.
Day 2: After breakfast we begin our training. Our guides cover all aspects of walking on snow, self-arrest, glissading, crampon and ice axe use as well as proper rope techniques for climbing the mountain. After lunch, instruction continues with learning knots, harness use, anchors and running belays all around Sandy Camp. An early dinner is prepared by our guides and they provide a detailed account of what will be required for summit day. We go to bed early so that we can wake up around midnight and prepare for the summit climb.
Training: Discuss safety aspects of our climb, rope management, knots, anchors, crampon technique, self-arrest and glacier travel. Afternoon topics might include: local history, glaciology, mountain weather, along with map and compass.
Day 3:Summit day. We start our climb around midnight, depending on weather and route conditions. Guides serve a hot breakfast, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and top off all water bottles before embarking on our climb. Our route starts off by climbing to the top of the Easton moraine at 7,000ft where we access the Easton glacier. From there we ascend the gently angled Easton Glacier until we reach the crater rim at 9,800ft. A nice break allows us to look deep into the steaming crater of Mt. Baker. After our break we climb up the Roman Wall and crest the summit plateau at just over 10,500ft. A short walk leads up to the summit of Mount Baker at 10,781 ft. At a moderate pace, the summit climb should take 5-7hrs from Sandy Camp. Clear weather offers an inspiring 360° view from this most magnificent North Cascades summit.
After celebrating the summit and taking photos we descend carefully back to Sandy Camp. Here we pack up our camp and descend back to Schrieber's Meadow. A summit celebration will take place at one of the many restaurants along the way back to Seattle.
Training: This day allows to implement and enforce what we have learned in the previous days.
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