The Colorado Mountain School is partnering with Adventure Spirit Guides to offer 3-day Ski-mountaineering trips to Mt. Baker (10,781’) in the North Cascades of Washington. Springtime in the Pacific Northwest is the prime season for climbing and skiing off the towering volcanoes. You will skin in and camp near the Coleman Glacier, practice glacier travel skills, make a summit attempt of Mt. Baker, and ski down from the summit.
Mt. Baker, also known as Koma Kulshan, is a heavily glaciated stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. Baker has more glaciated terrain than any other peak, aside from Mt. Rainier, in the lower 48 states. In 1999, Mt. Baker set the record for the largest recorded amount of snowfall in one year at 1,140in (2,900cm). The first ascent of the mountain was made in 1868, long before good roads could get you close. Mt. Baker is now a classic mountaineering destination with many routes, some of which are perfect for skiing and snowboarding.
Difficulty: Advanced to Expert Ski/Ride Skills; Beginner to Intermediate Mountaineering Skills; Good to Excellent Fitness Level
Lead Guide: Kel Rossiter
Max Guide to Client Ratio: 1:4
Price includes & Excludes:
· All group camping and kitchen equipment
· Guide fees
· Group climbing equipment (ropes, etc.)
· Permit fees
Trip Participants will have a better experience and be able to participate in all the planned activities having trained cardio-vascular strength through uphill hiking, running, cycling, or mountain biking, as well as a daily regimen of core-strengthening exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, yoga, cross-fit, etc. Having gotten a fair amount of skiing/riding during the previous winter will be helpful.
AIARE Level 1 Course (or equivalent). Trip Participants should be advanced to expert resort skiers/riders and have some experience riding in the backcountry. Having taken an Introduction to Ski-Mountaineering (or Introduction to Mountaineering) with CMS (or other climbing school) will ease the learning curve of ski-mountaineering on this trip. Skiers will be using Alpine Touring ski equipment and snowboarders will be using Splitboards. This trip includes glacier travel, but no prior experience on glaciers is necessary.
Day 1: Meet your guide in Glacier, WA at 8am. Your guide will do a Gear Check to make sure that you have everything you need. From there, you will drive 30 minutes to the trailhead (3,500’) and begin touring toward your camp (6,000’). The tour to camp is strenuous and requires prior experience using skins. Upon arriving to camp, you will set up your shelters and spend the rest of the afternoon going for a ski lap or practicing mountaineering skills.
Day 2: Ski-Mountaineering Skills Training. This day will be spent practicing glacier travel skills, crevasse rescue, and skiing in steep terrain (25-45 degrees).
Day 3: Summit Attempt. The team will rise early and travel across the glacier to the summit of Mt. Baker (10,781’). After getting the sweet summit photos, you will ski back down to camp the same way you climbed up. After packing up camp, you will finish the 7,000’ ski descent to the parking lot and back to town for a celebratory dinner out.
Note: Itineraries are always tentative and may be changed at the guide’s discretion due to weather, participant ability, and conditions.
Price Does Not Include:
- Personal skiing, snowboarding, avalanche, and climbing equipment
- Food: Participants will provide all personal food (the Equipment List will explain what is needed)
- Trip Insurance
- Guide gratuities
- Expenses beyond CMS’s control
Expedition Cancellation Policy:
- A non-refundable $250 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
- 100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 121 days prior to trip start.
- 50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 120 days before trip start.
- 25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
- 0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.