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Mt. Baker - North Ridge

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $960
    Deposit
    $350
    Duration
    3 days
    Difficulty
    Level 4
    Type
    Mountaineering
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Mt. Baker - North Ridge

Mt. Baker - North Ridge

The North Ridge of Mt. Baker is an iconic northwest climb with multiple pitches of steep alpine ice and snow.

CLIMB HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ascend through old growth forest to a camp with views of the Salish Sea and southern Canada.
  • Climb multiple pitches of steep alpine ice above 9,000'.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Mt. Baker's North Ridge is a thrilling route for the experienced climber. With intricate glacial navigation, steep snow and ice climbing, rock scrambling, and a beautiful summit vista, this route rewards climbers with a well-balanced mountaineering skill set. Mt. Baker's moderate elevation and astounding winter snow totals keep this route in good climbing shape for much longer each season than similar routes such as Liberty Ridge. This is a great preparatory climb for Liberty Ridge, Alpamayo, or the Upper West Rib of Denali.

We lead the North Ridge at a 2 to 1 climber to guide ratio ensuring that you receive a high degree of hands-on instruction and attention throughout the climb.

This climb is an advanced level program and is appropriate for climbers in great physical condition with general mountaineering knowledge and previous ice climbing experience. Climbers should be comfortable on ice up to 80°. An afternoon to review skills and revisit technique is included in the itinerary. Please call and talk with one of our guides if you are undecided regarding your skills.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

The Mountain Guides at RMI have a reputation as top guides in the United States. RMI Guides participated in some of America’s first ventures into the far reaches of the Himalaya. Years of expedition guiding and alpine climbing around the world have built a core of consummate professional guides.

Our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers, known for their leadership as well as their character. They possess the compassion, enthusiasm and ability to empower others and inspire them forward. Such qualities may only be found in people at the top of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides still remember their own first steps into the mountains, and enjoy helping other climbers reach new heights.

Our exceptional focus to detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures make our programs truly memorable.

SAFETY

RMI strives to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides focuses on leading fun and successful climbs without compromising safety. Each climb includes careful pre-trip planning, daily weather forecasts, avalanche forecasts, and diligent attention to detail. All RMI Guides are highly trained in remote medicine and rescue skills and carry comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio communication equipment throughout the program. Regardless of the objective or the destination, safety remains RMI’s top priority.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National ForestAuthorized Special Use Permit

RMI Expeditions is operated under special use permit with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

  • Upcoming Climbs

  • Price
    $960
    Deposit
    $350
    Duration
    3 days
    Difficulty
    Level 4
    Type
    Mountaineering
Table of Contents

Day 1

ORIENTATION & APPROACH  •  5,800' | 1,768m

7:30 a.m.  Meet at the Ranger Station in Glacier, WA

The group will meet at the Glacier Public Services Center (Ranger Station) in Glacier, Washington. Please see our Travel Details document for driving directions and carpool opportunities. Your RMI guides will meet you at the ranger station for introductions, group gear distribution and personal gear check. From Glacier we follow the Glacier Creek Rd to the Heliotrope trailhead. During our hike into the Hogsback camp we gain approximately 2,200'. The hike winds through old growth forest and up into beautiful alpine meadows. The approach will take us three to four hours and we generally get into camp at 5,800' in the early afternoon.

Our first priority is the safety of all team members. We will spend several hours in the afternoon revisiting general mountaineering and steep terrain climbing techniques. We will continue to assess each team member throughout the course of the training and the climb.

After the afternoon of skills training we return to camp where we make our final summit preparations, enjoy dinner, and go to bed early for the next day's climb.

ORIENTATION & APPROACH

Day 2

SUMMIT DAY  •  10,781' | 3,286m

We're up well before the sun on summit day. Eating a quick breakfast leaves time for last minute preparations before we clip into the rope, and settle into the familiar crunch of crampons and ice axes. The first two hours of the day include little elevation gain, allowing our bodies to warm up before the real test. After traversing under the stunning North Face of Mt. Baker, we climb steep rock and snow to the base of the ice cliff. Exciting climbing for several hundred feet, allows us to access the glacial cap and the true summit, Grant’s Peak, at 10,781'. Our descent is via the Coleman-Deming Route, which takes a gentler angle down the western aspect of the mountain.

SUMMIT DAY

Day 3

DESCENT TO TRAILHEAD

After the exertion the previous day, we wake to a leisurely breakfast and slowly pack up camp before retracing our steps back to the trailhead. The hike down will take 2-3 hours. The climb concludes with a celebratory lunch in Glacier. Those with a flight to catch should plan on being in Seattle by 5pm at the earliest.

DESCEN TO TRAILHEAD
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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to etravel@cox.net.

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance.

  • Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason. Most travel insurance companies provide an option to include coverage that allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”, but the initial policy must be purchased within 15 days of placing your deposit for the program.
  • In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered.
  • Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.

MH RossWe have partnered with MH Ross, a Trip Mate brand, to provide travel insurance for our climbers. MH Ross has created the Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs.

MH Ross’s Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”. In order to receive “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with RMI. We recommend that you carefully read the Plan Document that applies to your purchase.

Brochure: MH Ross Advantage Series - Assure Adventure Plans

Getting There

Our meeting place is the Public Service Center in Glacier, WA. Most climbers will fly into the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport the evening before the program and rent a car for the 2 1/2 hour drive. Please click here for driving directions.

Ride Share: If you are participating in a climb and are interested in sharing a ride, please post your information in the "Ride Share" forum of your North Cascades Discussion Board by logging into your RMI Account.

Area Accommodations

Spend the night before the trip in either the Seattle area or Bellingham.

Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

Tipping

Our guides work hard to ensure your well being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program.

Facts

Mt. Baker holds the record for the most recorded snowfall in a single season at 1,140 inches.

Mt. Baker was volcanically active as recently as 1891.

For more facts click here, and for even more click here.

Resources

General Information on Mt. Baker.

Mt. Baker map.

Communities & Activities outside Mt. Baker, click here.

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What You’ll Need

The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering when they use code RMI2017 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items.

  • Use Code RMI2017
    To receive 10% off
    All New Equipment

Shop Your Equipment List // Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment List

    • CRAMPONS

      12 point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. We highly recommend anti-bot plates to prevent snow from balling up underfoot. Rigid frame crampons designed for technical ice climbing are not recommended.

    • AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER

      A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.

    • GLACIER GLASSES

      You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.

    • Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.

    • We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.

    • We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.

    • MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

      Mountaineering specific leather boots are the preferred choices for ascents in the North Cascades. They must provide good insulation as well as a rigid sole for kicking steps and holding crampons. Lightweight hiking boots are not acceptable as they don't work well with crampons, or in very cold or wet weather.

    • SUNSCREEN

      We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.

    • MEALS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • 2-3 WATER BOTTLES

      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT DROPS

      Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops. We do not recommend the tablets.

    • GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE)

      We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.

    • ZIP-LOCK BAG (1 GALLON)

      Please use the Zip-Lock as your personal trash bag.

    • INSECT REPELLENT
    • CAMERA
    • TOOTHBRUSH
    • TOOTHPASTE
    • TOILET PAPER
    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Arrange transportation and lodging.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes and anchors, and blue bags (for solid waste disposal).

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a cell phone for emergency contact.

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