Mount Baker 6-day Mountaineering Course

From $2,500 per Person

Note: Benegas Brothers Expeditions strives to provide the highest quality logistics, giving you the best climbing experience possible. For this expedition, we are working in partnership with Northwest Alpine Guides, an authorized concession of North Cascades National Park. Northwest Alpine Guides is a trusted partner, and we're excited to offer this climb with their partnership!

Overview: Classic Mountaineering Class

Our 6-day Mount Baker Mountaineering Course takes either the Coleman Deming Route, one of the “standard” routes up the mountain, or the North West Ridge. Each provide the perfect places to learn new skills. Climbers can ice climb seracs and crevasses even in the height of summer. Either route involves challenging route finding through icefalls, seracs, and large crevasses.

As with all our courses, our aim for is for you to lead our expedition by the end of the week, and for our summit attempt. This should be a very rewarding and empowering experience. We will have covered the essential skills of glacier travel, navigation and route finding, glaciology, hazard assessment, knots, spacing of climbers, and rope management, trip planning using maps, compasses and altimeters, where to and how to set up camps, melt water and cook, in addition to personal care and hygiene, whilst at all times caring for the mountain and emplying Leave No Trace principles. You will also have learnt to evaluate both subjective and objective hazards, plan around weather conditions and forecasting, as well as know what to do in an emergency.

Summit day begins in the quiet and magical pre-dawn hours as we gear up for rope-team travel. We will navigate a safe path past magnificent crevasses and alpine walls towards the summit. The ascent takes around five to seven hours and we should arrive on the summit in the morning hours when the light streams across the roof of the North Cascades and the peaks of Southern Canada.

We offer two options for Mount Baker:

  1. Summitting in 3 days via the Coleman Deming Route
  2. A 6-Day Mountaineering Course up the Coleman Deming Route or a standard route (includes galcier skills, crevasse rescue, plus more)

Course Curriculum

  • Selection and use of personal equipment, ropes, knots and harnesses
  • Camp construction, camp management, and cold weather camping skills
  • Crampon use and snow climbing techniques, ice axe positioning, and self arrest techniques
  • Roped glacier travel, rope team management, route finding, and crevasse navigation
  • Belaying techniques on rock, snow, and ice
  • Application of all ice axe positions and self arrest training
  • Self-arrest; rappelling, and prusiking
  • Meteorology; trip planning using maps, compasses, and altimeters
  • Discussion of the mountain environment and methods of evaluating subjective and objective hazards
  • Individual and team crevasse rescue techniques  
  • Proper clothing and climbing gear for survival in the high mountains, mountain weather, alpine ecology, avalanche hazard assessment, and Leave No Trace ethics

Itinerary

Day 1: Seattle to Mount Baker

Early drive from Seattle to our meeting point at the trailhead. Here we will begin the course, conducting a thorough equipment check, distribute group gear, and help each member organize their pack for the hike in. We will then begin our hike to set up camp near the edge of the Coleman Glacier. Meanwhile, we discuss topics:

  • Meteorology
  • Trip planning using maps, compasses and altimeters
  • Discussion of the mountain environment and methods of evaluating both subjective and objective hazards.

We use the evening to have a nice dinner, and enjoy the views.

Day 2: Glacier Skills Day

Today we continue on with our course curriculum reviewing the basic skills required for a climb of Mt. Baker, including: ice axe self-arrest, use of crampons, rope-travel, team arrest, climbing efficiencies, and making corners.

Days 3: Mountaineering School

Today we continue on, and in additon to climbing techniques will discuss the topics

  • Personal maintenance, hygiene and sleeping in cold environments
  • Leave No Trace principals
  • Any concerns the students may have
  • Nutrition, and backcountry cooking techniques

Day 4: Crevasse Rescue

In addition to the numerous topics to cover, students will have participate in and perform all aspects of crevasse rescue. This will include demonstrating that they can efficiently perform self-rescue (ascending a vertical line using prussiks to get out of a crevasse) as well as team rescue. Team rescue will cover the “C” and “Z” pulley systems, as well as a system with 6:1 mechanical advantage. Students will have the opportunity to participate in all scenarios and direct the rescue as well as assist other climbers who are directing the scenario. This is a full day spent training to make sure you have a good working knowledge of this crucial safety skill.

Day 5: High Camp

Today students will lead the move to our Baker High Camp, selecting a suitable location, and conducting all the necessary checks before our summit push.

Day 6: Summit Day and return to Seattle

Climbs of the Coleman-Deming route always require an early start. We will be up before the sun and will rope up to climb up the massive and impressive Coleman Glacier until we reach the summit ridge and the steepest part of the route. Given the length of the hike out and the drive we will work to be back to camp by late morning and headed down by mid-day in order to get everyone back to Seattle that evening.

N.B. Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, the very nature of climbing in an alpine environment requires flexibility. This itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, and other reasons beyond our control.

Trip Details

Location: Pacific North West, USA

Length: 6 Days

Trip Dates: Summer, TBD

Prerequisites: Ideal – familiarity with basic glacier travel techniques, good physical condition

Pricing

  • 1:1 $3000 per person
  • 2:1 $2000 per person

Deposit: $500

Max:  2 climbers

(climbers cover transport and meals, BBE covers permits and guiding costs)

Trip Fee Includes

  • Certified Mountain Guide(s)
  • Park permits
  • Camping and cooking gear for the group
  • Technical group gear for the group
  • Communication equipment

Trip Fee Does Not Include

  • Guide travel expenses such as airfare or hotel in Seattle
  • Any hotel accommodations e.g. in Seattle
  • Meals (which are purchased as a group)
  • Transport to and from Seattle, parking permits
  • Climbing/trip insurance and rescue expenses as needed. Any cost if a climber abandons the trip.
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Personal meals out of the mountains e.g. any meals in towns / restaurants
  • Any other expenses occur beyond BBE control due to changes in the itinerary or clients needs
  • Personal climbing gear
  • Plane tickets

Type: 
Alpine Climbing Adventure

Location: 
Washington

Group Size: 
1-2 people

Duration: 
3-6 days

Skill: 
Intermediate to Advanced

Activities: Alpine Climbing

Season: 6/1/23-8/31/23

Pricing (per person)

Pricing is a typical estimate, final quote will be provided after receiving your inquiry.

6 days / 1 Person $3,000 (Weekends $3,025)

6 days / 2 Persons $2,500 (Weekends $2,525)

“Willie and Damian set the bar as high as the mountains they climb!”

“In my experience, few provide a more complete, safe and rewarding expedition experience than the Benegas Brothers. When it comes to expedition judgement, safety and climbing ethics, Willie and Damian set the bar as high as the mountains they climb. There’s a lot more to high altitude climbing expeditions than just getting to the top. Team dynamics, the opportunities to learn skills, making lifelong friends, enjoying new cultures and cuisine are some of the important elements of an expedition. In my experience, few provide a more complete, safe and rewarding expedition experience than the Benegas Brothers. When it comes to expedition judgement, safety and climbing ethics, Willie and Damian set the bar as high as the mountains they climb. My son Matt and I have 100% trust and confidence in Willie and Damian and when I’m not climbing with Matt, it’s reassuring to know he’s with the Benegas Brothers. ”

–Mike Moniz