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!
With its twelve active glaciers and breathtaking views, Mount Baker provides both a scenic and extremely rewarding mountaineering experience for both first-time climbers and seasoned veterans alike. Unlike the crowds found on Mount Rainier, your ascent is done in the untrammeled Mount Baker Wilderness Area. Baker is the highest and most heavily glaciated peak in the North Cascades at a lofty 10,781 feet (3,286m). From the summit, views of the spires and peaks of the North Cascades are truly breathtaking, with Rainier, Adams, and Glacier Peak piercing through the clouds below.
Mt. Baker’s glaciers are easily reached within a few hours of trekking, but has a much more remote feel than the more crowded Mt. Rainier. The option of a guided trek up the North Ridge is also an alternative option for the more experienced climber.
The Coleman Deming Route, along with the Easton Glacier, is one of the “standard” routes up the mountain, and the perfect place to learn new glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills for new climbers, or refresh old skills for more seasoned mountaineers. Climbers can ice climb seracs and crevasses even in the height of summer. Our route involves challenging route finding through icefalls, seracs, and large crevasses.
Our trek in begins at 5,500’ and takes around three to four hours, hiking through ancient forest and high alpine meadows ripe with wildflowers, before we reach the ice and set up camp. Our next day is dedicated to going over snow travel and crevasse rescue techniques to prepare for the next day’s ascent.
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:
- Summitting in 3 days via the Coleman Deming Route
- A 6-Day Mountaineering Course up the Coleman Deming Route or a standard route (includes galcier skills, crevasse rescue, plus more)
Summit Mount Baker via Coleman Deming Route
Day 1: Seattle to Mount Baker
Early drive from Seattle to our meeting point at the trailhead. Here we will conduct 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 our camp near the edge of the Coleman Glacier. We use the evening to cover a few basic skills, have a nice dinner, and enjoy the views. If time allows, we will hold a brief snow school covering the use of crampons and ice axes.
Day 2: Glacier Skills Day
Today will be used to review 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. We will also provide an introduction to crevasse rescue. We will plan to get to bed early for a pre-dawn start the next morning. The remainder of the evening is spent making final preparations for the next day’s summit attempt.
Day 3: 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.
- The selection and use of personal equipment, ropes, knots and harnesses
- Crampon use and snow climbing techniques, ice axe positioning, and self arrest techniques
- Roped glacier travel, rope team management, route finding, and crevasse navigation
- Hazard assessment including a discussion of objective vs. subjective hazards
- Camp construction, camp management, and cold weather camping skills
- Proper clothing and climbing gear for survival in the high mountains, mountain weather, alpine ecology, avalanche hazard assessment, and Leave No Trace ethics
Length: 3 Days
Trip Dates: Summer, TBD
Prerequisites: Ideal – familiarity with basic glacier travel techniques, good physical condition
(climbers cover transport and meals, BBE covers permits and guiding costs)
- 1:1 $1,500 per person
- 2:1 $900 per person
Max: 2 climbers
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
Travel Insurance and Rescue Insurance
We require the purchase of insurance plans to protect you from the unexpected. Please consult with your insurance company with any specific questions, regarding coverage, and policy details, and if you have any questions contact our offices.
We recommend that you bring snacks to supplement the mountain lunches for 3 days. Take snacks that you genuinely enjoy. Eating well is the key to maintaining your strength while in the mountains. And in order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude, it is best to have a variety of foods from which to choose, from sweet to sour to salty.