Washington State Mountaineering at Mount Baker
Ring, ring. The mountains are calling and we must go. Looks like we’ll strap on our crampons, grab our ice axes, and head to the snowfields of Mount Baker in Washington. Have you always wanted to traverse a glacier? Have you wanted to stand high above your surroundings and look out on snow covered peaks? Or maybe you’ve just recently watched the movie “Everest” and have thought “hey I could do that!”. Whatever the reason, this adventure is sure to be snow much fun. Join us for a week of learning the basics of mountaineering and enjoying the beautiful snowy landscape of the North Cascades.
Ring Ring. Do you hear that? Looks like the mountains are calling you too. How will you answer?
Day 1 - Sunday - Seattle
Today the adventure begins. We will fly into Seattle where we will meet up with the Trip Leaders. The night will be spent at a hotel. We will have some time to explore Seattle and get some rest before we head out tomorrow!
Day 2 - Monday - Seattle to Basecamp
Today we head up the mountain! After a quick breakfast we will head to Heliotrope trail head. Here we will distribute gear and begin our hike to basecamp (Coleman Camp or on top of Heliotrope ridge or Hogsback) at a higher elevation. Worried about what basecamp will look like? No worries once we arrive the Trip leaders will go over setting up camp, cooking set up, staying warm at night, and any other questions you may have.
Day 3 - Tuesday - Snow school on Coleman Glacier
Snow school is in session. The group will hike up the Coleman glacier to begin our mountaineering lessons. Today we will cover many things from walking in crampons to ice axe techniques to glissading, to self-arrest. It will be an awesome day of learning just how fun and safe playing and traveling in the snow can be! If time allows we will also attempt a summit of a nearby peak.
Day 4 - Wednesday - Snow school/nearby peak
Today will begin with a review of our previously learned snow skills and then continue by teaching a few more advanced skills we may need on summit day. We will head to Coleman Headwall (maybe??) and split up into two groups. One group will learn vertical ice climbing and the other will learn how to move and self-arrest on a rope team. The groups will switch after a couple hours. After snow school the afternoon will be spent getting ready for the big climb the next day followed by an early bedtime.
Day 5 - Thursday - Climb Mount Baker
It’s finally here! The big day we’ve been preparing. An early alpine start will have us up and traveling before sunrise. We will move together as a team as we make our way to the top. Once we reach the summit we will take a break for pictures and taking in our surroundings. Then we will head back down the summit to avoid any bad weather.
Day 6 - Friday - Basecamp to Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead to Seattle
After a quick breakfast we will pack up camp and head back to the Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead. Then we will hop in vans and head back to Seattle for a well deserved meal and shower!
Day 7 - Saturday - Depart for Austin
Congrats on a week of adventures well had! Today we say goodbye and head back to Austin until the next adventure.