Baker North Ridge
The North Ridge of Mount Baker is a one-of-a-kind alpine ice classic. With massive relief, expansive glaciers, pitched ice climbing and incredible exposure this climb is simply exhilarating. In terms of pure fun, this climb ranks at the top of the list.
The North Ridge balances technical skill with endurance, and entails ascending over 5,500 feet of glacier, snow, rock and ice to the summit at 10,781’. An incredible challenge with equal rewards, this climb is not to be missed!
This climb is for experienced climbers with confidence that they can complete this objective and have experience on similarly demanding climbs. Climbers attempting this route should have experience with technical rock or ice climbing, preferably vertical ice. It is often a lengthy endeavor that requires climbers to be moving quickly and is not a route on which one should be questioning if they have the fitness to complete the climb. If you are unsure of whether you have the experience or fitness for this undertaking Contact Us. We’ll help you pick a climb that is perfect for your level of experience or set you up with the training you need to accomplish this climb.
|Mt Baker Price List|
|Private Rates||Per Person / Per Day|
Dinner and Gear Check in Glacier, WA. Our guides will double check that you have all the right gear for the trip and help you minimize weight, decide on the perfect layers, and choose how much food and water to bring.
Approach to Hogsback or Coleman Glacier Camp. We’ll get an early start, get to camp and scout the glacier approach to the base of the route before getting to bed early for the alpine start and summit attempt.
The Climb and return to trailhead.
Break down camp and return home.
Mount Baker North Ridge Alpine Ice
3 Day Gear Guide / Packing List
- Climbing Helmet
- Headlamp - with fresh batteries
- Climbing harness (alpine or rock harness)
- Two Locking carabiners - Petzl Attache, etc
- Double length sling - (sewn runner)
- Belay device - BD ATC Guide, Petzl Reverso
- Climbing boots - LaSportiva G5 or Nepal Cube with gaiters, Scarpa Phantom Tech or Mont Blanc with gaiters
- Gaiters - OR mini gaiters to keep snow out of boots, optional for built in gaiter boots
- Crampons (Steel crampons that are compatible with your boots)
- Semi-technical Ice Tool. This should function as both an axe for walking on the glacier and a tool for climbing steep ice. Ideal tools are Petzl Sum-Tec, Petzl Quark, CAMP XLight, Black Diamond Venom, Viper or Swift
- Technical Ice Tool. Any of the above tools are acceptable as a second tool, but more aggressive tools are also fins, including: Petzl Nomic, CAMP X-Dream, BD Cobra
- Trekking Poles - adjustable preferred
- Sun Hat
- Sun Glasses
- Warm Hat
- 2x Buffs or face masks (These are for warmth and wind protection and are required for Covid-19 face coverings)
- Long sleeve base layer top
- 1 to 2 fleece weight upper layers ( a Patgonia R1 and Nano Air are great examples)
- Puffy - Mid Weight Down/synthetic, Patagonia Fitzroy or similar
- Waterproof Shell Jacket with Hood - Gore-Tex (or similar) - basic, lightweight shell, NOT insulated
- Gloves-TWO pair
- one pair light/mid weight for warm temps
- one mid/heavy weight for cold
- Socks - TWO pair. Both mid-weight wool/synthetic
- Underwear - wool/synthetic
- Sports Bra - wool/synthetic
- Goggles (bring to trailhead, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather Forecast)
- Long johns (bring to trailhead, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather Forecast)
Camping & Backpacking Gear
- Sleeping Bag (20F) - down preferred due to weight and packability.
- Sleeping Pad - Inflatables are comfortable, but make sure it is insulated for sleeping on snow! Therm-a-rest NeoAir X-Therm is expensive, but excellent.
- Compression Stuff sack for sleeping bag
- Backpack - 50L (or the smallest bag that fits all of your gear and your share of the group gear). Black Diamond Speed 50 or similar work well for this.
- Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)
- Lip Balm (with SPF)
Food and water
- Two freeze dried dinner meals (or meals that can be made with just hot water):
Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai, and Mountain House Pasta Primavera are pretty decent options. If you know you don’t like or do well with Freeze Dried, please let us know and we can suggest some “just-add-water” options.
- Two Breakfasts:
Grits with cheese, oatmeal, cold cereal with powdered milk, bagel and cream cheese, PB and J sandwich, mountain house freeze dried. Bring whatever sounds appealing for a midnight breakfast.
- Instant Coffee (if you’re a coffee drinker, now is a bad time to kick the habit!)
- Decaffeinated tea for evening hot drink
- Cup of ½ liter Nalgene Bottle (for hot drinks). I prefer the ½ liter Nalgene so that I can use it for water on the climb as well.
To keep things light and compact, you can use the freeze dried dinner bag for your breakfast bowl. Some people don’t like the remaining flavors, so if you think you’re in that camp, bring a light bowl (lightweight tupperware works great).
- Spoon - choose a long handled spoon if you’re eating freeze dried food out of the bag. Normal spoons make it hard to reach the food and it gets messy.
- Snack Food - 3 days worth of snacks.
- Water - bring two liters capacity. A ½ Liter Nalgene for hot drinks and a soft/collapsible 2L Hyrdrapack Bottle is a great combination that keeps your kit light and compact) Please bring at least one hard sided water bottle.
- Hand Sanitizer (Bring extra due to increased use for Covid-19)
- Toilet Paper
- First Aid/blister Kit
- Chemical hand warmers
- Hydration System (Camelback, etc). Please bring an additional hard sided water bottle if you choose to bring a hydration system.
Blackbird Mountain Guides will supply all of the group gear for the trip, including:
- Fuel for Stoves
- Snow Pickets (if required)
- Rock Protection (if required)
- Guide’s First Aid Kits
- Wag Bags (Solid Human Waste Disposal Bags)
Know Before You Go
Mt Baker, North Cascades, WA
Technical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪
Baker's North Ridge is a challenging and sustained summit day. Glacier travel, steep snow, ice climbing up to AI3 and descending thousands of feet on moderate snow and glacier are all part of this engaging summit climb. You should feel comfortable top roping WI3 and have experience moving on steep snow. Proficient rock climbers (5.10-12 gym climbers) with limited ice experience should discuss this climb with us before booking.
Physical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪
This route is a difficult climb requiring excellent fitness and a variety of alpine movement skill. Efficiency of movement and comfort in exposed alpine terrain will make the summit day much less strenuous, but it is a long day with a lot of movement. The approach and descent require carrying a moderate to heavy pack to and from camp.
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