Mt Baker Ski Mountaineering Camp 5 Day

Summit and ski one of the most glaciated peaks in the lower 48 while building critical mountaineering skills. Our 5-Day program is perfect for skiers & riders looking to learn the skills they need to ski glaciated peaks across the globe.
Overview
Itinerary
Prerequisites
Inclusions
Gear

We'll tackle the following objectives and skills:

  • Push Your Limits - Take your alpine climbing to the next level on this glaciated Cascades volcano!

  • Route Options Include - Coleman-Deming and Easton / Squawk Glacier Routes.

  • Mountaineering Skills Training - Including crampons, ice axe arrest and glacier rope travel

  • Summit Attempt - This will be a long day, gaining over 4,000’ of elevation over various snow surfaces and steep slopes.

  • Descent - Once we reach our high point, we’ll descend the route back down to camp

Here's the schedule for your trip:
Day 1 - Travel to & Set Up Camp
Meet your guide at the trailhead. We'll do a quick gear check and review the plan for the day. The guide will discuss the route up to camp and we'll make any last minute adjustments needed. Learn winter/glacier camp craft and how to camp comfortably in the snow.
Day 2 - Glacier Travel Skills - Review of equipment necessary for safe glacier travel. Learn and conduct a crevasse rescue in an actual crevasse if conditions allow. In this course we'll cover:

  • Mountaineering Gear
  • Ice Axe Techniques including Self Arrest and
  • Team Arrest (for Glacier Travel)
  • Crampon Techniques
  • Mountaineering efficiency including the Rest Step
  • Descending techniques for mountaineering
  • Basics of rope team travel

In the evening, we'll prepare an early dinner and head to bed
Conduct a short evening tour and ski touring skills refinement.
Day 3 - Alpine Climbing Skills for Ski Mountaineering
Intro to alpine climbing techniques used in ski mountaineering including:
  • Belays
  • Movement
  • Protection

Instructor led glacial tour & glaciology lecture to understand how glaciers work.
Day 4 - Alpine Start - Instructor led glacial tour or summit attempt of Mt. Baker depending on weather, conditions, and group desires.
Day 5 - Student Led Glacial Tour - All students get time out front to lead the group and solve problems and get feedback.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Expert Resort Riding Skills - Including steep and consequential off-piste terrain in challenging snow conditions.

  • Advanced Backcountry Riding Skills - Including efficient gear management, skinning, transition technique, with 30+ days of backcountry experience.
  • Basic Ski Mountaineering Skills - Including ice axe, crampon, and basic rope skills are encouraged, but not required. Build those skills during the program or attend our Ski Mountaineering Skills course prior to attending.

  • Strong Fitness - Able to spend a long, active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-1.5 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 8-10 miles, climbing 2,500 - 3,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with strong fitness typically have a strenuous workout 3-4 days a week.

  • Ski/Split Touring, Avalanche, & Ski Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from us
Shop Recommended Gear OR Visit our Rentals Page

Here's what's included with your trip:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Ropes & Gear - for ski mountaineering training
  • Tent
  • Stove & Fuel
  • Group Safety Gear - your guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
  • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Meals
  • Ski/Splitboard Gear
  • Avalanche Gear
  • Ice Axe, Crampons, Climbing Harness
  • Guide Gratuities

Washington Ski Mountaineering Gear List


Know Before you go

SKILL LEVELIntermediate-Advanced
ELEVATION3,600’-10,781’
LocationMt Baker

Price/Person $2,095.00
Private Programs
Duration: 5 Days
View Full Itinerary
Private Programs

Blackbird Mountain Guides offers both scheduled group programs and private programs.

Private programs are simply above and beyond what Blackbird Mountain Guides currently has scheduled. Scheduled courses are not always less expensive. Before booking a trip with Blackbird Mountain Guides, clients are encouraged to review the differences between these types of programs, and to decide what works best for them.

SCHEDULED PROGRAMS

Scheduled Programs have fixed dates, itineraries, objectives, curriculum, and costs. They typically appeal to solo individuals or small groups or who are looking to share the cost of their program with a larger group. Correspondingly, scheduled programs are less expensive for smaller groups (1-2), and they provide the opportunity to meet others with similar interests. If you have a large group (3+), Scheduled programs will often be more expensive. They can fill up quickly, and scheduling flexibility is obviously limited.

Scheduled programs will have advertised dates. All scheduled programs can be run as private programs with private dates/rates as well.

PRIVATE PROGRAMS

Private programs have scheduling freedom. They typically appeal to those who would like some flexibility in planning their own trip or course. In this regard, Itineraries and objectives can be tailored to suit current conditions as well as client goals. Private programs are normally less expensive for larger groups (3+). If you have a small group (1-2) private programs will be more expensive.

Contact us
Full Itinerary

This is a typical itinerary for this program and is subject to change.  As guides, we do our best to adhere to the schedule described below, but the mountains are a dynamic environment that requires flexibility.  We may need to shift the summit day or some of the skills sessions to achieve the best learning outcomes or give ourselves a better chance at the summit.

 

Day 1 

8:00am Meet your guide at the trailhead. We'll do a gear check and review the plan for the day. The guide will discuss the route up to camp and we'll make any last-minute adjustments needed. The guide will conduct a Trailhead Departure Check/Beacon Check. 

8:30am Start the ascent to camp and on arrival we'll cover strategy for where to set camp and how to build a camp in snow or on rock that will be able to endure the elements that the mountains . 

Day 2 

Snow School

We'll learn all of the critical skills for moving up and down snow safely and efficiently.  These skills are useful for any snow-covered mountain terrain, and we'll finish the day with a lesson geared toward glacier rope team travel.

  • Ski Mountaineering Gear (Ice Axes, Crampons, Harnesses, Ropes, Carabiners, etc)
  • Mountaineering efficiency including the kicking steps, the Rest Step, Crampon Techniques
  • Ice Axe Techniques including Self Arrest and Team Arrest (for Glacier Travel)
  • Descending techniques for mountaineering
  • Basics of rope team travel (both glacier intervals and short roping)
  • Mountaineering Knots and basic Mechanical Advantage Systems (this may be covered at camp)

Dinner and bed. 

Day 3

Crevasse Rescue.

We'll find an appropriate crevasse, with a vertical or nearly vertical wall to practice crevasse rescue.  With our foundation of knots and basic mechanical advantage systems, we'll dive into performing a crevasse rescue.  We'll manage the crevasse hazard using a 

Early Dinner and bed. 

We’ll review the plan for our summit attempt before we prepare our gear and get to bed early. 

Day 4

Alpine Start. 

Your guides will set the wake-up time based on the weather forecast and the hazards for the day. We'll have hot drinks and a warm breakfast before starting off for the summit.

Summit Attempt. 

We'll start toward the summit with 4,000' of snow and glaciated terrain between us and the top.  This is a demanding day, and we may have to push through inclement weather or less-than-ideal conditions to make the summit.

Ski Descent. 

Once we reach our high point, we’ll descend the lines with the best snow! We'll return to camp for a hot dinner and discussion of more mountaineering skills including knots.

Day 5

Pack up camp and return to trailhead. 

We’ll break down camp, pack up our bags and descend to the trailhead. We’ll aim to be down by early afternoon. 

Time permitting, we'll may attempt to get in a minor ski objective.

We'll tackle the following objectives and skills:

  • Push Your Limits - Take your alpine climbing to the next level on this glaciated Cascades volcano!

  • Route Options Include - Coleman-Deming and Easton / Squawk Glacier Routes.

  • Mountaineering Skills Training - Including crampons, ice axe arrest and glacier rope travel

  • Summit Attempt - This will be a long day, gaining over 4,000’ of elevation over various snow surfaces and steep slopes.

  • Descent - Once we reach our high point, we’ll descend the route back down to camp

Here's the schedule for your trip:
Day 1 - Travel to & Set Up Camp
Meet your guide at the trailhead. We'll do a quick gear check and review the plan for the day. The guide will discuss the route up to camp and we'll make any last minute adjustments needed. Learn winter/glacier camp craft and how to camp comfortably in the snow.
Day 2 - Glacier Travel Skills - Review of equipment necessary for safe glacier travel. Learn and conduct a crevasse rescue in an actual crevasse if conditions allow. In this course we'll cover:

  • Mountaineering Gear
  • Ice Axe Techniques including Self Arrest and
  • Team Arrest (for Glacier Travel)
  • Crampon Techniques
  • Mountaineering efficiency including the Rest Step
  • Descending techniques for mountaineering
  • Basics of rope team travel

In the evening, we'll prepare an early dinner and head to bed
Conduct a short evening tour and ski touring skills refinement.
Day 3 - Alpine Climbing Skills for Ski Mountaineering
Intro to alpine climbing techniques used in ski mountaineering including:
  • Belays
  • Movement
  • Protection

Instructor led glacial tour & glaciology lecture to understand how glaciers work.
Day 4 - Alpine Start - Instructor led glacial tour or summit attempt of Mt. Baker depending on weather, conditions, and group desires.
Day 5 - Student Led Glacial Tour - All students get time out front to lead the group and solve problems and get feedback.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Expert Resort Riding Skills - Including steep and consequential off-piste terrain in challenging snow conditions.

  • Advanced Backcountry Riding Skills - Including efficient gear management, skinning, transition technique, with 30+ days of backcountry experience.
  • Basic Ski Mountaineering Skills - Including ice axe, crampon, and basic rope skills are encouraged, but not required. Build those skills during the program or attend our Ski Mountaineering Skills course prior to attending.

  • Strong Fitness - Able to spend a long, active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-1.5 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 8-10 miles, climbing 2,500 - 3,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with strong fitness typically have a strenuous workout 3-4 days a week.

  • Ski/Split Touring, Avalanche, & Ski Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from us
Shop Recommended Gear OR Visit our Rentals Page

Here's what's included with your trip:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Ropes & Gear - for ski mountaineering training
  • Tent
  • Stove & Fuel
  • Group Safety Gear - your guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
  • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Meals
  • Ski/Splitboard Gear
  • Avalanche Gear
  • Ice Axe, Crampons, Climbing Harness
  • Guide Gratuities

Washington Ski Mountaineering Gear List

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