Mt baker north ridge summit day

Mt Baker North Ridge – Level 2 Mountaineering Course

Mt Baker’s North Ridge is an aesthetic line to the summit of Mt Baker at 10,781 ft. It’s one of North America’s classic steep snow/ice routes and is featured in Fred Beckey’s 50 Classic Climbs of North America.

The North Ridge of Baker is a fantastic level-2 mountaineering climb, that requires a solid combination of ice climbing skills, steep-snow climbing skills, and glacier-navigation ability. You must be comfortable on exposed ridges, snow/ice climbing up to a 60-degree angle, have a solid base of rock rock climbing up to 5.6 experience under your belt. 

Depending on conditions, both the lower and upper parts of the route require careful crevasse navigation. Steep snow topped with 2 pitches of a WI3 headwall makes the North Ridge a classic.

It’s the perfect mountaineering route for those wanting to take their waterfall-ice-climbing into the mountains and get more experience navigating a complex glacier. 

Take your alpine climbing skills and mountaineering up a level with Chicks Co-Owner, the legendary Kitty Calhoun and Chicks guide and true-lover-of-type-2-fun, Lani Chapko on Mt Baker’s North Ridge.

As you become more skilled and efficient, you will also come to better understand risks and how to mitigate them.

Mt Baker North ridge climbing through crevicesGet quicker and more dialed in:

  • wilderness camping
  • steep snow climbing
  • ice climbing
  • proper glacier-travel techniques
  • crevasse rescue
  • route navigation.
  • short roping and snow travel in general

Mt Baker Travel Info and Logistics

Mountaineering Equipment and Clothing List

Mt Baker North Ridge – Level 2 Mountaineering Course

PRICING:

$1249


Mt baker north ridge belaying on steep snowINCLUDES:

  • 4 days & 4 nights guided climbing/instruction
  • 2:1 participant to guides
  • Meals (Breakfast and Dinners)
  • Sponsor Demo Gear
  • Sponsor gift bag

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Ground and air transportation
  • Trip insurance**
  • Lunch and snacks Lunch and Snack Guide
  • Guide gratuity

Mt Baker North Ridge Proposed Itinerary

Day 1: 

4 pm – Meet at group campsite, trip orientation, hand out demo gear

6 pm – Dinner

Day 2: 

7 am – Breakfast

8 am – Depart for the trailhead

9:00 am – Hike to Murkwood Camp

1 pm – Arrive and establish camp

2 pm – Alpine ice climbing technique and anchors

6 pm –

  • Dinner
  • Leave No Trace
  • Navigation
  • Planning and leading an alpine trip

Day 3: 

7 am – Breakfast

8 am – Snow SchoolNorth Ridge of Mt Baker, steep snow climbing near the summit

  • Self-arrest
  • Belaying/snow anchors
  • Climbing as a rope team
  • Crevasse rescue

5 pm – Return to camp

6 pm – Dinner

Day 4: 

7 am – Breakfast

8 am – Review any necessary skills

2 pm – Climb to high camp at 7000’

5:30 pm –Dinner

Day 5: 

1 am – Breakfast

2 am – Depart for the summit

12:30 pm – pack camp and return to the trailhead

5 pm – dinner, closing meeting in Glacier, depart

Chicks Climbing and Skiing PAYMENT REFUND policy:

We require a registration deposit at time of booking. The deposit will hold your spot, with the remaining balance due 60 days prior to start date. You are also welcome to pay in full!

Please submit all refund requests in writing. 

We issue full refunds, transfer to another course or credit towards a future course according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days prior to start date – full refund minus 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days prior to start date – 50% refund minus 10% administration fee
  • Less than 30 days prior to the start date – no refund!

Travel insurance is required for all international trips. We also strongly recommended travel insurance for US programs. Contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870. Erin is a travel agent familiar with Chicks programs and travel insurance needs.

Approaching crater on mt baker summit climb easton glacier route

Mt Baker Easton Glacier – Intro to Mountaineering

 

The Easton Glacier on Mt Baker in Washington’s North Cascades Range is the perfect Intro to Mountaineering climb. At 10,781 feet, Mt Baker is the 2nd-most snowy and icy of western North America’s iconic volcano summits. 

Join a 30-year-veteran guide and Chicks Climbing and Skiing Co-Owner, Kitty Calhoun and up-and-coming Chicks guide, Lani Chapko, on this unique opportunity to learn mountaineering skills in an all women’s group from the most experienced female guides.

Learn about glacial navigation and climbing in a roped team on the Easton Glacier

The infamous Roman Wall section of the Easton Glacier is the perfect intro to steep snow climbing to test your ability. And, the Easton Glacier route provides the best opportunity to peer into the frozen crater along the way to and from the summit.

 

Mount Baker climbing course 2019 participants“We had a GREAT team of ladies and it was so fun to see all the individual experience-levels come together to support one another. Also, I cannot stress enough, I wish more people paid for courses like this to get the proper experience needed to be safe on our beautiful mountains. Peer-to-peer is a great way to learn but for me it’s just not adequate especially in comparison to a course like this one.”

–Courtney M, Mt Baker Climbing 2019

 

 

Mt Baker Travel Info and Logistics

Mountaineering Equipment and Clothing List

Easton Glacier – Intro to Mountaineering Course

PRICING:

$1,199.00 (New in 2020: Pay in full or 2 partial payments to save your spot)

self arrest for easton glacier mt baker INCLUDES:

  • 4 days & 4 nights guided climbing/instruction
  • 3:1 participants to Guides
  • Meals (Breakfast and Dinners)
  • Sponsor Demo Gear
  • Sponsor gift bag

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Ground and air transportation
  • Trip insurance**
  • Lunch and snacks Lunch and Snack Guide
  • Guide gratuity

The biggest thing I got out of this course was confidence. Glacier terrain and snow travel are the most unfamiliar forms of climbing to me, and I was so excited to learn more about the nuances of the terrain. One of my biggest learning moments was realizing that I had the skills to do a lot of the things we learned. When I realized I was more capable than I gave myself credit for, it made me realize that this terrain did not have to seem so unfamiliar. I loved learning about self-arrest, crevasse rescue, and terrain assessment on the glacier. I also built camaraderie on this trip with the other women who attended.
–Madison K, Mt Baker Climbing 2019

“I enjoyed that the guides have different experiences and teaching styles. They worked awesome together and I learned so much from both of them. The first night in the campground where we ate dinner and talked about what to expect really helped to set my mind at ease. The skills days were great, and I got a lot out of both of them. It was so cool to see how those skills transferred to summit day and everything fell into place.”
–Hillarie L, Mt Baker Climbing 2019


EASTON GLACIER ITINERARY –

The itinerary might change a bit depending on weather and conditions. For example, we may utilize a high camp before our summit bid. The guides will go over the schedule in detail at our opening meeting on Day 1.

Day 1:

3:00 pm   Meet and greet. Appetizers at Douglas Fir Campground, just outside Glacier, WA. 

3:30 pm  Welcome meeting, trip briefing, gear check, check out demo equipment. (When you sign up for this course, you will be further contacted about what specific climbing equipment you might need.)

6:00 pm   Campground Dinner prepared by Chicks.

7:00 pm   Pack gear and sleep in tents for the night

Day 2: 

7:00 am  Campground Breakfast prepared by Chicks

8:30 am  Depart for the Heliotrope Ridge/Mt. Baker Trailhead.

9:00 am  Head up into the mountains and camp on dry ground at 6,000′ near the Hogsback Ridge and ideal terrain for glacier-skills practice. 

IMPORTANT – In order to climb Mt Baker, you must be able to carry a 35-pound pack (loaded with your own gear and food) for hours. The hike into basecamp is only 3 miles but with an elevation gain of 3000 feet, it usually takes between 5-6 hours. 80% of the hike is at a steady incline. And, then, the last 20% has steeper switchbacks. 

3:00 pm Skills Training:

  • Leave No Trace
  • How to camp in the Alpine
  • Personal Care
  • Glaciology
  • Navigation

5:30 pm  Dinner prepared by guides

Day 3: 

7:00 am Breakfast prepared by the guides

8:30 am Depart camp for Snow Skills training including:

  • Climbing on snow
  • Crampon technique
  • Using a mountain axe
  • Self-arrest
  • Knots
  • Ropes and hardware
  • Belaying
  • Snow anchors
  • Descending on snow

4:30 pm   Return to camp

5:30 pm  Dinner prepared by the guides

Day 4: 

7:00 am Breakfast prepared by the guides

8:30 am Depart camp for Glacier School and Skills training

  • Rope team travel
  • Glacier travel
  • Glacier tour
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Low angle ice technique

4:00 pm  Move up and set up High Camp

5:30 pm  Dinner prepared by the guides at High Camp

Day 5: 

1:00 am  Wake Up Call / Breakfast

2:00 am  Alpine Start!  Depart camp for a summit bid.

8:00 am  Estimated summit time if conditions allow

11:30 am  Return to camp and pack up the gear, rest, hike down

4:30 pm  Return to the trailhead

IMPORTANT – Summit Day is in tune with 15 hours of exertion in a single push.

5:00 pm We end our program in the town of Glacier with a well-deserved dinner and closing meeting.


Chicks Climbing and Skiing PAYMENT REFUND policy:

We require a registration deposit at time of booking. The deposit will hold your spot, with the remaining balance due 60 days prior to start date. You are also welcome to pay in full!

Please submit all refund requests in writing. 

We issue full refunds, transfer to another course or credit towards a future course according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days prior to start date – full refund minus 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days prior to start date – 50% refund minus 10% administration fee
  • Less than 30 days prior to the start date – no refund!

Travel insurance is required for all international trips. We also strongly recommended travel insurance for US programs. Contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870. Erin is a travel agent familiar with Chicks programs and travel insurance needs.

Chamonix summit

Chamonix – Alpine Climbing Course

From any vantage point in the Chamonix Valley, you’re looking at climbing history.

Chamonix—the ultimate mountain town in the heart of the Alps—is the birthplace of alpine climbing. The first ascent of Mont Blanc took place over 250 years ago (and the first woman to climb it did so in 1808), and today, you can experience the same magic those early alpinists did.

Chamonix isn’t just an incredible place. It’s also a cultural experience. Imagine topping off your big day of climbing with delicious French wines and cheeses and splendid views of the Alps, all shared with new friends who share your love of mountains.

Develop your skills with the best.

Join us for five unforgettable days developing your mountaineering skills in this iconic location. You’ll be surrounded by towering peaks as you learn all the essentials of alpinism: glacier navigation and travel, route-finding, anchor and belay-station management, multi-pitch transitions, and decision-making in the alpine—from an internationally certified (IFMGA) mountain guide.

Stand on a summit.

This course culminates on a high-altitude mountain route, where you’ll get to apply all the skills you’ve just learned in real-time. You’ll finish your course atop a summit with France on one side and Italy on the other—and with the important skills and the confidence, you’ll need for a lifetime of alpine climbing.

Gain confidence and become part of the Chicks community.

Here’s what you’ll get when you sign up for our Chamonix program:

  • 5 days instruction and guided climbing by a Chicks IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • 3:1 climber to guide ratio
  • Ropes, group technical gear, and rescue/emergency gear are provided
  • 2 nights lodging in a high mountain hut with breakfast and dinner
  • All tram and lift tickets as per itinerary
  • Final group dinner in town
  • Taxi/public transport transfer back to Chamonix
  • Chicks welcome bag from our Sponsors
  • Increased confidence in your skills
  • An introduction to the Chicks community and alumni network

Recommended prerequisites:

  • Basic rock climbing experience, including top-rope climbing and belaying
  • Basic snow travel experience, including walking in crampons
  • Basic mountaineering experiences, such as having climbed peaks like a Colorado Fourteener or past participation in our Mount Baker Program

Cost: $1,999

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Spots are super limited to help us maintain a small ratio, so reserve your spot today!


Cost doesn’t include:

  • Travel to/from Chamonix, France
  • In-town lodging in Chamonix for beginning and end of the program
  • Dinners and breakfasts in town
  • Lunches and other extras
  • Extras at the huts such as drinks and snacks
  • Travel and Rescue Insurance

PROPOSED ITINERARY*

*The schedule and/or climbing objectives may be adjusted based on the weather and to take advantage of the best conditions.

Plan to arrive in the Chamonix Valley on July 5 or before at your own schedule.

Day 1 | 

Opening meeting 9:00 am. Les Gaillands or Le Brevent. After introductions and a gear check, we’ll head to a close-by crag to work on rope skills and multi-pitch transitions. This is a rock-based day with lots of short pitches of climbing and skills practice. Stay at your own lodging in town.

Day 2 | 

Glacier travel, snow ridge climbing, and rock ridges. We’ll be climbing in mountaineering boots and crampons in the high alpine. Stay at your own lodging in town. Laurance or Cosmiques Arete.

Day 3 | 

We’ll take the local bus to le Tour and use the lift system to get to the Col de Balms. From there, we hike to the Albert Premier Hut. Crevasse rescue practice on the Tour Glacier in the afternoon. Overnight in the hut with dinner and breakfast included.

Day 4 | 

An early start to make a big glacier crossing, climb over the Col du Tour Superieur, then head for the summit of the AIguille du Tour where you’ll put your skills to use. This day is a great opportunity for student-led rope teams. We finish by crossing the Trient Plateau. Overnight at the Cabane du Trient with dinner and breakfast included.

Day 5 |

From the Trient hut, we descend the Orny Glacier, stopping by the Cabane d’Orny for lunch and some rock climbing before descending to the lift at La Breya. We end in Champex, Switzerland. A swim in the lake followed by a taxi ride back to Chamonix. We finish with a celebration dinner in town.

Stay at your own lodging in Chamonix. Lodging is covered on our last night, and you can plan to leave on your own schedule the following morning.

View from Rifugio Torino

 


Chicks Climbing and Skiing PAYMENT REFUND policy:

We require a registration deposit at time of booking. The deposit will hold your spot, with the remaining balance due 60 days prior to start date. You are also welcome to pay in full!

Please submit all refund requests in writing. 

We issue full refunds, transfer to another course or credit towards a future course according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days prior to start date – full refund minus 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days prior to start date – 50% refund minus 10% administration fee
  • Less than 30 days prior to the start date – no refund!

Travel insurance is required for all international trips. We also strongly recommended travel insurance for US programs. Contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870. Erin is a travel agent familiar with Chicks programs and travel insurance needs.