Mt Baker, WA: August 1-5, 2019

Women’s Intro to Mountaineering Course

Experience the spirit of mountaineering and alpinism with Chicks. We are heading to Mount Baker in Washington State, the magnificent glaciated icon of the Northwest.  Our 5-day Chicks Alpine Program offers a comprehensive women’s mountaineering trip as well as a summit climb.  Join us as we camp in the wilderness, practice climbing on snow and ice, learn proper glacier travel techniques, crevasse rescue, and route navigation. At the end of the program, we’ll put all our skills together for a summit climb to the top of Mt. Baker at 10,781 feet, if conditions permit.  Venture out into the world of glaciers, snow and ice in the care of our female team of highly experienced and AMGA Certified Guides.

Whether you’re a seasoned in the mountains or new to the alpine climbing and mountaineering, our women’s mountaineering trip is the perfect place for you to learn new skills and gain experience under the watchful eye of our female guides.  In small teams, we will work on skills appropriate to your level of experience – ensuring that you get the best learning experience possible.  What better place to practice mountaineering skills than on the flanks of a massive glaciated peak in the heart of North America’s alpine climbing birthplace.

We start our program at the Douglas Fir Campground just outside the small town of Glacier, WA – the gateway to the Mt. Baker Wilderness.  During our opening meeting, we will go over all the details of our program, do an extensive gear check and set you up with demo equipment if requested.  The next morning, we’ll head up into the mountains.  With a reasonable approach from the Mt. Baker trailhead, we make our camp on dry ground near the Hogsback Ridge close to ideal glacier training terrain, allowing us to spend quality time on skills and practice in the coming days.

We will focus on movement and technical skills to develop a well-rounded skill set that will prepare you for our summit climb as well as bigger alpine objectives.  On summit attempt, we ascend the Coleman Glacier past large crevasses, passing beneath the beautiful Black Buttes and arriving at the Coleman Deming Saddle.  From there, the final push takes us up the Pumice Ridge and Roman Wall to the summit, where stunning views reward our efforts.   After summiting, we descend to our camp, pack up our gear, and return to the valley.  We end our program in the town of Glacier with a well-deserved dinner and closing ceremony.

Exertion Level:
You would just need to be sure that each of you is able to carry a 35-pound pack which would include your gear and food. The hike into basecamp is about 3 miles, which takes about 5-6 hours and an elevation gain of 3000 feet. The beginning of the approach is a steady incline for 80% of the hike, the last 20% has steeper switchbacks, to arrive at basecamp at 6000 feet.

2. Here is an in-depth look at the proposed schedule. Take a careful look over, the last day has you going from the summit all the way back down to your car. That’s a long day in tune with 15 hours of exertion in a single push:


  • 4 Days guided climbing/instruction
  • 3:1 Ratio participants to guides
  • 1 Night campground lodging in Glacier, WA
  • 3 Nights alpine camping in Mt. Baker / Snowqualmie National Forest
  • Meals (Breakfast and Dinners)
  • Demo gear
  • Sponsor gift bag


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


$1,199.00 – 4 days climbing and instruction; 1 night camping


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: Thursday, August 1

3:00 pm   Meet at Douglas Fir Campground outside of Glacier, WA – Meet and greet with appetizers

3:30 pm Welcome meeting, trip briefing, gear check, check out demo equipment

6:00 pm   Dinner prepared by Chicks at the campground

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


Day 2: Friday, August 2

7:00 am Breakfast prepared by Chicks at the campground

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

9:00 am Hike to camp

2:30 pm  Arrive and establish camp at approximately 6,000 ft.
Skills: Leave No Trace

  • How to camp in the Alpine
  • Personal Care
  • Glaciology
  • Navigation

5:30 pm  Dinner prepared by the guides


Day 3: Saturday, August 3

7:00 am Breakfast prepared by the guides

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

  • Climbing on snow
  • Climbing on snow with crampons
  • Climbing with 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: Sunday, August 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 to and set up High Camp

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


Day 5: Sunday, August 5

1:00 am Wake Up Call / Breakfast

2:00 am   Alpine Start!  Depart camp for the summit

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

5:00 pm Dinner and closing meeting in Glacier, WA



All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

***Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. For all your travel insurance needs, please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.