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Glacier Climbing Skills - Mount Baker Summit Climb


Want to learn to climb Mount Baker, Rainier, Glacier Peak, or other spectacular glaciated alpine peaks? Looking to have fun in the mountains, learn essential safety skills, and experience the unique camaraderie and power of the "team"?  This course will provide you a well-rounded base of glacier travel skills that are essential for achieving these goals.

The course consists of one classroom session and two field trips.  The classroom session will provide an overview of the course content and will cover gear selection, conditioning, teamwork, problem solving and trip planning.  During the field sessions you will learn and practice in-balance climbing, how to self-arrest a fall with an ice-ax, rope handling, belaying, crevasse rescue, crampon technique, snow-camping, hazard assessment and other essential climbing techniques.  The field sessions include one 3-day session and one 4-day session.  The 4-day session includes hands-on practice of glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills plus a summit climb attempt of Mount Shuksan, Mount Baker, Eldorado Peak, or Sahale Mountain.

Course Schedule

Classroom Session 1:

Course Overview:  Gear Requirements, Physical Conditioning, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Communication.

Field Outing 1:

Team Building, Navigation with Map & Compass, Snow Travel Skills, Roped Travel Skills, Anchors & Belays, Snow Camping.

Field Outing 2:

Navigation, Route-Finding, Glacier Travel Skills, Crevasse Rescue Practice, Summit Climb.

Note:  For the classroom session, please bring your questions and any questionable gear that you would like us to evaluate for use in the course.  Field session dates are subject to change based on weather, snowpack and other conditions.  Please contact us at: for more information.


This class is designed for beginners.  No previous climbing experience is required. 


  • Ability to carry a pack weighing 40-50 lbs.
  • Good physical condition

Recommended foods include easy to digest complex carbohydrates (bagels, muffins, croissants, graham crackers) and simple carbohydrates (fresh fruit such as apples, apricots, cookies, or Fig Newtons).  You can supplement these items with veggies, nuts or whatever else looks good at the store.  Avoid highly acidic foods, extremely spicy foods or food with a high fat content which may be hard to digest. When packing and weighing your backpack, we suggest that you budget 2 to 3 pounds of food per day.  If you are bringing a food item that you haven’t tried before make sure to test it before your trip.  Below are some suggestions for the types of food that work well.  You can also review our Sample Menu Plan that provides some additional suggestions that we have found work well.


Single-serving packets of instant oatmeal are a good choice for breakfast.  As an alternative, you can also bring your favorite cold cereal or granola pre-packaged with evaporated milk.  Other good options include granola bars, donuts, muffins, pastries and fruit.  For hot drinks we suggest your favorite coffee, tea, hot-chocolate, or cider.

Lunch / Snacks

Sit-down breaks where you can eat snacks or lunches are generally taken every 60-90 minutes during a field outing.  Good lunch items include bagels or tortillas with cheese, peanut butter, hummus, salami, salmon, or tuna.  Good snack options include pizza, jerky, crackers, cheese, candy bars, energy bars, chips, cookies, trail mix, dried fruits, Gu and hard candies.  Drink mixes such as Gatorade, Powerade, Nuun and Accelerade are recommended for flavoring your water and providing necessary replacement of electrolytes and protein.


Freeze-dried entrees are the preferred choice for our trips.  They are quick and easy to make and don’t require extensive preparation, cooking, or simmering.  We recommend that you try your favorite entrees in advance of your trip; it is best to be familiar with their taste and the effects they may have on your stomach.  In choosing your meals it is important to focus on entrees with high calories and low sodium.  Many freeze dried meals are very high in sodium content and keeping this to a minimum is preferred.  Most important, however, is to choose a variety of meals that you like to eat.  Link to Sample Menu Plan PDF.

"When packing the rucksack, weight is the enemy.     -Gaston Rebuffat"

We will send you a complete equipment list for your trip following receipt of your application and deposit.  Our lists are updated on an annual basis to make sure you receive the most complete and up to date recommendations possible.  Equipment technology can change rapidly and we incorporate these changes when appropriate into each of our lists.  We also utilize feedback from our clients and guides to ensure you receive the very best gear recommendations available.

Once you receive our gear list, we suggest that your review it carefully and check off any items that you currently own, or can borrow from family or friends.  If you are uncertain if a particular gear item is suitable, please contact us to get our recommendation.  We will work with you carefully to make sure you have every item that you need—and nothing that you don’t.

Note:  Each team member will be required to carry a portion of the team gear in addition to their personal gear.  Please take this into consideration when packing for your trip.

Basic Glacier Climbing Class:

2020 Dates:  July 1 - August 31

Cost:  $975 per person

Note:  Custom courses are available.  Please contact us at: for more information.

To make a reservation, click here to book online:

As you prepare for your upcoming wilderness adventure, please feel free to contact us to with any questions including trip details, itinerary, qualifications, conditioning, equipment, etc.  Our experienced guides are happy to assist you with all of your pre-trip planning needs.  We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST at (818) 381-WILD (9453), or .


North American Wilderness Leadership School (NAWLS) is committed to providing you with an extraordinary wilderness adventure.  Our number one priority on all trips and courses is safety.  We never compromise safety and do everything possible to ensure you have the safest and most enjoyable trip possible.  Our experienced guides manage a variety of significant weather and route related hazards, but they cannot eliminate them.  They draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sure you have the safest trip possible.

Trip Plans & Itinerary:

NAWLS’s trip plans and itineraries are subject to change based on weather, terrain, route conditions and a variety of additional factors.  While we strive to maintain all listed plans and itineraries, we reserve the right to change plans as necessary to ensure that all guests receive the safest and highest quality trip possible.

Should any trip be cancelled due to weather, route conditions, or insufficient signups, a full trip refund will be provided.

Age Requirements:

To ensure the safest and highest quality trip for all participants, NAWLS adheres to the following age-specific requirements:

  • Ages 4 & Under:  No participants age 4 & under.
  • Ages 5 to 14:  May participate in all Family Adventure trips.  Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Ages 15-17:  May participate in all trips and courses.  Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Ages 18 & above:  No restrictions.

Note:  Under-aged participants on private trips and courses are assessed on an individual basis.

Guest Responsibilities:

Wilderness adventures require both individual commitment and team unification.  To ensure the strength and success of the team we ask that each participant:

  • be physically and mentally fit and properly attired and equipped.
  • be honest and accurate in describing their fitness, health, skills and equipment to their guides to ensure that everyone on their team has the opportunity for a safe, fun and successful wilderness adventure.


A 50% deposit is required to secure your reservation. Payments may be made via personal U.S. check (preferred), or by Paypal.  Please note that Paypal payments require a 3% additional fee for U.S. residents and a 4% additional fee for international residents.  Send payments by check to North American Wilderness Leadership School, 13110 NE 177th Place, Woodinville, Washington 98072, or by Paypal to:  .  Full payment is due 30 days prior to the start of your trip.


If you need to cancel your reservation please let us know as soon as possible.  Cancellation policies are as follows:

  • 90 days or more prior to trip start date: full refund of deposit.
  • 60-90 days prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 50% of the deposit.
  • 30-60 days prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 100% of the deposit.
  • 30 days or less prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 100% of trip cost.

Note:  We highly encourage you to consider the purchase of travel insurance.  Typical policies provide coverage for trip cancellation, delay and medical expenses.  Travel insurance provides the best possible protection for travel related illness, injury, or delay.

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