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Climb Mt. Baker!

Climb Mt. Baker!



June 11 @ 7:00 am
June 13 @ 5:00 pm
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Park Butte Trail 603
Forest Road 13
Concrete, WA 98237 United States
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Join Kula on an epic 3-day climb of Mount Baker, one of the most iconic mountains in the North Cascades.

Kula Climb of Mount Baker

A Guided 3-Day Climb with Mountaineering Skills

Trip Vision:

A 3-day expedition to one of the most iconic mountains in the North Cascades with a supportive group of humans. Koma Kulshan (Mt. Baker) is an ideal mountaineering adventure for folks new to the sport as well as seasoned climbers wanting to develop their skills. We’ll cover the basic skills of mountaineering, attempt a summit and make sure that we have enough time for fun and laughter. We’ll be climbing the Easton Glacier Route and, if the weather cooperates, can expect some beautiful views.

Beginners Welcome:

This climb is appropriate for mountaineering beginners who can confidently hike for 8 hours uphill with a 35-45lb pack and anyone who’s excited for a fun and wild mountain climb. The route is a three-day climb of Mount Baker, led by Indigo Alpine Guides. No previous mountaineering experience is necessary, however, the physical challenge is significant and requires training.

What’s included:

  • All group mountaineering gear: ropes, carabiners, slings, group tents
  • Professional guiding
  • Breakfasts and dinners on the trip
  • Permits
  • Pre-climb Zoom meetups to create camaraderie and connections before the trip
  • A few Kula surprises

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to Sedro Woolley or the Park Butte Trailhead
  • Personal outdoor gear (see gear list)
  • Lunch/Snack foods for climbing days on the mountain
  • NW Forest Pass for Parking at the Trailhead
  • Tips for guides
    • Draft Itinerary — Moments & Rhythms

      Day 1: We’ll meet in Sedro Woolley at the Park & Ride where we’ll share introductions and do a thorough gear check. From here we’ll carpool to the Park Butte Trailhead to start our approach. Today is all about getting to Sandy Camp, setting up camp, making a good dinner and taking 2-3 hours to practice the basic skills. We’ll cover basic and intermediate cramponing techniques, self-arrest with an ice ax, and how to rope up for glacier travel. In the evening, we’ll talk over tea as we watch the sun set, play games and share our goals and hopes for tomorrow’s climb. We’ll get to bed early since we will have an early start the next day.

      Day 2: Today we wake early, well before the sun, eat a quick oatmeal breakfast, put on crampons, and start heading uphill with much lighter packs. No one is sprinting here, just a slow meditative rhythm focusing on your breath and keeping pace with the other people on your rope team. As we climb, so does the sun and the views are magic. 5 to 8 hours later we may be standing on the summit cheering and congratulating each other, or we may have turned around due to bad weather or exhaustion. Either way, returning to camp this afternoon is reason for celebration and celebrate we shall.

      Day 3: This morning we’ll wake up at our own pace. Maybe you’ll watch the sunrise and take some intentional time for reflection or maybe you’ll snuggle in till 9 and get some much needed rest. After a relaxing breakfast we’ll bid farewell to our momentary home and head back out (downhill!) to the trailhead. The pika’s will no doubt greet our departure with their signature calls. At the trailhead we’ll have some time to share our thoughts, feelings and reflections before saying goodbye to this new group of friends.

      Pre-Climb Zoom Meetups

    • March 16 at 7:30 p.m. PST – Introductions & Fitness: Why do you want to climb a mountain?
    • April 13 at 7:30 p.m. PST – The Route, The Gear and Food
    • May 18 at 7:30 p.m. PST – The Countdown Begins – Make Sure You’re Ready
    • June 9 at 7:30 p.m. PST – Last meeting before the trip


    Gear List

    Please see the gear list here.

    Gear rental:

    If you do not have all of the necessary equipment, REI’s Flagship Store in Seattle has a Rental Department with very affordable Mountaineering Packages that includes: mountaineering boots, crampons, ice axe and helmet starting at $64.

    I n addition, they have excellent resources on:

    Food Planning

    Meals will be delicious backcountry cuisine. We’ve spent a lot of years in the backcountry and we like to eat well! That being said, we also don’t love heavy packs. Our meals strike a balance between dehydrated backpacker food and gourmet fresh — in that balance are delicious meals without crazy weight. We can accommodate most dietary restrictions if they’re clearly explained on your signup form. Please reach out with questions. We will be unable to change the menu within 3 weeks of the trip start.

    We will supply all the breakfasts, dinners, and occasional desserts for the trip. We ask guests to pack their own lunch snacks. On our trips, lunch is between when breakfast ends and dinner begins — snack away!

    Some things to think about when packing snacks:

    • Plan for around ⅓ to ½ pound of snacks per day depending on your appetite.
    • Try to find foods that are low bulk but high calories.
    • Pack your snacks in bags so they’re not loose in your backpack.

    Snack ideas:

    Trail mix is a go-to for many, but the list of tasty snack options is expansive. Banana chips, no-bake energy bites, chocolate-covered cashews or almonds, spicy nuts, dried fruit (apples, mangos, cranberries), fruit leather, string cheese, crackers, fig bars, peanut butter pretzels, cookies, Chex mix, sesame sticks, pumpkin seeds, gummy bears, licorice and candy bars are just a few choices. For more ideas, read Snack Hacks for Any Outdoor Adventure.

    Physical Training

    Most people underestimate the physical challenge of climbing uphill for 6 hours to above 10,000 feet. As a result of this underestimation they spend more time struggling internally and have less resources to appreciate their surroundings. It’s better to show up over prepared than under prepared, but struggling throughout the climb is a natural and important part of the experience.

    Climbing Kulshan can be hard. Three things can make it easier:

    • Being in the best shape of your life when you arrive
    • Having a light pack and
    • Did we mention being in good shape when you arrive?!

    Accomplish these goals and your trip will be more enjoyable. If you think you could possibly do without an item… don’t bring it… you probably won’t miss it on the way up. If you have questions about how necessary something is, please reach out.

    To get in shape we recommend regular hiking for several months before the trip starts. Start hiking with low weight and slowly build up until you’re hiking with around 30-45 pounds in your pack. Plan to do one hike like this per week for 1-2 months.

    That being said, everyone has their own way to get in shape… do what works for you. Anything that builds endurance and tendon / ligament flexibility will be great (think running, biking, cross country skiing, hiking, rowing).

    Cancelation Policy & Risk Management

    If you haven’t already, please read the cancelation policy here.

    As for all of our expeditions, we will carry satellite communication devices. In keeping with recommendations from emergency medical and rescue services, we will make conservative decisions. We will screen participants for COVID-19 symptoms prior to beginning the expedition, and ask participants to be fully vaccinated. If you have a medical reason for not being vaccinated, please let us know.

    We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance and emergency evacuation service. Trip insurance covers the cost of your trip should you need to cancel at the last minute. Emergency evacuation insurance covers you in case of expensive or prolonged transport due to accident or injury. A simple way to get Emergency evacuation coverage is by becoming a member of the American Alpine Club Here.

    About Our Guide, Jack Bynum

    Owner, Lead guide – Indigo Alpine Guides

    Jack has 10 years of experience guiding backcountry trips around the world. He has traveled over 20,000 miles by bike, sea kayak, foot, raft, and skis. He became the youngest person to solo Denali and has put up first ascents on 6,000 meter peaks in the Himalayas.

    In 2016, his solo ascent of Bhandar Lek was listed as one of 20 most significant global ascents of the year by the prestigious Piloet d’Or. He calls Seattle home, but is often around the world leading trips or on personal adventures. His favorite trip to lead is the Wrangell Mountains 8 day trip or any custom trip to a new place!

    • AMGA Advanced Rock Guide
    • AIARE Avalanche Pro 1
    • NOLS Wilderness Medicine WFR
    • WRI Swiftwater Rescue Tech
    • Leave No Trace Master Educator

    Final Thoughts

    Thanks so much for reading all the way through! We’re super excited you’ll be joining us. As always, don’t hesitate to call, text, or email us with questions about preparing for the trip, life, or anything at all.

    Can’t wait to see you on the mountain!

    J ack Bynum – Indigo Alpine Lead Guide

    A llison Tapert – Kula’s Director of Chaos and Fun