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Mount Baker via the Coleman Glacier

The most popular ascent route of Mount Baker for both skiers and climbers

Ski Touring Moderate

18 km
2.3 km
2.3 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.1 km
High Point
3.3 km
Mount Baker via the Coleman Glacier Map

The Coleman Deming Route is possibly the most popular way to the summit for both skiers and climbers. Being that this area is on the Northwest side of Mount Baker it offers a great and semi technical way upon glaciers all the way to the top. While the South side of the mountain is filled with snowmobiles from winter until late Spring this is an area that can only be used via non motorized transportation. If you are looking at getting into and understanding how to climb on glaciers then look no further than this route. A word of warning though, since this is in high alpine it should only be attempted when you have a solid weather window as navigation is insanely challenging and dangerous if you find yourself in the clouds.


Access seems to change year after year with the Glacier Creek Road consistently getting washed out but the trip starts at the Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead. Make your way up said trail and after crossing the West Fork of Heliotrope Creek make a right onto the Hogsback ridge trail. Around 5,200 feet you will reach alpine passing by numerous camping spots along the way, if you plan on doing an overnight trip this is a great spot as you will have access to water.

Once passing by Hogsback Camp you will soon be arriving on the Glacier and need to start thinking accordingly. Making your way east up the Glacier you want to stay near the Colfax Peak Ridge but also give it a bit of space as this section slides big every year. Wrap around the east side of Colfax Peak following the Coleman Glacier to a low col which gives you access to the Southwest side of Mount Baker. Standing at the 9,000 foot col make your way up the ridge that separates the glaciers and around 10.000 feet it is time to traverse onto the Deming for the final few hundred feet to the summit flats. From here it is a small slog over to the true summit before retracing your steps to the top of the Deming and the Roman Wall.

When it comes to descending you can ride down the skiers right section of the Deming Glacier but make sure to stay near the ridge and focus on getting back to the high col. Once back on the Coleman Glacier is time to retrace your ascent route but make sure to take into account the crevasses you past while climbing. Whether you set up camp or not make sure to follow your climb as you need to descend down the Hogsback trail back down to the Helitrope trail. While you may feel the want to ride down the gully it is not recommended as you have no clue how thick the snowpack is under your feet and falling into the rushing water would be fatal. From here on out just follow the Heliotrope trail back down to the parking lot.

To see my trip in the area and more photos check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/mt-baker-542/coleman-deming-mount-baker/



Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between February and June


  • Alpine
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area