The North Ridge Route, like the Coleman Glacier Route, begins three miles along the Heliotrope Ridge Trail, starting in old growth forest and climbing through flower filled avalanche chutes and over rocky moraines near the foot of the Coleman Glacier.
As the trail gains elevation the dense forest thins and just before the trees peter out you will come to the former site of Kulshan Cabin. Approximately two and a quarter miles from the trailhead the path forks. The right fork leads to the Coleman Glacier climbing route. From this point the trail climbs steeply along a moraine crest known as the Hogsback, leading to the toe of the Coleman Glacier.
The North Ridge approach is the same as the Coleman route up the base of Coleman Glacier where the two split. Coleman is a moderate route, while the North Ridge route is very technical and involves two pitches of 70-degree ice requiring specific experience and tools.
This route is best climbed early in the season when the Coleman Glacier is not broken up and crevassed.
The North Ridge Route is in the Mt. Baker Wilderness.
At a Glance
Campsites are located at the old Kulshan Cabin site at 5,000 feet, the Hogsback at 6,000 feet, just below Coleman Glacier, on the glacier at 7,000 feet and below the Black Buttes at 7,200 feet.
The Glacier Overview Trail spurs off the Heliotrope Ridge Trail below the Hogsback and is a popular destination for ice climbers not intending to summit. Harrison Camp at 4,800 feet is on the moraine above the lower Coleman Glacier.
Find backcountry toilets at the old Kulshan Cabin site and Harrison Camp. Where toilet facilities are not provided, please pack it out.
Access from Heliotrope Trailhead.