Climb Details

Cost:
Deposit:
Length:
Difficulty:
Type:

$20700*
$2500
44 day(s)
Level 5 difficulty 
Mountaineering


* 2014 pricing to be determined

Availability

Please call for program dates.

Upcoming Climbs

 

"I was so impressed with all of our guides. They were very capable, experienced and helpful. They are great representatives for RMI."

— Steve B. | Read More Testimonials

The 26,906’ summit of Cho Oyu, meaning Turquoise Goddess in Tibetan, is the sixth highest point on earth. A Cho Oyu expedition is regarded as one of the most accessible climbs of the world’s fourteen 8,000 meter peaks. Expedition highlights include:

  • Journey across the Himalayas; from the colorful streets of Kathmandu, Nepal, to the glaciers of Cho Oyu in Tibet and back over the course of one expedition.
  • Join a small and personal climbing team built around a low climber to guide and climber to Sherpa ratio, providing the flexibility and strength for a safe and enjoyable expedition.
  • Climb above 8,000 meters with the guidance and partnership of RMI’s experienced guides and Himalayan veterans.
  • Benefit from RMI’s excellent organization, support, and carefully planned and outfitted expedition: all the small advantages that add up to a more memorable experience.
  • Take part in a RMI adventure to the Himalayas and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Cho Oyu

Sitting on the northern Nepali border just 12 miles west of Mount Everest, Cho Oyu stands firmly in the heart of the Himalayas. Cho Oyu’s straightforward climbing and lofty elevations make it the ideal introduction to Himalayan and high altitude mountaineering and excellent preparation for an Everest Expedition down the road. Our Cho Oyu Expedition begins in Kathmandu before traversing the Himalayas to reach the mountain on the Tibetan Plateau.

RMI's guiding approach on Cho Oyu differs notably from many other guide services as we intentionally keep our team small. Instead of running a large expedition with many climbers, we focus our attention on leading a more personal climbing team, concentrating our resources on each individual to ensure the safest, most enjoyable, and most successful experience possible for each one of our climbers. Our expedition is fully staffed and no extras or add-ons are needed. The smaller team ratios and thoroughly organized expedition facilitates better team dynamics, closer communication, individualized attention, and helps avoid the fragmentation inherent to larger expeditions. We believe this creates the strongest, safest, and most enjoyable climbing team possible.

With over four decades of mountain guiding experience RMI has rightfully earned our standing as one of the most distinguished guide services in the world: we maintain strict standards of safety, climb with small ratios, offer an unparalleled level of service, provide you with the best and most experienced guides, and have an infrastructure that is geared entirely toward your individual safety and success in the Himalayas.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley and a leader in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our experienced guides are some of the best in the world, more than 40 of whom have reached the summit of Mt. Everest, some multiple times. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge necessary to create the best possible trips. We work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader.

Our Cho Oyu expeditions are led by RMI’s top U.S. guides, who have years of climbing experience in the Himalayas and mountains all over the world. As you reach higher elevations and test the limits of your experience, the value of an accomplished, highly trained RMI Guide held to our standards cannot be understated. In addition, we are fortunate to have a very experienced Sherpa team partner with us on the mountain. Our relationships there are the key to our trip's success. Experience and local knowledge are invaluable in the mountains and RMI's Sherpa Staff is some of the best around. The unparalleled support our team has throughout the climb is one of the major factors behind our successes.

Cho Oyu Camp 1Cho Oyu Camp 1

At Base Camp we enjoy comfortable accommodations with personal sleeping tents, storage areas, shower facilities, private toilets, and heated dining facilities. Solar power at Base Camp charges personal electronic devices and allows us to maintain contact with the outside world. Weather forecasting services are used throughout our expedition to provide up to the minute weather information.

RMI provides excellent food at Base Camp and on the mountain, keeping our spirits elevated and health in order. Consequently our groups don't suffer the physical deterioration seen in many Himalayan teams. Our professional, experienced cooks maintain the highest standards of hygiene and our diverse menu is complemented by a constant supply of fresh vegetables as well as luxuries and "comfort foods" brought specially from the United States. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine passion of these adventures are what make our programs truly memorable.

SAFETY

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides and Sherpa focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. RMI believes in outfitting and guiding with a small team approach on our biggest mountains, this unusual degree of personal service from RMI's guides and Sherpa staff increases our margin of safety on the mountain and improves your chances of success.

Our expedition is stocked with comprehensive medical kits and Gamow bags for use throughout the expedition. Our guides and staff are highly trained in emergency mountain medicine and work to maintain our strict standards of safety. When problems arise on the mountain, away from medical facilities, the level of training and experience RMI's guides have makes them some of the most sought after guides in the profession.

Careful planning and vigilant care are taken as we venture into high altitudes. Our well-planned use of climbing oxygen dramatically improves a climber's chance of success on Cho Oyu. Our supply of oxygen is well stocked and designed to meet any climber's anticipated, and unanticipated, needs.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE

Participants on our Cho Oyu Expedition must have a solid understanding of mountaineering skills. We require that each team member have previous high altitude experience, such as McKinley or Aconcagua. Screening and final selection will be done on an individual basis after we have reviewed your climbing resume and our veteran Himalayan Guides have spoken with you directly.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

Cho Oyu Equipment List

Whittaker Mountaineering Whittaker Mountaineering

The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering. This offer excludes sale items. For internet orders, please use the discount code RMI2014.


Pack & Bag Guides' Pick

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2 DUFFEL BAG(S): A 120+ liter bag made of tough material with rugged zippers.


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BACKPACK: A 65-70+ liter pack large enough to carry all of your personal gear, food and water is the recommended size for this climb.  A separate summit pack is not needed.


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DAY PACK: A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on, while traveling or sightseeing.


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SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated -20° F will keep you warm. If you would prefer NOT to share group bags at the higher camps, you should bring a second bag rated -20° F or lower.


Technical Gear Guides' Pick

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ICE AXE: The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm axe; and taller, use a 75 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.


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CLIMBING HARNESS: We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.


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1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for clipping into the climbing rope.


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3 NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for pack ditch loop, etc.


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HELMET: A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet. Bicycle or ski helmets are designed for a different type of impact and will not substitute as a climbing helmet.


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The 12-point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. We highly recommend anti-bot plates to prevent snow from balling up underfoot.


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AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER: A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.


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TREKKING POLES: Lightweight and collapsible poles are preferred. Larger baskets work well with deep snow. Ski poles will also work.


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MECHANICAL ASCENDER: For traveling on fixed ropes. Most people prefer an ascender designed for their weak hand, leaving their strong hand free to hold their ice axe. For example, a right-handed person would use a left-handed ascender.


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RAPPEL DEVICE: An ATC rappel device, ensure that it can handle rope sizes 6 to 13 mm.


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60 cm sewn sling ("single-length runner").


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12 ' PERLON CORD: 6 mm cordelette in one continuous length.


Head Guides' Pick

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2 WARM HATS: Wool or synthetic hats; one light and one heavy.


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BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA: One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.


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2 PAIR GLACIER GLASSES: You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.


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GOGGLES: Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.


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CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES: Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


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HEADLAMP: Be sure to begin the program with fresh batteries.


Hands

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.


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1 - 2 MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVE: Wind/water resistant, insulated mountain gloves.


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HEAVY WEIGHT INSULATED GLOVE OR MITTEN: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves or mittens. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.


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WORK GLOVES: Medium weight insulated gloves for climbing and working around camp. These should be both durable and dexterous enough to allow you to perform activities like setting up or taking down tents while wearing them.


Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.


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2 LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Quarter zip styles will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.


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RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL): A jacket made of rain-proof material with an attached hood.  We recommend a thinner lightweight jacket rather than a heavier insulated jacket.


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INSULATED PARKA with HOOD: This expedition-style heavy parka should extend below the waist and must have an insulated hood. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill as down weighs less. The parka does not have to be waterproof, though that is a nice feature.


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1 - 2 HIKING SHIRT: Lightweight, synthetic shirt with either long or short sleeves. The long sleeve is preferred for sun/bug protection.


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DOWN SUIT: An 8,000 meter down suit.


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SPORTS BRA: We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.


Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.


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CLIMBING PANT: Soft-shell climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them in combination with the base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.


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RAIN PANT (HARD SHELL): A waterproof pant with 3/4 side zippers (sometimes called 7/8 or full side zips) are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons.


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DOWN PANT: Required if you are not bringing a Down Suit. This should be an expeditionary-style pant.

 
Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Pant

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LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANT: A lightweight, synthetic pair of pants is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.


Feet Guides' Pick

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MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS: A new breed of composite boot like the Millet Everest or an expedition-style plastic double boot in combination with a full overboot is mandatory. Price is the best indicator. Though expensive, the function of footwear is of crucial importance. Select a brand's "top of the line" model and it should be sufficient. The boot needs to be roomy enough to allow for good circulation. Anticipate a sock combination when sizing them (single sock, liner and sock, or two heavy socks on each foot). Wear the boots as often as possible before the climb, to determine proper fit, comfort and performance. It is recommended that you keep your boots in your carry-on luggage for all of your commercial flights in case your luggage is mis-directed.


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OVERBOOTS: These are not necessary with all-in-one boot / gaiter models. Expedition overboots add significant warmth, especially at high altitude and need to be compatible with the style of crampons used.


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HIKING BOOTS: A pair of lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain.


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LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING SHOES: Great for travel, day hikes, and camp.

 
Garmont Zenith Trail
 
La Sportiva Exum Pro
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GAITERS: We recommend a knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing.


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4 - 8 PAIR SOCKS: Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc), should work just fine for this climb.


Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick

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LIP BALM: We recommend SPF 15 or higher.


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SUNSCREEN: We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.


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MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.


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2 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required.


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2 INSULATED WATER BOTTLE COVERS: These help prevent freezing. It should completely cover the bottle.


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AQUAMIRA: Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops.


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4 - 5 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE): We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.


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2 SETS ALKALINE BATTERIES: For avalanche transceiver.


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LUGGAGE LOCKS: For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.


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CAMERA


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LIGHTER


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THERMOS: High quality, lightweight, unbreakable 1/2 to 1 quart.

 
GSI Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle

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WATCH with alarm and light: Altimeter models are popular.


Travel Clothes

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SHORTS


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CASUAL PANTS


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SHIRTS: For hotel dinners and while traveling.


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SWEATER / SWEATSHIRT


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COMFORTABLE SHOES


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SUNGLASSES


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SWIMSUIT


Toilet Articles

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TOOTHBRUSH


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HAND SANITIZER(S): Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.


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PEE BOTTLE: 1 to 1 1/2 quart size


Personal First Aid Kit

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BAND-AIDS


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ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL


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BLISTER TREATMENT

 
Dr. Scholl's Blister Cushions and Moleskin
 
Spenco 2nd Skin

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ANTACIDS


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IMODIUM (ANTI-DIARRHEA)


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PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)


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SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE


Personal Medications

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ANTIBIOTICS: Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.


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ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.


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TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain


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ACETAZOLAMIDE: For Altitude Illness


Utensils Guides' Pick

Optional Items

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BABY POWDER


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READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL


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iPOD or MP3 PLAYER


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PERSONAL SOLAR CHARGER: A small solar panel is a great way to charge your iPod or camera.

 
Brunton Solaris 6

Travel Documents

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PASSPORT: Valid for six months beyond your return date.


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COPY OF PASSPORT: The first two pages of your passport.


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COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY


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2 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS


Pre-Trip Checklist

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Purchase travel insurance.


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Return the Registration Packet to the RMI Office.


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Purchase airplane tickets.


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Reserve rental equipment.


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Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following group equipment and technical hardware for your climb: tents, upper mountain community sleeping bags and pads, stoves and cooking equipment, climbing and fixed ropes, climbing anchors, shovels, route wands, radios for on-mountain communication, and comprehensive first aid and repair kits. Two bottles of climbing oxygen will be provided. Additional bottles are available upon request.


Not included are the following:

  • International round-trip air fare and travel expenses to/from Kathmandu
  • Accommodations and meals in Kathmandu not included in itinerary
  • Medical Evacuation insurance of $500,000 (required)
  • Travel insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport taxes and Nepal entry visas and re-entry fees
  • Sherpa tip pool (we suggest $500 for summit climbers)
  • Tips for RMI Guides
  • Rescue costs or costs associated with early departure from the expedition
  • Personal communications expenses (Satellite phone, phone, fax, email)
  • Personal expenses, room charges and laundry
  • Personal drinks and beverages
  • International departure taxes
  • Nepal Custom Duties / Chinese Custom Duties
  • Additional personal Sherpa support is available, but must be arranged before the expedition.
  • Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)
  • The cost of delays due to weather, road or trail conditions, flight delays, government intervention, illness, medical issues hospitalization, evacuation costs (by helicopter or any other means), or any other contingency which we or our agents cannot control are not included.

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy.  A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance. The single supplement is not available in huts, tents, or in all hotels.

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. reserves the right to modify the land cost of a trip at any time before departure.

Risk Management

Safety is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. RMI guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that improve your chance of reaching the summit without compromising the necessary margin of safety.

Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity.

Climber Responsibilities

Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Some of the responsibility for the team is carried by the individual climbers. For this reason, we ask that each participant:

  • is physically and mentally fit, properly attired and equipped, and continues to self assess throughout the program to ensure as safe a climb as possible. If a climber's own physical fitness limits his or her ability to safely continue upward, that can have a negative impact on the summit experience or opportunity of other climb participants.
  • honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their professional mountain guide.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions

In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines and restrictions on all climbing programs, domestic and international.

  • Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
  • Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
  • Ages 18 & above: No restrictions 

An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.

Accompaniment by parent or legal guardian is required for the program or climb.

Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.

General Policies

RMI's program plans and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person's own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.'s responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.

RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.