|March 22, 2014|
"It was awesome. Perfect guides and a very enthusiastic team. It was a lifetime experience for me. Thank you very much."
— Yury C. | Read More Testimonials
Melissa Arnot's Record Breaking Summit of Everest
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Whittaker Climbs Lhotse Face to Camp III
Whittaker Completes Final Rotation Before Summit Push
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Mt. Everest from the Summit
Mt. Everest. The tallest mountain in the world soars almost five and a half miles into the sky and pierces the jet stream with its iconic summit. Embarking on an expedition to Mt. Everest can be the pinnacle of a climbing career and deserves all of the personal support and guidance that RMI offers. RMI's Everest Expedition highlights include:
- Join a small and personal climbing team with a 3:1 climber to guide ratio and a 1:1 climber to Sherpa ratio.
- Enjoy the best Base Camp facilities available.
- Take comfort in the comprehensive medical support available through our unlimited access to Everest's Base Camp clinic and highly trained guides.
- Navigate the Khumbu Icefall, cross the Yellow Band, and ascend the Hillary Step with the guidance and partnership of RMI's experienced Everest guides.
- Take part in an RMI Everest Expedition and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.
RMI's small, exclusive team is led by tenured RMI Guide and Everest veteran Dave Hahn. With 14 Everest summits Dave is widely regarded as the premier Everest guide in the world. RMI's guiding approach on Everest 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. RMI's Everest Expedition has one of the best guide-to-climber ratios on the mountain. This smaller ratio provides our climbers with many benefits including:
- Providing the flexibility to tailor climbing agendas and acclimatization schedules to individual needs.
- Giving climbers consistent guidance from our experienced western guides throughout the climb.
- Allowing our climbers to build solid rapports with their guides and fellow team members; we share our meals around one table, discuss route and weather conditions together, and plan and approach the climb as a close-knit team.
- Superior Sherpa support.
The smaller team ratios facilitates stronger team dynamics, better communication, individualized attention, helps avoid the fragmentation inherent to larger expeditions, and we believe creates the strongest 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, most experienced guides, and have an infrastructure that is entirely geared toward your individual safety and success on Mt. Everest.
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 expedition is led by Dave Hahn, who with 20 Everest Expeditions is widely regarded as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable Everest guides around. Dave's experience is unmatched and his leadership skills are clearly displayed by his success and safety on this mountain. Our guides on Everest are some of the best on the mountain and bring years of Himalayan experience to the expedition. Working closely with the team is Mark Tucker, our Base Camp Manager. Mark's incredible depth of experience, patience, wit, and humor make him one of the most respected leaders in Base Camp. In addition, we are fortunate to have very experienced Sherpa teams on the mountain as our partners in Nepal. Our relationships there are the key to our trip's success. Experience and local knowledge are invaluable in the mountains and RMI's Nepali Staff is some of the best around. The unparalleled support our team has throughout the climb is one of the major factors behind our success.
During our trek into Base Camp we stay exclusively in teahouses that have been hand picked by our guides for their quality, cleanliness, and service. At Base Camp we enjoy comfortable accommodations with personal sleeping tents, storage areas, shower facilities, private toilets, and excellent heated dining facilities. Solar power at Base Camp keeps us connected to home via high speed internet, charges personal computers and other electronic devices, and allows us to maintain excellent emergency contact with the outside world. We receive up to the minute information from a weather forecasting service for safer, more successful decision-making.
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 Everest 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 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. Our climber-to-guide ratio is 3:1, and our Sherpa-to-climber ratio is 1:1. 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 camps are stocked with comprehensive medical kits and we have two Gamow bags on the mountain 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. As partners with the Himalayan Rescue Associate (HRA) we have unlimited access to their doctors and clinic at Base Camp ensuring that we have the best medical professionals at our side.
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 Mt. Everest. Our supply of oxygen is well stocked and designed to meet any climber's anticipated, and unanticipated, needs.
Participants on our Mt. Everest Expedition must have a solid understanding of mountaineering skills. We require that each team member have previous high altitude experience, such as McKinley, Aconcagua, Cho Oyu or other 7,000 - 8,000 meter peaks. Screening and final selection will be done on an individual basis after we have reviewed your climbing resume and our veteran Everest 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 thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT at (888) 89-CLIMB or email@example.com.
Why Climb Everest With RMI?
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. is one of America's most reputable and long-standing guide services with over four decades of mountain guiding experience. Simply stated, we excel at bringing climbers to the highest mountains of the world. Our commitment to leading extraordinary mountain adventures, our unparalleled logistical support, and our world-class leadership make our Mt. Everest Expedition unmatched.
- Safety is RMI's number one priority and nothing trumps its importance.
- The most experienced and renowned guides in the profession.
- Expedition leader Dave Hahn is widely considered the world’s foremost Everest guide.
- Our guides are well regarded climbers and mountaineering instructors. They are highly trained in technical rescue and in wilderness and mountain medicine.
- Small team ratios of 3:1 climber-to-guide and 1:1 climber-to-Sherpa.
- Small team ratios facilitate stronger team dynamics, excellent communication, and individualized attention.
- RMI is involved in every step of the planning, preparation, and packing of our expedition.
- Our behind-the-scenes logistics are not left to others, ensuring that each and every detail of expedition planning is addressed and met.
- Small ratios and extensive logistical support give us a high level of flexibility and the individual focus needed on the mountain, from acclimatization scheduling to individual food preferences.
- We intentionally avoid locking our expedition into predetermined itineraries and plans, choosing instead to tailor our climb to the needs of our climbers and the realities of the mountain conditions.
- With years of experience, our phenomenal Sherpa staff are among the most experienced and well regarded in the Himalaya. They each have dozens of Himalayan summits and offer superior attentive support for our expedition.
- Our Sherpa pursue ongoing technical training between expeditions under internationally accredited guide training programs.
- All of our Sherpas receive equipment stipends as well as First Ascent down suits for each expedition and have complete access to medical consultation and care on Everest.
- We outfit a comprehensive and comfortable Base Camp on the mountain, including heated dining tents, hot showers, communications tent with re-charging equipment, private toilets, individual sleeping tents, full-time cooks and great food, as well as a selection of entertainment and games.
- We address all of the necessities, as well as luxuries, to keep our climbers comfortable and happy - and ultimately strong and healthy - throughout the climb.
- Dedicated professional cooks at Base Camp and Camp 2 (ABC) who prepare excellent, healthy meals.
- We have well-stocked inventories that include hundreds of pounds of specialty food brought from the U.S., offering excellent variety and selection.
- A flexible and diverse menu accommodates our differing tastes and changing appetites.
Base Camp Manager
- A full time, dedicated, experienced Base Camp Manager supports our team throughout the entire climb.
- Our mountain camps are well stocked with emergency supplies, and medical and rescue equipment.
- A full-time cook staffs Camp 2.
- Our guides are highly trained in medical and technical rescue and carry medical and rescue equipment with them at all times.
- As partners with the Himalayan Rescue Association's (HRA) Everest Base Camp Clinic, our entire team of climbers, guides and Sherpa has unlimited access to the Clinic and consultation with their full-time doctors.
- We use a private weather forecasting service with Himalayan experience to keep us current with the latest trends and developments in weather patterns throughout the expedition.
- All of our climbers, guides, and Sherpa are outfitted with personal radios.
- We provide access to phone, email, and satellite communications at Base Camp.
- We can help arrange personal cell phone, email, and satellite communications equipment as needed.
- RMI posts daily expedition updates to our blog, including photos and audio dispatches, to help keep friends, family, and general followers up-to-date with the latest progress of the climb.
- RMI has pioneered and championed Leave No Trace ethics on mountains all around the world and we hold ourselves to the same high standards on Mt. Everest.
- We remove excess packaging before the trip to minimize waste and carry all of our trash and unused supplies off of the mountain.
- We use biodegradable bags to ensure proper human waste disposal.
- Our custom-built solar photovoltaic power system supplies 100% of our electric needs. We have not used the standard noisy generator on Everest in over two years!
- Our efforts keep camps clean and quiet, preserve the Khumbu's water supplies, reduce our use of fossil fuels, and minimize our overall environmental impact.
Mt. Everest Itinerary
Day 1: TRAVEL DAY
Most climbers and trekkers fly to Kathmandu (KTM) via Thailand with a possible overnight in Bangkok. During your flight you will cross the International Date Line and travel time is approximately three days.
Day 2: TRAVEL DAY
Day 4: KATHMANDU • 4,383'
Situated in a bowl shaped valley in central Nepal, Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal and the cosmopolitan heart of the Himalayan Region. Today the itinerary focuses on a thorough team meeting / orientation and equipment check, fitting for oxygen masks, and any other last minute preparations.The rest of the day is spent enjoying the city and local cuisine. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)
Day 5: PHAKDING • 8,700'
Lukla (9,350') to Phakding (8,700'). Trekking time is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Today we fly to Lukla, the village where our trek to Everest Base Camp begins. The airport in Lukla is the Tenzing Norgay Airport, and landing on the STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) runway is an experience in itself. It is usually very busy in Lukla as different expeditions are getting everything organized for the trek. From here on out, there are no more vehicles or roads, just a network of villages connected by footpaths. After we meet our Sherpa team we start trekking along the Dudh Kosi River as we travel to Phakding. We spend the night at a small teahouse on the bank of the milky-blue Dudh Kosi. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 6: NAMCHE BAZAAR • 11,300'
Phakding (8,700') to Namche Bazaar (11,300'). Trekking time is 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
Hike to historic Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the high Himalayas and the Sherpa community's central meeting place. Namche is where lowland porters bearing supplies meet the highland Sherpa and Tibetan people who have journeyed over high passes from many miles away to trade food and supplies for their home or village. Namche's busy shops, delicious bakeries, and jovial feel are a welcome sight after making the long climb up from the valley floor below. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 7: NAMCHE BAZAAR • 11,300'
Today is an acclimatization day in Namche. We wander the narrow, stone-lined streets of Namche, visiting the village's small museums, monastery, stupas, and stop in for a treat at one of the cafes (known locally as bakeries). There are also well-stocked shops to meet any last minute needs. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 8: NAMCHE BAZAAR • 11,300'
We build upon our acclimatization by going for a short hike to the surrounding villages of Khunde and Khumjung to visit the historic Hillary School and Hillary Hospital. Our hike takes us along the more remote paths between the villages, offering glimpses of the peaks higher up the valley, before returning us to Namche for the evening. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 9: DEBOCHE • 12,325'
Namche Bazaar (11,300') to Deboche (12,325'). Trekking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours.
We leave Namche and climb up the valley to Tengboche, the largest Sherpa monastery in the Khumbu area. From the monastery's front steps we have excellent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. We descend from the ridge where the monastery is located into the quiet forest of fir and rhododendron forests below that surround our teahouse at Deboche. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 10: DEBOCHE • 12,325'
This is an acclimatization day and an opportunity to explore the Deboche area. We make the short walk back to the Tengboche Monastery to wander its grounds and sit in on the monks' daily prayers. There are many cozy spots amongst the trees to relax in the sun and read, making Deboche a favorite resting place for climbers preparing for their summit bids later in the spring. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 11: PHERICHE • 13,950'
Deboche (12,325') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
We hike to Pheriche via the small village of Pangboche. We follow the Imja River which flows directly east of the village to Pangboche, a large Sherpa village at the foot of Ama Dablam. In Pangboche we visit Lama Geshe, a renowned spiritual leader of the area, to receive a blessing for our travels in the mountains before continuing along the river to Pheriche. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 12: PHERICHE • 13,950'
We stay another night in Pheriche to continue our acclimatization. We will visit the clinic of the Himalayan Rescue Association and take a day hike up the Imja Khola valley toward Chukkung, offering spectacular views of Ama Dablam's seldom seen north side. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 13: LOBUCHE • 16,175'
Pheriche (13,950') to Lobuche (16,175'). Trekking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours.
We ascend to the village of Lobuche, tucked below Lobuche Peak. Our trail takes us past the memorials for climbers made up of dozens of large rock stupas and strings of prayer flags at the top of Thokla Pass. Along the way we leave the last of the large vegetation and enter into the alpine zone and our trail may have a covering of snow from here. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 14: LOBUCHE • 16,175'
During our acclimatization day we take a short walk to visit the Italian Research Pyramid that conducts altitude research and helps track the current weather conditions on Mt. Everest. There is ample time to play cards, read, and take it easy - a little rest and relaxation before moving up to 17,000'. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 15: EVEREST BASE CAMP • 17,575'
Lobuche (16,175') to Everest BC (17,575'). Trekking time is approximately 5 to 6 hours.
We complete the last stretch of our trek, leaving the dirt and grasses of the mountainous valley and setting out across the ice and rock of the Khumbu Glacier into Everest Base Camp. We move into our tents and home fore the upcoming weeks at the RMI Everest Expedition's Camp, admiring the stunning panorama of peaks surrounding us. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D)
Once at Everest Base Camp the itinerary can vary greatly, this is only an outline of the expedition's movements. If weather and conditions allow for all team members to summit earlier, then the program schedule will be moved accordingly. Similarly, if the summit attempt is delayed we will arrange for extra days.
Days 16 to the Completion of Climb:
Upon arriving at Base Camp several days will be spent resting and acclimatizing with short day hikes to several spectacular viewpoints around the area such as Kala Patar and Pumori Camp 1. We will use the giant pressure ridges of ice around Base Camp to practice our climbing techniques - becoming comfortable on fixed lines, steep, icy slopes, and ladder crossings. Within a few days of our arrival at Base Camp we will also have our Puja Ceremony, a deeply meaningful and very exciting Buddhist ceremony led by a local lama before the start of any climbing expedition.
With our bodies acclimating to Base Camp, our Puja ceremony completed, and our training accomplished, we begin our acclimatization rounds on the mountain. Over the next weeks we will slowly work our way up the mountain, acclimatizing to higher and higher elevations and becoming familiar and comfortable with the terrain. Our first efforts will be short trips into the Khumbu Icefall, reaching Camp 1 at almost 20,000’ where we will spend a few nights. We will then push up to Camp 2, at the head of the Western Cwm at over 21,000’ where additional nights make our bodies stronger in the thin air. On our next round our goal is Camp 3, perched at 23,750’ on the Lhotse Face. There, we will perfect our climbing with fixed lines and familiarize ourselves with our oxygen systems. Finally, after resting back in Base Camp we will embark on our summit push, climbing to Camp 4 at 26,000’ on the South Col. From the South Col we will climb up the Triangular Face to the Balcony, over the South Summit, up the Hillary Step, and to the top of the world!
The number of days this will take our team will vary due to weather, acclimatization, team strength, the number of acclimatization rounds we make, and other circumstances that will affect our progress. Our guides will use their vast mountain experience, knowledge, and decision-making abilities to maximize each climber's chance of reaching the summit of Mt. Everest.
THE TREK OUT
Day TBD: PHERICHE • 13,950'
Everest Base Camp (17,775') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 5 to 6 hours.
We leave Base Camp and trek back along the Khumbu Glacier down to our lodge in Pheriche for some "thick" air and a good night's sleep. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day TBD: NAMCHE BAZAAR • 11,300’
Pheriche (13,950') to Namche Bazaar (11,300'). Trekking time is approximately 6 to 8 hours.
The downhill trek along the river allows for breathtaking photos of Ama Dablam as it towers ominously above us. As we descend the smells of the pine forests and blooming rhododendrons overwhelm the senses after so many days up high. In Namche we treat ourselves to much deserved yak steaks, beer, and pastries. After Everest Base Camp, the narrow streets of Namche feel like a big city! Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day TBD: LUKLA • 9,350’
Namche Bazaar (11,300') to Lukla (9,350’). Trekking time is approximately 5 - 7 hours.
Our last day on the trail. We hike down from Namche to Lukla, crossing the eleven swaying suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi and re-entering the fertile valleys of the lower Khumbu. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Day TBD: KATHMANDU • 4,383’
The scenic morning flight back to Kathmandu gives us one last chance to say farewell to the mountains. The afternoon in Kathmandu is open for exploring or just relaxing. (B)
Day TBD: CONTINGENCY DAY
This day is available in case of delayed flights in or out of Lukla or if weather postpones our trip at any point.
Day TBD: TRAVEL
Depart Kathmandu. Most climbers and trekkers fly from Kathmandu to Bangkok and then onto the United States. An overnight in Bangkok is standard for most flights.
Day TBD: TRAVEL
Flight: Bangkok to USA. Arrive home.
Mt. Everest Southside Equipment List
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 RMI 2013.
Pack & Bag Guides' Pick
2 DUFFEL BAG(S): A 120+ liter bag made of tough material with rugged zippers.
SMALL DUFFEL: Needed to store gear in Kathmandu.
BACKPACK: A 50 - 55 liter pack is the recommended size for this climb. A separate summit pack is not needed.
PACK COVER (OPTIONAL): Protects your pack from rain while on the trail.
DAY PACK: A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on, while traveling or sightseeing.
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.
SLEEPING PAD: Full length inflatable or closed cell pad.
Technical Gear Guides' Pick
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.
ICE AXE HOLSTER
CLIMBING HARNESS: A comfortable, adjustable climbing harness.
HELMET: A lightweight climbing helmet.
CRAMPONS: The 12-point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. Carry any repair kit/replacement parts and adjusting tools which are specific to your crampons.
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER: A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well.
TREKKING POLES: Lightweight and collapsible.
RAPPEL DEVICE: An ATC rappel device, ensure that it can handle rope sizes 6 to 13 mm.
60 cm sewn sling ("single-length runner").
15 ' PERLON CORD: 6 mm cordelette in one continuous length.
Head Guides' Pick
2 WARM HATS: Wool or synthetic hats; one light and one heavy.
BUFF OR BANDANA: A buff or bandana provides good protection from the sun and dust as well as insulation from the cold, dry air.
GLACIER GLASSES: A pair of dark-lensed sunglasses with side shields or full wrap-type sunglasses.
GOGGLES: Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. Additionally, contact lens wearers may find a clear-lensed goggle very useful on windy nights.
CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES: Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.
2 HEADLAMPS: Bring two headlamps for the Expedition. The second is for use around camp and to serve as a backup.
Hands Guides' Pick
1 - 2 MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVE: Wind/water resistant insulated mountain gloves.
HEAVY WEIGHT INSULATED GLOVE OR MITTEN: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves or mittens for protection against wind, snow and cold. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.
2 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 Guides' Pick
2 - 3 LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top will be used as your base layer. Zip-neck styles will allow for better temperature regulation.
LIGHT INSULATING LAYER: A fleece or other insulation layer.
SOFT SHELL LAYER: A windproof, water-resistant and highly breathable layer.
HARD SHELL JACKET: A jacket made of rain/wind-proof material with an attached hood.
DOWN PARKA WITH ATTACHED HOOD: This item becomes of highest importance when we are faced with poor weather. This should be an expedition-style parka. The parka is worn primarily in camp, at rest breaks, and on summit day (when it is of crucial importance). When sizing a parka, allow for several layers to be worn underneath; buy it large. The parka must have an insulated hood.
3 - 4 NON-COTTON HIKING SHIRT: Lightweight, synthetic shirt with either long or short sleeves. The long sleeve is preferred for sun/bug protection.
- Mountain Hardwear Wicked Lite Long Sleeve
Lower Body Guides' Pick
4 - 8 PAIR UNDERWEAR: Non-cotton briefs or boxers.
2 - 3 PAIR LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Light to medium weight synthetic bottoms.
CLIMBING PANT: Synthetic climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them alone on hot days, or in combination with the base layer on cold days. The thickness (insulation quality) should be based on how well you do in the cold and the temperatures expected on your climb.
HARD SHELL PANT: A pant made of breathable rain and wind-proof material will be needed. Full-length side zippers are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons in cold, inclement weather.
DOWN OR SYNTHETIC INSULATED PANT (OPTIONAL): A synthetic primaloft pant.
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.
- Mountain Hardwear Mesa Convertible Pant
CASUAL CAMP PANT: A pair of jeans or cotton pants. Great for wearing around camp or teahouses.
Feet Guides' Pick
MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS: 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.
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.
HIKING BOOTS: A pair of lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain.
4 - 8 PAIR SOCKS: Either wool or synthetic. Some people find liner socks useful for reducing friction.
GAITERS: A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots, will be needed for protection from snow, mud, and catching your crampons on loose clothing. These are not necessary with all-in-one boot / gaiter models.
Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick
3 - 4 SETS EXTRA BATTERIES FOR HEADLAMP: Lithium batteries perform best in cold environments.
MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.
10 - 12 CHEMICAL HAND WARMERS
2 WATER BOTTLES: One-quart water bottles are required. Wide mouth bottles are ideal since their opening is less likely to freeze.
2 INSULATED WATER BOTTLE COVERS: These help prevent liquids from freezing. It should completely cover the bottle.
AQUAMIRA: Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops.
5 GARBAGE BAGS (Large): We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.
2 SETS BATTERIES: For avalanche transceiver.
LUGGAGE LOCKS: For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.
WATCH with alarm and light: Altimeter models are popular.
SHIRTS: For hotel dinners and while traveling.
PEE BOTTLE: 1 to 1 1/2 quart size
Personal First Aid Kit
ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL
PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)
SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE
ANTIBIOTICS: Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.
ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.
TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain
ACETAZOLAMIDE: For Altitiude Illness
Utensils Guides' Pick
PASSPORT: Valid for six months beyond your return date.
COPY OF PASSPORT: The first two pages of your passport.
COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY
6 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS
COPY OF BIO-DATA FORM
READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL
iPOD or MP3 PLAYER
PERSONAL SOLAR CHARGER: A small solar panel is a great way to charge your iPod or camera.
RMI provides the following equipment for your program: group and personal tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, upper mountain community sleeping bags and pads, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, fixed ropes, shovels, route wands, radios for on-mountain communication, and comprehensive first aid and repair kits.
Six bottles of climbing oxygen will be provided. Additional bottles are available upon request.
Purchase travel insurance.
Return the Participant Information Form to the RMI Office.
Purchase airplane tickets.
Reserve rental equipment.
Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!
All meals and an assortment of snacks are provided during the expedition. The high quality of food that we eat in the mountains is often surprising for first time visitors to the Khumbu and it is rare to not look forward to a meal. The value of expert cooks and careful planning cannot be overstated for a multi-month high altitude expedition and we work diligently to keep our climbers fit and content.
Please list any special dietary needs on the Participant Information Form. The form must be returned to the RMI Office 120 days prior to the program departure date.
While the food in the mountains is excellent, it is nice to bring along a few of your favorite snacks and drink mixes to enjoy after a long day. We recommend that climbers bring 10 - 15 lbs. of their absolute favorite snacks and comfort foods to have throughout the expedition as a supplement to the foods that we provide.
On the trek, our lunches vary depending on the day. Some days we may stop at a teahouse and have a proper sit down lunch before continuing on to our lodge for the evening. On other days we may walk directly to our destination and have a late lunch there. As a result, you will want to have a few snack items with you everyday to fuel you up the trail. At Base Camp, we have hot, sit down lunches prepared by our cooks. While climbing, our lunches and snacks operate on a more flexible schedule as we continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner!
The importance of having snacks and lunch foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty. Last year, RMI brought over 1,000 lbs of food, drinks, and snacks for our climbers to choose from during the expedition. Our selection is such a hit that we even draw climbers from other expeditions hoping for some extra snacks!
Recommended snack items: dry salami, smoked salmon, Jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, Toffees, Life Savers), Gummy Bears, Sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
We realize that many Westerners are apprehensive about the quality of food when traveling in the Himalaya. Rest assured that all of our teahouses have been handpicked by our guides for their quality and cleanliness, and we work very closely with the teahouse owners and our Nepali mountain staff to keep our teams healthy and strong. As a result of our careful planning and excellent cooks, our teams rarely see the physical deterioration common to other teams.
During the trek, breakfasts consist of most typical choices. Eggs, toast, hash browns, corn flakes, muesli, oatmeal, pancakes and the local specialties of chapatti and Tibetan bread are all common menu items. Breakfast meats like sausage are also sometimes found. Breakfast is accompanied by juice, coffee, tea, cocoa and other hot drinks.
Lunch and dinner options in the teahouses include a variety of choices. Soups (commonly tomato, vegetable, noodle, or hearty "sherpa stew") and momos (Nepali dumplings) are excellent starters. Main courses like chicken and yak dishes, pastas, pizzas, and even fries are served alongside vegetable fried rice or noodles and Nepali specialties such as dal bhat (rice and lentils). Be sure to save room for a dessert such as apple pie, chocolate cake, or "snickers pie"! Soft drinks, beer, and wine are also widely available, although they are priced at a premium the higher you trek.
On the mountain, similar meals are served by our expedition cooks. Lunches and dinners include several courses, beginning with soup and ending with dessert. We are treated to pancakes, pizzas, burritos and fajitas, smoked salmon, yak burgers, chocolate cakes, and fresh baked cookies throughout the climb. Our cook's fantastic meals are guaranteed to impress you, not withstanding the fact that you are dining at over 17,000'.
This expedition is open to individuals in excellent physical condition who have a solid understanding of mountaineering skills. Additionally, we require that each team member have previous high altitude experience.
Please submit the RMI Registration Form prior to securing your reservation. Screening and final selection will be done on an individual basis after we have reviewed your RMI Registration Form and our veteran Himalayan Guides have spoken with you directly.
This trip is open to individuals who possess:
- Excellent physical fitness
- Previous experience at altitude (McKinley, Aconcagua, or other 7,000 or 8,000 meter peaks).
Formal mountaineering skills training with competency and proficiency with the following skills:
- Crampon use
- Team rope travel skills
- Knots & slings - prussik, butterfly, Münter, etc.
- Snow and ice anchors
- Crevasse rescue (from both the victim and rescuer perspectives)
- Fixed line travel with mechanical ascenders
- Ice axe self and team arrest, with and without a backpack
- Snow camp construction
Physical Fitness Training
Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.
- Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
- Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb.
- Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.
For Everest, you are preparing for:
- Steep climbing with a 40-50 lb load
- A 10-12+ hour summit day
- Mountaineering techniques which require core strength and flexibility
Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!
Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.
The key to climbing high is proper acclimatization. Our program follows a calculated ascent profile which allows time for your body to adjust to the altitude.
Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize as you ascend. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.
Finally, physical performance and acclimatization are also related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) are all key factors in an individual’s success on an expedition such as this.
RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support, both with regards to travel arrangements, evacuation policies and insurance options. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Even if you are a seasoned traveler capable of organizing your own travel arrangements, consider contacting her if you wish to avoid sifting through the variety of evacuation policies and insurance options on the market. Call (208) 788-2870 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cancellation Insurance, Medical Evacuation & Security Evacuation
We strongly encourage everyone to purchase Travel Insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, repatriation and more. The wise traveler, while perhaps able to walk away from the non-refundable cost of an adventure, recognizes that travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or when traveling. Note that many of the insurance options can be purchased under one policy but some coverage may only be available if purchased within 14 days of making your trip deposit or if purchased as an upgrade to an existing policy rather than as a stand-alone option.
Due to the remote nature of this particular program, we require everyone to purchase a medical evacuation policy with minimum coverage of $500,000.
Cancellation Insurance: Cancellation insurance offers protection of deposit and registration funds should you need to cancel from a program. This might be due to an injury during training, a personal illness, or it might be due to extenuating circumstances, such as family emergencies. Check with the insurance providers listed below for specific coverage details and options, including adventure/sports coverage.
Medical Evacuation: An illness or injury in a remote area could require a medical evacuation costing well over $100,000. For this reason, we require everyone to purchase a medical evacuation policy with minimum coverage of $500,000. Travel insurance providers (such as AIG Travel Guard and Travelex Insurance) typically offer reimbursement for medical evacuations. Additionally, crisis response companies (such as Global Rescue) can orchestrate an actual field rescue as necessary in medical, security or other evacuation situations, even from extremely remote areas. Check with the insurance providers listed below for specific coverage details and options, including details of what constitutes a medical vs. a non-medical emergency.
Security Evacuation: This policy offers crisis evacuation services in non-medical situations. Examples include evacuations from areas affected by natural disasters, war or conflict zones, terrorism, and other areas in which participant security is threatened.
For more information, please visit one of the websites below or contact your local travel agent.
|AIG Travel Guard||Erin Rountree|
|Travelex Insurance||Global Rescue|
Most climbers and trekkers fly to Kathmandu via Thailand, with an overnight in Bangkok. During your flight you will cross the International Date Line. Travel time is approximately three days. If you want to see the mountains as you fly into Kathmandu, make sure you sit on the right-hand side of the plane.
A valid passport is required for entering Nepal. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected date of return. U.S. passport holders can stay up to 90 days without special visas.
We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a back up. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.
Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as passport and visa requirements with the U.S. Department of State.
Visas and Airport Arrival
Nepal: All foreigners (except Indian Nationals) require visas, which can be obtained in advance or upon arrival with one passport photo and payment in cash (U.S. Dollars).
When you arrive at Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport go to the visa counter for visitors without a visa. Debarkation forms and visa application forms are both available in the arrivals hall as well as upon your incoming flight. You will need 1 passport photo for your visa application.
Outside the arrivals hall there will be a large group of taxi drivers and agents from many hotels and travel companies. Look for a sign with the name Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.
Immuniziations / Travel Medicine
For the most updated information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.
Current airport tax is Nepalese Rupees 1,695 per person when flying back to Thailand or other non SAARC Countries (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). The departure tax in Kathmandu is to be paid at a special bank counter located inside the airport terminal and prior to checking in to the flight. The tax is dependent on your out-bound flight's destination and may change.
Nepal: Nepal is one of the world's richest countries in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and altitudinal variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60 meter above sea level to the highest point on earth, Mount Everest at 8,848 meters, all within a distance of 150 km resulting into climatic conditions from Sub-tropical to Arctic.
Population: 23.1 million
Altitude: 60 meters from sea level to highest 8,848 meters.
Language: Nepali is the national language. English is widely understood and spoken within the tourism industry as well.
Political System: Multi-party Democracy.
Although it is not expected that American tourists dress formally in Nepal, it is expected that they dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing is suggested along with comfortable shoes.
Nepal: The official currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). A recent exchange rate was about 76 NPR to the U.S. Dollar. In Nepal you are almost always required to pay for goods or services with the Nepalese Rupee. It is recommended that you change to Nepalese Rupees only as much money as you think you may spend as local currencies cannot be removed from the country or reconverted easily.
American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in tourist shops, hotels, restaurants and agencies. You will find a large number of ATMs in Kathmandu and using ATMs is a far easier method of obtaining cash. Traveler's checks are a good backup and the safest way to carry money, but are not easily cashed and usually have a much lower exchange rate. If you are planning to use traveler's checks, we recommend that you buy America Express as they are most widely recognized and accepted.
While a few teahouses and bakeries in the Khumbu do accept credit cards, they charge a very high commission. Plan on bringing cash for any purchases you will make while in the mountains.
Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets and thieves in any area which caters to tourists.
Local waiters, drivers, and other service personnel expect to be tipped. Ten to fifteen percent is standard. Restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee to bills in which case no further tip is required. It is customary to tip guides and porters on treks and climbs. Elsewhere it is not customary to tip, but gratuities are always appreciated.
Mountain Staff Tip Pool (we recommend that each climber contribute $750).
Our guides work hard to ensure your well being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program.
Travelers often suffer from upset stomachs when in Nepal. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.
- Hygiene - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using any bathroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
- Water - The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe dry excess moisture in drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
- Food - If you can cook it, boil it, or peel it; you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.
Nepal is very photogenic and the photos you take will be priceless. Ask for permission before photographing individuals, particularly indigenous people. Many of the locals are used to posing for photographs. If in doubt, either ask or refrain. Don't photograph any government or military property or persons; this includes the airport.
Domestic consumption of electricity in Kathmandu normally comes to 220 Volts/50 cycles. It is advisable to carry voltage converters and plug adapters with you while traveling. Voltage converters and plug adapters are easily accessible at shopping malls in the cities of Nepal and the U.S.
Most teahouses and lodges will charge your electronics for a small fee. Remember to bring any necessary adapters on the trek with you if you plan on needing to recharge any batteries. At Base Camp RMI is equipped with a solar electricity system that can be used to charge batteries, however most climbers bring their own personal solar panel or charging system to the mountain as sunlight can be unreliable and other electronics may occupy the chargers.
Travel Advisories / Warnings
Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as passport and visa requirements with the US Department of State.
There are a number of books on travel health including: Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa and Latin America by Dirk Schroeder. Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Fodor's and Frommers are all good travel guides. Information and updates can be found on the website for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, which provides medical information for travelers as well as the consular information.
A deposit of $20,000 per person secures your reservation. Final payment is due 120 days prior to the start of your program. Final payments may be made via check or wire transfer only. Trips departing within 120 days must be paid in full at the time of reservation.
We will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment is due. If your final payment is not received within 120 days of the program your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited.
Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, there will be no refunds for cancellations.
Cancellation Insurance: We strongly suggest that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.
Included are the following:
- RMI Leadership
- Ground transportation to and from the airports (international & domestic) in Kathmandu
- Round-trip flight to Lukla
- All group camping supplies such as mountain tents, stoves, fuel, cooking tent, dining tent, shower tent and storage tent.
- All meals as stated in the itinerary
- Hotels with breakfast in Kathmandu for stated itinerary at beginning of expedition (2 nights)
- Park fees and climbing permit fees
- Liaison and Sirdar officers
- Sherpa support
- Camp staff and cooking staff
- Radio communications, including hand held radio for each team member
- Power supply at Base Camp
- Porter support
- Yaks support
- Hyperbaric bag and emergency medical oxygen
- Climbing oxygen and Top Out Mask
- Medical consultation at the Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic
- A single tent at Base Camp with a foam trekking mattress
- High-altitude camp equipment and supplies, and Sherpa support on summit day
- Climbing Sherpa will establish camps, carry group equipment (including sleeping bags and pads), establish the route, etc
- Weather forecasting
Not included are the following:
- International round-trip air fare and travel expenses to/from Kathmandu
- Hotels in Kathmandu for stated itinerary at end of expedition
- 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
- Mountain Staff Tip Pool (we recommend that each climber contribute $750)
- Tips for RMI Guides
- Rescue costs or costs associated with early departure from the expedition
- Helicopter or charter flight
- Personal communications (Satellite phone, phone, fax, email)
- Personal expenses, room charges and laundry
- Personal drinks and beverages
- Showers while trekking
- Battery re-charging while trekking
- International departure taxes
- Nepal Custom Duties
- Additional personal Sherpa support is available, but must be arranged before the expedition.
- Costs incurred as a result of delays or events beyond the control of RMI
- 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.
* Single Travelers: If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate. If you wish to stay alone, a supplemental fee will be charged for a single room. 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.
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.
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.
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.