Climb Details

Cost:
Deposit:
Length:
Difficulty:
Type:

$2850
$750
11 day(s)
Level 3 difficulty 
Skills

Availability



Upcoming Climbs

May 4, 2014 - HOLD A SPOT

Guide(s):

Leon Davis, Eric Frank

May 17, 2014 - FULL

Guide(s):

Leon Davis, Mike King, Nick Brown

May 14, 2015 - HOLD A SPOT

"Lifetime experience. Got totally hooked on mountaineering. Only regret is that I didn't do this much earlier! Thanks!"

— Verena B. | Read More Testimonials

Spend over a week in some of the most beautiful mountains on the North American continent - the Alaska Range;  becoming comfortable navigating it's intricate crevasse fields, exposed ridges, and managing the elements of the mountains on RMI's Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition. Highlights Include:

  • Fly in a ski plane to Denali's Base Camp on the massive Kahiltna Glacier, in the heart of North America's highest peaks.
  • Become well versed in the skills of expedition climbing in the best classroom possible: the mountains of the Alaska Range.
  • Enjoy our exceptional 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio during the course, benefiting from the experience, expertise, and tutelage of RMI's renowned guides.
  • Put your new skills to test on a summit climb of Kahiltna Dome, rising to an elevation of 12,525’ above Kahiltna Glacier.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Kahiltna DomeAlaska Mountaineering Seminar Video

RMI's Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition takes place on one of the largest glaciers in Denali National Park, the Kahiltna Glacier.The incredible variety of terrain is ideally suited for learning expedition climbing skills, and offers numerous moderate and enjoyable climbs. Our expedition course has been designed to prepare you for guided ascents of McKinley and Aconcagua, and to enable you to lead your own adventures on other peaks back home. Ice climbing, glacier travel and navigation, expedition techniques and preparation, and crevasse rescue are some of the skills introduced and practiced during the course. In addition, camp construction, sled hauling and fixed-line travel are Denali-specific skills you will master.  An ascent of 12,525’ Kahiltna Dome will provide invaluable practical experience.

RMI is proud to offer a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio on our Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition. Our experienced guides offer extensive personal instruction through the course, from the teaching of fundamental climbing knots to instruction and guidance during the climbs. Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. is committed to a safe, fun, and educational program and these goals are best achieved with a low student to guide ratio. While less expensive instructional programs in Alaska exist, none offer the instruction, quality, and experience of RMI.

Successful completion of the Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition in combination with climbing experience on Rainier or other glaciated peaks will make you eligible for any of our expeditions on Denali and provides you with good experience for other glaciated peaks around the world. 

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 35 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.

Kahiltna Base Camp

With over 35 years of experience of guiding on Mt. McKinley alone, RMI's legacy of instruction, safety, and success in the Alaska Range is unmatched. Our Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition is designed from years of experience guiding climbers on North America's highest mountain with the goal of providing participants with all of the necessary skills to go on to safely, confidently, and successfully scale Denali and the world's other greatest peaks. 

SAFETY

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful program without compromising safety. Our climber-to-guide ratio is 3:1 and provides an unusual degree of personal service from RMI's guides and increases our margin of oversight and safety on the mountain.

"It was awesome. Perfect guides and a very enthusiastic team. It was a lifetime experience for me. Thank you very much."
— Yury C.

Our program is fully equipped with comprehensive medical kits and communication equipment. Our guides and staff are highly trained in emergency mountain medicine and work to maintain our strict standards of safety, keeping close dialogue with participants throughout the program. 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 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. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

NPS Authorized ConcessionerAuthorized Concessioner

RMI Expeditions is an authorized concessioner of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition 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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DUFFEL BAG: A 100+ liter bag made of tough material with rugged zippers. This duffel will be used on the mountain to transport gear in your sled.


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BACKPACK: A 90+ liter pack is the recommended size for this climb.   Your pack  must be large enough for your layers, climbing gear, and food, as well as a portion of your tent and group load (kitchen equipment). A separate summit pack isn't necessary.


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SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated to 0° F. Either goose down or synthetic, with ample room for movement. Most guides prefer down, because it is lightweight and compactable. A waterproof bag is superb, but not mandatory.
The temperature rating system for sleeping bags is arbitrary and is not a guarantee of warmth. Base your selection on how well you do in the cold. If you tend to sleep on the cold side, choose a bag rated on the lower end of the temperature range.


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SLEEPING PAD - CLOSED FOAM: A second full-length or 3/4 length closed cell foam pad. This pad is used in combination with the first sleeping pad.


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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6 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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CRAMPONS: The 10 to 12 point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. Rigid frame crampons designed for technical ice climbing are not recommended.


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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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RESCUE PULLEY (OPTIONAL): Reasonably lightweight.

 
 
SMC CR Pulley

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


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20' of nylon accessory cord for miscellaneous lashing.


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24 ' PERLON CORD: 7 mm cordelette in one continuous length.


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Three bungee cords (approximately 12” – 18” each).


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SNOWSHOES: Select a short to medium length model of snowshoe. The 22" model and the optional heel lift work well for most climbers. Team members are more often 'drafting' as opposed to actually breaking trail, so it is not necessary to have a longer pair. The 'shoes should have an attached claw or crampon for better purchase. Miles of roped glacier travel will be logged wearing snowshoes. It is recommended to spend some time walking in them prior to the trip.


Head Guides' Pick

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WARM HAT: Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.


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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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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.


HEADLAMP IS NOT REQUIRED FOR THIS TRIP


Hands

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


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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.


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


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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.


Feet Guides' Pick

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MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS: Expedition-style double boot, with high altitude expedition-style inner boot is mandatory.


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OVERBOOTS (OPTIONAL): Expedition overboots add significant warmth, especially at high altitude. All-in-one mountaineering boots do not need the added insulation of overboots.


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BOOTIES: Goose down or synthetic fill. Booties can be worn inside of the overboots while walking around camp, which allows an opportunity to dry out inner boots.


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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 PAIR OF 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 - 3 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required.


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2 - 3 INSULATED WATER BOTTLE COVERS: These help prevent freezing. It should completely cover the bottle.


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


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ALKALINE BATTERIES: For avalanche transceiver.


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CAMERA


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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TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain


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ACETAZOLAMIDE: For Altitude Illness


Utensils Guides' Pick

Optional Items

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SLEEPING MASK


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READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL


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iPOD or MP3 PLAYER


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MOSQUITO REPELLENT: For Talkeetna.


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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Arrange Lodging in Talkeetna.


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Purchase airplane tickets.


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Reserve rental equipment.


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Arrange Transportation to Talkeetna.


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Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, shovels, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, and avalanche probes.

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a satellite phone for emergency contact.

Each member will have a sled for use during the program. Sleds aid in transporting loads between camps on the lower mountain.