Log In

Need an RMI account? Create an account

Register With Us

Already have an account?

*required fields

The password must meet the following criteria:

  • At least 8 characters
  • At least 1 lowercase letter
  • At least 1 uppercase letter
  • At least 1 number
  • At least 1 symbol (allowed symbols: !?@#$%^&/*()[]{}><,.+-=;)

Keep up to date with information about our latest climbs by joining our mailing list. Sign up and we'll keep you informed about new adventures, special offers, competitions, and news.
Privacy Policy


Check Availability

RMI Logo
Mount Baker or Mount Rainier?

Mount Baker or Mount Rainier?

When embarking on your mountaineering journey, choosing where to start can be daunting. Mount Baker and Mount Rainier both present excellent options for beginners, with Mount Rainier posing the greater physical and technical challenges of the two. Here are some key highlights and differences to help you determine what suits you best.

Regardless of where you decide to begin your mountaineering journey, fitness and training are paramount. Both Mount Baker and Mount Rainier demand endurance, with summit days spanning 10-12 hours and 13-15 hours respectively, from high camp to summit and back to the trailhead. 

For more information on training please check out our Fitness and Training page.

Mount Baker

For those climbers who are unsure about tackling a mountain of Rainier’s difficulty, we recommend starting on Mt. Baker. Weather, route conditions, and individual endurance are more manageable here. Like Rainier, Baker features deep glaciers, icefalls, and crevasses, necessitating ropes, ice axes, crampons, and proper training for safe navigation. The main difference lies in elevation—standing atop Baker puts you roughly at Rainier's high camp elevation. Dealing with Baker's altitude of 10,781 feet is notably easier than Rainier's 14,410 feet.

Our Mount Baker programs include 4–5-hour approach hikes and tent camping, providing practical backcountry knowledge and experience. If you have fitness or terrain concerns regarding Rainier, consider climbing Baker first. Climbers with prior similar terrain experience often find Rainier's challenges more manageable. 

The Easton Glacier Climb of Mt. Baker is a 3-day program that includes all the training you need to make a fun and adventuroues summit attempt.

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Baker: Coleman- Deming is a 6-day program that includes a summit attempt and the training to take on glaciated peaks like Mt. Rainier and Denali.

Mount Rainier

As the tallest mountain in Washington and the most glaciated peak in the lower 48 states, Mt. Rainier is an obvious attraction for adventure enthusiasts. Mt. Rainier has long served as the training ground for taller and more technical climbs around the world.

In addition to being considered one of the hardest endurance climbs, Mt. Rainier is a more technical climb than Mt. Baker, with bigger terrain features, slopes that are steeper on average, crevasses that require ladders in later season, and long non-technical but still arduous rocky sections.

Our Mt. Rainier programs feature an afternoon or day-long orientation, an 8-hour Snow School, and a 5-hour approach to our high camps. The Four Day Climb involves gaining 9,000’ vertical feet and covering 18 miles round trip during the two days taken for the summit attempt. Programs which go through Camp Muir spend the night in our climber’s hut at 10,000’. Programs elsewhere on the mountain make use of tents.

RMI has a strong track record of guiding first-time climbers on Rainier, providing comprehensive training before summit attempts. If you're a fit athlete who relishes endurance challenges, Rainier could be a great first time climb for you. The Mt. Rainier – Four Day Climb program includes all necessary training for a successful summit attempt.

The Expedition Skills Seminar – Paradise is a 6-day program with a summit attempt and training for independent climbs like Baker or guided climbs like Denali.

Ultimately, whether Baker or Rainier, RMI ensures you're equipped and trained for a rewarding climb.

Back to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Image of Mt Rainier
    *required fields
    • Keep up to date with information about our latest climbs by joining our mailing list. Sign up and we'll keep you informed about new adventures, special offers, competitions, and news.
      privacy policy

Thank you for subscribing to the RMI Expeditions Newsletter!

While you're at it, you can sign up some of our other mailings as well:

Please choose the programs you'd like updates on: