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Illimani and Huayna Potosi

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    16 days
    Level 3

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Illimani and Huayna Potosi

Illimani and Huayna Potosi

Chock full of high altitude peaks of all difficulties, Bolivia's Cordillera Real is the perfect expedition for the experienced high altitude climber, as well as an excellent training ground for the world's greater ranges. The imposing peaks of Huayna Potosi (19,979') and Illimani (21,122') offer both challenge and beauty in a unique setting.


  • Climb multiple expedition style peaks in a single trip.
  • A mini expedition to the Condoriri Group is included in the itinerary to train specifically for higher elevations and Bolivia's steep terrain.
  • Benefit from first class service including camp cooks, porters, mules, and refugios to keep packs light and the climbing enjoyable.
  • Enjoy our exceptional 2 to 1 climber to guide ratio during the expedition benefitting from the experience, expertise, and tutelage of RMI's renowned guides.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Our trip begins in the high altitude city of La Paz. Tucked into a bowl beneath Bolivia's Altiplano and surrounded by enormous peaks, La Paz is a seamless mix of ancient Incan culture and more modern Latin influences. With the city center at nearly 12,000 feet, our acclimatization routine begins with our first step out of the airport.

After a day playing tourist in La Paz and overcoming jet lag, we venture overland to the famous Lake Titicaca and visit Isla del Sol. With a few days of acclimatization under our belts, we continue on to the Condoriri group to train and attempt our first peak.

The two main objectives of the trip, Huayna Potosi (19,974') and Illimani (21,122'), offer excellent alpine climbing for experienced climbers looking to push themselves.

Both climbs involve steep slopes and prior knowledge of roped travel, crampon techniques, ice axe arrest and steep climbing technique is required. A review of these mountaineering techniques is built into the itinerary in the Condoriri Group. This climb is ideal for alpinists looking to build additional climbing skills, expose themselves to technical terrain at high elevation, and take part in a culturally rich international climbing expedition.



RMI 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 Denali and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to create the best possible trips and we work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader. Our comprehensive trip preparation takes care of the details for you, from hotels to airport transfers, so that you can focus on preparing for the climb instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.

Our Cordillera Real expedition is led by RMI's top guides, who bring with them years of climbing experience on mountains all over the world, from the Andes to the Alaska Range to the Himalayas. 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.

Our Cordillera Real expedition maintains a 2:1 climber to guide ratio to provide the important individual attention needed during these demanding climbs.

We use RMI's own climbing equipment brought from the U.S., ensuring that our expedition standards of safety, quality, and reliability are met. We've chosen our hotels and meals to keep our team comfortable, happy, and healthy throughout the climb. We use private vehicles to travel to the mountains, minimizing our time spent on the road and allowing us safer travel. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for 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. RMI's experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. We apply the same strict standards of safety we bring to the Alaska and the Himalayas to our climbs in Bolivia. Careful planning, precise ascent profiles, daily weather forecasts, and diligent attention are taken as we venture to high altitudes. Comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio and satellite communication equipment are carried with the team throughout the trip.

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.

  • Upcoming Climbs

      • May 25, 2018 Guide: Eric Frank Guide: Andy Bond
      • Full
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  • Price
    16 days
    Level 3
Table of Contents
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Day 1


Depart U.S.A. Travel to La Paz, Bolivia (LPB) typically takes 8 - 16 hours from the U.S. depending on your departure city, available connections, and flight times.

Day 2

ARRIVE & EXPLORE LA PAZ  •  11,942' | 3,640m

Upon arrival in La Paz, a transfer will be arranged to our hotel. We have some time to relax before we explore La Paz, visiting such attractions as the Witches Market (Mercado de Brujas) and the Mira Mira City Overlook. We will have an evening orientation meeting and our first group dinner. Overnight in La Paz. (D)

Day 3

COPACABANA  •  12,600' | 3,840m

An early morning bus ride brings us to the resort town of Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest lake. We will take time to explore the city, then take a hike in the surrounding hills to reach new altitudes and take photos of the lake. Overnight in Copacabana. (B, L, D)

Day 4

ISLA DEL SOL  •  12,800' | 3,901m

After eating a lunch of freshly caught lake trout, we will charter a hydrofoil boat to Isla del Sol. The island contains many ruins from the era of the Inca, which we will explore as we hike around the area. Overnight in Copacabana. (B, L, D)

Day 5

TAMBO CAMP  •  14,100' | 4,298m

Turning our attention to the mountains, we head to the Condoriri Group and begin trekking into our base camp. We stop for the night at Tambo Camp to enjoy the spectacular scenery and looming mountains. (B, L, D)

Day 6

CONDORIRI BASE CAMP  •  15,200' | 4,633m

Once we have established our base camp, we venture to the toe of the nearest glacier to review basic mountaineering techniques. (B, L, D)

Day 7

CONDORIRI BASE CAMP  •  15,200' | 4,633m

We return to the glacier for more advanced techniques and training for our specific climbs. We return to camp in the early afternoon in anticipation of an early bedtime and alpine start. (B, L, D)

Day 8

CONDORIRI GROUP SUMMIT  •  11,942' | 3,640m

A middle of the night launch give us the chance to approach our first summit around day break. After descending, we break down camp and drive to Huayna Potosi Base Camp. Overnight at Refugio Casa Blanca. (B, L, D)

Day 9

REFUGIO CASA BLANCA  •  15,485' | 4,720m

We take a casual morning to recover from our exertion the day before. From our camp, we hike to the toe of the nearby glacier to work on some advanced climbing skills. We return to Refugio Casa Blanca. (B, L, D)

Day 10

REFUGIO LAS ROCAS  •  16,830' | 5,130m

Our team ascends to high camp on Huayna Potosi. The short 2 - 3 hour hike leaves us plenty of time to talk through the logistics of the next day and our first major summit attempt. (B, L, D)

Day 11

HUAYNA POTOSI SUMMIT DAY (19,974')  •  11,942' | 3,640m

We contour around the flanks of Huayna Potosi, overcoming sections of steep ice and rock on our way to a spectacular summit vista. We return to La Paz in the evening and enjoy an evening in town. (B, L)

Day 12

ILLIMANI BASE CAMP  •  15,454' | 4,710M

We rise early in the morning and load our gear into 4x4's to approach Illimani. After traversing stunning mountain roads, we arrive in Pinaya where we hire mules to carry our gear to base camp. (B, L, D).

Day 13

NIDO DE CONDORES  •  17,997' | 5,485M

After enjoying beautiful views of La Paz at night from our base camp, we pack up and climb to our high camp at the Condor's Nest (Nido de Condores). This high desolate perch affords us unparalleled views of the climbing route and breathtaking valleys below. (B, L, D)

Day 14

ILLIMANI SUMMIT DAY (21,122')  •  11,942' | 3,640M

Gentle ridge walking and steep exposed faces lead us to the broad summit of the Illimani. Round trip to the summit and back to camp should take 10 - 12 hours. We continue our descent to Base Camp and spend our last night in the mountains . (B, L, D)

Day 15

RETURN to LA PAZ  •  11,942' | 3,640M

After a relaxing breakfast, we pack up camp, descend to the trail head and make the drive back to La Paz. We will end the day with our team celebration dinner. Overnight in La Paz. (B, L)

Day 16


We transfer to the airport for morning flights back to the U.S. (B)

Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.



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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. 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. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to etravel@cox.net.

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance.

  • Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason. Most travel insurance companies provide an option to include coverage that allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”, but the initial policy must be purchased within 15 days of placing your deposit for the program.
  • In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered.
  • Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.

TripAssureWe have partnered with TripAssure, a Trip Mate brand, to provide travel insurance for our climbers. TripAssure has created the Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs.

TripAssure's Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to Cancel for Any Reason. In order to receive Cancel for Any Reason coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with RMI. We recommend that you carefully read the Plan Document that applies to your purchase.

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories / warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

Getting There

Several U.S. airlines offer daily flights to La Paz, Bolivia (LPB).

Flights departing Bolivia may be booked for the morning of Day 16.

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required when traveling to Bolivia. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected return date. Arrive with a 2x2" passport photo, black and white copy of your passport, and the $160 visa fee. New, crisp bills and exact change are necessary.

We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Bolivia Visa

A visa is required for travel and can be purchased upon your arrival in La Paz. The price for the visa is $160. You must also have a hotel reservation confirmation or a letter of invitation. This document will be provided to your departure. They will provide you with an entrance permit adequate for your stay. Please check the date to ensure it covers your complete stay in Bolivia.

You may also register in advance for a Bolivian Visa by completing the application and sending your passport along with additional materials to the Embassy of Bolivia. Please visit the Embassy website for more information.

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival at the La Paz airport please collect your baggage and proceed to the arrivals area. The guide will meet you and arrange transfer to our hotel.

In-Country Transportation

The provided ground transportation in Bolivia as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.

Immunizations & Travel Medicine

For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Traveler's Health

Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. 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 the restroom. 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 excess moisture from 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 it is cooked, boiled, or can be peeled, 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.

Medical Emergencies

Excellent care for minor illnesses and injuries is readily available. In the event of more serious illnesses or injuries, we recommend transport to any of the Level 1 care centers in La Paz.

Bolivia Country Facts

Bolivia, in western-central South America, is a land-locked country that borders Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast and Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the northwest. One-third of Bolivia is made up of the Andes mountain range, while the Eastern Lowlands reach into the Amazon basin.

Bolivia is a democratic republic and is a developing economy with a poverty level near 53%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and manufacturing goods. Bolivia is rich in minerals, particularly tin.

Bolivia is a multi-ethnic, multicultural country. Amerindians, Mestizos, Europeans, Asians, and Africans make up significant portions of the populations, however traditions of racial and social segregation, introduced by spanish colonialism, have carried on in the modern day. Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language, though 36 indigenous languages have official status as well.

Bolivia's constitutional capital is located in the city of Sucre, relatively remote as an economic center, and consequently the seat of govenment resides in La Paz. La Paz is the third largest city in Bolivia, and sits in a bowl surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano. The city of La Paz has a population just less than 900,000 residents (as of 2008), but with the nearby cities of El Alto (the location of the airport) and Viacha, is a metropolitan center witha  population of 2.3 million, making it the largest urban center in Bolivia.

The mountainous regions of Bolivia were part of the Incan Empire, with the northern and eastern lowlands inhabited by independant tribes. The spanish conquistadors arrived from Cuzco and Asuncion in Peru in the 16th century, beginning a period of colonization in which Bolivia was known as Upper Peru. Much of Spain's empire was built on the silver extracted from Bolivian mines. 1809 marked the first call for independance the beginning of a 16 year war led by Simon Bolivar which resulted in the formation of the republic. Frequent unrest and wars with its neighbors, as well as a series of miliatary dictatorships in the 20th century that were propped up by the American government, have led to periods of turmoil in Bolivia. In 2005, President Evo Morales and his socialist party were elected with an absolute majority in democratic elections, and he was reelected in 2009. He remains the current president.


The weather in the altiplano region of Bolivia varies drastically, with day-time temperatures reaching the mid seventies and night time temperatures dropping to just above freezing. Snow and nightly frosts occur during every month of the year. We recommend bringing a variety of clothing, and having a down jacket on the airplane, as many flights arrive at night, when termpatures can be quite cold. For current weather conditions, check Weather Underground.

Cultural Etiquette

The people of Bolivia are generally reserved. Do not be surprised if people in the street to not greet you with a smile. Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing is suggested along with comfortable shoes. Showing expensive cameras, watches, jewelry, etc. is considered unseemly and may attract unwanted attention.

When entering a shop or home, politely use a greeting such as buenos días (good day), buenas tardes (good afternoon), buenas noches (good night). Similarly, upon leaving, even if you've had only minimal contact, say adios (goodbye) or hasta luego (see you later).

On city streets, children selling small items and shining shoes can be quite persistent. Some ask directly for money. To keep from being hassled, a polite but firm "No, gracias" is generally sufficient.

It is expected that you engage in some degree of bargaining for market or street purchases. This is fun, and should be taken lightly.


Electricity in Bolivia is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz. Carry a universal convertor and plug adaptor travel kit.


Bolivia's official currency is the boliviano (BOL). Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure. 

We suggest bringing $500 - $700 total for personal spending money including restaurant meals, drinks, pocket money, and the Support Staff Tip Pool.

The airport exchange counters offer a good rate for changing money, and charge a very modest ($1.50) exchange fee. It is relatively easy to change BOL to back to USD as well. Credit cards are not widely accepted.

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.


Everyone approaches tipping a little differently. Whether or not a person tips, and how much, is completely dependent upon the individual; here are some suggested tipping guidelines for your trip.

Local waiters, drivers, and other service personnel expect to be tipped. Ten to fifteen percent is standard. Some restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee to bills in which case, no further tip is required.

Support Staff Tip Pool: We recommend that each climber contribute $40 to the Tip Pool. This is collected at the beginning of the trip and will cover group tips for all our support and mountain staff throughout the program.

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. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.


Fodor's and other travel service websites are readily available and describe Bolivia travel and facts.

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This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition with previous climbing experience. Prior knowledge and experience with rope travel, the use of crampons, and ice axe arrest is required. It is a great first trip to altitudes above 15,000'.

Our experience shows that individuals perform better and enjoy the adventure more if they have a high degree of fitness and comfort with basic mountaineering skills. This program’s high altitude and snowy terrain contribute to make this a very worthwhile challenge.

Qualifying Programs

Recommended climbing experiences prior to the Cordillera Real Expedition include:

  • Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life
    And Then Go
    Climb A Mountain

    Create A Fitness And Training Program

    Go To Fitness Resources

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 the Cordillera Real Expedition, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking and climbing with a 20-25 lb load
  • 10+ hour summit days
  • Mountaineering techniques requiring 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.

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What You’ll Need

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 when they use code RMI2018 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

  • Use Code RMI2018
    To receive 10% off
    All New Equipment

Shop Your Equipment List Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment List

    • ICE AXE

      The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following formula for this climb: up to 5'8", use a 55-60 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 60-65 cm axe; and taller, use a 65-70 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should be a few inches below your knee. 


      12 point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. We highly recommend anti-bot plates to prevent snow from balling up underfoot. Rigid frame crampons designed for technical ice climbing are not recommended.


      One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.


      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.


      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.

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


      Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.

    • 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.


      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.

    • 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.


      Insulated double boots are the preferred choice. They provide the best insulation as well as a more rigid sole for kicking steps and holding crampons. Leather mountaineering boots that have completely rigid soles are also adequate, but they will need to be insulated and may still result in cold feet on summit days. Bring one pair of chemical foot warmers if you are using the leather mountaineering boots.


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


      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • 2 - 3 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE)

      We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.


      For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.

    • CAMERA
    • 4 SHIRTS

      For hotel dinners and while traveling.


      Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.

    • TYLENOL #3

      Tylenol 3 for pain


      For Altitude Illness

    • iPOD

      Valid for six months beyond your return date.


      The first two pages of your passport.

    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!

Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: huts, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes, climbing anchors,  avalanche probes, shovels, and blue bags (for solid waste disposal).

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.

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Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $1,500 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments $2,500 or less may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer. Deposit payments over $2,500 must be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program. We will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment due date. If your balance payment is not received within 90 days prior to the start of your program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 90 days must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer only.


$1,000 of the $1,500 per person deposit is non-refundable. Written notification is required for all cancellations.

Once RMI receives written notification of cancellation, the following apply:

  • If you cancel 90 or more days before the start of your program, the program fees will be refunded less $1,000 per person.
  • If you cancel less than 90 days before the start of your program, no refunds will be issued.

Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

Cancellation Insurance: We strongly suggest that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.

Land Cost


  • RMI Leadership
  • Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
  • All group transportation in country as indicated in the itinerary
  • All group cooking, trekking, camping, and climbing equipment


  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Excess baggage fees and departure taxes
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Bottled water and personal drinks
  • Support Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $40 per person)
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
  • Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport for outbound flight
  • Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy.  A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance.

Risk Management

Managing risk 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.

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:

  • 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.

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

A minor climber must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either climber must descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Summit Attempt

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.

General Policies

Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.

RMI's program schedule 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, currency fluctuations, changes in outfitting costs, government instability, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to 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).

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.

The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.

RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.

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