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Alaska Expedition Seminar

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  • Show Trip Info

    $4800 *
    11 days
    Level 3

    *Price includes round-trip transfer to Talkeetna, two nights lodging in Talkeetna, bush pilot, & Park Entrance Fee.


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Alaska Expedition Seminar

Alaska Expedition Seminar

Spend nine days on the flanks of Denali navigating intricate crevasse fields of the Kahiltna Glacier, climbing on exposed ridges, and managing the elements of the Alaska Range.


  • Fly in a ski plane to Denali's Base Camp on the massive Kahiltna Glacier, surrounded by 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.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Alaska Mountaineering Seminar
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar
Alaska Mountaineering Seminar

RMI's Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition takes place on one of the largest glaciers in Denali National Park & Preserve, 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 Denali 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.

RMI is proud to offer a climber-to-guide ratio of 3:1 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 climber 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. 


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 Denali 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.

With over 40 years of experience of guiding on Denali 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 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.

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.

Climate Change

OffsettersAll of our climbs in Denali National Park and Preserve are 100% carbon neutral. We have partnered with Offsetters, Canada's leading carbon management solutions provider, to purchase offsets for our greenhouse gas emissions. Their projects are verified and validated by third parties to ensure that the emission reductions are real, additional, and permanent, so we know that our contribution is making a real difference.

By supporting this project, we prevent the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions that were generated by our operations from being emitted somewhere else. These offsets allow us to achieve our goal of sustainability and further promote responsible environmental practices.

Climber Reviews

Filter By
Loved the interaction with the guides- all 3 were so great, I can't stress enough how good each of them was, the were a very cohesive team, the care and concern for us was amazing. I also enjoyed the entire group of climbers, we all got along graet.
Tim C.

Incredible competence, fitness, and teaching/social skills of the guides. I am still in shock that people this young have better teaching skills than the vast majority of the teachers I have dealt with between elementary school and grad school.
Geza K.

The mountain scenery was amazing.
Mark K.

The gorgeous Alaska terrain, the learning experiences, and the opportunity to meet new people.
Mogens K.

The team and guides. Very well organized and great instruction. The trip gave me a much better feel for what a Denali Expedition would involve.
Randall D.

It was a fantastic learning experience, with knowledgeable and frankly fun guides.
Ben R.

I enjoyed learning and just being in the Alaskan range... Enjoying the beauty surrounding us with professional guides and an amazing group truly made this trip an amazing experience.
Aracely (Sally) M.

The guides really set a professional, safe, low key but motivating and enjoyable tone for the whole trip. The chance to learn mountaineering skills when your office is Crosson, Foraker, Hunter, Denali, Francis...is unmatched. Being flown onto the Kahiltna Glacier by a badass Alaskan bush pilot, landing on skis, and living in the Alaska Range for 9 days was unbeatable. I still remember the moment of awe and fear and stoke when we had quickly unloaded all our gear off the planes and they took off into the distance, leaving us behind for what has turned out to be one of the most memorable trips we've ever taken!
Janet L.

While being able to do Denali may not be feasible given my size/weight, with the seminar one can have a similar experience. The guides were superb, it seems that I say that every trip that I take, and I truly appreciate the attention to detail (i.e. the bathroom privacy stakes/construction).
Vivian M.

All three guides were wonderful people and were great to learn from. The group came together as a team which was fun to be a part of. I personally enjoyed the opportunity to climb Radio Tower.
John G.

My most memorable thing was not what but it was who. The people made the trip.
John N.

What a great group of people, guides and climbers both! I am certain that I've gained some new friends for life from amongst the group, and we always had very interesting things to discuss. Clearly, RMI attracts a high-quality client base, and it was a pleasure to work with everyone.
William K.

All of the opportunities to lean and improve my mountaineering skills.
Michael C.

The entire trip was an adventure - every minute! No one high point
David B.

The entire experience really. It was my first trip of this type, and I had very high expectations. The trip exceeded my expectations on nearly all levels. Leon, Garrett, and Bridget were extremely supportive, patient, and anxious to share their knowledge with us. Our group got along extremely cohesively, and there was a great vibe throughout the whole trip. I learned a ton in a short period of time, and had a great time doing it.
James J.

I had an absolute blast on this trip! I got to meet and get to know some truly inspiring, badass people and learned so much. I can honestly say that before this trip I couldn't tie a knot to save my life and now I can proudly say I know how to tie various knots and hitches. In addition to learning lots of new technical skills, I gained a greater understanding of certain pieces of equipment, and got a good feel for what an actual Denali expedition would feel like even at it's worst with bad weather and getting stuck at camp. I'm especially glad I got to learn how to keep myself entertained during those periods. The guides were amazing, their knowledge was vast and deep and they could easily teach anyone mountaineering skills. They were tremendously patient with all of us and our various learning styles and speeds. Most importantly they demonstrated great leadership by putting our safety first and really getting us into the team spirit. Although we were unable to go for Kahiltna Dome, it didn't matter, I got to have the adventure I was looking for and my time spent out there satisfied my soul. I hope to get to come back to the Alaska range next year with RMI and give Denali a shot.
Rue C.

Being in beautiful landscape for 10 days and learning a lot.
Katharina S.

The amount I learned from these expert guides was incredible. I just spent the trip trying to soak in every bit of information I could.
Chris Q.

I love to learn and we easily had time to complete all the learning objectives and even a little extra snow/avalanche training. We got lucky on the weather which helped.
Keith C.

Being in Alaska!!! The guides were pretty rad, too. I appreciated that they encouraged me to participate in sharing my knowledge with the rest of the team, something I thoroughly enjoyed.
Wendy S.

The location, the physical challenge and the preparation. The access to the guides and the opportunity for individualized attention. THe experience of the guides - they were true professionals
Rebecca R.

The adventure, pushing myself, meeting the other climbers
Debbi L.

The relationship with the guides and the confidence i was able to build with them. Certainly the scenery is magnificent as well and the overall experience was excellent on all levels.
Chuck H.

The ascent of radio control tower. We took a somewhat steeper approach (30-45+ degree snow up a gully on the south side) that I enjoyed greatly.
Sherman B.

Leon and Eric are outstanding guides and worked immensely well together. They balanced each other better than any guides I've ever seen.
Eric Y.

The flights, the scenery, and the camaraderie among the group were all outstanding. I made some great friends and learned skills to move more efficiently and safely in the mountains.
Tyson W.

  • Upcoming Climbs

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  • Price
    11 days
    Level 3

    *Price includes round-trip transfer to Talkeetna, two nights lodging in Talkeetna, bush pilot, & Park Entrance Fee.

Table of Contents
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Day 1

TRAVEL  •  348' | 106M

1:30 p.m.: Meet the guides at Anchorage International Airport (Domestic Terminal), carousel 1 in Alaska Airlines baggage claim.

Shuttle transportation to Talkeetna is included in the program. The shuttle leaves at 2:00 p.m. and takes three hours to arrive in Talkeetna. The group will stop at a grocery store in Wasilla, for the opportunity to purchase any fresh food you'd like to bring on the mountain. The team will arrive in Talkeetna at approximately 5:00 p.m. Overnight in Talkeetna.

Day 2


7:00 a.m.: Team Breakfast Meeting

There are a number of important items to accomplish in Talkeetna. After our breakfast meeting we begin our training at the K2 Aviation hangar. The team will go through extensive personal equipment checks. Final recommendations and suggestions concerning gear will be made at that time. The team will plan meals and ready group food and equipment for the glacier flight. There will be an introduction to safety practices, including use of helmets, harnesses, and avalanche transceivers. Instruction regarding Leave No Trace practices and environmental considerations will be made as well. After all is made ready we begin shuttling members into the Kahiltna Base Camp, weather permitting. This spectacular scenic flight requires approximately 45 minutes, one way. Once at Kahiltna Base Camp we continue our expedition skills training by learning camp site selection, and how to build a mountain camp and kitchen.

The following seminar itinerary is approximate and depends on such considerations as weather, route conditions and strength of the party. Nine man-days of food and fuel are carried on the mountain. There are emergency food rations at Base Camp, in case weather prevents the group from flying off. It is best to purchase an airline ticket booked to depart Anchorage one week after the seminar's end date. When you return to Anchorage, you can then reschedule your flight.

Pre-trip Preparation And Training

Day 3

BASE CAMP TRAINING  •  7,300' | 2,225M

At Kahiltna Base Camp we begin building the foundational skills that allow travel and access to more varied terrain. Skills covered on this day include: knots, harness, carabiner and avalanche transceiver use, proper use of the ice axe for balance and self and team arrest, cramponing on moderate terrain, and the basics of roped glacier travel. Evening discussions will take place throughout the seminar and cover a variety of mountaineering topics such as: mountain medicine and wellness, weather, route finding and navigation, expeditionary climbing techniques, alpine climbing techniques, self care and the art of climbing efficiently.

Base Camp Training

Day 4


We spend the morning learning how to construct a variety of snow and ice anchors for use in belaying, rappelling, and crevasse rescue. In the afternoon our focus will be on expedition skills such as fixed rope travel, sled rigging, and a discussion of crevasse rescue. We will consider a variety of crevasse rescue scenarios in anticipation and preparation for practical training.

First Summit Day

Day 5


During our crevasse rescue practice we learn self rescue, how to extricate ourselves from a crevasse if we have fallen in, and companion rescue, how we extricate a team member. These are essential skills for an ascent of a large expeditionary peak like Denali.

Day 6


With our technical training accomplished, our focus shifts toward gaining practical experience on one of the many nearby peaks. The mountain and the route we select depends on weather and route conditions. Our goal is to safely climb a route that allows us to apply all of the skills that we have learned throughout our course. This day entails breaking camp, packing and pulling sleds, and re-establishing a new camp on our selected route.

Base Camp To Camp 1

Day 7


Today we will rope-up in teams and pull sleds on the Kahiltna Glacier (location will be determined by the team and guides). This exercise will provide valuable practical experience in route finding, campsite selection, and camp construction. Throughout the day we will have rewarding views of the surrounding peaks, including Denali, Mt. Foraker, and Mt. Hunter.

Kahiltna Glacier

Day 8


Our plan is to locate a suitable crevasse and break out the ice climbing tools! A roundtable discussion of human impact in the Alaska Range and mountains worldwide is on the agenda for the afternoon. RMI has guided on Denali since 1975 and we take pride in our environmental conscientiousness.

Day 9

KAHILTNA BASE CAMP  •  7,300' | 2,225M

Today we break camp and descend through the crevasse fields of the Kahiltna Glacier to Kahiltna Base Camp.

Day 10

TALKEETNA  •  348' | 106M

We fly from the Kahiltna Base Camp to Talkeetna for a celebratory dinner.  Overnight in Talkeetna.

Day 11


Morning transfer to Anchorage for afternoon flights.

(Note: Return flights should be made to depart Anchorage one week after program end day to accommodate weather delays.)

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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.


RipcordRipcord Rescue Travel Insurance is travel insurance designed for adventurers, including the best evacuation and rescue services available.


Benefits are tailored for adventurers and include:

  • Rescue and evacuation from the point of illness or emergency to your home hospital of choice.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims.
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses and military veterans.
  • Security extraction in case of unexpected dangerous and chaotic events.
  • Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) options and pre-existing condition waiver within 14 days of your initial trip deposit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word. Whether it’s reimbursing you for a cancelled trip, paying your travel medical bills or evacuating you home in an emergency, Ripcord takes the worry out of your travel.

Getting to Talkeetna


Climbers need to arrive at Anchorage International Airport (ANC) by 1:00 pm on Day 1 of the program. The group will meet at 1:30 p.m., Alaska Airlines domestic baggage claim, carousel #1.

If your flight cannot arrive in Anchorage before 1:00 p.m. it will be necessary to arrive a day earlier and go to the airport to meet the team.

Airfare should be booked to depart Anchorage one week after the program's end date. When you return to Anchorage, you can reschedule your return flight at the ticket counter or over the phone. Depending on the airline, a change of date penalty is usually charged at this time. We have found scheduling a future date with a flexible return usually works better than an open-ended ticket or missing an early return date.


We will arrange a transfer from Anchorage to Talkeetna at 2:00 p.m. the day your program begins. Please arrive in Anchorage no later than 1:00 p.m. Talkeetna is a three-hour drive from Anchorage. If you are traveling to Talkeetna on your own, please let RMI know in advance that you will not require transportation.


Denali's weather forecast is updated through the National Weather Service


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.


Mountaineering is replete with literary accounts of high adventure in Alaska. For aspiring Denali climbers, certain historical narratives, as well as how-to guide books, can prove both entertaining and educational, significantly adding to ones enjoyment of the expedition.

The list below represents some personal favorites, from over three decades of guiding in Alaska. I particularly enjoy the story of the first winter ascent: Minus 148 degrees!

Whether you are challenging the West Buttress, learning crevasse rescue on the lower Kahiltna Glacier, or rock climbing in Little Switzerland, these titles will greatly enhance your experience and appreciation of Alaska!

- Joe Horiskey

Bass, D., Wells, F., Ridgeway, R.  Seven Summits 1986

Beckey, Fred  Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America 1993

Bezruhka, Stephen  Altitude Illness - Prevention & Treatment 2001

Cole, Terence  The Sourdough Expedition: Stories of the Pioneer Alaskans Who Climbed Mount McKinley in  l910 1985

Davidson, Art  Minus 148: The Winter Ascent of Mount McKinley 1986

Houston, Charles  Going Higher: The Story of Man and Altitude 1987

Mason, Gen  Minus Three 1970

Michener, James A.  Alaska 1988

Moore, Terris   Mount McKinley: The Pioneer Climbs 1981

Roberts, David  The Mountain of My Fear 1968

Randall, Francis  Denali Diary: Letters from McKinley 1987

Seattle Mountaineers The Freedom of the Hills 2017

Selters, Andy  Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue 2009 (second printing)

Sherwonit, Bill  To The Top of Denali 2013 (third edition)

Sherwonit, Bill  Denali, A Literary Anthology 2000

Stuck, Hudson  The Ascent of Denali 1914

Washburn, B., Roberts, D.  Mount McKinley - The Conquest of Denali 1991

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This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition. There are no technical climbing prerequisites to join this program.

  • 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 Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking and trekking with a 40-50 lb. load
  • Using core strength and flexibility to navigate uneven terrain

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.


No acclimatization is necessary for this program.

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What You’ll Need

A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought process behind each item is much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program takes into account factors such as: seasonality, route conditions, weather, elevation and more. As such, this list is framed within the broadest of contexts and is dynamic by its very nature. Therefore, certain variables (additions and/or subtractions) are inherent within such an all-encompassing list. We make every effort to recommend only top of the line clothing and technical gear and it is never our intention for you to buy or rent unnecessary gear.

The Guide Pick is an example of the listed item, giving you an idea of the material and specifications of the item. This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have similar characteristics and performance abilities to the Guide Pick.

RMI Guides concur on the potential necessity of every item, thus every item on the list is required at gear check. However, guides may also have suggestions derived from their experience, some of which will vary from a given list. The guides’ recommendation whether to bring along or leave behind certain item(s) comes during the gear check, when the team first meets. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item. If a guide presents the option of leaving behind certain item(s) on the list of required equipment, it is for a reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, perceived strength of the party, or desired pack weight.

Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for an ascent. It does not exist because of the multitude of variables faced by climbers throughout the climb. Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. Keep in mind the list is not black and white, fine tuning will occur once you meet with your guide. Have a great climb!

  • 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 RMI2019 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

Shop Your Equipment List // Rent new equipment for your climb

Equipment List


      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.


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

    • 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.


      The 10 to 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.


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

    • 20' of accessory cord for miscellaneous lashing.

    • Four bungee cords (approximately 12” – 18” each).


      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 snowshoes 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.


      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.


      Headlamp is recommended only if your Alaska program is taking place the first two weeks of May.

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

    • 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.

    • 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.


      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.


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

    • MEALS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • 2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

      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.


      For avalanche transceiver.

    • CAMERA

      Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.


      We recommend packable, biodegradable, personal size rolls.


      Pee bottle should be 1 to 1 1/2 quart size.

    • We recommend you speak with your physician about which medications make sense to have for remote international travel and/or high altitude climbing. We suggest the following:


      Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, etc.
      Ciprofloxacin (500mg tablets), Metronidazole, Azithromycin (250mg tablets).


      For prevention or treatment of Acute Mountain Sickness.
      Acetazolamide (125mg tablets).

    • iPOD
    • 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: 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.

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On the Alaska Mountaineering Seminar - Expedition you will need 9 mountain lunches. All of your mountain lunch items should weigh 7+ lb.

Breakfast and dinner meals on the mountain are included in your program cost. You are responsible for all meals while we are off the mountain.


Mountain lunches are eaten during short breaks throughout the day. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner! Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

The importance of having 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.

Recommended mountain lunch items: bagels, tortillas, crackers (Wheat Thins, Triscuits), hummus, Pringles, corn nuts, smoked almonds, roasted cashews, GORP mix (peanuts, M&M's, sunflowers seeds, raisins, etc), smoked salmon, fresh veggies (carrots), salami, pepperoni, cheese (pepper jack, Swiss, cheddar), jerky, candy (sweet and sour varieties), chocolate bars, hard candies, energy bars (Cliff, Luna), dried fruits (apricots, pineapple, pear), and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).

Perishable food items may be purchased at a grocery store en-route to Talkeetna; you should have the bulk of lunch items already purchased and packed.


Breakfasts consist of fresh food (bagels, cream cheese), bacon and eggs, instant oatmeal, instant grits, cold cereal (granola), breakfast bars, and hot drinks.


Nine man-days of food are carried on the mountain, which can be stretched in the event of bad weather. Additionally, a cache of emergency food is left at Kahiltna Base Camp.

The dinner menu is a combination of fresh food (vegetables, tortillas, cheese), retort entrees (fully cooked meals packaged in sealed containers and heated in hot water), freeze-dried entrees (Mountain House or Richmoor Natural High), and packaged main course items (ramen, Lipton Rice or Noodles, macaroni and cheese). Various hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa, and cider) and dessert are also provided.

Every attempt is made to assure a variety and adequate quantity.

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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.


$750 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 $750 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.

Change of Date

Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 60 days prior to your departure date for a $200 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed less than 60 days before departure.

Land Cost


  • RMI Leadership
  • Ground transportation between Anchorage and Talkeetna
  • Hotel accommodations in Talkeetna for one night at the start of the trip and one night at the end of the trip*
  • Denali National Park Entrance Fee
  • Breakfast and dinner while on the mountain
  • Group equipment (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, sleds, etc.)
  • Bush pilot service between Talkeetna and Kahiltna Base Camp as stated in the itinerary


  • Airfare to Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
  • Hotel accommodations in Talkeetna not included above
  • Meals while not on the mountain
  • Mountain Lunches during the climb
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Bush pilot fees if returning from the mountain early

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy. 

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.

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.

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.

Both the parent or legal guardian and the Participant must sign all forms. 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

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, or other environmental factors, 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, or other environmental factors, government instability, unpredictable social, political or military conditions in countries that we travel. In such a case, you will receive a full refund of program fees paid to RMI, less any non-refundable payments that have been paid to our outfitters prior to the cancellation of the trip. When a trip is cancelled, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

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.

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