Climb Details


74 day(s)
Level 5 difficulty 

Upcoming Climbs

March 19, 2016


Seth Waterfall

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

— Yury C. | Read More Testimonials

Everest Videos

  • Melissa Arnot's Record Breaking Summit of Everest

  • Everest Dispatch #15 4-10-09

  • Everest Dispatch #16 : Behind The Scenes High Altitude Production

  • Everest Dispatch #17 4-11-09

  • Everest Dispatch #18 4-12-09

  • Everest Dispatch #19 4-13-09

  • Everest Dispatch #22 4-15-09

  • Everest Dispatch #25 4-17-09

  • Everest Dispatch #26 4-18-09

  • Everest Dispatch #27 4-19-09

  • Everest Dispatch #28 4-20-09

  • Everest Dispatch #29 4-21-09

  • Everest Dispatch #30 4-22-09

  • Everest Dispatch #31 4-23-09

  • Everest Dispatch #32 4-24-09

  • Everest Dispatch #33 4-25-09

  • Everest Dispatch #14 4-9-09

  • Everest Dispatch #13 4-8-09

  • Melissa Arnot Recaps Everest Summit #4

  • Leif Whittaker Everest Summit Recap

  • Melissa Arnot Recaps Her 3rd Summit Of Everest

  • Everest Dispatch #5 4-1-09

  • Everest Dispatch #4 3-31-09

  • Everest Dispatch #3 3-30-2009

  • Everest Dispatch #2 3-29-2009

  • Everest Dispatch #1 3-28-2009

  • Whittaker Climbs Lhotse Face to Camp III

  • Whittaker Completes Final Rotation Before Summit Push

  • Everest Dispatch #7 4-3-09

  • Everest Dispatch #8 4-4-09

  • Everest Dispatch #9 4-5-09

  • Everest Dispatch #11 4-6-09

  • Everest Dispatch #12 4-7-09

  • Everest Dispatch #34 4-26-09

  • Everest Dispatch #35 4-27-09

  • Everest Dispatch #36 4-28-09

  • Everest Dispatch #56 5-16-09

  • Everest Dispatch #57 05-17-09

  • Everest Dispatch #59 05-18-09

  • Everest Dispatch #62 05-18-09

  • Everest Dispatch #64 05-18-09

  • Everest Dispatch #65 05-18-09

  • Everest Dispatch #66 05-18-2009

  • Everest Dispatch #70 05-20-2009

  • Everest Dispatch #72 5-21-09

  • Everest Dispatch #74 5-22-09

  • Everest Dispatch #80 05-22-09

  • Everest Dispatch #81 5-23-09

  • Everest Dispatch 5-23-09 #82

  • Everest Dispatch 5-23-09

  • Everest Dispatch #87 05-24-09

  • Everest Dispatch #55 5-15-09

  • Everest Dispatch #54 5-14-09

  • Everest Dispatch #37 4-29-09

  • Everest Dispatch #38 4-30-09

  • Everest Dispatch #39 5-01-09

  • Everest Dispatch #40 5-02-09

  • Everest Dispatch #41 5-03-09

  • Everest Dispatch #42 5-4-09

  • Everest Dispatch #43 5-5-09

  • Everest Dispatch #44 5-6-09

  • Everest Dispatch #45 5-6-09

  • Everest Dispatch #46 5-8-09

  • Everest Dispatch #47 5-9-09

  • Everest Dispatch #48 5-9-09

  • Everest Dispatch #49 5-10-09

  • Everest Dispatch #51 5-11-09

  • Everest Dispatch #53 5-13-09

  • Mt. Everest from the Summit

Mt. Everest. The tallest mountain in the world soars almost five and a half miles into the sky and pierces the jet stream with its iconic summit. Embarking on an expedition to Mt. Everest can be the pinnacle of a climbing career and deserves all of the personal support and guidance that RMI offers. RMI's Everest Expedition highlights include:

  • Join a small and personal climbing team with a 3:1 climber to guide ratio and a 1:1 climber to Sherpa ratio.
  • Enjoy the best Base Camp facilities available.
  • Take comfort in the comprehensive medical support available through our unlimited access to Everest's Base Camp clinic and highly trained guides.
  • Navigate the Khumbu Icefall, cross the Yellow Band, and ascend the Hillary Step with the guidance and partnership of RMI's experienced Everest guides.
  • Take part in an RMI Everest Expedition and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Everest's Western Cwm

RMI's small, exclusive team is led by tenured RMI Guide and Everest veterans. RMI's guiding approach on Everest differs notably from many other guide services as we intentionally keep our team small. Instead of running a large expedition with many climbers, we focus our attention on leading a more personal climbing team, concentrating our resources on each individual to ensure the safest, most enjoyable, and most successful experience possible for each one of our climbers. RMI's Everest Expedition has one of the best guide-to-climber ratios on the mountain. This smaller ratio provides our climbers with many benefits including:

  1. Providing the flexibility to tailor climbing agendas and acclimatization schedules to individual needs.
  2. Giving climbers consistent guidance from our experienced western guides throughout the climb.
  3. Allowing our climbers to build solid rapports with their guides and fellow team members; we share our meals around one table, discuss route and weather conditions together, and plan and approach the climb as a close-knit team.
  4. Superior Sherpa support.

The smaller team ratios facilitates stronger team dynamics, better communication, individualized attention, helps avoid the fragmentation inherent to larger expeditions, and we believe creates the strongest and most enjoyable climbing team possible.

With over four decades of mountain guiding experience RMI has rightfully earned our standing as one of the most distinguished guide services in the world: we maintain strict standards of safety, climb with small ratios, offer an unparalleled level of service, provide you with the best, most experienced Mt. Everest guides, and have an infrastructure that is entirely geared toward your individual safety and success on Mt. Everest.


Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley and a leader in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our experienced guides are some of the best in the world, more than 40 of whom have reached the summit of Mt. Everest, some multiple times. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge necessary to create the best possible trips. We work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader.

Our guides on Everest are some of the best on the mountain and bring years of Himalayan experience to the expedition. Working closely with the team is Mark Tucker, our Base Camp Manager. Mark's incredible depth of experience, patience, wit, and humor make him one of the most respected leaders in Base Camp. In addition, we are fortunate to have very experienced Sherpa teams on the mountain as our partners in Nepal. Our relationships there are the key to our trip's success. Experience and local knowledge are invaluable in the mountains and RMI's Nepali Staff is some of the best around. The unparalleled support our team has throughout the climb is one of the major factors behind our success.

Everest SunriseEverest Base Camp

During our trek into Base Camp we stay exclusively in teahouses that have been hand picked by our guides for their quality, cleanliness, and service. At Base Camp we enjoy comfortable accommodations with personal sleeping tents, storage areas, shower facilities, private toilets, and excellent heated dining facilities. Solar power at Base Camp keeps us connected to home via high speed internet, charges personal computers and other electronic devices, and allows us to maintain excellent emergency contact with the outside world. We receive up to the minute information from a weather forecasting service for safer, more successful decision-making.

RMI provides excellent food at Base Camp and on the mountain, keeping our spirits elevated and health in order. Consequently our groups don't suffer the physical deterioration seen in many Everest teams. Our professional, experienced cooks maintain the highest standards of hygiene and our diverse menu is complemented by a constant supply of fresh vegetables as well as luxuries and "comfort foods" brought specially from the United States. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine passion of these adventures are what make our programs truly memorable.


Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides and Sherpa focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. Our climber-to-guide ratio is 3:1, and our Sherpa-to-climber ratio is 1:1. This unusual degree of personal service from RMI's guides and Sherpa staff increases our margin of safety on the mountain and improves your chances of success.

Our camps are stocked with comprehensive medical kits and we have two Gamow bags on the mountain throughout the expedition. Our guides and staff are highly trained in emergency mountain medicine and work to maintain our strict standards of safety. When problems arise on the mountain, away from medical facilities, the level of training and experience RMI's guides have makes them some of the most sought after guides in the profession. As partners with the Himalayan Rescue Associate (HRA) we have unlimited access to their doctors and clinic at Base Camp ensuring that we have the best medical professionals at our side.

Careful planning and vigilant care are taken as we venture into high altitudes. Our well-planned use of climbing oxygen dramatically improves a climber's chance of success on Mt. Everest. Our supply of oxygen is well stocked and designed to meet any climber's anticipated, and unanticipated, needs.


Participants on our Mt. Everest Guided Expedition must have a solid understanding of mountaineering skills. We require that each team member have previous high altitude experience, such as McKinley, Aconcagua, Cho Oyu or other 7,000 - 8,000 meter peaks. Screening and final selection will be done on an individual basis after we have reviewed your climbing experience and our veteran Everest Guides have spoken with you directly.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT at (888) 89-CLIMB or

Why Climb Everest With RMI?

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. is one of America's most reputable and long-standing guide services with over four decades of mountain guiding experience. Simply stated, we excel at bringing climbers to the highest mountains of the world. Our commitment to leading extraordinary mountain adventures, our unparalleled logistical support, and our world-class leadership make our Mt. Everest Expedition unmatched.

RMI's Approach

  • Safety is RMI's number one priority and nothing trumps its importance.


  • The most experienced and renowned guides in the profession.
  • Our guides are well regarded climbers and mountaineering instructors. They are highly trained in technical rescue and in wilderness and mountain medicine.

Climbing Ratios

  • Small team ratios of 3:1 climber-to-guide and 1:1 climber-to-Sherpa.
  • Small team ratios facilitate stronger team dynamics, excellent communication, and individualized attention.


  • RMI is involved in every step of the planning, preparation, and packing of our expedition.
  • Our behind-the-scenes logistics are not left to others, ensuring that each and every detail of expedition planning is addressed and met.

Expedition Execution

  • Small ratios and extensive logistical support give us a high level of flexibility and the individual focus needed on the mountain, from acclimatization scheduling to individual food preferences.
  • We intentionally avoid locking our expedition into predetermined itineraries and plans, choosing instead to tailor our climb to the needs of our climbers and the realities of the mountain conditions.


  • With years of experience, our phenomenal Sherpa staff are among the most experienced and well regarded in the Himalaya. They each have dozens of Himalayan summits and offer superior attentive support for our expedition.
  • Our Sherpa pursue ongoing technical training between expeditions under internationally accredited guide training programs.
  • All of our Sherpas receive equipment stipends as well as First Ascent down suits for each expedition and have complete access to medical consultation and care on Everest.

Base Camp

  • We outfit a comprehensive and comfortable Base Camp on the mountain, including heated dining tents, hot showers, communications tent with re-charging equipment, private toilets, individual sleeping tents, full-time cooks and great food, as well as a selection of entertainment and games.
  • We address all of the necessities, as well as luxuries, to keep our climbers comfortable and happy - and ultimately strong and healthy - throughout the climb.


  • Dedicated professional cooks at Base Camp and Camp 2 (ABC) who prepare excellent, healthy meals.
  • We have well-stocked inventories that include hundreds of pounds of specialty food brought from the U.S., offering excellent variety and selection.
  • A flexible and diverse menu accommodates our differing tastes and changing appetites.

Base Camp Manager

  • A full time, dedicated, experienced Base Camp Manager supports our team throughout the entire climb.

On-Mountain Camps

  • Our mountain camps are well stocked with emergency supplies, and medical and rescue equipment.
  • A full-time cook staffs Camp 2.


  • Our guides are highly trained in medical and technical rescue and carry medical and rescue equipment with them at all times.
  • As partners with the Himalayan Rescue Association's (HRA) Everest Base Camp Clinic, our entire team of climbers, guides and Sherpa has unlimited access to the Clinic and consultation with their full-time doctors.

Weather Forecasts

  • We use a private weather forecasting service with Himalayan experience to keep us current with the latest trends and developments in weather patterns throughout the expedition.


  • All of our climbers, guides, and Sherpa are outfitted with personal radios.
  • We provide access to phone, email, and satellite communications at Base Camp.
  • We can help arrange personal cell phone, email, and satellite communications equipment as needed.

Expedition Dispatches

  • RMI posts daily expedition updates to our blog, including photos and audio dispatches, to help keep friends, family, and general followers up-to-date with the latest progress of the climb.

Environmental Impact

  • RMI has pioneered and championed Leave No Trace ethics on mountains all around the world and we hold ourselves to the same high standards on Mt. Everest.
  • We remove excess packaging before the trip to minimize waste and carry all of our trash and unused supplies off of the mountain.
  • We use biodegradable bags to ensure proper human waste disposal.
  • Our custom-built solar photovoltaic power system supplies 100% of our electric needs. We have not used the standard noisy generator on Everest in over two years!
  • Our efforts keep camps clean and quiet, preserve the Khumbu's water supplies, reduce our use of fossil fuels, and minimize our overall environmental impact.


Mt. Everest Southside 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 RMI2015.

Pack & Bag Guides' Pick

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2 DUFFEL BAG(S): A 120+ liter bag made of tough material with rugged zippers.

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2 SMALL DUFFEL(S): An 80 - 90 liter bag. One duffel bag will be used for your second checked bag for the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The second bag is needed to store gear in Kathmandu.

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BACKPACK: A 50 - 55 liter pack is the recommended size for this climb. A separate summit pack is not needed.

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PACK COVER (OPTIONAL): Protects your pack from rain while on the trail.

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DAY PACK: A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on, while traveling or sightseeing.

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SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated -20° F will keep you warm. If you would prefer NOT to share group bags at the higher camps, you should bring a second bag rated -20° F or lower.

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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3 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 12-point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. We highly recommend anti-bot plates to prevent snow from balling up underfoot.

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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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MECHANICAL ASCENDER: For traveling on fixed ropes. Most people prefer an ascender designed for their weak hand, leaving their strong hand free to hold their ice axe. For example, a right-handed person would use a left-handed ascender.

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BELAY / RAPPEL DEVICE: A plate-style belay/rappel device, ensure that it can handle rope sizes 6 to 13 mm.

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60 cm sewn sling ("single-length runner").

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

Head Guides' Pick

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2 WARM HATS: Wool or synthetic hats; one light and one heavy.

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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.

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CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES: Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.

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2 HEADLAMPS: Bring two headlamps for the Expedition. The second is for use around camp and to serve as a backup. Be sure to begin the program with fresh batteries.


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

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LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVE: One pair of fleece, soft-shell or wind-stopper gloves.

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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.

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2 WORK GLOVES: Medium weight insulated gloves for climbing and working around camp. These should be both durable and dexterous enough to allow you to perform activities like setting up or taking down tents while wearing them.

Upper Body

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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2 - 3 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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DOWN PARKA WITH ATTACHED HOOD: This item becomes of highest importance when we are faced with poor weather. This should be an expedition-style parka. The parka is worn primarily in camp, at rest breaks, and on summit day (when it is of crucial importance). When sizing a parka, allow for several layers to be worn underneath; buy it large. The parka must have an insulated hood.

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3 - 4 HIKING SHIRT: Lightweight, synthetic shirt with either long or short sleeves. The long sleeve is preferred for sun/bug protection.

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DOWN SUIT: An 8,000 meter down suit.

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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.

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LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANT: A lightweight, synthetic pair of pants is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.

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CASUAL CAMP PANT: A pair of jeans or cotton pants. Great for wearing around camp or teahouses.

Feet Guides' Pick

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MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS: The function of footwear is of crucial importance. Select a brand's "top of the line" model and it should be sufficient. The boot needs to be roomy enough to allow for good circulation. Anticipate a sock combination when sizing them (single sock, liner and sock, or two heavy socks on each foot). Wear the boots as often as possible before the climb, to determine proper fit, comfort and performance.

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OVERBOOTS: These are not necessary with all-in-one boot / gaiter models. Expedition overboots add significant warmth, especially at high altitude and need to be compatible with the style of crampons used.

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HIKING BOOTS: A pair of lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain.

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4 - 8 PAIR 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.

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GAITERS: A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots, will be needed for protection from snow, mud, and catching your crampons on loose clothing. These are not necessary with all-in-one boot / gaiter models.

Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick

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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 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.

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

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AQUAMIRA: Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops.

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

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2 SETS ALKALINE BATTERIES: For avalanche transceiver.

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LUGGAGE LOCKS: For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.

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THERMOS: High quality, lightweight, unbreakable 1/2 to 1 quart.

GSI Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle

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WATCH with alarm and light: Altimeter models are popular.

Travel Clothes

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SHIRTS: For hotel dinners and while traveling.

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Toilet Articles

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HAND SANITIZER(S): Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.

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PEE BOTTLE & PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN): Pee bottle should be 1 to 1 1/2 quart size.

Personal First Aid Kit

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Dr. Scholl's Blister Cushions and Moleskin
Spenco 2nd Skin

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Personal Medications

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ANTIBIOTICS: Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.

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ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.

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TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain

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ACETAZOLAMIDE: For Altitude Illness

Utensils Guides' Pick

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BOWL: Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.

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INSULATED MUG: Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.

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2 SPOON or SPORK: Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.

Optional Items

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PERSONAL SOLAR CHARGER: A small solar panel is a great way to charge your iPod or camera.

Brunton Solaris 6

Travel Documents

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PASSPORT: Valid for six months beyond your return date.

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COPY OF PASSPORT: The first two pages of your passport.

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Pre-Trip Checklist

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Purchase travel insurance.

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Purchase airplane tickets.

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Reserve rental equipment.

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Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!

Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: group and personal tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, upper mountain community sleeping bags and pads, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, fixed ropes, shovels, route wands, radios for on-mountain communication, and comprehensive first aid and repair kits.

Six bottles of climbing oxygen will be provided. Additional bottles are available upon request.