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Mt. Rainier - Five Day Summit Climb

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    5 days
    Level 2

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Mt. Rainier - Five Day Summit Climb

Mt. Rainier - Five Day Summit Climb

The Five Day Summit Climb ascends Mt. Rainier's classic route while providing additional time on the mountain to train, rest, and acclimatize.


  • An afternoon orientation and one full day of mountaineering training to prepare for the climb.
  • Climb to Camp Muir with minimal gear as much of the equipment (shelter, cooking equipment, fuel, ropes, anchors, etc.) is already stored there.
  • Spend a full day at Camp Muir adjusting to the altitude, taking in the views of the surrounding glaciers and neighboring mountains, and preparing for our summit bid.
  • Experience the classic Mt. Rainier climb, ascending 9,000' from its alpine meadows to its glacier-capped summit.


The Five Day Summit Climb gives climbers a relaxed itinerary on Mt. Rainier's classic route without needing to move camps. Focusing on team building and training, the first two days prepare us for our climb with an afternoon orientation and a Mountaineering Day School. We then ascend Mt. Rainier's lower slopes to Camp Muir (10,060'). We spend two nights in camp, allowing us additional time on the mountain for glacier travel, practice of basic mountaineering techniques, and acclimatization, before making a summit bid via the Ingraham Glacier or Disappointment Cleaver. This climb is ideal for first time mountaineers, as well as experienced climbers, looking to take advantage of additional time on the mountain during the climb.


The Mountain Guides at RMI have a reputation as top guides in the United States. RMI Guides participated in some of America's first ventures into the far reaches of the Himalaya. Years of expedition guiding and climbing around the world have built a core of consummate professional guides.

Our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers, known for their leadership as well as their character. They possess the compassion, enthusiasm and ability to empower others and inspire them forward. Such qualities may only be found in people at the top of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides still remember their own first steps into the mountains, and enjoy helping other climbers reach new heights.

Our exceptional focus to detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures make our programs truly memorable.


RMI strives to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides focuses on leading fun and successful climbs without compromising safety. Each climb includes careful pre-trip planning, daily weather forecasts, avalanche forecasts, and diligent attention to detail. All RMI Guides are highly trained in remote medicine and rescue skills and carry comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio communication equipment throughout the program. Regardless of the objective or the destination, safety remains RMI’s top priority.

NPS Authorized ConcessionerAuthorized Concessioner

RMI Expeditions is an authorized concessioner of Mount Rainier National Park.

Climate Change

OffsettersAll of our climbs in Mt. Rainier National Park 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.

Contact Us

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.


Climber Reviews

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The guides were awesome - Mike, Gloria, Alex. Our entire group was awesome!
Vouth V.

The guides,the guides, the guides. Their knowledge, professionalism, personalities and above all their work ethic was unbelievably awesome and greatly appreciated.
Thomas D.

I enjoyed being able to get to know my guides and fellow climbers. It was really cool to be able to summit with both my father and brother. Seeing them excited and happy was the best. The guides made this happen and they were fantastic. I enjoyed just spending time with some quality people coming together to achieve a goal. The team was rad and I learned a lot.
Maxwell W.

Success to the summit. Meeting and getting to know a little about guides plus other climbers.
Jack W.

Everything went very well and the guides were great!
Daniel O.

What I enjoyed about the trip was getting to know the team members and the guides. I thought what we jelled quite well in the short time we spent together.
Brian M.

Had the time of my life.
Michael B.

I have wanted to climb Mt. Rainier for almost a decade and the dream became a reality. Having the guides made the trip more enjoyable knowing that I was making the trip the safest way possible.
Chad M.

Thank you for the once in a lifetime experience. Will never forget this.
Brent B.

I have no more superlatives left to decribe how much I liked this trip, the GUIDES and the team. Outstanding job, RMI.
Sastry D.

Beautiful mountain beautiful people
Tracy W.

All 3 of our guides were fantastic. They were extremely personable, knowledgeable and made us feel comfortable being guided by them the entire trip. They also made the trip fun!
Natasha S.

"Epic experience. Felt in amazing hands the entire time. Hard to pick a best part. Our guides were amazing. The trek was unforgettable. Listening to Dave Hahn stories was the icing on the cake. Oh and sliding on our butts down from Muir was so so fun. "
Mike W.

I cannot emphasize enough how well prepared and knowledgeable our three guides (Andy, Hannah, and Joe) were. This trip was something out of my comfort zone, and our guides did everything in their power to make it a wonderful trip. I will definitely suggest RMI to friends and advise them to try and have Andy or Hannah as a guide in particular!
Matt M.

RMI provided a great trip. The guides and services at Base Camp only increased my interest further in mountaineering. I will definitely be recommending this trip to others and hope to go on more trips with RMI in the future.
Chris L.

Although the weather was on the extreme side, it was a fun experience for me that I will not forget. All of the guides were professional and seemed to enjoy their work.
John R.

It was an awesome trip and definitely a memorable climb of my life. It was my first ever alpine climb, and you guys made it super fun and safe. I liked the talks in the basecamp. These talks analyzed weather, terrains in great details, which made us all understand what was our situation, what was the plans after, and most importantly, why these plans were made in this certain specific way. Another highlight was the tutorials on different knots for rope while we were stuck in the basecamp during the horrible weather. Our guides didn't need to do these, but they offered us the best knowledge and moment as they could.
Jianchen T.

I enjoyed everything, from the RMI organization, to the climb itself and the interaction with the guides. It was everything I was expecting, and much more! You guys are top notch services.
Patrick A.

The knowledge, experience, and patience of the guides. Training day/snow school was a perfect introduction to mountaineering. I loved that the guides encouraged those of us who were not feeling confident about the summit attempt due to a lack physical conditioning to still attempt (within limits of course) and get as far as we could. Overall, for someone who has had zero exposure to the climbing culture and only has experience with day hiking, I was able to be prepared and enjoy the trip.
Sonali M.

Overall, it was excellent.
Randy B.

A thank you to everyone involved at RMI and Whittaker. A big thank you to Peter Whittaker for showing up and serving us some beer at base camp on Sunday- I thought that showed a massive amount of class.
Benedict R.

I will never forget this trip!! Everyone on my team was friendly and easy to talk to - we all seemed eager to learn and enthusiastic about the journey on the mountain. Though it was extremely difficult and I completely underestimated the mountain, I learned a lot about myself and what it means to really persevere through physically and mentally challenging feats. In addition, I can't thank the guides enough for their incredible leadership. I owe them a huge amount of respect!!
Mary Jo P.

Awesome experience. Already recommend the program to a friend getting stationed in Washington. Planning my next trip already with RMI.
William C.

I met a lot of great people in our group and built relationships based on our common goals, anxieties, and willingness to each other with encouragement or support. The guides were incredible: engaged, professional, safe, positive and encouraging.
Brian B.

In my opinion the trip was executed flawlessly. We were afforded the best opportunity we could to summit and we did. I can't wait to come back.
Anthony E.

I loved it all. I felt safe and secure throughout the entire trip. I really loved the fact that nothing was unexpected, except for the beautiful night sky we were able to see, luckily.
Patricia C.

By far the best part of the trip was the guides and the group that was cultivated by them. Not only did the guides show concern and make safety a priority, but they also went out of their way to get to know each of us, show care and concern for us as people, and help make the whole trip as smooth as possible. Solveig, Gloria and Blake were phenomenal -- professional and personable -- getting us to the summit and back down in a safe and enjoyable way!
Katie M.

RMI is a well run organization. I have used RMI for both of my Mt. Rainier climbs and have had nothing but good things to say. I stayed at the Bunkhouse and it was very nice. The restaurant was very good as well. There really is no need to leave Ashford. If I decide to attempt to climb more mountains through a guide service, I will definitely be using RMI.
Kevin K.

The organization and plan - the itinerary, in other words. It is so well thought out - it made for the highest possibility of success on the mountain. I also really enjoyed interacting with our other team members and guides.
Francis D.

Great trip with great guides
Richard K.

It's hard to identify one thing! The amazing scenery, the camaraderie, the sense of accomplishment, the awesome guides.
Christina J.

The guides were incredible and completely made the whole trip worth it. They actively engaged with us and made the connection right off the bat, which helped the trust factor on the climb.
Julienne C.

Other than the climb itself, my favorite thing about the trip was the guides. Mike, Bridget, and Bryan are very safety-conscious, knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. They worked hard to ensure we had an amazing experience. I would gladly climb with them again.
Joshua F.

The preparation, itinerary, and communication was very thorough. I felt comfortable from the start of the climb to the very end.
Jacob K.

Our guides could not have been better - professional, informative, fun, great in all dimensions.
Michael G.

I enjoyed the program, and will plan on a similar trip in 2018 with RMI.
Ino R.

The summit day! Honestly the whole thing. Climbing up the cleaver in the dark, Sid continuously offered suggestions for where to place my feet or alternative routes up around the rocks. It kept me focused and relaxed. Throughout the entire day, Sid and Joe were constantly engaging with me (and all of us), offering tips for getting up tough spots and reminding us to breathe. Everyone was super upbeat and it made the whole experience really incredible. I learned a few new ways to get up and around steps that are typically a little tall for my short legs, and how to carry/use my ice axe depending on the terrain. I was learning all the way up and down and felt very encouraged by the guides.
Marina D.

The people and the challenging environment. Also the weather :-) - we lucked out.
Maureen H.

It was a true adventure with obvious risk but the risk was always managed well.
Mike G.

The guides were great, knowledgeable, professional, personable, helpful, encouraging, firm when needed, and kept the mood light when appropriate.
David C.

I enjoyed learning and the challenge of working toward the top.
Christopher K.

Being able to go from no climbing experience to making it to the summit shows how effective the guides and the program itself are at teaching and guiding. I would recommend this climb to any other aspiring mountaineer as a great first climb.
Casey G.

RMI exceeded all my expectations. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed the trip and what a well run operation RMI has put together. I would not hesitate to recommend RMI to family or friends and I would definitely climb with RMI again. Outstanding job RMI! Please keep up the good work.
James K.

Everything was great! The whole experience was top notch. RMI's excellent reputation is well deserved. Thank you for making my Mt. Rainier trip an excellent experience.
John C.

The camaraderie was nice, and the environment was good.
Greg G.

Successful climb along with outstanding stories from Seth and the support from Caleb to both summit and make it down safely.
Eric G.

I will make it a point to send you more customers. There were other guiding services on the mountain and I could see, first hand, that RMI really paid attention to the details that made my experience enjoyable and successful and that the other services were not providing. I am a huge fan of RMI after my climb.
David G.

The guides and the rest of the climbers. I thought we had a really strong team, and while not everyone made it to the summit, we all had a great time along the journey. The staff and guides were very professional and a joy to work with. I've spent many years working in the hospitality and camping industry, and the guide were some of the hardest working and most hospitable people I've encountered.
Charles R.

Thank you... It sounds overly dramatic, but the entire experience, albeit brutal at times, was unforgettable. I loved it.
Jed L.

The experience was amazing and the trip was very well run.
Kevin R.

I enjoyed just about everything about the trip except for the bunkhouse! It was just very difficult to sleep in that environment for me. I would have rather been climbing in rain and 50 mile an hour winds that listening to guys snoring all night long. Just something I need to get better at. The skills days were great as was all of the climbing. I thought the structure of the program was awesome and it prepared me for a successful summit!
Karl F.

I enjoyed the opportunity to climb a mountain with trained experts who's main focus was on safety and not summiting. I also enjoyed the views and staying in a tent at Camp Muir for two nights.
MaLeah H.

I thought the tent at Camp Muir was fun
Ted H.

Drinking with guides in Ashford after the trip
Brian W.

meeting the other summit hopefuls. Your team is amazing!
Mary C.

Drinks with the team and guides after we returned to Ashford.
Crystal L.

Just being on the mountain with experts was the most enjoyable part of the trip
Thomas M.

Pushing myself to the max without passing the limit of safety and ignoring the obligation I have as an individual to team and guides. In short climbing allows me the opportunity to develop good decision making!
Russ F.

The guides! they were such joys.
Emily N.

Steve N.

Professionalism of guides
Barbara B.

Although I didn't summit, the overall experience of planning, exercising, and getting to walk the mountain was incredible! Acphysicsl, emotional, mental and spiritual challenge. Meeting the people and the strength of the guides, was truly inspirational. I'm gonna attempt it again.
Mark E.

The climb down Dis Cleaver with Katrina, such awesome scenery on that part of the mountain!
Matt S.

The whole experience. Summiting was the goal but it was all the great people experiences and sights along the way that made it for me. So many good people I met along the way and the new friends I made are some of the things I value the most from the whole experience.
Greg W.

Guides' personalities and care.
William M.

The people - guides and fellow climbers - and the incredible views. I was also thrilled that we got to do a sunset climb. I was extremely rested during the climb and in a great mood. Fantastic last-minute change of schedule.
Stefania Palmyra G.

Being in the mountains. The professionalism and care that RMI puts into each trip. With dozens, if not hundreds of climbs RMI holds each year, the guides make each one a unique experience and they ALL never show that they've grown weary of doing the same route over and over. They should be commended, but then again, I don't think RMI would keep anyone on staff who didn't want to be climbing in the first place. From a client point of view, I appreciate the attention to detail and the personal touch each guide brings to the table.
Ted C.

Great Trip, Guides are top notch, positive, helpful, personable, and capable. Solveig, James, and Pepper were a pleasure. They worked hard and long but always had a smile and were eager to help out in any way to make the trip enjoyable. Will return next year to finish climb of Rainier and will request the same guides. The fellow climbers were also great. They all had a great attitude contributed to making the trip fun.
Paul B.

I enjoyed the facilities at Base Camp, the bunkhouse and the Guides.
Tim H.

Pushed my limits. Got beyond level of comfort, but at no time felt unsafe. Guides provided excellent support and advice.
Robert S.

I enjoyed the challenge, but most of all I enjoyed the people. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable and the group of people I got to climb with were great. I had an absolute blast and I'm looking forward to returning in the future.
Jessica S.

I learned some important skills that will apply to all of my future hiking/mountaineering. I also met some very cool people. And the scenery/wildflowers were second to none.
Colleen T.

The nature and (sad to say) the physical exertion. (When younger, I would have ran up the entire mountain.)
Steve R.

Dale H.

Our climbing team - what wonderful human beings!
Matthew P.

Summit day
Jason L.

Wonderful trip due to a number of factors: great guides, helpful office and rental staff, unrivaled weather. The latter can't be controlled, of course, but it sure helped to make it memorable.
Michael B.

I felt like everyone knew what they were doing and were committed to my success.
Alberto P.

The RMI guides make sure that you are doing things the right and safe way.
Rick H.

The whole complex in Ashford was excellent and very convenient. Having lodging, equipment rental,the grill and the store all together was great. The lodging and food was reasonably priced. The guided did a great job in preparing and getting us to the summit.
Todd P.

I initially picked RMI because I expected to get the best guides around, but what I received was, well.......way better than I could ever expect. Walter,Alex, and Andrew were all excellent in every way. The way they kept the team working as one and in the highest spirits was a lesson not to be forgotten. This trip was more fun and challenging than I had hoped. I wouldn't change a thing
Matt F.

RMI guides are first-rate. They are well-trained, in good physical shape, good instructors, focused on safety, professional and friendly.
Brian T.

The guides. Walter Hailes, Alex Barber, and Andrew Keifer couldn't have been better!
Mark P.

The outdoor beauty of the area was an obvious high point for this trip, but RMI's respect for the environment and knowledge of the mountain was equally important to my overall experience.
Marci P.

The guides stories and their teachings. Interaction with the crew and the climb itself (so pretty much everything!) RMI had a great group of guides and their organization is incredible, very much on top of things every single step of the way.
Diane H.

There are so many aspects on this trip that I enjoyed. From the hard skills of mountaineering to pushing my comfort level.As an Outward Bound instructor in the past, I could take various classes/skills from other organizations and gain the same knowledge. What really stands out to me about RMI is the professionalism that the guides display that allows a participant to feel safe/comfortable to challenge oneself. I can honestly say that I could NOT go any other organization and feel the same way.
Jill D.

The overall experience was great. We got time to ourselfs to enjoy the mountain but also got the knowledge in the short amount of time to successfully summit the mountain.
Derek C.

How the guides pushed through adversity
Matthew K.

The guides provided good information to use for training and also for future climbs. It was good to get to talk with them and gain knowledge from their experiences.
Jason W.

Everything! Great group. Weather challenges and beautiful weather. Learned a lot. Continuing to improve. Will be back next summer to summit!
Kelly O.

An excellent guide team that allowed for a smart, safe and enjoyable adventure. The weather was perfect and allowed us to enjoy the full beauty of the mountain. It will be a trip that I will always remember
Jeff N.

Honesty, commitment to safety, dynamism of guides, atmosphere at RMI basecamp
Scott E.

All three guides worked well together and would love to climb with them anytime in the future.
Paul H.

Top notch guides!
Ted C.

The opportunity to bond with fellow climbers and our guides as a cohesive team. Also, the way out guides and others cared for an injured climber was extraordinary, and a testament to RMI's values.
Tyler K.

The whole experience was awesome... even though I did not summit, it was an amazing time!
Matthew S.

Everything was put together extremely well.
Bryan J.

The guides were kind and courteous and a pleasure to talk with.
Douglas A.

Wonderful guides, always felt safe.
Joel W.

This is my second trip with RMI and all the guides on each have been fantastic. Will do it again.
Dan L.

I always enjoy spending time in the mountains... and the experience with RMI did nothing to diminish that!
Steve L.

Great team esprit d'ecorps! We all supported each other.
Peter T.

The chance to take on a challenge I would never have approached without the likes of Solveig and company.
David W.

Cannot wait until next year! Great job.
Rick S.

I had an absolute blast on our trip.
Josh Z.

Camaraderie with the team and guides. The views, the snow school experiences, and the feeling of summiting and meeting goals.
Sanket A.

Spending time on the mountain with my son and his buddies.
Jerry Z.

Climbing with my Freinds and the beautiful mnt.
Larry R.

The people who I climbed with and the guides who led us.
Scott P.

One of the greatest experiences of my life. RMI guides helped to compliment that rather than potentially diminish the experience.
Bob L.

The overall experience and being in the midst of some of the greats of mountaineering was super cool. Such history at Whittakers and I couldn't have asked for more...except maybe to reach the Summit, but that was my own damn fault!! I will be back to take care of unfinished business.
Kimberly W.

Learning from the staff the key elements involved in safe climbing. I enjoyed Garrett's academic conversations on a number of topics relevant to mountaineering.
Jack D.

The guides were very friendly and nice,did not feel like commercial outfit.
Robert A.

We were fortunate enough to have excellent weather and beautiful views. Besides having a great adventure, we learned a great deal about basic mountaineering.
Scott S.

The guides were the best. They made me feel totally comfortable and made my trip great.
Jody C.

Like the way one summits a mountain, step by step, RMI gained my confidence as an organization that would do all it could to help me up Rainier if I could hold up my end of the bargain by being in great physical condition and being equipped with a great attitude. In many small (and some big) ways, RMI kept my confidence: the thorough equipment list, the excellent meal plan, the helpful rental shop, the awesome guides, John Colvert's 16-week training program, email bulletins about every aspect of climbing. Great work people!
Matt L.

I enjoyed every moment. there wasn't anything i would of asked of or wished had been altered
Matthew C.

standing at the top of Mt Rainier
Afshin M.

Besides successfully climbing Mt Rainier the guides were awesome inspiring friendly and helpful. Your guides are what makes climbing with you great. Before I came to climb everyone told me RMI was the best. Now I know why and will be telling everyone I meet.
Lars S.

The new friendship with the guides and other climbers. The experience of being on the mountain. Making it to the top on my first attempt.
Kyle C.

I really enjoyed being on the mountain and spending the time there. The RMI experience was great.
Mark E.

The mountain and the excellent guide team were were lucky to have had assigned to us.
John G.

interacting with new people
Jarrod F.

the adventure, great group of guides and people
Steve F.

RMI is an incredible service with outstanding guides and staff providing all the services necessary to put together the complex logistics with these multi-day climbs. It is a thoroughly tough, enjoyable and intense learning experience. I'd opt to go with RMI again in a heartbeat! Thank you!
Benjamin C.

Mountain views
Lee S.

The climb to Camp Muir
Sam S.

The experience, the beautiful mountain scenery from Muir and the comraderie with our surprisingly tight group.
Scott E.

The views
Andy B.

Friendships with guides and other climbers
Robert J.

Camaraderie. Between the guides and the climbers, the trip was such a success because of all the individuals.
Andrew P.

The guides made us feel safe even during the tougher parts of the climb.
Jeremiah H.

Learning new skills and the challenge of the climb.
Bill Y.

Max d.

Great people (both guides and customers", sunrise almost on the summit of Mt. Rainier.
Stephan Z.

Getting to know the guides, especially Tyler Jones. Also seeing the view from Muir and the summit.
Josh D.

I really enjoyed the night we spent in tents instead of in the shelter. That was an incredibly unique experience and one I am unlikely to be able to repeat.
Rebecca S.

I enjoyed the mountain and meeting others.
Justin L.

Team synergy and guides effort to make the trip fun even though weather was not cooperating.
Fatima W.

I truly enjoyed every day. I learned a lot and had fun even when the weather was nasty.
Ewa B.

I think what I enjoyed most and what also most surprised me with this experience was the group of fellow climbers and guides that I had the luxury to spend a few days with on the mountain. The training school, climbing, scenic views, cold, food, weather etc. were as I was expecting after months of researching the trip but the quality of individuals that I would be sharing those experiences with was completely unexpected yet made the whole trip.
Joshua T.

Meeting all the inspiring guides and fellow climbers, standing on top of Rainier was great too!
Jamie S.

Solid physical and emotional challenge that I could share with my brother, son, and nephews.
Scott S.

Jeff S.

The guys, being on the mountain, learning more about my limits.
Stephen E.

The sense of accomplishment from reaching the summit!
Ryan S.

the challenge, hearing guides stories
George M.

Starting dark and early on summit day and reaching the summit right before sunrise.
Clark B.

Learning and using the technical skills
Jason B.

Unique challenge and comradery.
Rich M.

I enjoyed everything about the trip. The guides did a great job of making everyone in the group feel comfortable without compromising safety. The trip was excellent.
Katherine K.

The outdoor experience on the mountain was exhilarating to me. Of course, we had excellent weather which was a big factor. We were given an opportunity to descend into a crevasse which was a thrill for me.
Jesse C.

The trip was very enjoyable. The climbing and training were both very good and the guides were excellent!!
Jim K.

Spending five days with my daughter in the the beautiful environment around Ranier.
Nick B.

All of it.
Nick P.

My first thought is that I loved everything about the trip. After more reflection (or perhaps some olfactory reminiscence of the Muir facilities...or my enduring fear of the blue bag), the human factor stands out to me as the most important part, specifically the guides. The mountain, the thrill of roping up, the crunch of crampons on ice--these things would have been memorable regardless, but Eric, Lindsey, and Chase made the experience extraordinary.
Jeremy D.

The summit and going into a crevasse
Ryan B.

Marveling at the talent of the guides, and the ease in which they do highly skilled activities. The mountain was AWESOME! I really appreciated how organized and regimented everything was. I appreciate everyone sticking to a scheadule and following through. I liked that a realistice expectation was established and completed.
Paul T.

I truly enjoy all aspects of the trip. i was able to get to know the guides much better this time as well as the other climbers. i have some new friends and hopefully will make some other climbs in the future with RMI.
Chuck H.

The team, the guides, and although it was a challenge, everyone made it so fun
Collette B.

The experience of of the trip, what I saw, felt, and experienced.
Alex L.

The guides, the mountain, the team, the knowledge gained.
Laura G.

My favorite part of the trip was getting to spend time on such an incredible mountain. I also enjoyed learning some of the skills and techniques I've been reading about for years. Of course, meeting the other people on the team and the guides was great, too.
Leigh S.

Thoroughly enjoyed it start to finish, even the hellish parts. If I had to pick a favorite moment, it would have to be descending from the summit when my head cleared and I realized I'd be heading home to see my cats and my girlfriend.
Whitey F.

Not a fair question. To narrow it down, let's say my favorite part was Monday through Friday.
Josh S.

It was probably the sense of accomplishment at the end. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn't know it was going to be THAT tough. That said, RMI did a great job of helping me prepare by suggesting workout regimens leading up to our climb, food, rental gear, etc. Had RMI been an organization that just says, "Show up and we'll take you to the top" I know I would not have been as well prepared and may not even have made it up.
Scott G.

Although it was one of the harder times on the mountain, it ended up being one of the most enjoyable. On Monday as we were climbing up to camp Muir, we ended up getting caught in an ice storm. The wind and ice made it very hard to continue to climb, but the guides were right there to motivate us to keep going. At one point, one of our fellow climbers became to cold to move. She ended up having to be carried up to camp Muir by several guides. When she got to camp she was completely covered in ice and wasn't moving or talking. As soon as the guides got her in, they immediately went to work to warm her up. It was amazing to see how fast they got to work and all knew exactly what to do. They eventually got her warmed back up and everything ended up okay. But just seeing how fast the guides worked and how well they worked together, I knew right away that we were all in good hands. Without the guides help and support, that day could have ended up very differently.
Chad B.

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  • Price
    5 days
    Level 2
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Day 1


3:00 - 6:00 p.m.: We will meet at 3:00 p.m. at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford, WA. Please dress casually and bring your climbing equipment and clothing.
*Note: Whittaker Mountaineering Rental Equipment is available for pickup after 12 p.m.

We begin our Pre-Trip Orientation with a welcome and introduction of team members and guides. The afternoon is spent providing a focused introduction to a variety of topics and preparing climbers for the ascent. This includes a detailed personal equipment discussion and gear check; an introduction to safety practices including use of helmets, harnesses, and avalanche transceivers; and instruction regarding Leave No Trace practices and environmental considerations.

Please make your own arrangements to stay in the Ashford area this evening.


Day 2


8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Meet at 8:15 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp. Please arrive dressed for hiking, packed with your Mountaineering Day School gear.

The Mountaineering Day School is spent training on the lower slopes of Mt. Rainier. Climbers are introduced to a number of skills, from the foundational techniques of efficient mountain travel (rest-stepping and pressure breathing) through cramponing, roped travel, and ice axe arrest practices. The training is a great introduction to mountaineering for novice climbers as well as refresher for those with previous experience, ensuring that all climbers have the basic skills to climb safely and comfortably together on the mountain.

Please make your own arrangements for the day’s meals and a place to stay in the Ashford area this evening.

The Summit Climb takes place over the course of three days. On the first day we hike to Camp Muir, on the second day we do some light training and rest and acclimate, and on the third day we make our summit attempt and return to Rainier BaseCamp.

Day 3


Meet at 8:15 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp. After a short team meeting, a shuttle takes our group to the trailhead at Paradise.

The hike from Paradise (5,400') to Camp Muir (10,060') is nearly 4.5 miles and takes most of the day. Our team stays in tents at Camp Muir. We also have the option to stay in the climbers hut at Camp Muir in the event of bad weather. After dinner we retire to our sleeping bags to rest.


Day 4


This day is an opportunity to acclimate; this is best achieved through moderate activity. In the morning, we may review some of the techniques introduced at the Mountaineering Day School, or climb the first portion of the route to Ingraham Flats at 11,000'. In the afternoon, we organize our gear for the summit attempt and discuss the specifics regarding the route conditions, food, equipment, and clothing recommendations for the climb. After dinner we will get into our tents early to rest for the upcoming summit attempt.


Day 5


On summit day we don ropes, crampons, helmets, and grab our ice axes. The route begins with a rising traverse across the Cowlitz Glacier and ascends the pumiced switchbacks of Cathedral Gap. From here, we gain the Ingraham Glacier and ascend either the Ingraham Glacier or Disappointment Cleaver routes; the actual route choice is determined by many factors and is left to the professional discretion of your guides. The steeper section of the Ingraham Headwall or Disappointment Cleaver is the physical crux of the route. After reach the upper mountain, we ascend the higher slopes of Mt. Rainier, navigating the crevassed glaciers to reach the summit.

At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the highest point in Washington. The summit is spectacular with panoramic views from the Pacific to the eastern side of the Cascades when the weather is clear. A large crater dominates the summit, with steam rising out of the cavernous summit vents and the bare ground near the summit is often warm to the touch.

After reaching the summit, we descend back to Camp Muir. The descent typically requires half the amount of time of the ascent but requires significant effort as we retrace our route down the mountain. The duration of the climb depends on many variables including snow conditions, the time of the year, the route conditions, the weather, and temperature among others. Once back at Camp Muir, we gather our gear and descend back to Paradise. At Paradise, a shuttle takes the team down to Rainier BaseCamp. In Ashford we gather as a team to celebrate our adventure.

The duration of the climb depends on many variables including snow conditions, the time of year, the route conditions, the weather during our climb, the temperature, etc. Those variables often affect our arrival time to Ashford, which might vary dramatically from climb to climb. For this reason we do not recommend scheduling an airline flight before midnight on the last day of your program.



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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 Five Day Summit Climb, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking with a 35-45 lb load
  • Steep climbing and glacier travel with a 20-25 lb load
  • A 10-14+ hour summit day
  • 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!

Below are approximate outlines of the program's physical demands that will be helpful in planning your training schedule and goals:

Total Climbing Time
Elevation Gain / Loss
Total Distance
Pack Weight
DAY 1 - Pre-Trip Orientation in Ashford
DAY 2 - Mountaineering Day School
2 - 2 ½ hours
Round Trip
Gain = 1,000'
Loss = 1,000'
4 miles
Round Trip
20 - 25 lbs
DAY 3 - Hike from Paradise to Muir
4 - 6 hours
Gain = 4,600'
4.5 miles
40 - 45 lbs
DAY 4 - Acclimatization & rest day at Muir: possibility for light activity or short hike
DAY 5 - Summit attempt and descent to Paradise
8 - 12 hours (summit attempt)
+ 2 ½ hours
(Muir to Paradise)
Gain = 4,400'
Loss = 9,000'
12.5 miles
Round Trip
20 - 25 lbs
40 - 45 lbs

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.


Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize. 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.

While the key to climbing high is proper acclimatization, this climb effectively moves up and down the mountain at a rate that exceeds our body's ability to adjust (acclimate) to the high altitude. This is true whether a program spends 2 days or 5 days on the upper mountain (elevations above 10,000 feet). During our short climb, our bodies simply do not have the time to completely adjust to the altitude, and because of this short stay, our bodies do not typically succumb to altitude's ill effects. In short, climbers generally experience the mild but uncomfortable, yet normal, symptoms of their bodies beginning the adjustment process. While climbers will feel better rested on the slightly longer programs, fitness remains the key factor in a climber's performance.

In addition, physical performance at altitude is often 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 usually key factors in an individual's success on a short-term visit to altitude.

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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

Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: shelter, climbing ropes, sleeping pad, 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 cell phone for emergency contact.


      Not required for this trip.  Climbers' hut(s) are equipped with pads.

    • 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.


      If you own a transceiver, bring it and we will ensure it is appropriate for the climb and up to standards.   If you rent one, batteries will be provided, picked up during the Pre-trip Orientation and introduced during the Mountaineering Day School. These will be worn on the upper mountain during our summit climb.


      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.

    • 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 mountaineering boots with completely rigid soles are needed to climb Mt. Rainier. While both leather and plastic boots will work well, each has strengths and weaknesses. Plastic boots (or double boots - a boot with a removable insulated liner) will work all season. Appropriate leather boots (stiff-soled, insulated and designed to hold a crampon) are suitable only for warm weather climbs.
      The freezing level forecasted for the time of your climb will be the best guideline for which boot to wear.  A freezing level below 10,000' will dictate the use of plastic or double boots.  A freezing level above 10,000' will provide the option for either plastic boots, double boots or single leather boots. Freezing levels above 10,000' are only seen on a consistent basis between July 1 and August 15 on Mt. Rainier.  We strongly recommend plastic or double boots outside of this time frame.
      Whether leather or plastic, mountaineering boots are designed to remain stiff for kicking steps and working with crampons. To ensure that your feet do well, mountaineering boots must be comfortable right from the start. If renting boots, consider bringing personal orthotics or foot beds.


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

    • 2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Hydration systems are not recommended and, while they can work well below Camp Muir, they are not considered appropriate above Camp Muir or on the upper mountain. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.


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


      Please use the Zip-Lock as your personal trash bag.

    • CAMERA

      Stainless steel or plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.

    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Arrange lodging in Ashford.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Arrange transportation to Ashford.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!

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On the Five Day Summit Climb you will need 4 mountain lunches, 2 dinners, and 2 breakfasts while on 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: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, toffees, Life Savers), gummy bears, sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).


Single-serving instant oatmeal or Cream-of-Wheat makes a good main course fare. A variety of granola bars, pastries, fruit and a hot drink mix of coffee, tea, cocoa or cider are suggested.


Freeze-dried entrees are very convenient; it is best to be familiar with their taste (and the effects they may have on your stomach) in advance of your program. Instant soups and Cup-o'-Noodles are popular supplements to your main course. As an alternative, you might consider bringing a cold main dish such as chicken, pizza, sandwiches, pasta salads or stir-fry. We also recommend your bring hot beverage mixes such as coffee, tea, cocoa, or cider.

Don't worry too much about the nutritional aspect of meals; concern yourself more with a high calorie intake. Most importantly, choose a variety of foods that you like to eat. One of the normal, albeit disconcerting, adjustments to altitude is a slight loss of appetite.

Once we are at the Camp Muir hut, ample cold water is available for drinking and replenishing water bottles. Hot water will also be provided for your meals (freeze-dried dinners, instant soups, instant oatmeal, etc) and hot drinks. When planning your menu, don't bring any items that require extensive preparation, cooking or simmering. We are able to provide you with boiling water, but do not have the ability to actually cook food items.

  • Consider a Whittaker Mountaineering Meal Package For Well Balanced Meals
    Designed By Climbers For Climbers

    Reserve Your Meal Package

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Deposit Payments:* A non-refundable deposit payment of $350 per person secures your reservation.

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 90 days prior to the start of you 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. 

*Payments $2,500 or less may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer. Payments over $2,500 must be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer.


The $350 per person deposit is non-refundable. Written notification is required for all cancellations.

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

  • If you cancel 60 or more days before the start of your program, program fees will be refunded less the non-refundable $350 per person deposit.
  • If you cancel less than 60 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 30 days prior to your departure date for a $100 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed less than 30 days before departure.

Risk Management

Safety 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. RMI guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that improve your chance of reaching the summit without compromising the necessary margin of safety.

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 plans 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, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change 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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What is the Climber-to-Guide Ratio on this program?

Our climber-to-guide ratio is 3:1 on the Disappointment Cleaver and Ingraham Glacier routes.

What is the maximum group size?

The maximum group size of any program anywhere on Mt. Rainier is 12 individuals, including guides.


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