Log In


Register With Us

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


Check Availability

    • There are no available upcoming climbs right now, please check back later.

Check availability for a different party size


Check Availability

Five Day Summit Climb

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.

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 Mount Rainier National Park.

Climber Reviews

Filter By
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.

I enjoyed the beautiful views and the beauty of the glaciers:)
Trudi S.

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.

I really enjoyed everything about my trip.. There isn't one thing in particular that stands out. Of course standing on the summit was an incredible feeling, but the entire experience was pretty life changing. From the check in process, to the helpfulness of all of the support staff, to the people in the outfitter's store, everyone in Ashford was great. The café staff were all SO friendly and nice, every time we went in there! The professionalism and skill of the guides was really awesome, and I wouldn't want to go with another company anywhere else. The guides on my trip all showed really precise attention to detail when it came to training, safety, and keeping an eye on the group, all while completely rocking it out from a customer service sand point. For me, having the opportunity to climb with my Dad, and RMI guides, made my experience!
Jennifer 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.

  • Upcoming Climbs

      • May 9, 2016
      • Full
      • June 4, 2016
      • Full
      • June 10, 2016
      • Full
      • June 16, 2016
      • Full
      • June 25, 2016
      • Full
      • July 1, 2016
      • Full
      • July 7, 2016
      • Full
      • July 14, 2016
      • Full
      • July 22, 2016
      • Full
      • July 28, 2016
      • Full
      • August 4, 2016
      • Full
      • August 6, 2016
      • Full
      • August 12, 2016
      • Full
      • August 24, 2016
      • Full
  • Price
    5 days
    Level 2
Table of Contents
Print this Page

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.

Print this Page
Print this Page


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 this 5-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 which require 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.

Print this Page

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. This offer excludes sale items.

  • RMI Climbers Get 10% Off
    All New Equipment At
    Whittaker Mountaineering

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

Equipment List


      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.


      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.

    • 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.


      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 will work all season long and are particularly useful for climbers with colder feet.  Appropriate leather boots (stiff-soled, insulated and designed to hold a crampon) are appropriate for warmer 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 boots.  A freezing level above 10,000' will provide the option for either plastic or leather boots.
      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
    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Arrange lodging in Ashford.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Arrange transportation to Ashford.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!

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.

Print this Page


On the Five Day Summit Climb you will need four mountain lunches, two dinners, two breakfasts and several snacks while on the mountain.

Below are some examples and suggestions of the types of food that work well.


Your "lunches" are taken in the field throughout the day during short 10 to 15 minute breaks. We suggest crackers, pizza, candy bars, jerky, chips, cookies, trail mix, fruits, Gu, energy bars, and hard candies. Drink mixes such as Gatorade and Kool-Aid help flavor your water. Add peanut butter, cream cheese, hard cheese, or pepperoni for additional calories and taste. If you enjoy bread items, bagels work well. Include some salty snacks to replenish lost salts.


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. In addition, bring coffee, tea, cocoa or cider to warm you up before bedtime.

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

    Go To Whittaker Mountaineering


Print this Page


Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $350 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer.

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


Once we receive written notification (e-mail or mail) that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply:

  • A fee of $350 per person will be charged for cancellations made more than 60 days before departure.
  • There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 60 days before your program.

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

RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines and restrictions on all climbing programs, domestic and international.

  • 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.

Accompaniment by parent or legal guardian is required for the program or climb.

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.

Print this Page

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.


Back to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

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

Thank you for subscribing to the RMI Expeditions Newsletter!

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

Please choose the programs you'd like updates on: