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Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $3810
    Deposit
    $550
    Duration
    6 days
    Difficulty
    Level 3
    Type
    Skills
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

dollar sign Price / Deposit

$3,810 / $ 550

Meter Difficulty

Level 3

Clock Duration

6 days

Climber on cliff Type

Skills

Spend your work week at 10,000' on Mt. Rainier, learning and practicing essential mountaineering skills in preparation for a summit bid and gaining important experience for future climbs.

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The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir is an instructional mountaineering course with a summit attempt via the Ingraham Glacier/Disappointment Cleaver route.

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

  • A day of foundational skills training at Rainer BaseCamp in Ashford and five days of extensive technical training while climbing Mt. Rainier's classic route.
  • Climb to Camp Muir with minimal gear, as much of the team equipment (shelter, cooking equipment, fuel, ropes, anchors, etc.) is already stored there.
  • Utilize the mountain hut at Camp Muir (10,060') to allow for more hours of daily training.
  • Improve your chances of reaching the summit with a flexible itinerary, allowing the team to select the best day to make a summit attempt.

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Our Expedition Skills Seminar – Muir has been the standard of excellence for mountaineering seminars for well over forty years. Based out of the climbers' hut at Camp Muir at 10,060' on Mt. Rainier, days are spent on nearby glaciers developing mountaineering skills such as snow & ice anchors, crevasse rescue, ice climbing, fixed line travel, belaying and other technical skills, before making a summit bid. The program's flexible itinerary allows for our guides to plan the summit bid depending on the best weather conditions and the team's strength.

The Expedition Skills Seminar – Muir is offered at the beginning and end of each Mt. Rainier climbing season, allowing us to feel as though we "have the mountain to ourselves." Expedition Skills Seminar – Muir programs in May and June feature higher snow packs, avalanche forecasting, and a direct climbing route. On our September Expedition Skills Seminar – Muir we navigate Mt. Rainier's late season crevasse ridden glaciers and experience mild days and cool evenings.

Our Expedition Skills Seminars are comprehensive training courses designed to educate climbers to the mountaineering skills needed to tackle the world's greatest peaks. Successful completion of the Expedition Skill Seminar - Muir will make you eligible for many of our expeditions around the world, including Denali, and provides you with a foundation for other major glaciated mountains.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

The Mountain Guides at RMI have forged an unrivaled reputation as the leading alpine guides in the United States. Integral to some of America’s earliest Himalayan explorations, our guides draw from years of expedition guiding and climbing worldwide, ensuring each program is led by consummate professionals with a wealth of experience.

Renowned for their leadership and character, our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers. They possess a rare blend of compassion, enthusiasm, and the capacity to empower others to obtain new heights. These are qualities that can only be found in those at the pinnacle of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides remember their own humble beginnings in the mountains and take immense satisfaction in assisting other climbers to reach their goals.

Our unwavering commitment to meticulous attention to detail, unparalleled focus on individual climbers, and genuine enthusiasm for these adventures make for an unforgettable experience.

SAFETY

RMI is dedicated to providing the safest mountain experience. Our expert guides prioritize leading enjoyable and successful climbs while maintaining the highest standards of safety. Every climb involves thorough pre-trip planning, weather and avalanche forecasts, and meticulous attention to detail. Our guides are extensively trained in remote medicine and rescue techniques, and they carry comprehensive medical and rescue kits as well as radio communication equipment. Safety is always our top priority, no matter the destination or objective.


NPS Authorized ConcessionerAuthorized Concessioner

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

Address comments to:
Superintendent | Mount Rainier National Park
55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

These services are operated in an area under jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior. No discrimination by segregation or other means in the furnishing of services or privileges on the basis of race, creed, color, ancestry, sex, age, disabling condition or national origin is permitted in the use of this facility. Violation of this prohibition are punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

CARBON NEUTRAL CLIMBS & Climate Change

Offsetters

All our climbs in Mt. Rainier National Park are 100% carbon neutral. We have acquired offsets for greenhouse gas emissions through our partnership with Ostrom Climate, Canada's top carbon management solutions provider. Their carbon offset projects undergo rigorous verification by third parties to validate that emission reductions are genuine and permanent, ensuring that our contribution is making a tangible impact.

For Mt. Rainier, our primary carbon emissions stem from several sources: the electricity for our office, warehouse, and employee housing, all shuttle operations, commuting miles for office staff, stove fuel used on the seminars, and propane used at Camp Muir for cooking and melting water. These activities generate an estimated 15 tons of carbon annually. We participate in a "Green Power" program for all our electricity needs, which means our electricity comes from the wind farms in eastern Washington, which significantly reduces our emissions. Electricity is one of the biggest sources of emissions, and without the Green Power program, we estimate the annual amount of carbon emissions to be closer to 70 tons.

By supporting this project, we effectively prevent the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated from our operations from being emitted elsewhere. These offsets are instrumental in fulfilling our sustainability objectives and advancing 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 through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or [email protected].


Climber Reviews

Filter By
05/20/2024
Great experience with excellent guides that made the best of poor weather conditions.
Tim Z.

05/12/2024
Being out in the elements; hearing tips and stories from the guides; tech training (anchors, rescues, rope skills).
Paul C.

09/13/2023
Seeing the guides sort through real problems live in front of the group demonstrated the skills necessary to take on similiar challenges by ourselves or outside of a guided experience.
Matthew S.

05/22/2023
All of it; spending the week at Camp Muir, a successful summit, more jokes & laughter than I've had in some time. This week was a great experience and an excellent foundation for future mountaineering endeavors.
Nicholas H.

09/26/2022
There were so many good memories and training on this trip despite not making it to the summit. We learned so much and took advantage of the time we had. I felt like I walked away knowing how to identify risks in alpine environments and how to manage some of those risks. The guides and the group that we were in made it better than I could have imagined. We had so much fun during the skills portion, but also when relaxing in the bunk house. I felt that the guides went above and beyond on my birthday (something I didn't really expect to celebrate much at all). They made a tiny cake out of an Almond Joy and a couple candles and came in singing happy birthday to surprise me. Embarrassing as it was, it'll be one I wont forget.
Chelsey H.

09/25/2022
The level of knowledge passed form the guides to us. I learned so much and the guides also kept things fun during the entire time.
Jenny T.

09/23/2022
I enjoyed pushing myself and getting out of my comfort zone. I also greatly enjoy the camaraderie and the excellent company of the guides and team.
Arturo R.

09/22/2022
Crevasse rescue
Anne F.

09/20/2022
I learned so much which is why I signed up for this seminar. The comradery with the other climbers and the guides was a definite cherry on top!
Tim v.

09/20/2022
Even though we didn't summit the mountain, I was really just there to learn and prepare for a Denali climb and I feel that I got everything I needed and then some. The guides made every effort to accommodate everything the guests were there to do, from scouting a potential summit route in less that ideal conditions to practicing more in depth traversal techniques. I had never been with RMI before and now I will surely recommend RMI and use you again.
Jason N.

09/19/2022
Learning more about technical aspects in mountaineering; meeting the team and the staff (guides)
Sebastian O.

09/19/2022
Ice climbing and crevasse rescue training. Being able to climb and hike.
James L.

05/24/2022
Experience of the guides and skills training / practice.
Mark S.

05/15/2022
The enthusiasm and expertise of the guides, and the little extra side-adventures like ice-climbing
Joey M.

04/25/2022
The interactions with the guides was awesome and I enjoyed it the most. Enjoyed may not be the proper term but while we were at one point in whiteout conditions being blown sideways on an exposed ridge and I was concerned having never been in that situation previously I never once felt that the situation was out of control and had full confidence in the guides ability to take the safest course of action.
Jeffrey E.

04/18/2022
I was extremely pleased with all the guides. Every one of them was friendly, knowledgeable, and able to effectively communicate and teach. Additionally, when the weather didn't cooperate, the guides adapted to make sure we were still exposed to the full curriculum. I actually think I got more quality learning time when we were stuck in Ashford for an extra day due to the park being closed. RMI was also very generous in putting us up for the night and renting us snowshoes at no cost.
Hyde C.

04/16/2022
The ability of the guide team to keep things positive.
Phil D.

09/27/2021
Alex, Dustin and Kiira were a 12 out of 10. Their knowledge, professionalism, focus on safety, leadership, patience were at an incredibly high level. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. I cannot state enough positives about these three guides. Top notch- outstanding. Thank you Alex, Dustin and Kiira. Mt. Rainier is such a beautiful and demanding mountain- this was an awesome trip, even without the summit attempt. Ice climbing in the crevasse was the highlight for me and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
James B.

09/26/2021
Was recommended RMI by a buddy that has summited Rainier 3xs with RMI. Would recommend to anyone. Its a great feeling to see a diverse, younger guide service as a 27 year old that is extremely knowledgeable and serious about the safety of everyone participating. It was definitely worth showing up for the skills seminar without reaching the summit.
Dominic D.

09/19/2021
The scenery was just incredible and I loved that we had ample time to enjoy it under many different weather circumstances. The hut experience was great, especially with only 8 of us. I don't know how you would fit 18 in there, haha, but anyway it was nice to have the hut for hanging out and for doing "class" while it was stormy outside.
Chad C.

09/19/2021
Being on the mountain the whole week was definitely essential--Camp Muir was the perfect learning environment because we were on the mountain but in a comfortable shelter, except for a moth that bugged me each night until we murdered it, but that's another story. Equally as essential were (a) the guides, who were great as noted above, and (b) the group, which got along great as well. Getting to know the guides and climbing colleagues turned out to be as important and enjoyable to me as the skills I learned. I hope and expect I'll climb again with several of them.
Christian C.

09/11/2021
The guides made the best out of a bad situation. They helped me when I needed it and reprimanded me when I also needed it. No learning comes without some conflict:) great trip
Mitchel D.

05/23/2021
I enjoyed the stories by Dave Hahn as well as the overall knowledge by all the guides in the group. All the guides were incredibly supportive and encouraging.
Kurt W.

05/16/2021
As and Enumclaw native, I have climbed Rainer quite a bit. This was my wife and I first time with a guide. I have watched other guiding companies on Rainier for several years and RMI has stood out way above AAi and IMG. No comparison. From atomsphere to attitude chatting with Peter Whittaker as he checks on the operation, all around excellent company. Every detail is there and in place, the passion from the top down is something I want to be apart of again.
Aaron S.

05/16/2021
The skills workshops including ice climbing and fixed line climbing and rappelling where particularly eye opening.
Benjamin H.

04/30/2021
Finally summiting! After 5 years of training and 4 trips, the mountain opened up for me. Each year, your team has been amazing.
Jeff P.

04/27/2021
Hearing the stories sitting around the hots after dinner and the reasons for why people were joining this trip.
Tyler F.

04/19/2021
The unexpected weather brought an additional element to the training that created an excellent platform for a reality based educational and learning experience.
Robert B.

09/13/2019
Feeling the fear of the mountain cushioned by being in the hands of 5 highly intelligent and skilled mountaineers. Anyone can memorize technical details, but these men are peers of the mountain.
Gareth D.

07/18/2019
The friendships made in the Bunkhouse on Muir when the weather wasn’t great and we were stuck inside for several hours at a time.
Matthew F.

06/01/2019
Honestly, making the summit. The entire program was very informative though and we all enjoyed the challenge.
Jared I.

05/29/2019
I truly felt that RMI is at the top of the game in terms of moutain guiding experience and safety. I loved the on-mountain seminar format. I thought the guides were all top-notch.
Peter B.

05/29/2019
I loved the ice climbing out of the crevasse and the crevasse rescue in general. Also just listening to the guides stories and plans for future climbs.
Michael A.

03/23/2019
Overall, I really enjoyed the seminar experience. All the guides were amazing, and the overall experience was fantastic. I could not have asked for more. (It also helped that the weather was unbelievably good.)
John C.

09/26/2018
I cannot possibly choose even a few things I most enjoyed. I loved it all. I cannot think of better way to spend a week than learning about the mountains and climbing with such an awesome group of people.
Rachel M.

09/22/2018
the entire trip was amazing. the weather was great. The teaching and lessons left nothing out. Our group of guides were the best anyone could ever ask for. Accomidations at Muir were great and allowed us to continue learning inside in the evenings as well. Our group of personalities were unique as well and I could not have asked for a better group of people to spend a week with and learning the mountain skills necessary to continue moving forward in our climbing endeavors.
Brian B.

09/18/2018
Summit day. Getting to celebrate my dad and his 60th birthday at 10,000 feet with a pancake breakfast. Getting to do a little maternity shoot at 14,410 feet was amazing, and the love and respect I received from the summit team that day will be forever treasured - excited to share the pictures with my family soon!
Melissa O.

09/17/2018
Th guide staff - They were all rockstars and were always available to have a conversation or discuss training, information, tell stories, or just spend time with the climbers.
Stephen C.

06/05/2018
This Muir seminar was truly one of the best weeks I ever spent in the mountain. I learned a lot about mountaineering and even had the pleasure to reach the summit of Mt Rainier with the best team of guides and people I ever met.
Maxime V.

05/22/2018
The RMI team and my fellow trekkers they made the journey enjoyable. The views were also outstanding!
Scott M.

05/20/2018
I loved spending 5 days “playing in the snow” and basking in the gorgeous views that Rainier offers. I appreciate that RMI makes mountaineering accessible for beginners - and I think even those with significantly more climbing experience were still able to benefit from the same seminar. The guide team was wonderful beyond any expectation that I had, and I maintained full confidence in their abilities. Thank you for one of the best experiences of my life - I’ll be back for more.
Amy L.

05/19/2018
The highlight was seeing my daughter meet her goal of reaching the summit of Mt. Rainier and learning all things mountaineering. The care and attention the guide offered to her were a tribute to RMI program. We both worked hard but enjoyed every minute.
Walt D.

10/15/2017
I felt like I learned a great deal about mountaineering, and that this is something I hope to be able to apply in independent trips. Also, that we sumited was largely due to the hard work and experience of the guides.I also felt like I had a good balance of excitement and fun on the trip.
Will M.

10/09/2017
I can't give enough high praises for the professionalism, expertise and focus that each guide exhibited. It definitely speaks very highly of the company to have this level of individuals work for them. Each guide definitely brought their own specific personalities and skill to the table. This guide team that was assembled for this session couldn't have been matched and paired better. I can't imagine having a better team. It made for an awesome, safe, educational and thrilling experience.
Gene L.

10/09/2017
You guys are great -- keep doing it!
Matthew M.

10/02/2017
Everything, but in particular..Crevasse rescue and ice climbing. we had a very good group of climbers and guides.
Robert P.

09/22/2017
Everything but like most things, the people make an incredible difference and I felt lucky to be with such great guides.
Charlie B.

09/21/2017
The breadth of knowledge the Guides had, and the *respect* they gave to all of us.
John M.

09/19/2017
I was very impressed with the level of knowledge regarding the climbs and each guides experience with summit climbs. My sister and I were unable to join the group for the majority of the climb but we enjoyed learning how to make knots and hitches and as a certified "city girl", that was a major accomplishment. I look forward to training again and using RMI to book a trip to Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu in the near future. I will refer RMI to others!!!
Veleta P.

06/14/2017
So many things!The beauty of the Mt Ranier by sun and moon.Feeling empowered and strong.New skills to practice and expand upon.
Holly A.

06/10/2017
The guides - they make the trip. The trip is a mix of misery, beauty, and whatever the weather throws at you. As we looked at other guide services, RMI guides clearly outshined the rest on the mountain.,I don't have experience with any other service, but hard pressed to think anyone is better..
Jeff P.

05/31/2017
The guide team was exceptional. learned a lot!
Rene C.

05/30/2017
These are lessons i will always remember.Looking forward to another climb.
Derek S.

10/21/2016
This is the best and most professional mountain guiding / training program / seminar I've ever seen.
Thomas G.

10/14/2016
Muir Seminar is a well-designed program. The guides communicated very well on the expectations during the trip, and the mountain provides a perfect terrain for glacier climbing training. I never have enjoyed climbing this well during my entire (short) climbing life :) And the view at camp Muir was just stunning, from sun rise to star rise. Each day we had different learning programs, and each guide was a superstar him/herself. And thumbs up up for women guides in RMI! As I am a woman myself, they are definitely great role models to me. Oh, oh, oh, and the hot water, the warm hut, and the high tech toilet on Camp Muir. A very civilized camp, don't you worry. I would definitely climb with RMI if I come climbing Rainier again!
Sherry L.

10/07/2016
A difficult challenge made achievable my the skill of the guides.
James L.

09/26/2016
After a number of years away from climbing, I loved refreshing old skills and learning new ones on Rainier. It really is an ideal training environment, and the opportunity to spend a week hands-on with an outstanding guide crew was fantastic. Summit day was definitely a highlight, as we enjoyed unusually good weather and were able to really take our time at the summit enjoying the moment. I met some wonderful people on the trip that I really hope I get the opportunity to climb with again.Easily one of the best things I've ever signed up for.
Jeffrey B.

09/26/2016
"Well-organized and I knew what to expect, what to bring. The guides taught well and made it interesting. It was challenging but I never felt unsafe."
Andrew P.

09/22/2016
RMI set up a great environment for the team to bond during the week. The most enjoyable part was the relationships formed with other climbers and with the guides, you bond with someone very quickly when you are facing the challenge of Rainier together.
Jared L.

09/21/2016
I really enjoyed all the time we were able to work with and learn from the guides. They made such good use of the time that the days flew by and they worked us hard, but at the same time gave us the rest we needed to be ready for summit day.
Eric L.

09/16/2016
I liked everything about the entire trip. The leadership team was great. The shelter at camp Muir was comfortable. The classes were hands on and informative.
Spencer R.

06/07/2016
Overall amazing experience. Passionate and caring guides, well thought out itinerary, beautiful setting. Exceeded all expectations.
Joe N.

06/06/2016
a first class operation from start to finish.
Evan S.

06/06/2016
I enjoyed getting to spend time with the guides. People are the most important part of any organization and it was clear RMI only hires the best. Eric, Adam, Megan, Hannah, and Pepper made my week on Mt. Rainier one of the best weeks of my life!
Nick S.

06/06/2016
The knowledge gained from Adam and Eric in particular was beyond expectation. They went out of their way to really give a great experience, complete with adventure and amazing skills to walk away from this program with.
Brian S.

06/01/2016
We had a great group of climbers on this seminar. For me, the best part of the trip was climbing with my Dad and 2 brothers. It was a dream come true and a great bonding experience for all of us. Also, due to the size of our group we had 2 lead guides. This could have led to a power struggle between the 2 of them. However, Ben and Elias both led with professionalism and kept the group experience as a priority. They worked extremely well together and got our group to the summit and back down safely. They interacted with our group, proving that they truly wanted us to enjoy the entire experience. They were both professional experienced climbers with great personalities that made climbing Mt. Rainier one of the best challenges of my life!
Ryan E.

05/29/2016
Crevasse rescue and glacier safety along with climbing techniques.
Chris K.

05/26/2016
The guides and the group. Fantastic! We had fun, stayed safe, and learned a lot. I appreciated that the guides would take time to just hang out with us in the evenings. They live the lives we clients are paying to sample, and hearing about them was a highlight of the trip.
Robert J.

05/24/2016
The professionalism and experience of the guides and their ability to make mountaineering such a fun activity.
Bradley L.

05/22/2016
Reaching the summit is the obvious highlight. The experience and environment crafted by our guides was outstanding from the initial training, to Paradise, on-site training, getting to the top, and returning home.
Sam F.

10/07/2015
The guides were truly top notch. They were excellent, engaged, friendly, and very knowledgeable. Felt very safe the whole time. Felt like I learned a lot about mountaineering.
Carlo C.

10/01/2015
Finally getting deep into the glacier/crevasse travel.
Jeff K.

10/01/2015
it was a lot of fun, guides were great! Best guide experience ive ever had. and ive climbed with 5 other companies.
Dave V.

09/27/2015
An amazing summit attempt in difficult conditions with the leadership of unbelievably skilled guides.
Alex P.

09/27/2015
I enjoyed how everybody - guides and climbers - interacted as a team. Nobody was an outsider and it made the trip very enjoyable.
Jon W.

09/27/2015
Meeting the guides and other participants, how our team came together as one big cohesive group, getting to spend a whole week with everyone and more relaxed pace at Camp Muir, learning some new skills and putting it all together. And of course just being surrounded by the beauty of Mt Rainier for a whole week!
Dawn G.

09/23/2015
The skill set provided by the programme, which will be an enormous aid to my future aspirations. The teamwork and team spirit nurtured by the guides on the mountain.
Galina M.

09/21/2015
Of course the summit was the pinnacle of my trip but I have to say I enjoyed every second of the Muir seminar. The anchor and crevasse rescue training was extremely interesting and it taught me skills that I will use in all my future climbs. We also lucked out by having a great group of climbers, several of whom I am already planning future trips with!
Lewis B.

09/19/2015
Favorite part was the guides and chance to summit.
Hudson B.

09/18/2015
All of the people at RMI were great to work with and learn from.
Joseph W.

09/16/2015
Working with a great team of guides who actually enjoy working with each other.
Tom S.

09/15/2015
I'm happiest in the mountains
Randy S.

06/21/2015
I enjoyed the depth of the training and that we were able to apply that training directly to summiting the mountain. I also enjoyed the guides sharing their experiences and chatting with us on our level.
Kevin S.

06/07/2015
Our summit night and day was absolutely incredible - no wind and perfect weather. I also LOVED the crevasse rescue practice, especially having the opportunity to be in a crevasse. This is not something that the average human being has the opportunity to experience. All of the learning was absolutely fantastic and useful, as well, as I plan to continue to climb with RMI each year.
George N.

06/06/2015
Crevasse rescue, even a bit more then the summit. Also, Brent's wealth of information, and absolute humbles was incredible. I would have been a lot more nervous on the way down without his experience.
Travis S.

06/05/2015
The guides made the trip very enjoyable. Also we had a great group of guys. Also really liked going into the crevasse.
Ben R.

06/03/2015
The guides, the people and the feeling of empowerment after getting down the mountain.
Ted S.

06/03/2015
Working with and learning from the extremely informed guides. I especially enjoyed crevasse rescue and summit day. Overall, this was an amazing experience.
Nathan P.

05/29/2015
The skills learned on the Muir seminar. The closeness of the group.
David W.

10/11/2014
Brent and his crew filled our days and evenings with a great, wide-ranging program. By Friday morning, I was beat, both physically and mentally. (A good thing.) What I appreciated most was the encouragement that the guides offered me regarding my capabilities for this tough sport. I *do* have an interest in more challenging climbs. Before this seminar, I wasn't sure I'd be up to that task. Today, I am.
Jeff T.

10/03/2014
I enjoyed our Thursday activities, getting out on the glacier and working on skills. The weather really played a big part in our climb so the break in the weather was great. I really was disappointed in not getting a shot at the summit. This is my second attempt. But I do understand about the weather.
Jeff S.

10/01/2014
For me to come off a trip where we were weathered in nearly the whole time and still exclaim to my friends and family that it was fabulous says an enormous amount about your program and staff. I learned a ton. Our group in general remained very very positive despite 100+ mph winds and lots of precip. THANKS.
Hansi H.

09/25/2014
I came to this program with only backpacking experience and was able to climb Mt. Rainier due to the competence and care of the guides. Because of their efforts, I was able to enjoy a wonderful life moment. In an way it is hard to be "rookie" at age 62, but the guides were patient and understanding. I also enjoyed the company of my fellow climbers.
Tom P.

09/25/2014
Time spent with the guides. Whether training and getting 1:1 instruction on crevasse pulling systems, crampon technique, ice climbing or evenings during our lectures/discussions in the hut or the encouragement and direction during the summit climb. Our guides: Brent, JJ, Christina, Solveig, and Steve were each so knowledgeable and committed to improving our skills and making sure we enjoyed our week on the mountain. What I take away and will talk to others about are the moments I had with each guide and how much I felt they cared about my safety, learning, and experience along the way. This was my second climb with JJ and Brent (last year weather kept us from summiting) and summit or not the journey of experiencing the mountain and learning with these guys tops making it to the summit (although it was nice to get there this time!). JJ making quesadillas for us the last night was a thoughtful touch I'll remember. All our evenings together in the Muir hut with the guides were memorable -- whether we were learning and discussing mountaineering topics or hearing about climbing adventures or talking about what might be our own next adventure in the mountains -- all those talks with our guides were fun, informative and helpful for me in thinking about my climbing ambitions. I'll climb again with RMI for a 3rd time. No question. And I hope to be with any of the 5 guides we had in our seminar.
Marc O.

09/24/2014
Your guides. What awesome people they are.
Greg N.

09/20/2014
The guides were great.
Randy S.

06/16/2014
The crevasse rescue training
Fred W.

06/13/2014
Learning the skills I never would have picked up on my own. Getting to the top was pretty awesome too!
Brian M.

06/09/2014
The guides and education.
Jeff M.

06/07/2014
Learning mountaineering skills and spending time chatting with guides at camp Muir. Gaining the summit was cool but I would have enjoyed it regardless.
Mike M.

06/05/2014
The people and the great weather
George S.

06/04/2014
It was fun, challenging, hard work and rewarding - a great combination and highly addictive.
Lindsay N.

06/04/2014
Hard to describe or explain. Just an amazing time from start to finish.
Dave J.

05/28/2014
The whole thing! Absolutely awesome experience. Casey Grom was not on the evaluation form but he was our other senior guide. Casey and Elias were both simply fantastic, first rate all around. Safe, very very knowledgable, great sense of humor and ever supportive, these two guys are awesome. You should give them a raise!
Matthew E.

05/28/2014
Self arrest training
David R.

05/27/2014
The guides
Brandon B.

11/10/2013
Learning. I could have found a guide or a group to drag me along and help me reach a level where I could summit a peak. But with this program, I established a solid foundation for adding to my knowledge in the future, feeling confident that I learned the basics the right way.
Mark M.

10/14/2013
Intensity level was just right for having fun and forgetting about work.
Chris D.

10/12/2013
The guides and the team
Dean D.

10/03/2013
Learning from the guides.
Bruce B.

10/03/2013
I enjoyed the challenge of the climb the most. I also enjoyed learning for all the guides and the support and encouragement everyone showed eachother. A great environment to learn in.
Meredith M.

10/02/2013
The total experience including the challenging weather. The trip was exactly what I expected for a September trip but it seemed to surprise the rest of the group. I enjoyed it immensely.
Tim R.

09/28/2013
The people (group was fantastic - ingredients), the guides (the cooks) were incredable, the whole thing seemed to simmer and bake (no pun related to warm temps) into a feast.
Kristin H.

09/26/2013
Summit climb; crevasse rescue training.
Matthew L.

09/19/2013
Being in the mountains and meeting new friends
Dan L.

06/21/2013
Summit day was absolutely beautiful with phenomenal climbing conditions. The climb from Camp Muir to the summit and back was even better than I imagined. With the outstanding weather conditions, I'm sure we didn't suffer enough to have "earned the summit".
James B.

06/14/2013
The crevasse rescue was by far the highlight of the trip.
Lance D.

06/13/2013
The guiding team made it such a comfortable experience.
Josh H.

06/10/2013
Comraderie of the people and the attempts of the guides to entertain us even though we could barely leave the hut.View from the top of Cathedral gap, which was unfortunately as far as we got!
Julia S.

06/10/2013
The guides really made this a great trip. The weather was bad and we didn't get to make a summit attempt, but the experience was still amazing because the guides were so great. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience.
Angie D.

06/04/2013
The guides!
Nicholas L.

06/01/2013
The people. The guides and the clients and the camaraderie formed as a group.
Rachel M.

06/01/2013
Every waking moment. Beauty beyond my imagination and unforgettable camaraderie.
Gary B.

05/31/2013
the suffering
Luke F.

05/28/2013
Applying climbing concepts and training to the winter alpine environment.
Jared R.

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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to [email protected].

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend travel insurance for this trip. Your travel insurance policy should include trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, and evacuation.

Navigating through the different options for travel insurance can be challenging. When purchasing Travel Insurance, here are a few items to consider:

  • Read the fine print. Travel Insurance will reimburse you when canceling for a covered reason for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that you insure. However, there are exclusions, so make sure you understand the "covered reasons."
  • Confirm that your activity is a covered "activity." Not all travel insurance policies will offer coverage for activities such as mountaineering, climbing, skiing, or trekking adventures. Policies can also exclude coverage for activities due to the gear used (crampons, ice axe), activities that go above specific elevations, or activities in a particular region of the world. If there are exclusions, you may need to add an "Adventure" or "Sports" package to cover your activity.
  • Verify that your state of residence is allowed with the policy that you are purchasing. Not all insurance companies offer policies in all 50 states.
  • Contact your travel protection company directly for any questions you have regarding benefits or coverage.

We have partnered with Travelex Insurance and Harbor Travel Insurance because they offer certain policies specifically designed for adventure travel and offer coverage for remote areas and activities like mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and trekking without any altitude restrictions. 

 

 

For your convenience, we offer Travelex Insurance Services, Inc.(CA Agency License #0D10209) travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. 

 

For more information on the available plans, visit Travelex Insurance Services or contact Travelex Insurance (800) 228-9792 and reference location number 47-0370. 

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.

 

Harbor Insurance 

 

 

 

 

Harbor Travel Insurance covers the following critical benefits:

  • Evacuation to a nearest appropriate hospital once hospitalized.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, AD&D, and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses, and military veterans.

Harbor Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries, and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word.

Getting There

Rainier BaseCamp is located in Ashford, WA, and is the home of RMI Expeditions, Whittaker Mountaineering, Whittaker's Bunkhouse, and BaseCamp Bar and Grill. Ashford is located 75 miles from the Sea-Tac Airport, and most climbers traveling to Ashford will want to rent a car. This is the most convenient and reliable way to get here.

Ride Share: If you are interested in sharing a ride, please go to your RMI Account, then to "Discussion Board" and "Ride Share" to post your information.

Seattle Airport Car Service
Phone: 206-375-4000
Email: [email protected]

ENTRY INTO MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

All our Mt. Rainier programs begin at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford. All Mt. Rainier climbs, seminars and schools include transportation for our climbers from Rainier BaseCamp to Paradise or to the White River Entrance.

You do not need to have a timed entry reservation if you are using RMI’s provided transportation.

If you are driving your own vehicle into Mount Rainier National Park, you will need to make a reservation for entry. Timed Entry Reservations - Mount Rainier National Park.

Ashford Area Accommodations

The Hideaway Tiny House
The Overlook
Whittaker's Motel and Historic Bunkhouse | 360-569-2439
Nisqually Lodge | 360-569-8804
Alexander's Lodge | 360-569-2300
Wellspring Spa & Cabins | 360-569-2514
Guest Services Inc: (Paradise Inn and National Park Inn) | 253-569-2275
Mt. Rainier Visitor Association | 360-569-0910
Camping

You may also go to VisitRainier.com to search for accommodations in the Ashford Area.

Weather

For updated Mt. Rainier weather forecasts, click here.

Please click on the links below to see the Mt. Rainier webcams:

Tipping

Our guides put considerable effort into ensuring your safety and success on the mountain. If you had a positive experience, leaving a gratuity is a wonderful gesture to show your appreciation. The amount is up to you and should reflect how much you enjoyed the service. Typically, tips for excellent service range from 10% to 15% of the program cost. Guides can accept gratuities in cash, Venmo, or by check. If you prefer, you can also pay tips using a credit card through the RMI Office.

Facts

Mt Rainier became the nation's fifth National Park in 1899, some twenty-nine years after it was first climbed. Mt. Rainier National Park encompasses 235,625 acres and is 97% wilderness and 3% National Historic Landmark District. At 14,410', Mt. Rainier is the most prominent peak in the Cascade Range. It is a dormant volcano that last erupted approximately 150 years ago.

Guided mountaineering activity has taken place since the late 1800s, and The Mountain is still considered a prime training ground for climbing in Alaska, South America, and the Himalayas.  With more than 20 active glaciers encompassing some 36 square miles of ice, Rainier boasts the largest ice cover of any peak in the lower 48 United States.  Its weather can be deceptively gentle or as fierce as encountered on any high mountain anywhere in the world.  There is a wealth of information on the Mt. Rainier National Park website. We encourage you to enhance your enjoyment of the climb with some fun facts about the Park and the history of climbing there.

Resources

General Information on Mt. Rainier National Park (MRNP) - www.nps.gov/mora

The Mountaineers Book - www.mountaineersbooks.org

Gateway Communities & Activities outside Mt. Rainier National Park - www.visitrainier.com

Recommended Reading

The Challenge of Rainier, by Dee Molenaar

Mt. Rainier - A Climbing Guide, by Mike Gauthier

Mt. Rainier: The Story Behind the Scenery, by Ray Snow

National Geographic Trails Illustrated MRNP topo map

 

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What You Need to know

A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought processes behind each item are much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program considers factors such as seasonality, route conditions, weather, elevation, and more. As such, this list is framed within the broadest of contexts and is dynamic by its very nature. 

Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. If you own the item, or have something you think is similar, bring it with you. If the guide feels it is inadequate, you can rent or purchase the necessary piece from Whittaker Mountaineering. 

The guides’ recommendation on whether to bring along or leave behind specific item(s) comes during the gear check when the team first meets. If a guide deviates from the list, it is for a good reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, etc. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item that may not be needed or the need to buy or rent an additional item. 

Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for any mountain. It does not exist because of the many variables climbers face throughout the climb. Fine-tuning will occur once you meet with your guides and continue throughout the program. 


  • Whittaker Mountaineering 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.

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

Equipment List

GUIDE PICK

Guide Pick™ is a collaboration between RMI Expeditions and Whittaker Mountaineering. At the end of each season, Whittaker Mountaineering surveys RMI's guides to determine the best mountaineering gear and apparel. They compile the results, reach a consensus, and award the best in each category with a Guide Pick™ label.

This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have characteristics and performance abilities similar to those of the Guide Pick.


Pack & Travel

Image of 65+ LITER BACKPACK
65+ LITER BACKPACK

Your backpack should be large enough to carry all of your personal gear, food, and water. The pack volume you choose depends on your experience and the quality of your gear; if you opt for a smaller pack, practice packing and make sure you can fit all of your gear with room to spare. You will not need a separate summit pack.

Guide Pick™

Sleeping Bag & Pad

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SLEEPING BAG

We recommend a bag rated between 20° and 0° F. Allow ample room for movement. We recommend down over synthetic for its light weight, warmth, and packability. If climbing in April, May, June, or September, or if you know you sleep cold, consider a 0° F bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
Guide Pick™

SLEEPING PAD

Not required for this trip.


Technical Gear

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ICE AXE

The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm axe; and taller, use a 75 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.

Guide Pick™

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CLIMBING HARNESS

We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat, or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom. If you rent a harness, a triple-action carabiner is included.

Guide Pick™

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1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER

Used for clipping into the climbing rope. Harness rentals include this carabiner.

Guide Pick™

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1 LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for clipping into anchors, etc.

Guide Pick™

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3 NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for pack ditch loop, etc.

Guide Pick™

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CRAMPONS

10-point or 12-point adjustable steel crampons with anti-balling plates designed for general mountaineering use.

Guide Pick™

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AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES

Transceivers are worn on the upper mountain during your summit attempt. If you rent a transceiver fresh batteries will be provided.

Guide Pick™

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TREKKING POLES

We recommend lightweight and collapsible poles with snow baskets.

Guide Pick™

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MECHANICAL ASCENDER (OPTIONAL)

For practicing fixed line travel. You guides will also provide one to practice with. Most people prefer an ascender designed for their weak hand, leaving their strong hand free to hold their ice axe. For example, a right-handed person would use a left-handed ascender.

Guide Pick™

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12 ' ACCESSORY CORD

6 mm cordelette in one continuous length OR precut into two 4' sections OR two 13.5" Sterling Hollow Block sewn loops.

Guide Pick™

Image of ' ACCESSORY CORD
15 ' ACCESSORY CORD

7 mm cordelette in one continuous length OR one 240cm dyneema sling.


Head

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HELMET

A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™

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WARM HAT

Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™


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BUFF

A Buff provides versitile head and neck protection. A neck gaiter is also acceptable.

Guide Pick™

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HEADLAMP

Start with fresh batteries and bring extra set(s) of batteries appropriate to the duration of the trip.

Guide Pick™

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GLACIER GLASSES

Glacier glasses are protective sunglasses that provide close to 100% frame coverage (wrap-around frames and side shields ensure no light can enter from the top, bottom, and sides of the glasses) and transmit less than 10% of visual light.

Guide Pick™

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GOGGLES

Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.

Guide Pick™

Image of SAFETY GLASSES (OPTIONAL)
SAFETY GLASSES (OPTIONAL)

Helpful in keeping blowing dust out of the eyes at night. If you wear prescription glasses, make sure they can fit over.


Hands

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

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES
LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES

Light weight liner or softshell gloves. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES
MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated mountain gloves.

Guide Pick™

Image of HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVES OR MITTENS
HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVES OR MITTENS

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated gloves or mittens. These also serve as emergency backups if you drop or lose a lighter-weight glove.

Guide Pick™

Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light, and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, softshell, down, and synthetic options.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY
LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY

Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Light weight, light-colored, hooded baselayers (sun hoodys) are highly recommended for sun protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

One step up in warmth and bulk from a baselayer. A technical fleece makes an ideal light weight insulating layer.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

A down, synthetic, or softshell hoody makes a great midlayer.

Guide Pick™

Image of RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL)
RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL)

An uninsulated, waterproof shell jacket with hood.

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED PARKA WITH HOOD
INSULATED PARKA WITH HOOD

Your expedition-style heavy parka must extend below the waist, have an insulated hood, and be able to fit over the rest of your upper body layers. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it also serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill.

Guide Pick™

Image of SPORTS BRA
SPORTS BRA

We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.

Guide Pick™

Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.



Image of SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS
SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS

Softshell climbing pants can be worn in combination with a base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.

Guide Pick™

Image of RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)
RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)

Non-insulated, waterproof shell pants must be able to fit comfortable over your baselayer bottoms and softshell climbing pants. Full side zippers or 7/8 side zippers are required so that shell pants can be put on while wearing boots and crampons.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS  (OPTIONAL)
LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS (OPTIONAL)

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

Guide Pick™

Feet

Image of DOUBLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS
DOUBLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

Insulated double boots designed for mountaineering. Plastic-shelled models are acceptable, though modern synthetic models are lighter and more comfortable.

Guide Pick™

Image of BOOTIES (OPTIONAL)
BOOTIES (OPTIONAL)

Goose down or synthetic fill. Nice option for evenings at camp.

Guide Pick™

Image of APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)
APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)

We recommend a pair of light running or approach shoes for one to two hours of use on the approach to Camp Muir (after the snow melts, typically by mid-July), and for use as a camp shoe.

Guide Pick™

Image of GAITERS
GAITERS

A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing. Not needed if using a boot with an integrated gaiter.

Guide Pick™

Image of PAIRS OF SOCKS
2 PAIRS OF SOCKS

Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc.), should work just fine for this climb.

Guide Pick™

First Aid & Medications

Image of SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT

Our guides carry comprehensive medical kits, so keep yours small and light. We recommend a selection of adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, Moleskin and blister care, medical tape and/or duct tape, basic pain reliever, and personal medications.

Guide Pick™

Personal Items

Image of MEALS & SNACKS
MEALS & SNACKS

You are responsible for providing your own meals and snack food in town and while on Mt. Rainier. See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

Guide Pick™

Image of BOWL
BOWL

Packable plastic bowl. Collapsable models can work but must be handled carefully to avoid unintended collapsing. A lid is a great feature.

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED MUG
INSULATED MUG

Insulated outdoor-style mug. We recommed a model with a removable lid, which helps retain heat and prevent spills. You may also choose to use 0.5L insulated bottle or a 0.5L nalgene.

Guide Pick™

Image of SPOON OR SPORK
SPOON OR SPORK

A spoon or spork made of durable plastic or anodized metal. A long-handled spoon can be nice, especially if eating from a freeze-dried meal pouch.

Guide Pick™

Image of WATER BOTTLES
2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

One-liter water bottles with wide mouths made of co-polyester (BPA-free plastic). No hydration systems as they tend to freeze on the upper mountain and be hard to fill. Cold water for drinking is provided.

Guide Pick™

Image of GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG
GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG

This will be your personal trash bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of LARGE GARBAGE BAGS
2 LARGE GARBAGE BAGS

Heavy-duty trash compacter bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. You can also use a a waterproof pack liner.


Image of PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG
PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG

Include toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, and wet wipes. Bring a quantity appropriate to the duration of your trip.


Image of SUNSCREEN
SUNSCREEN

We recommend small tubes of SPF 30 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.

Guide Pick™

Image of TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
Guide Pick™

Image of LIP BALM
LIP BALM

We recommend SPF 15 or higher.

Guide Pick™

Image of EAR PLUGS
EAR PLUGS

SPARE CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES (OPTIONAL)

Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


Image of PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)
PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)

Practice using this before coming on the climb!

Guide Pick™

Image of CAMERA (OPTIONAL)
CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

Many smartphones have excellent cameras. Action cameras, small point-and-shoots, and compact dSLRs are lightweight and work well at altitude.


Image of POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)
POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)

A small power bank, enough to charge a phone or e-reader several times.

Guide Pick™

Travel Clothes

Image of TRAVEL CLOTHES
TRAVEL CLOTHES

We recommend bringing a selection of clothing to wear while traveling, site seeing and dining.  


Pre-Trip Checklist

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, 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.

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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.

ENTRY INTO MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

All our Mt. Rainier programs begin at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford. All Mt. Rainier climbs, seminars and schools include transportation for our climbers from Rainier BaseCamp to Paradise or to the White River Entrance.

You do not need to have a timed entry reservation if you are using RMI’s provided transportation.

If you are driving your own vehicle into Mount Rainier National Park, you will need to make a reservation for entry. Timed Entry Reservations - Mount Rainier National Park.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF REACHING THE SUMMIT OF MT RAINIER?

There are three main categories that generally prevent climbers from reaching the summit: weather, route conditions, and individual fitness. 

WEATHER

In an average year, 21% of our climbs do not reach the summit due to weather, route conditions, or both. 
Avalanche hazards, high winds, poor visibility, rain, and snow, can singly or in conjunction with the other elements, impact our ability to safely climb. Your guides are charged with managing the risks encountered on the climb and maintaining a reasonable margin of safety. 

If weather conditions reduce our margin of safety to an unacceptable level, we will no longer be able to climb. This may mean we turn around, or we may not even ascend above camp.

THE ROUTE

On Mt. Rainier, guides work on the route continually throughout the climbing season. Route work involves rerouting to avoid hazards. This can include overhead (icefall and rockfall) and underfoot (crevasses and steep slopes) hazards. As the route becomes more complex and steeper throughout the season, route work can include kicking steps, chopping, shoveling, setting running belays, fixed lines, and ladders. Some changes occur daily on the route and may necessitate a quick fix by your guide team during a climb. A larger reroute may be needed multiple times throughout our season,requiring a guide team to work multiple days to establish a new route. 

Generally speaking, the route is never closed or “out,” and there is usually a way to the top. However, it might not have the appropriate margin of safety needed for our climbers (it might require more advanced mountaineering skills and experience levels).  When this happens, all the guide services on the mountain coordinate resources to establish a new route. Like mountain weather, we manage but can’t control the climbing route, and it is not unheard of for the route to be unclimbable for multiple days. While the route work is being done, we will ascend with our climbers as high as is safely possible and appropriate on the existing route. 

FITNESS

Fitness is the one factor that you have the most control of, and that has the highest impact on your success, safety, and fun. 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. The length of the climbing route dictates the required fitness for the climb. We do not have fast or slow rope teams – our teams move at a steady pace determined by the duration and complexity of the given route. 

Climbers do have control over their ability to affect their mental fortitude to some extent, and their fitness, to a very large extent. Therefore, you can maximize your chances of a successful summit climb by focusing on individual fitness. Over 50 years of guiding climbers on Mt. Rainier has shown us that the following factors have the largest influence on a climber’s ability to reach the summit. 

Age: We can’t control it; we get older every year. Simply put, the older you are, the more fit you need to be. As we age, our max heart rate decreases, leaving us with a smaller heart rate reserve. Hard efforts feel harder, and we can’t sustain the same intensity efforts for as long. Focusing on your fitness regime is the best way to compensate.

Body Mass Index (BMI): Your BMI is not as significant as your age and is not the best representation of fitness. However, if we use BMI as a corollary for whether an individual is at a healthy weight, slightly overweight, or significantly overweight, then BMI data shows that climbers with a BMI in the normal range (18.5 - 24.9) will have a better chance of reaching the summit than climbers with a higher BMI.

Aerobic Threshold: Our aerobic threshold is the level of intensity (or heart rate) at which your metabolism switches from a sustainable level of effort in which your muscles can replenish their energy stores at the same rate they burn them to one in which they are burning more than they can replenish. Beyond this intensity, our performance is necessarily time limited. Performance in endurance sports is highly reliant on Aerobic Threshold. Your Aerobic Threshold can be changed significantly with training.

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