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Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

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  • Show Trip Info

    $3535 *
    6 days
    Level 3

    *We require that all climbers and guides have received the primary COVID-19 vaccination series (1 or 2 doses depending on manufacturer) to join our programs.


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Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir

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


  • A day of foundational skills training at Rainer BaseCamp in Ashford and 5 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.


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

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

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


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

NPS Authorized ConcessionerAuthorized Concessioner

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

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.

Climate Change

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

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

Contact Us

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

Climber Reviews

Filter By
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.

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.

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.

Crevasse rescue
Anne F.

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.

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.

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

Ice climbing and crevasse rescue training. Being able to climb and hike.
James L.

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

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

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.

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.

The ability of the guide team to keep things positive.
Phil D.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

You guys are great -- keep doing it!
Matthew M.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

The guide team was exceptional. learned a lot!
Rene C.

These are lessons i will always remember.Looking forward to another climb.
Derek S.

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

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.

A difficult challenge made achievable my the skill of the guides.
James L.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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

a first class operation from start to finish.
Evan S.

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.

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.

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.

Crevasse rescue and glacier safety along with climbing techniques.
Chris K.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Favorite part was the guides and chance to summit.
Hudson B.

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

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

I'm happiest in the mountains
Randy S.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

The skills learned on the Muir seminar. The closeness of the group.
David W.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Your guides. What awesome people they are.
Greg N.

The guides were great.
Randy S.

The crevasse rescue training
Fred W.

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

The guides and education.
Jeff M.

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.

The people and the great weather
George S.

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

Hard to describe or explain. Just an amazing time from start to finish.
Dave J.

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.

Self arrest training
David R.

The guides
Brandon B.

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.

Intensity level was just right for having fun and forgetting about work.
Chris D.

The guides and the team
Dean D.

Learning from the guides.
Bruce B.

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.

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.

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.

Summit climb; crevasse rescue training.
Matthew L.

Being in the mountains and meeting new friends
Dan L.

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.

The crevasse rescue was by far the highlight of the trip.
Lance D.

The guiding team made it such a comfortable experience.
Josh H.

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.

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.

The guides!
Nicholas L.

The people. The guides and the clients and the camaraderie formed as a group.
Rachel M.

Every waking moment. Beauty beyond my imagination and unforgettable camaraderie.
Gary B.

the suffering
Luke F.

Applying climbing concepts and training to the winter alpine environment.
Jared R.

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    6 days
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    *We require that all climbers and guides have received the primary COVID-19 vaccination series (1 or 2 doses depending on manufacturer) to join our programs.

Table of Contents
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Day 1


8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Meet at 8:00 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford, WA. Please dress casually and bring your climbing equipment and clothing.

We begin our Technical Training Day with a welcome and introduction of team members and guides. Throughout the day, the guides provide a focused introduction to a variety of topics. These include a detailed equipment discussion and gear check; an introduction to safety practices such as use of helmets, harnesses, and avalanche transceivers; route planning and preparation, instruction regarding Leave No Trace practices and environmental considerations; and a discussion/demonstration of knots, anchors and the first steps toward understanding crevasse rescue. These skills prepare us for our adventure on Mt. Rainier and increase the likelihood of a safe, successful ascent of the mountain.

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

Day 2


Meet in Ashford at 8:15 a.m. After the team meeting we load the shuttle and drive to Paradise.

The hike from Paradise (5,400') to Camp Muir (10,060') is nearly 4.5 miles, and takes most of the day. As we ascend we work on the foundational skills that make us more efficient and capable climbers. These include pressure breathing and using the rest step, dressing appropriately for the weather and workload, kicking steps and climbing in balance on snow, and efficient pacing that allows us to climb comfortably.

By late afternoon we reach the small mountain hut at Camp Muir that serves as our base for the week. It rests at the edge of several of Mt. Rainier's glaciers. Views of the Cowlitz, Ingraham, Nisqually and Paradise glaciers are inspiring, and the setting is unmatched as an instructional arena. During the evenings we can forget about the wind, wet and cold, and enjoy the basic comforts of the hut.

Climb To Camp Muir

Climb To Camp Muir

Day 3 - 5


We learn and practice various mountaineering skills throughout the week. This starts with ice axe use and cramponing techniques, and moves on to more advanced skills such as anchor placements, various self and team crevasse rescue techniques, steep technical ice climbing, belays, rappelling, knots, route finding and fixed rope travel. Evening discussions include such topics as mountain weather, medicine for mountaineering, altitude wellness, equipment and any requested topics that spark your interest. Some of our itinerary is determined by such factors as the weather and route conditions, but much of it is chosen in consideration of climbers' interests. We intentionally keep the itinerary flexible and guarantee you that there is far more to teach than there is time to teach it!

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 reaching the upper mountain, we ascend the higher slopes of Mt. Rainier, navigating the crevassed glaciers to reach the summit.

At 14,410', 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. It is a long and challenging, but rewarding day!

Training & Summit Day

Training & Summit Day

Training & Summit Day

Training & Summit Day

Day 6


On the final day of the program we have the option for additional training before we pack our gear and begin our descent to Paradise and return to Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford. After all the gear is unpacked, we gather as a team to celebrate our adventure.

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

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What You’ll Need

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

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

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

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

  • 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 when they use code RMI2023 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

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

Equipment List

    • Image of 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.


      Not required for this trip.

    • Image of ICE AXE
      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.


      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.


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


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


      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.

    • Image of ' ACCESSORY CORD

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


      Cloth or surgical face mask for use in situations where 6 feet of distance from others cannot be maintained.

    • Image of 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.

    • Image of 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.


      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.

  • 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.

  • Guide Pick™


      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.

  • 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.

  • Guide Pick™


      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.


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


      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.

    • Image of 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.

    • Image of BOWL

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

    • Image of 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.

    • Image of 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.

    • 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.


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


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

    • Image of SUNSCREEN

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

    • Image of EAR PLUGS

      Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.

    • Image of 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 TRAVEL CLOTHES

      We recommend bringing a selection of comfortable clothing to wear while traveling as well as pre- and post-trip.

    • 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.


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


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.


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 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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