Log In

Need an RMI account? Create an account

Register With Us

Already have an account?

*required fields

The password must meet the following criteria:

  • At least 8 characters
  • At least 1 lowercase letter
  • At least 1 uppercase letter
  • At least 1 number
  • At least 1 symbol (allowed symbols: [email protected]#$%^&/*()[]{}><,.+-=;)

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


Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons

Type in the number of people in your climbing party and the list of available trips will update.

  • Show Trip Info

    $3440 *
    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.


Check Availability

RMI Logo
Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons

Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons

RMI's Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons is a six day instructional mountaineering course with a summit attempt on Mt. Rainier via the Emmons Glacier route.


  • 2 days of foundational skills training and 4 days of extensive practical training while climbing the largest glacier in the contiguous U.S.: Mt. Rainier’s Emmons Glacier.
  • An expedition-style climb allows us to establish successive tented camps as we ascend the mountain in preparation for our summit bid.
  • Develop strong technical skills and gain foundational mountaineering experience.


Our Expedition Skills Seminar on the Emmons route climbs a classic Mt. Rainier route with emphasis on developing mountaineering skills. After a Technical Training Day and a Mountaineering Day School, we ascend the Emmons route, using the mountain's terrain to learn mountaineering skills such as snow & ice anchors, crevasse rescue, ice climbing, fixed line travel, belaying and other technical skills, before making a summit attempt from our high camp at Camp Schurman.

Utilizing a less traveled route on the northeastern side of Mt. Rainier, our Expedition Skills Seminar – Emmons captures the best aspects of summer climbing on Mt. Rainier's far-flung glaciers. The Emmons Glacier route is truly an endurance climb, beginning on the forested Glacier Basin Trail and ending on the glacier-capped summit of Mt. Rainier.

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 - Emmons 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
I enjoyed being able to access unique, and sometimes extreme, mountain conditions with a team of guides and climbers who all supported each other. It was nice to learn a lot of things along the way, which is a credit to the good ambience and teamwork where we all felt comfortable.
Matt F.

Hiking and climbing through Mt. Rainier and getting to experience technical mountaineering. The guides provided a lot of great training and were always flexible to individual needs. The guides were also a lot of fund to spend time with during the three days of climbing. Also, I requested to use my own tent which RMI had no issues with accommodating.
Jonathan S.

The trip was incredible. Each and every guide was extremely knowledgable about pretty much any topic that came up as well as being extremely approachable. I would not hesitate one second to schedule another trip with these guides.
Mike H.

The fact that it was an all-women seminar was the best part. I did a trip with RMI before, but this was an even better experience. The team dynamic was better and I felt more comfortable asking questions and learned more on an all-female trip. I also really liked the expedition style of the trip which made it more enjoyable than rushing to the top of Rainier and back on a tight time schedule like on the DC route
Erica D.

Pretty happy and I'm ready to register for Denali!
Anne F.

Besides the summit, the people and the knowledge I gained. Mountaineering skills can seem daunting to learn, but this curriculum introduces you to all the basics, which has made it easier for me to imagine climbing with my own groups in the future.
Kyle S.

Good weather definitely helps, being a Washington native I know that’s fickle even this time of year but I’ll take it. The camaraderie of the guides made the trip you can tell they are passionate in what they do, and enjoy sharing that knowledge and experience with others.
Lindsey R.

Even though this was a seminar, it didn't seem like a seminar. It was more like a group of friends going on an expedition and sharing knowledge. This was a good thing as it allowed myself to feel more relaxed and enjoyable.
Stephen L.

Great programs. I learned more about my weaknesses. Will come back again!
Behrang A.

I enjoyed learning more about mountaineering. I gained a lot of confidence and feel like I can tackle some trips without a guide now. I particularly enjoyed how each guide taught me something new and different. Our guides truly made the trip special and I feel incredibly fortunate to have them as a resource now. Each guide brought a unique perspective.
Stephanie C.

I most value the skills I leaned mountaineering, as this was my first introduction to this terrain.The group was great, and the guides exceeded my expectations. The most fun part was glissading, which was my first experience with this as well.
David D.

The ability of all the guides to make all the clients feel comfortable in sometimes stressful and exhausting situations. They also made everyone feel like long time friends, not strangers.
Andrew G.

Enjoyed the mountaineering training the most. I think everyone at some point has signed up for professional training and been disappointed but in this case I was pleasantly surprised.
Travis M.

Being outside my comfort zone, learning about a new sport, working under the supervision of professionals, and successfully summiting.
Michael B.

The guides were fantastic. They have a hard job, but they do it well and with a smile the whole time.
Dan G.

I mainly enjoyed the people in the group. Everyone was really fun to hangout with and it felt like we had the perfect mixture of personalities. The guides were a lot of fun and spent time hanging out with us. I felt comfortable around the guides and wasn't afraid to ask questions which is why I always highly recommend RMI to friends who want to climb Rainer.
Derek H.

While summiting Rainier was truly amazing and something that I have wanted to do for awhile it was the people on the team that made this a trip of a lifetime. There is already talk about some of us getting together and doing another RMI trip together.
Sandi P.

The trip was way better than expected! 4 days on the mountain was an insanely amazing experience. Thank you!
Charles C.

Of course the summit, but a close second would have to be the amount of information shared with us, regarding mountaineering, climbing, and hiking in general.
Ben B.

I have always had a positive experience when climbing with RMI and will most definitely climb with you again. On this trip, my most memorable moment (excluding the summit) was the crevasse ice climbing we did on the last day before leaving Camp Sherman. I have been wanting to get into ice climbing so that was a great first experience!
Ryan B.

Everything was great on this trip. Great guides, great expedition members, great weather, great views. I can see that the guides do what they do with passion. They went above and beyond in answering any questions we had, from questions about the day's itinerary, to facts about the emmons glacier. They were all very experienced and knowledgeable. Great trip, great memories. Thanks so much to Dustin, Luke, Axel, and David!
Tomoki I.

Loved being able to learn and get to know all of the guides. It was great to get back out on the mountain and explore the Emmons route.
David K.

I most liked the skills that were presented (crevasse rescue, ropes, axe technique, etc.) and the locations of the activities. There was a lot packed into those days I think it was done perfectly.
James B.

I really enjoyed learning new skills and the expedition format. Additionally, the beauty of the climb was fantastic - even with the bad weather for a couple of days!
William E.

I enjoyed the instruction. I want to peruse more alpine climbing and learning various techniques was great.
Luke C.

The four amazing guides that we had during the trip. I'd follow them up any mountain anytime.
Joseph J.

Confidence built up from past RMI trips that the guides would do their best to help us achieve our goals but keep us safe as well.
Joshua T.

Perfectly balanced emphasis on safety, skills building, enjoyment, and reaching the summit. All 4 guides were skillful, knowledgeable, patient, and enjoyable to climb with. The guides worked well together as a team.
Chuck N.

The guides were fantastic, the structure of the trip was very good, and I really enjoyed the route/trail
Anna K.

Successfully summiting and the views along the way.
Gary L.

The guides were fantastic. While we were not able to summit, I had a great trip and this is the most memorable climb I've ever done. Everything about working with RMI was easy, I had no issues whatsoever. The personnel, from the gear shop to the rental shop, guides, etc......everyone was friendly and clearly placed high priority on ensuring a great experience for all clients.
Brandon B.

Super friendly staff, everywhere. The skills learned during the trip were great, I hope I can use them before I lose them. Just being in the presence of rockstar guides and learning as much as possible is great.
James L.

What I liked the most was the level of hands on experience and learning throughout the seminar. The goal was on imparting the necessarily skills to be safe and successful in the mountains. But at the same time recognizing it's a lot of material to cram in there so I liked that they guides had no problem reminding us of the different hitches and knots :)
Thomas L.

All of it. Really ended up having one of the greatest experiences of my life. I attribute that to the rmi people and experience.
Ryan T.

The confidence of the guides and their professional and fun attitude. They made the trip a truly enjoyable one.
Andrew W.

The guides and the rest of our team. Was a very nice experience blending skill building with team building.
Bill H.

I enjoyed being on Mt.Rainier and the intense Beaty of the entire environment. The guides attention to detail and adherence to safe climbing practices helped to erase any major concerns regarding personal safety .
Joseph C.

Guides were spectacular. I would climb again with either one of them any time.
Daniel B.

I climb exclusively with RMI. I recommend them to everyone that will listen due to my two extremely amazing experiences. I feel like part of a team and not a customer when I'm climbing with RMI and I know I will be safe and that matters.
Geoffrey D.

Obviously the climb was the goal but what I enjoyed the most was the camaraderie we had as a team while we faced the challenge of the summit. RMI just employs some of the best most motivating people to be guides. I had no idea what to expect and was still blown away by how much fun I had climbing with the team.
Alden D.

I enjoyed learning about mountaineering and it was just so beautiful out there! Sherman was breathtaking, this was by far my favorite expedition.
Anna F.

I will be recommending RMI to anyone and everyone who is looking for a guided trip. This Emmons Seminar provided me with all the tools I need to feel comfortable climbing Denali. I feel so comfortable with rope travel and anchors because we were actually able to implement many of the tools we learned on days 1 and 2, while on the glacier. I came off the mountain higher than life - and still feel that way! This experience was by far, the best experience and best week of my life!
Kim C.

The course was comprehensive and enabled me to do more than just "summit". I learned life skills from knots, to camp skills, to leadership skills. Safety was never compromised and will continue to climb with RMI because of that.
Clayton W.

Honestly we had a great team. The guides were so positive and competent. We felt really lucky to have such a great team. We also had a great group of climbers. Again we felt really lucky to have such a great team of climbers and people to hang out with for 6 days!!
Mason K.

The guides were all great. Learned a ton from them, and the overall experience was amazing. I really enjoyed the crevasse rescue exercises we did.
Ryan H.

Without doubt, meeting and getting to know the guides and the whole team. This was the closest group I’ve had the honor of climbing with so far. Summiting Rainier was a fantastic bonus.
Bjorn R.

Outstanding! I would recommended RMI to anyone and will not climb with anyone else.
Tim M.

Is "everything" a cheat answer? I loved learning skills beyond what I thought I'd learn, met some really interesting folks who share similar passions, being outside all day, the climb, the exercise, the views, etc..
Nicole W.

Everyone was very pleasant and I loved learning anything and everything from Zeb Dustin Joe and James
Timothy W.

It was the Guides and the people on the climb with me. we all got along really well and it really made the trip for me. I have definitely made some new friends after this trip.
Daniel S.

Honestly it was more about the climb than the summit. It's the journey that shapes us right? Our team clicked so well. We had many laughs and worked super well together. The guides picked up on this and helped keep our team strong
Keith G.

I like that the guides on our seminar provided direction but did not hold people's hands. The course was set up in a way that prepared the group for more advanced objectives.
William C.

Very rewarding, wonderful experience. It was a true privilege to be on that wonderful mountain with such a great bunch of people!
Stephan S.

I loved getting to experience real mountaineering. I had done other climbs in the cascades before, but none with roping up, ice axes, and heavy duty mountaineering boots/crampons. I liked getting to not only climb Rainier, but to learn a lot of invaluable stuff along the way.
Daniel D.

My experience with RMI was great. What stood out most was your team. It is obvious that RMI has a great company culture. Everyone I interacted with was friendly and helpful. I will definitely be back to climb Rainier again. Next time I do, it will be through RMI. I will use RMI again because of the experience I had with Mike, Jenny, Jessie and Ben.
Ryan B.

The guides, the team and the scenery. I learned alot about safe travel on emaciated terrain.
Tracy L.

The commitment to LNT and the privacy of the mountain was fantastic. I couldn't ask for a more peaceful time on the mountain.
Tyler T.

The overall experience was amazing. I think RMI is an exceptional company with the best guides! I really enjoyed the timeline for the trip.
Rebecca P.

The expert training. Being new to Mountaineering this course was the perfect level of hands on detail to the many skills you need to be effective and safe going forward.
Jeff S.

Summit day and the feeling of accomplishment once we got to the summit of Mount Rainier. To be completely honest though, the entire trip was so great that the whole entire week itself was what I enjoyed most.
Anthony B.

The guides and the skills - I feel we got everything we were promised.
Olga W.

Absolutely amazing. The entirety of the trip - from interaction with the office staff, to the itinerary and pace of the trip, to the people and guides on it - all stellar. I have recommended your company numerous times in the past and will continue to.
Michael W.

The guides were awesome. The skills that I learned were by far the best part of the trip. The climb itself was a close second.
Jeremy L.

The detailed instruction on climbing and safety. But nothing beat the actual trip to the summit. That is a memory I will never forget.
Robert W.

I thought the guides were the best part of the trip. It's hard to have a great trip if you don't have guides who you click with. They made the trip.
Prescott C.

Learned a ton of skills and loved being on the mountain.
Jared E.

Making such a challenging and sometimes painful experience, so much fun and exciting of an experience. Most of the comments in credit to Mike were what made this an amazing experience. Flawless.
Gareth J.

Learning about the characteristics of the mountain (weather, crevices, ice and rock fall) and how to navigate them safely was very fascinating and exciting.
Ellen D.

1) Being on an amazing adventure with my sons.
Marvin A.

Learning from people that are passionate about what they do. The guides love the outdoors and it shows.
Paul B.

Not only were the guides amazing but our group was as well. Even though we did not summit the knowledge and experience is unforgettable.
Roseanne A.

The Emmons route was a far different experience than when I climbed the DC route with RMI 5 years ago. From the heavier pack to the longer approach through the forest, it was as if I was on a different mountain. I think overall I enjoyed the challenge of an expedition style approach and the lack of traffic on the route. Can't believe we had both the route and the summit pretty much to ourselves!
Russell F.

The detailed discussions on mountaineering techniques, skills, and equipment. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.
Mike B.

Learning the basic mountaineering and glacier travel skills from a group of guides that were all willing and enthusiastic about teaching and sharing their knowledge.
Tye H.

The skills based learning was the best part. Certainly learned a lot that I will be able to apply toward future climbs.
Peter L.

team comradery, guides sharing knowledge & experience, sense of adventure.
Chris M.

What really made this trip for me was how much we learned. The guides shared so much information with us, and the real-life crevasse practice was also incredibly helpful. I also enjoyed interacting with the guides; it would have been a very different trip if we hadn't had such friendly guides.
Catherine G.

I really enjoyed and thought highly of our guides. They were all very competent, which I expected. But, I genuinely enjoyed spending 6 days with them. They shared lots of knowledge and created an appropriately fun and light atmosphere.
Zach S.

The camaraderie.
Anthony D.

Just the overall challenge, pushing ourselves through some beautiful country. I could not place one thing per se, but it was a collection. While I was not super excited about doing the crevasse rescue when we had a long climb down yet on the final day it actually was really cool and I am glad they had everyone take turns at every position. That sort of hands on style and accountability forces me to learn things much better.
Jeffrey M.

The guides were what made this trip amazing. I can't say enough good things about them!
Jeremy S.

I liked the small group environment and the guide to guest ratio. I found the crevasse rescue training very valuable.
Iain S.

The people (the other clients), the process (itinerary), the learning (the skills seminar), the time spent in the mountains with true professionals (the guides), and the folks that made it happen (the RMI staff).
Scott K.

You guys did a great job in planning great weather for our summit day :). Not too cold, not too hot. Just kidding, the experience on the mountain was incredible. The pace was great. The skills seminars were great. The whole experience was so seamless, hard to call out one thing I enjoyed the most. I guess summit day was a great challenge and experience and the views were other worldly.
Mason K.

The scenery was obviously incredible. I was extremely impressed with the guides' ability to instruct, lead, and really just manage climbers, like myself, with very little experience with the apparent ease and enthusiasm they did. It made for a very enjoyable experience.
William W.

Meeting people with similar ideas of fun.
Edward S.

The people- guides and other students
Douglas K.

I really enjoyed the seminar format. We had time to really get to know our teammates and guides and take our time getting from camp to camp. I also enjoyed learning rescue techniques and having the chance to ice climb in a crevasse... while still achieving our ultimate goal of summiting.
Shannon W.

RMI did an excellent job. The trip was very enjoyable, the guides were great and I will definitely consider future trips with RMI.
Byron C.

Friendly staff and beautiful mountain! This is what climbing is all about!
William S.

Interaction with amazing guides. Learning.
Ewa B.

I loved getting to know my other group members and enjoying our time on the mountain as a big team
George H.

The guides were so cool, it just made the trip so fun. Also, the summit was cool. The 4 guys worked so good together and their humor was perfect. Encouragement when climbing, and humor and good stories when relaxing.
Bennett D.

the guides. They were all amazing. The leave no trace behind tactics being practiced on the mountain has left the mountain very well preserved. It's a beautiful place.
Tom M.

Great experience, wonderful and knowledgeable guides. Memories that will last a lifetime.
Chad M.

All aspects I enjoyed.
Tamara B.

The cohesiveness of the group and the opportunity to climb with experienced and knowledgeable guides was the best part of the trip, no doubt.
Sam D.

The guides on this trip we're fantastic.
Brian C.

The weather conditions made for great success. Having done the DC last year really provided a good foundation for this year's seminar in terms of expectations for physical demands and further developing technical skills.
Brian B.

Learning from the guides. They have so much combined knowledge and were more than happy to freely give it. The main purpose of this trip for me was to learn the skills to apply to my independent mountaineering ambitions. I got way more information than I was expecting and couldn't be happier with the way it was delivered.
Owen E.

I LOVED this trip!!! Probably the biggest factor in our overall success was the highly positive and upbeat tone that Pete and the guide team set from the very beginning. They got along incredibly well, kept things interesting and fun, laughed and smiled a lot and treated everyone with respect. Also they seemed very relaxed, never rushed and projected confidence that we all picked up on. As a result, our group got along very well, learned A TON, and ended up helping each other for the good of the team. Except for some soft snow encountered on our descent on summit day, we could not have had better conditions for our climb. The weather and the mountain were just about perfect for us.I was a little surprised that after having made it down from the summit and then taking a few hours rest, Pete roused us out for crevasse training! (I thought we should be taking the rest of the day off!) However, crevasse rescue turned out to be my very best experience for the entire trip! I loved going down in the crevasse and having 10-15 minutes to look down inside as my team was preparing to haul me out. I had no idea how deep, how big and how beautiful and spectacular a seemingly "minor" crevasse could be. I came away with an entirely new respect for crevasses and the importance of avoiding any falls near them. Back on the top side, I thoroughly enjoyed learning anchor, rope and pulley techniques from Mike. When it was time for me to lead, he always was there encouraging me, projecting incredible confidence and coaching in a very calm manner. I learned a lot and never had any doubts that we would succeed. What a great experience!
Craig F.

It's hard to beat being on the mountain and looking out over the landscape...or down into it when I was doing crevace rescue. As far as RMI goes, I thought your guides were the best part hands down. You've hired good people in Pete, Mike, Bridget and Billy.
Tim R.

The people and guides! I really enjoyed our group, we had a fantastic group! I loved the route and wish we could have completed it.
Kim M.

Climbing on ropes, camping, climbing with a group.
Steve W.

I most enjoyed interfacing with guides and other clients. Learning their backgrounds and skill sets. The summit was, of course, enjoyable, but I will always remember the people who got me there.
Kearney S.

I really enjoyed the professionalism and down to earth attitudes of the guides. Walter and Katie were solid leaders during the training days and during the climb. Bridget and Chase provided great support during the climb and also had great attitudes, giving advice and sharing personal knowledge to help everyone become better climbers.
Ryan L.

The challenge, learning new stuff, camaraderie
Andrew B.

I really enjoyed the entire trip. The guides were fun, professional, and knowledgeable, and I felt safe with them the entire time.
Andrew C.

The entire trip from booking to enjoying my beer at base camp. Whitaker bunkhouse was terrific, the rental shop was more than helpful. And of course the guides where all great.
Braunsen K.

I enjoyed everything about this trip. Summiting was an especially moving experience for me for a variety of reasons, but simply spending time on the mountain and meeting a group of fantastic, fascinating people was wonderful. The guides were exceptional, and the experience was unforgettable. Can't wait for my next climb with RMI.
Jake G.

The comraderie and bonds that formed between our team and our guides. Most of us were strangers before we met at base camp, but the friendships that were established on the peak will far outlast this one climb. We already have our next trip scheduled, and many of us will be climbing together again. I'd love to climb with any of the guides again as well, and plan to look them up as I plan my future climbs.
Brett W.

Just being on the mountain, taking it all in. the information, the desolation, the mountain, the people, the experience. It's a lot to process sometimes.
Jake J.

the great learning. the interactions with the guides and other climbers. a great experience. best mountain experience that i have had so far.
Jeong Y.

I couldnt have hoped to learn as much as I did from the guides throughout the seminar-summit trip. Encouragement from the guides, who could see that I could make the summit when I couldnt see it myself was so great. RMI offers such a great trip and I will be using RMI again next season.
Jake W.

The instruction was great.
Scott W.

The guides were always attentive and provided a professional and rewarding experience. I will use RMI again because of this.
Terry R.

Hanging with the guides. I would seriously pick hanging with this group of guides over handing with my favorite band backstage. I was so impressed by the guides and their professionalism balanaced by their experience. I can't say enough...
Dean J.

Zeb, Robby, Lindsay and Alex
Linn P.

I'm being generous with the rating, but I am giving it an average because of my respect for what the guides do. Personally, it was a "poor" experience compared to my other RMI experiences.
Bill C.

Learning rescue techniques and rope work
Casey C.

The location - seeing Mount Rainier and the National Park. Being challenged mentally and physically. Hanging out at the RMI Base Camp with other mountaineers. Ice Cream at the bunk house. Buying new gear. Learning about and experiencing the functionality of gear and clothing. Learning mountaineering skills and camping. Appreciating nature.
Tara B.

The skills like crevasse rescue, ice climbing, rope walking, etc.
Rakesh R.

I really get a kick out of mountaineering. I love being up on the glaciers and going high and having to learn new skills. I particularly enjoy the challenge. Committing to this sport at my age is in many ways life changing. It forces me to set long term diet and physcal fitness goals in a way that I have never experienced before. I think of myself as pretty fit and I lead an active (semi-retired) lifestyle - I hike in the mountains around Sun Valley, ID, I ski there 45 days a year, I play lots of golf and walk (I eschew electric carts), I bike, I fly fish in trout streams (rocky bottoms in current is great for balance) and I love being outside in nature and in the mountains. This sort of adventure simply elevates all of the challenges - I truly understand that to do this you have to be really fit. I understand that there is lots to learn to climb in the mountains safely. I understand that there are objective dangers and that there are conditions and situations beyond our control that may affect whether or not a climb will result in a summit attained. But I have learned that the journey is as much fun and the summit. And by journey, I mean reading about mountaineering, working out to stay fit and building up to the experience. My only regret is that I did not start doing this until I was 61. Thanks to RMI for creating this terrific set of experiences and for making it as safe as possible.
Jim D.

The staff.
Craig W.

Learning the skills i need from people that really know their stuff.
Dan S.

Being on the mountain with good company!
Rob C.

Learning the mountaineering skills by the instructors; knots, crevasse rescue, ice climbing, and glisadding.
Johnny V.

Everything was great but if I had to pick one I would say the guides are great. It is obvious that RMI makes a great effort to put the best guides in the industry on their team on on the mountain. I hope to keep in touch with everyone of them and get the opportunity to climb with them soon!
John S.

Knowledge shared and shown by the guides throughout the seminar.
Eric O.

Views near the summit.
Donald K.

Table of Contents
Print all Trip Details Print this Page

Day 1


8:00 - 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


8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Meet at 8:15 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp. Please arrive dressed for hiking, packed with your Mountaineering Day School gear. After a team meeting a shuttle takes our group to Paradise.

The Mountaineering Day School is spent training in the field on the lower slopes of Mt. Rainier. Climbers are introduced to many skills, from the basic techniques of efficient mountain travel (rest-stepping and pressure breathing), to various safety practices including use of helmets, harnesses, and avalanche transceivers, cramponing, roped travel, ice axe arrest practice, anchors and running belays, fixed line travel, and the basics of crevasse rescue.

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

The Mountaineering Day School

Over the next four days we ascend the mountain in an expedition style climb, establishing multiple camps to set ourselves up for our summit bid. During this time the group will learn and practice various mountaineering skills such as crevasse rescue, anchor placement, ice climbing, fixed line travel, and self rescue techniques among many others. Evening lectures in camp include discussion on mountain weather, medicine for mountaineering, altitude wellness, equipment and any requested topics that spark your interest.

Day 3


Early morning start at Rainier BaseCamp. After a quick team meeting we load the shuttle and drive to the trailhead at the White River Campground (4,400').

We hike 5 miles, climbing 3,400', to our first camp on the Inter Glacier. We pass through beautiful mature forests to Glacier Basin, where the trail narrows to a climber's track, ascending to the base of the Inter Glacier. Here, we switch to climbing boots and crampons and climb the toe of the Interglacier, to our camp at about 7,800'. As we move towards camp, we work on the foundational skills that make us more efficient and capable climbers, including 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.

Approach To Camp 1

Day 4


We ascend the Inter Glacier and climb over the flanks of Steamboat Prow onto the heavily crevassed Emmons Glacier as we move to our high camp, Camp Schurman, 9,440'. At Camp Schurman, we have a great arena to practice additional skills, such as proper placement of snow and ice anchors, crevasse rescue simulations, and ice climbing. In the afternoon we prepare for the summit bid.

Climb To Camp Schurman

Day 5


Today we put it all together and make our attempt on the summit. The Emmons-Winthrop Glacier route climbs the northern edge of the largest glacier in the lower 48 states, the Emmons Glacier. The spectacular 35-degree central ramp of the glacier offers a route by which we access the crevassed slopes of the upper mountain. We thread our way through these immense crevasses toward the summit of Mt. Rainier!

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

After reaching the summit, we descend back to Camp Schurman. 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!

Day 6


On the final day of the program we descend to the trailhead 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.

Print all Trip Details Print this Page


Print all Trip Details Print this Page
Print all Trip Details Print this Page

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 85+ LITER BACKPACK

      Your pack must be large enough for your layers, climbing gear, and food, as well as a portion of your tent and your share of group equipment. 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.


      A full-length closed cell foam pad, used in combination with the inflatable sleeping pad.

    • 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.

  • 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.


      Boots are one of the most important pieces of mountaineering gear, and bringing the right pair is critical to your safety and success on Mt. Rainier. You will need one pair of boots for this climb, and the type of boot you wear will be dictated by freezing level. If the freezing level is below 10,000 feet, your guide will require the use of double boots. If the freezing level is above 10,000 feet, you may use either single or double boots. We consistently see freezing levels below 10,000 feet in April, May, June, and September, though periods of cold weather are not uncommon in July and August.

      If this is your first time climbing, we highly recommend renting boots from our partner company Whittaker Mountaineering. Mountaineering boots do not break in like normal footwear so there is not much advantage in buying them unless you want to see how they feel on your feet before the climb or plan on doing more mountaineering in the future. If you rent, you can switch between single and double boots the day of your climb.


      DOUBLE BOOTS: 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: tents, group cooking gear, shovels, 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.

Print all Trip Details Print this Page
Print all Trip Details Print this Page
Print all Trip Details Print this Page

What is the Climber-to-Guide Ratio on this program?

Our climber-to-guide ratio is 2:1 on the Emmons Glacier route.

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.

Back to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

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

Thank you for subscribing to the RMI Expeditions Newsletter!

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

Please choose the programs you'd like updates on: