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Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $3690
    Deposit
    $550
    Duration
    6 days
    Difficulty
    Level 3
    Type
    Skills
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons

Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons

dollar sign Price / Deposit

$3,690 / $ 550

Meter Difficulty

Level 3

Clock Duration

6 days

Climber on cliff Type

Skills

Establish a solid foundation of mountaineering skills and prepare for bigger peaks on this expedition style climb that ascends Mt. Rainier's largest glacier.

Jump To…

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.

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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.

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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 RMI DIFFERENCE

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

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

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

SAFETY

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


NPS Authorized ConcessionerAuthorized Concessioner

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

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

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

Climate Change

Offsetters

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

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

By supporting this project, we effectively prevent the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated from our operations from being emitted elsewhere. These offsets are instrumental in fulfilling our sustainability objectives and advancing responsible environmental practices.

Contact Us

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


Climber Reviews

Filter By
06/17/2024
I pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible thanks to the guides. Reaching the summit was a special moment
Justin C.

06/15/2024
The experience and the joy of being in a potentially dangerous and beautiful environment yet felt safe at all times, due to high safety standards implemented by the guides. The guides and the team mates made this an unforgettable experience.
Katrine L.

06/11/2024
The group.....guides and clients combined. We just all seemed to mesh. I felt like I was part of something. It is the very reason I go with RMI. The entire staff is welcoming and knowledgeable. I just love being in Ashford!
Eric U.

06/01/2024
Kicking steps on the Emmons glacier as Will broke fresh snow.
Patrick G.

08/09/2023
I want to go out of my way to express how good of a job the guides did on this trip. You could see they care about the clients and their safety!
Laura M.

08/07/2023
I'll be back...Denali!!
Norman W.

07/29/2023
The guides and group camaraderie. Reaching the summit and descending via Steamboat Prow were pluses.
James C.

07/24/2023
The Emmons glacier route was amazing. Challenging in some ways but also very thrilling. I also enjoyed that we had more time to get to know each other with the longer format as it made everything feel more special as we each reached the summit.
James C.

07/19/2023
I really loved learning technical skills. Many of them were only for emergency situations so we only got to use a few once we actually got on the mountain. I don't know how we could have worked in learning or practicing more of them, but every knot, rope ascension, ice climbing, rest step, pressure breaths, etc. are things I wish I had more time to practice so I don't forget them. Well maybe not rest steps and pressure breaths - had to use those a ton to make it to the top...
Rachel O.

07/18/2023
The most enjoyable part of the trip was the team comradery. We were very tight, always looking out for each other, encouraging each other, and pushing ourselves to succeed. This was in no small part from the contagious and positive attitudes the guides brought to the team. The guides built a successful team from day one, and the team achieved our goals. Great work Tatum, Nicole, Bailey, and Calvin!
Brian G.

07/14/2023
Loved the skills training, the hands on methods were excellent.
Leigh Anne M.

07/10/2023
This was a great group to take this class with. The group was collaborative and wanted to learn. It was enjoyable to participate in a class in which the participants all wanted to engage in the process. In addition the guides were enthusiastic about teaching all of the material. This experience was genuinely fun.
Vanessa S.

06/25/2023
The guides were great and all of the crevasse rescue knowledge
Karolina C.

06/20/2023
Quality of the guides, focus on education / safety, schedule. Also felt like the 'Basecamp' at Ashford is a real asset, staying at the Bunkhouse it was really convenient to have everything in one place.
Joseph H.

06/12/2023
Topping out is always great, but it's the entire experience that RMI provides: unmatched "basecamp" experience, great people, and meeting new climbers.
Drew D.

06/11/2023
I'm thoroughly impressed with the level of professionalism that everyone at RMI demonstrates regardless of position or seniority. All of the guides were approachable and willing to discuss pointers, as well as talk about their own experiences to help enhance our climb.
Andrew S.

06/03/2023
The extreme beauty of the mountain and the park... I had never even seen Mt. Rainier before I stood on it. The camaraderie with the team and guides. Pushing and testing myself in a real challenge. All-in-all, it was an incredible experience that overwhelmed my senses and continues to fire my imagination...
John N.

08/09/2022
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.

08/04/2022
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.

08/04/2022
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.

08/02/2022
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.

07/31/2022
Pretty happy and I'm ready to register for Denali!
Anne F.

07/22/2022
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.

07/15/2022
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.

07/15/2022
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.

07/13/2022
Great programs. I learned more about my weaknesses. Will come back again!
Behrang A.

07/10/2022
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.

07/09/2022
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.

06/25/2022
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.

06/03/2022
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.

08/12/2021
Being outside my comfort zone, learning about a new sport, working under the supervision of professionals, and successfully summiting.
Michael B.

08/08/2021
The guides were fantastic. They have a hard job, but they do it well and with a smile the whole time.
Dan G.

08/04/2021
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.

07/23/2021
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.

07/22/2021
The trip was way better than expected! 4 days on the mountain was an insanely amazing experience. Thank you!
Charles C.

07/22/2021
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.

07/17/2021
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.

07/17/2021
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.

07/02/2021
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.

06/23/2021
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.

06/21/2021
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.

06/19/2021
I enjoyed the instruction. I want to peruse more alpine climbing and learning various techniques was great.
Luke C.

08/24/2019
The four amazing guides that we had during the trip. I'd follow them up any mountain anytime.
Joseph J.

08/21/2019
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.

08/11/2019
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.

08/07/2019
The guides were fantastic, the structure of the trip was very good, and I really enjoyed the route/trail
Anna K.

08/05/2019
Successfully summiting and the views along the way.
Gary L.

08/01/2019
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.

08/01/2019
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.

07/30/2019
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.

07/28/2019
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.

07/22/2019
The confidence of the guides and their professional and fun attitude. They made the trip a truly enjoyable one.
Andrew W.

07/14/2019
The guides and the rest of our team. Was a very nice experience blending skill building with team building.
Bill H.

06/29/2019
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.

06/20/2019
Guides were spectacular. I would climb again with either one of them any time.
Daniel B.

08/22/2018
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.

08/15/2018
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.

08/06/2018
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.

07/27/2018
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.

07/26/2018
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.

07/26/2018
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.

07/26/2018
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.

07/22/2018
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.

07/22/2018
Outstanding! I would recommended RMI to anyone and will not climb with anyone else.
Tim M.

07/01/2018
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.

06/14/2018
Everyone was very pleasant and I loved learning anything and everything from Zeb Dustin Joe and James
Timothy W.

10/18/2017
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.

08/06/2017
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.

08/01/2017
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.

07/08/2017
Very rewarding, wonderful experience. It was a true privilege to be on that wonderful mountain with such a great bunch of people!
Stephan S.

07/05/2017
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.

06/26/2017
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.

06/17/2017
The guides, the team and the scenery. I learned alot about safe travel on emaciated terrain.
Tracy L.

08/23/2016
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.

08/23/2016
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.

08/14/2016
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.

08/12/2016
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.

08/08/2016
The guides and the skills - I feel we got everything we were promised.
Olga W.

07/28/2016
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.

07/19/2016
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.

07/19/2016
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.

07/14/2016
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.

07/14/2016
Learned a ton of skills and loved being on the mountain.
Jared E.

07/13/2016
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.

07/06/2016
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.

07/03/2016
1) Being on an amazing adventure with my sons.
Marvin A.

06/17/2016
Learning from people that are passionate about what they do. The guides love the outdoors and it shows.
Paul B.

10/03/2015
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.

08/31/2015
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.

08/28/2015
The detailed discussions on mountaineering techniques, skills, and equipment. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.
Mike B.

08/24/2015
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.

08/24/2015
The skills based learning was the best part. Certainly learned a lot that I will be able to apply toward future climbs.
Peter L.

08/19/2015
team comradery, guides sharing knowledge & experience, sense of adventure.
Chris M.

08/19/2015
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.

08/11/2015
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.

08/10/2015
The camaraderie.
Anthony D.

08/07/2015
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.

07/30/2015
The guides were what made this trip amazing. I can't say enough good things about them!
Jeremy S.

07/29/2015
I liked the small group environment and the guide to guest ratio. I found the crevasse rescue training very valuable.
Iain S.

07/29/2015
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.

07/21/2015
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.

07/20/2015
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.

07/15/2015
Meeting people with similar ideas of fun.
Edward S.

07/13/2015
The people- guides and other students
Douglas K.

07/07/2015
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.

06/30/2015
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.

06/23/2015
Friendly staff and beautiful mountain! This is what climbing is all about!
William S.

06/22/2015
Interaction with amazing guides. Learning.
Ewa B.

09/16/2014
I loved getting to know my other group members and enjoying our time on the mountain as a big team
George H.

09/08/2014
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.

09/07/2014
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.

08/27/2014
Great experience, wonderful and knowledgeable guides. Memories that will last a lifetime.
Chad M.

08/26/2014
All aspects I enjoyed.
Tamara B.

08/20/2014
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.

08/19/2014
The guides on this trip we're fantastic.
Brian C.

08/11/2014
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.

08/06/2014
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.

07/31/2014
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.

07/28/2014
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.

07/27/2014
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.

07/25/2014
Climbing on ropes, camping, climbing with a group.
Steve W.

07/16/2014
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.

07/16/2014
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.

07/11/2014
The challenge, learning new stuff, camaraderie
Andrew B.

07/04/2014
I really enjoyed the entire trip. The guides were fun, professional, and knowledgeable, and I felt safe with them the entire time.
Andrew C.

01/26/2014
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.

09/07/2013
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.

09/04/2013
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.

08/27/2013
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.

08/19/2013
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.

08/16/2013
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.

08/12/2013
The instruction was great.
Scott W.

08/08/2013
The guides were always attentive and provided a professional and rewarding experience. I will use RMI again because of this.
Terry R.

08/07/2013
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.

08/06/2013
Zeb, Robby, Lindsay and Alex
Linn P.

08/05/2013
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.

07/25/2013
Learning rescue techniques and rope work
Casey C.

07/20/2013
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.

07/19/2013
The skills like crevasse rescue, ice climbing, rope walking, etc.
Rakesh R.

07/14/2013
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.

07/08/2013
The staff.
Craig W.

07/03/2013
Learning the skills i need from people that really know their stuff.
Dan S.

06/30/2013
Being on the mountain with good company!
Rob C.

06/19/2013
Learning the mountaineering skills by the instructors; knots, crevasse rescue, ice climbing, and glisadding.
Johnny V.

06/17/2013
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.

06/17/2013
Knowledge shared and shown by the guides throughout the seminar.
Eric O.

06/14/2013
Views near the summit.
Donald K.

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Travel Consultant

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

Travel Insurance

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

Harbor Insurance 

 

 

 

 

Harbor Travel Insurance covers the following critical benefits:

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

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

Getting There

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

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

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

ENTRY INTO MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

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

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

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

Ashford Area Accommodations

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

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

Weather

For updated Mt. Rainier weather forecasts, click here.

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

Tipping

Our guides work hard to ensure your well-being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 - 15% of the cost of the program. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.

Facts

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

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

Resources

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

The Mountaineers Book - www.mountaineersbooks.org

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

Recommended Reading

The Challenge of Rainier, by Dee Molenaar

Mt. Rainier - A Climbing Guide, by Mike Gauthier

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

National Geographic Trails Illustrated MRNP topo map

 

Contents
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What You Need TO KNOW

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

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

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

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

 


  • Whittaker Mountaineering Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering.

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

Equipment List

GUIDE PICK

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

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


Pack & Travel

Image of 85+ LITER BACKPACK
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.

Guide Pick™

Sleeping Bag & Pad

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SLEEPING BAG

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

Guide Pick™

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

Image of INFLATABLE SLEEPING PAD
INFLATABLE SLEEPING PAD

A full-length inflatable pad.

Guide Pick™

Image of CLOSED FOAM SLEEPING PAD
CLOSED FOAM SLEEPING PAD

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

Guide Pick™

Technical Gear

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ICE AXE

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

Guide Pick™

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CLIMBING HARNESS

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

Guide Pick™

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1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER

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

Guide Pick™

Image of LOCKING CARABINER(S)
1 LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for clipping into anchors, etc.

Guide Pick™

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3 NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for pack ditch loop, etc.

Guide Pick™

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CRAMPONS

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

Guide Pick™

Image of AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES

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

Guide Pick™

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TREKKING POLES

We recommend lightweight and collapsible poles with snow baskets.

Guide Pick™

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MECHANICAL ASCENDER (OPTIONAL)

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

Guide Pick™

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12 ' ACCESSORY CORD

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

Guide Pick™

Image of ' ACCESSORY CORD
15 ' ACCESSORY CORD

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


Head

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HELMET

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

Guide Pick™

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WARM HAT

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

Guide Pick™


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BUFF

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

Guide Pick™

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HEADLAMP

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

Guide Pick™

Image of GLACIER GLASSES
GLACIER GLASSES

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

Guide Pick™

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GOGGLES

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

Guide Pick™

Hands

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

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES
LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES

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

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES
MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated mountain gloves.

Guide Pick™

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

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

Guide Pick™

Upper Body

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

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

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

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

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

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

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

Guide Pick™

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RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL)

An uninsulated, waterproof shell jacket with hood.

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED PARKA WITH HOOD
INSULATED PARKA WITH HOOD

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

Guide Pick™

Image of SPORTS BRA
SPORTS BRA

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

Guide Pick™

Lower Body

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



Image of SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS
SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS

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

Guide Pick™

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

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

Guide Pick™

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

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

Guide Pick™

Feet

SINGLE OR DOUBLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

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.


Image of RAINIER AND 5000 METER SINGLE BOOT TEXT

SINGLE BOOTS: Insulated, full-shank, and crampon-compatible leather or synthetic boots designed for mountaineering. Single boots tend to be lighter and more comfortable than double boots at the expense of warmth.

Guide Pick™

Image of RAINIER AND 5000 METER DOUBLE BOOT TEXT

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

Guide Pick™

Image of HIKING BOOTS/APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)
HIKING BOOTS/APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)

A pair of approach shoes or lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain after the snow melts (typically by mid-July). Can also be used as a camp shoe.

Guide Pick™

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GAITERS

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

Guide Pick™

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2 PAIRS OF SOCKS

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

Guide Pick™

First Aid & Medications

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

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

Guide Pick™

Personal Items

Image of MEALS & SNACKS
MEALS & SNACKS

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

Guide Pick™

Image of BOWL
BOWL

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

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED MUG
INSULATED MUG

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

Guide Pick™

Image of SPOON OR SPORK
SPOON OR SPORK

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

Guide Pick™

Image of WATER BOTTLES
2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

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

Guide Pick™

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

This will be your personal trash bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of LARGE GARBAGE BAGS
2 LARGE GARBAGE BAGS

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


Image of PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG
PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG

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


Image of SUNSCREEN
SUNSCREEN

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

Guide Pick™

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

Image of LIP BALM
LIP BALM

We recommend SPF 15 or higher.

Guide Pick™

Image of EAR PLUGS
EAR PLUGS

SPARE CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES (OPTIONAL)

Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


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

Practice using this before coming on the climb!

Guide Pick™

PEE BOTTLE (OPTIONAL)

One clearly-marked wide-mouth or collapsible bottle for overnight use.

Guide Pick™

Image of CAMERA (OPTIONAL)
CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

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


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

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

Guide Pick™

Travel Clothes

Image of TRAVEL CLOTHES
TRAVEL CLOTHES

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


Pre-Trip Checklist

Purchase travel insurance.


Arrange lodging in Ashford.


Reserve rental equipment.


Arrange transportation to Ashford.


Be in the best shape of your life!



Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: 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.

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Contents
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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.

ENTRY INTO MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

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

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

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

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

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

WEATHER

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

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

THE ROUTE

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

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

FITNESS

Fitness is the one factor that you have the most control of, and that has the highest impact on your success, safety, and fun. Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor. The length of the climbing route dictates the required fitness for the climb. We do not have fast or slow rope teams – our teams move at a steady pace determined by the duration and complexity of the given route. 

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

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

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

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

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