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"Casey, Mike, Levi and Maile were fabulous. I can't even imagine doing the Emmons route without them. Their experience with the route as well as with handling clients to insure a successful trip was unparalleled. I would definitely do this again."
— Mac L. | Read More Testimonials
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. Climb highlights include:
- 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 McKinley, and provides you with a foundation for other major glaciated mountains.
THE RMI DIFFERENCE
The Mountain Guides at RMI have a reputation as top guides in the United States. RMI Guides participated in some of America's first ventures into the far reaches of the Himalaya. Years of expedition guiding and climbing around the world have built a core of consummate professional guides.
Our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers, known for their leadership as well as their character. They possess the compassion, enthusiasm and ability to empower others and inspire them forward. Such qualities may only be found in people at the top of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides still remember their own first steps into the mountains, and enjoy helping other climbers reach new heights.
Our exceptional focus to detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures make our programs truly memorable.
RMI strives to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides focuses on leading fun and successful climbs without compromising safety. Each climb includes careful pre-trip planning, daily weather forecasts, avalanche forecasts, and diligent attention to detail. All RMI Guides are highly trained in remote medicine and rescue skills and carry comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio communication equipment throughout the program. Regardless of the objective or the destination, safety remains RMI’s top priority.
As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RMI Expeditions is an authorized concessioner of Mount Rainier National Park.
Day 1: TECHNICAL TRAINING DAY
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: THE MOUNTAINEERING DAY SCHOOL
8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Meet at 8:15 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp. Please arrive dressed for hiking, packed with your Mountaineering Day School gear.
The Mountaineering Day School is spent training 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.
Training during the Mountaineering Day School
Day 3: APPROACH TO CAMP 1 (either Glacier Basin or Inter Glacier)
Meet at 6:00 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp. After an early team meeting a shuttle takes our group to the trailhead at the White River Campground (4,400').
We make the 3.3 mile hike, passing through beautiful mature forests, to Glacier Basin, or ascend a bit further to the base of Mt. Rainier's Inter Glacier, to establish camp. 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.
The first day of the climb
Day 4: CLIMB TO CAMP SCHURMAN
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.
Reaching Camp Schurman
Day 5: SUMMIT DAY
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.
Beginning the climbReaching the top of the mountain
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: DESCENT
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.
Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons Equipment List
The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.
Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering. This offer excludes sale items. For internet orders, please use the discount code RMI2015.
Pack & Bag Guides' Pick
BACKPACK: A 90+ liter pack is the recommended size for this climb. Your pack must be large enough for your layers, climbing gear, and food, as well as a portion of your tent and group load (kitchen equipment). A separate summit pack isn't necessary.
SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated 0° to 20° F will keep you warm. Use the colder bag in May, June and September; and the warmer bag in July and August. You may use either goose down or synthetic.
SLEEPING PAD: Full length inflatable or closed cell pad.
Technical Gear Guides' Pick
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.
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.
1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for clipping into the climbing rope.
1 LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for clipping into anchors, etc.
HELMET: A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet. Bicycle or ski helmets are designed for a different type of impact and will not substitute as a climbing helmet.
CRAMPONS: The 10 to 12 point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. We highly recommend anti-bot plates to prevent snow from balling up underfoot. Rigid frame crampons designed for technical ice climbing are not recommended.
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER: A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.
TREKKING POLES: Lightweight and collapsible poles are preferred. Larger baskets work well with deep snow. Ski poles will also work.
Head Guides' Pick
WARM HAT: Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.
BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA: One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.
GLACIER GLASSES: You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.
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.
Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.
LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVE: One pair of fleece, soft-shell or wind-stopper gloves.
MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVE: Wind/water resistant, insulated mountain gloves.
HEAVY WEIGHT INSULATED GLOVE OR MITTEN: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves or mittens. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.
We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Quarter zip styles will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.
RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL): A jacket made of rain-proof material with an attached hood. We recommend a thinner lightweight jacket rather than a heavier insulated jacket.
INSULATED PARKA with HOOD: This expedition-style heavy parka should extend below the waist and must have an insulated hood. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill as down weighs less. The parka does not have to be waterproof, though that is a nice feature.
HIKING SHIRT (OPTIONAL): For hot days in mid-summer, we recommend a lightweight, synthetic shirt, either long or short sleeves. Long sleeves are preferred for sun protection.
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.
UNDERWEAR: Non-cotton briefs or boxers.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Synthetic or wool.
CLIMBING PANT: Soft-shell climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them in combination with the base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.
RAIN PANT (HARD SHELL): A waterproof pant with 3/4 side zippers (sometimes called 7/8 or full side zips) are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons.
LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANT OR SHORTS (OPTIONAL): A lightweight, 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.
Feet Guides' Pick
Insulated mountaineering boots with completely rigid soles are needed to climb Mt. Rainier. While both leather and plastic boots will work well, each has strengths and weaknesses. Plastic boots will work all season long and are particularly useful for climbers with colder feet. Appropriate leather boots (stiff-soled, insulated and designed to hold a crampon) are appropriate for warmer weather climbs.
The freezing level forecasted for the time of your climb will be the best guideline for which boot to wear. A freezing level below 10,000' will dictate the use of plastic boots. A freezing level above 10,000' will provide the option for either plastic or leather boots.
Whether leather or plastic, mountaineering boots are designed to remain stiff for kicking steps and working with crampons. To ensure that your feet do well, mountaineering boots must be comfortable right from the start. If renting boots, consider bringing personal orthotics or foot beds.
GAITERS: We recommend 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.
2 PAIR 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.
Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick
SUNSCREEN: We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.
MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.
2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.
2 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE): We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.
ZIP-LOCK BAG (1 GALLON): Please use the Zip-Lock as your personal trash bag.
Utensils Guides' Pick
BOWL: Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.
INSULATED MUG: Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.
SPOON or SPORK: Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content are recommended.
Purchase travel insurance.
Arrange lodging in Ashford.
Arrange transportation to Ashford.
Reserve rental equipment.
Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!
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.
On the Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons you will need five trail lunches, three dinners, three breakfasts and several snacks while on the mountain.
Below are some examples and suggestions of the types of food that work well.
Lunch / Snacks
Your "lunches" are taken in the field throughout the day during short 10 to 15 minute breaks. We suggest crackers, pizza, candy bars, jerky, chips, cookies, trail mix, fruits, Gu, energy bars, and hard candies. Drink mixes such as Gatorade and Kool-Aid help flavor your water. Add peanut butter, cream cheese, hard cheese, or pepperoni for additional calories and taste. If you enjoy bread items, bagels work well. Include some salty snacks to replenish lost salts.
Single-serving instant oatmeal or Cream-of-Wheat makes a good main course fare. A variety of granola bars, pastries, fruit and a hot drink mix of coffee, tea, cocoa or cider are suggested.
Freeze-dried entrees are very convenient; it is best to be familiar with their taste (and the effects they may have on your stomach) in advance of your program. Instant soups and Cup-o'-Noodles are popular supplements to your main course. As an alternative, you might consider bringing a cold main dish such as chicken, pizza, sandwiches, pasta salads or stir-fry. In addition, bring coffee, tea, cocoa or cider to warm you up before bedtime.
Don't worry too much about the nutritional aspect of meals; concern yourself more with a high calorie intake. Most importantly, choose a variety of foods that you like to eat. One of the normal, albeit disconcerting, adjustments to altitude is a slight loss of appetite.
Ample cold water is available for drinking and replenishing water bottles. Hot water will also be provided for your meals (freeze-dried dinners, instant soups, instant oatmeal, etc) and hot drinks. When planning your menu, don't bring any items that require extensive preparation, cooking or simmering. We are able to provide you with boiling water, but do not have the ability to actually cook food items.
Mount Rainier Meal Packages
Whittaker Mountaineering has put together meal packages, evaluated by a nutritionist for carbohydrate, protein and fat, for climbing Mt. Rainier. Click here to reserve yours.
This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition. There are no technical climbing prerequisites to join this program.
Physical Fitness Training
Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.
- Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
- Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb.
- Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.
For this 6-day Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons, you are preparing for:
- Steep hiking, climbing and glacier travel with a 50-60 lb load
- A 12+ hour summit day
- Mountaineering techniques which require core strength and flexibility
Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!
Below are approximate outlines of the program's physical demands that will be helpful in planning your training schedule and goals:
Total Hiking Time
Elevation Gain / Loss
2 - 2 ½ Hours
Gain = 1000'
Loss = 1000'
20 - 25 lbs
3 - 4 hours
Gain = 3,100'
50 - 60 lbs
Gain = 2,000'
50 - 60 lbs
12 + Hours
Gain = 5,000'
Loss = 5,000'
20 - 25 lbs
Loss = 5,000'
50 - 60 lbs
Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.
Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.
While the key to climbing high is proper acclimatization, this climb effectively moves up and down the mountain at a rate that exceeds our body’s ability to adjust (acclimate) to the high altitude. This is true whether a program spends 2 days or 5 days on the upper mountain (elevations above 10,000 feet). During our short climb, our bodies simply do not have the time to completely adjust to the altitude, and because of this short stay, our bodies do not typically succumb to altitude’s ill effects. In short, climbers generally experience the mild but uncomfortable, yet normal, symptoms of their bodies beginning the adjustment process. While climbers will feel better rested on the slightly longer programs, fitness remains the key factor in a climber’s performance.
In addition, physical performance at altitude is often related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) are usually key factors in an individual’s success on a short-term visit to altitude.
Rainier BaseCamp is located in Ashford, WA, and is the home of RMI Expeditions, Whittaker Mountaineering, Whittaker’s Bunkhouse, and Mt. Rainier Visitor Center. Ashford is located 75 miles from the Sea-Tac Airport and climbers will need to make arrangements to Ashford. Options include chauffeured service, rental cars or ride share. Please follow the links below to find out more information.
Rainier Approach is our preferred transportation company offering round-trip service from Sea-Tac Airport to Rainier BaseCamp and the Ashford area. (Operates May - September.)
RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide our clients with comprehensive travel support. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe. We have been working with Erin for the last 8 years, and she is very knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or email at email@example.com.
We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or when traveling. Note that many of the insurance options can be purchased under one policy but some coverage may only be available if purchased within 14 days of making your trip deposit or if purchased as an upgrade to an existing policy rather than as a stand-alone option.
Cancellation Insurance: Cancellation insurance offers protection of deposit and registration funds should you need to cancel from a program. This might be due to an injury during training, a personal illness, or it might be due to extenuating circumstances, such as family emergencies. Policies are determined based upon your home state, check with the insurance providers listed below for specific coverage details and options, including adventure/sports coverage*.
*Adventure/Sports Coverage: Most standard policies do not cover climbing or mountaineering. You can purchase Adventure/Sports Coverage as an upgrade to a standard policy. Please be sure to check with your provider and their description of coverage to make sure the policy you are purchasing provides you with adequate protection.
For more information please visit one of the websites below, or contact your local travel agent.
|Travel Guard||Erin Rountree|
Ashford Area Accommodations
|Whittaker's Motel and Historic Bunkhouse||(360) 569-2439|
|Nisqually Lodge||(360) 569-8804|
|Jasmer's at Mt. Rainier||(360) 569-2682|
|Alexander's Lodge||(360) 569-2300|
|Wellspring Spa & Cabins||(360) 569-2514|
|Guest Services Inc: (Paradise Inn and National Park Inn)||(360) 569-2275|
|Mt. Rainier Visitor Association||(360) 569-0910|
|You may also go to VisitRainier.com to search for accommodations in the Ashford area.|
For updated Mt. Rainier weather forecasts, click here.
Please click on the links below to see the Mt. Rainier webcams:
- Paradise view towards Mount Rainier
- Paradise view - East
- Paradise view - West
- Paradise view towards the Tatoosh Range
- Longmire view
- Air Quality Camera
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.
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. Mt. Rainier, at 14,410', 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 from the late 1800's, 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 history of climbing there.
General Information on Mt. Rainier National Park (MRNP)
Publications, videos, etc. on the flora, fauna, history, etc. of MRNP
Northwest Interpretive Association - www.nwpubliclands.org
General Mountaineering: publications, videos, etc.
The Mountaineers Book - www.mountaineersbooks.org
Gateway Communities & Activities outside Mt. Rainier National Park
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
Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $400 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer.
Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program, and we will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment is due. If your balance payment is not received within 90 days of the program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 90 days from the reservation date must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via check, e-check or wire transfer only.
Once we receive written notification (e-mail or mail) that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply:
- A fee of $400 per person will be charged for cancellations made more than 60 days before departure.
- There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 60 days before your program.
Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.
Cancellation Insurance: We strongly suggest that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.
Change of Date
Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 30 days prior to your departure date for a $100 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed less than 30 days before departure.
Safety is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. RMI guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that improve your chance of reaching the summit without compromising the necessary margin of safety.
Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity.
Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Some of the responsibility for the team is carried by the individual climbers. For this reason, we ask that each participant:
- is physically and mentally fit, properly attired and equipped, and continues to self assess throughout the program to ensure as safe a climb as possible. If a climber's own physical fitness limits his or her ability to safely continue upward, that can have a negative impact on the summit experience or opportunity of other climb participants.
- honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their professional mountain guide.
Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions
In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines and restrictions on all climbing programs, domestic and international.
- Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
- Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
- Ages 18 & above: No restrictions
An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.
A minor climber must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either climber must descend at any time throughout the program, both climbers must descend together.
RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.’s responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.
Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.
RMI’s program plans and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.
We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).
If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.
RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.
The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.
RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.
What is the Guide-to Client Ratio on this program? We use a 1 guide per 2 climber ratio on the Emmons Glacier route.
What is the maximiun group size? The maximum group size of any program anywhere on Mt. Rainier is 12 individuals, including guides.