Log In


Register With Us

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


Check Availability

Check availability for a different party size


Check Availability

Mountaineering School

Mountaineering School

The Mountaineering Day School introduces climbers to the basic, foundational techniques of mountaineering.


  • Efficient climb and travel techniques including pressure breathing and the rest-step
  • Effective crampon use
  • Ice axe arrest
  • Rope Travel
  • Self-care strategies in the mountains


Throughout the day-long course, we use Mt. Rainier's lower slopes to learn and practice various techniques and skills necessary for climbing in glaciated terrain. Experienced and talented guides facilitate the instruction of key skills in mountaineering.

This program is ideal of novice climbers seeking to gain confidence in the mountains. Our Mountaineering Day School, taken in coordination with our Crevasse Rescue School, prepares aspiring climbers to safely and smartly attempt a glaciated climb.


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 programs without compromising safety. Each program 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 info@rmiguides.com.

NPS Authorized ConcessionerAuthorized Concessioner

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

Climber Reviews

Filter By
Our guide!
Sarah S.

Great learning, great fun, y'all are the gold standard and you proved why.
Reed L.

The small group (4 plus 1 guide), the hands-on practice, all the tips for being a more effective hiker.
Mathias R.

This is a difficult question to answer. I Enjoyed Every Aspect of The Trip! Everyone was always positive and went above and beyond. Top Notch Service! The Climb on Rainier was Fantastic! I can't wait to come back next year and attempt to Summit.
Pete K.

I loved being able to experience mountaineering for the first time. I was treated with respect (despite my inexperience) and I am so glad I've got a few new tricks to try!
Katy N.

Use of avi beacon
Janet V.

I enjoyed the entire trip... the guides were funny, personable, yet strong leaders with significant care for our safety, our enjoyment of mountaineering, and their commitment to maintaining a "leave no trace" regard for the environment. The itinerary was well planned and enjoyable.
Mark E.

Hearing Mike and Chase's experiences and background. They constantly provided us with 'why' you do something that way they explained. They both responded fully to each of our questions. They also provided useful feedback as we were practicing.
Greg K.

Instructors were completely engaged, seemed to love what they do and enjoyed people. Never felt like they were bored, arrogant or distracted.
Cheryl R.

Gaining the necessary knowledge to climb safely in a out door environment. The hands on experience is first rate. Your team did a wonderful job.
Patrick T.

Learning skills in a beautiful place on a nice day with great people.
Bryan C.

The mountain and the weather (blue-bird). Self arresting was fun.
Dan C.


Everything. The class was worth every penny and I learned lots of valuable information.
Amy B.

The guides and training process.
Michael S.

Our guide's knowledge and attention to detail.
Alex G.

It was day school so really the pragmatic instruction tips from Josh were the highlight. You can read it, you can hear it, but it's not till you actually do it and get realtime feedback that you understand it.
Keir W.

Being on the mountain and learning some of the key skills for effective climbing. I enjoyed learning to self arrest!
Alex L.

The people! The folks of RMI. Positive, upbeat and very helpful!
Ken A.

I enjoyed the portion where we learned how to self arrest. That was good practice and very helpful.
Tristan R.

Learning from the guides, learning techniques, learning what poor physical condition I am in :)
Robert D.

Uncrowded time on Mount Rainier with great guides. Got some stunning photos.
Andrew M.

Watching the guide simplicity in action - there is no wasted effort; how the manage/handle their gear, etc. For a beginner it presents an example of not only what you need to do, but the broader perspectives you need to bring to your preparation for and time on a mountain.
Michael S.

Table of Contents
Print this Page

Day 1


8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Meet at 8:00 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp. Please arrive dressed for hiking and packed with your Mountaineering Day School gear.
*Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford opens at 7:00 a.m. Climbers may register with RMI, pick up rental equipment and purchase last minute items from Whittaker Mountaineering during this time.

We begin the morning with a welcome and introduction of team members and guides. Guides offer final packing and clothing suggestions before a shuttle takes our team to the trailhead at Paradise.

We ascend to our training area just above Paradise on the lower slopes of Mt. Rainier between 6,000' and 6,600'. We introduce a number of skills, from basic techniques of efficient mountain travel (rest-stepping and pressure breathing) through cramponing, roped travel, and ice axe arrest practice. The training is a great introduction to mountaineering for novice climbers as well as refresher for those with previous experience, ensuring that all climbers have the basic skills to climb safely and comfortably on the mountain.

Following the day of training, the shuttle takes our group back to Rainier BaseCamp.



Print this Page
Print this Page


This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition. There are no technical climbing prerequisites to join this program.

  • Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life
    And Then Go
    Climb A Mountain

    Create A Fitness And Training Program

    Go To Fitness Resources

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 Mountaineering Day School, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking with a 20-25 lb load
  • 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
Total Distance
Pack Weight
2 - 2 ½ Hours
Round Trip
Gain = 1,000'
Loss = 1,000'
4 Miles
Round Trip
20 - 25 lbs

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.

Print this Page

What You’ll Need

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.

  • RMI Climbers Get 10% Off
    All New Equipment At
    Whittaker Mountaineering

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

Equipment List

    • 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.


      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.


      A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.


      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.


      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.


      We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.

    • 1 - 2 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.


      We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.


      Please use the Zip-Lock as your personal trash bag.

    • CAMERA
    • 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: climbing ropes and blue bags (for solid waste disposal). Every guide will carry a first aid kit and two-way radios.

Print this Page


Print this Page


Payment in full is due at time of reservation. Payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, or check.


Once we receive written notification that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply:

  • A fee of $50 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 $25 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed less than 30 days before departure.

Risk Management

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. 

Climber Responsibilities

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

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.

Accompaniment by parent or legal guardian is required for the program or climb.

General Policies

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.

Back to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

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

Thank you for subscribing to the RMI Expeditions Newsletter!

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

Please choose the programs you'd like updates on: