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Glacier Peak Climb

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    $1440 *
    5 days
    Level 3

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


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Glacier Peak Climb

Glacier Peak Climb

Glacier Peak is a technically moderate glaciated climb on Washington State's most remote volcano. Endurance and stamina are essential for the long, demanding days while we ascend the fourth highest peak in Washington.

Glacier Peak


  • Ascend through pristine old growth forests to the high glaciers of the North Cascades.
  • Build your climbing skills as you climb the fourth tallest peak in Washington.
  • Stand on the summit of the most isolated volcano in the Pacific Northwest.

Evening on Glacier Peak
The Approach to Glacier Peak
Nearing Glacier Peak
Reflections of Glacier Peak

Ascend through pristine old growth forests to the high glaciers of the North Cascades. Build your climbing skills as you climb the fourth tallest peak in Washington. Glacier Peak is a fun, straightforward glacier climb with a long and scenic approach hike. Our four-day itinerary includes all the necessary climbing instruction, and no previous climbing experience is required.

Participants will need a very high level of hiking fitness. This is because this program includes long, arduous days of hiking. Due to the heavy packs and long days, some past participants have compared the endurance required for a Glacier Peak climb to that required for an ascent of Mt. Rainier.

This climb is well suited for the beginning climber or strong long-distance hiker who wants to learn basic climbing skills and stand atop one of the most scenic summits in Washington. Many climbers use Glacier Peak (10,541') as a stepping stone to the more technical glaciated peaks like Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier.

We lead this program at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio, ensuring that you receive a high degree of hands-on instruction prior to the climb and also have a small, efficient rope team during the summit ascent. Our cramponing, ice axe, and rope travel skills training for this climb takes place right outside our tent door on the Suiattle Glacier.

Camp en route to Glacier High Camp


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 Himalayas. Years of expedition guiding and alpine 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.

Sunrise on Glacier Peak


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 [email protected].

Climber Reviews

Filter By
Final push up the summit on some of the steeper ice was really fun, and standing on top was of course also great.
Anton K.

I had such a great trip and experience. I really enjoyed the long journey it took to get to Glacier Peak. It made it so rewarding! The guides were all so amazing and our group was pretty stellar too.
Maddie S.

The structure, planning and communication of the guide team made the entire process close to seamless. I was truly impressed that the guide team was able to get 9 strangers to do things on time and with good cheer. Things just seemed to follow the guides' wills ever day, and there were no egos and drama.
Ivan S.

Had a great time on the trip. Hannah, Erika, and Emma were awesome guides and made the whole trip enjoyable. I wouldn't hesitate to go on another trip with the three of them again.
Dane B.

Unbelievable scenery in an unspoiled wilderness. The guides were treat and the whole trip had a mini expedition feel which was exactly what I was hoping for. Could not recommend this trip enough, everything was perfect.
Matt P.

The exceptional scenery and remoteness of the hike
Pallavi P.

The guides are personable and knowledgable. I loved meeting the whole team and picking up tips and tricks that I plan to use during my own future adventures, and getting tips on possible future climbs and trips. This made a huge difference during the long approach and hike out! It made the miles fly by and made the trip enjoyable the whole time, not just at the summit!
Phillip S.

I enjoyed so much - the learning, the guides, the camaraderie of the team, the beauty of the peak. This expedition proved to me that I have more physical strength and endurance than I thought I had.
Erika M.

Stunning backdrop.
Larry K.

Beautiful country, unspoiled wilderness area. Guides were great to be around- friendly and competent.
Tim C.

  • Upcoming Climbs

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  • Price
    5 days
    Level 3

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

Table of Contents
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Day 1


4:00-6:30 p.m.: We will meet at 4:00 p.m. at the Darrington Ranger Station in Darrington, Washington. Please see our Travel Details for driving directions and carpool opportunities. Dress casually and bring your climbing equipment and clothing.

We begin our Pre-Trip Orientation with a welcome and introduction of team members and guides. The rest of the afternoon is spent preparing our team for the climb. This includes a detailed personal gear check, packing strategies for the approach, and group gear distribution. You will need to plan for an additional five pounds of group gear in addition to your personal gear: part of a tent, cooking gear, etc. We end the day with an introduction to Leave No Trace principles.

There are no opportunities to purchase or rent gear in Darrington. Participants should be confident with the fit and choice of their gear prior to arriving for the program. Due to the mileage and elevation gain of the route, choosing lightweight gear is helpful. Please refer to the program Equipment List and/or call the RMI Office to speak with a guide about any gear questions you may have.

Please make your own arrangements to stay in Darrington for the night.

Day 2

HIKE TO BASE CAMP  •  5,900' | 1,798M

The group meets at 7:00 a.m. at the Darrington Ranger Station. From the Ranger Station, we drive along the Sauk River for approximately one hour and 20 minutes to the North Fork Sauk Trailhead (2,100’) where the day’s hiking begins. This is a long day of hiking, often 7+ hours, with full packs. During our hike, we travel through classic North Cascade old growth forest and make camp for the night just above tree line (5,900’) in the high alpine meadows.

Approach to Glacier Peak

Day 3


After breakfast, we begin our ascent into the alpine zone, hiking above steep forested drainages before turning north into a land of snow and volcanic rock. We travel over the White Chuck Glacier and camp adjacent to the Suiattle Glacier (7,300'). We use the afternoon to work on foundational glacier skills: basic techniques of efficient mountain travel (rest-stepping and pressure breathing), cramponing, roped travel, and ice axe arrest, in preparation for the next day's big climb.

Views of Glacier from High Camp

Day 4

GLACIER PEAK SUMMIT DAY (10,541' | 3,213M)  •  7,300' | 2,225M

The summit ascent (10,541’) - Our day begins with an alpine start (pre-dawn) to give us ample time for a full day. We ascend the gentle snow slopes above camp, winding our way on and off a climber’s trail kicked into the volcanic scree, which takes us to the Gerdine and Cool Glaciers. There we end-run a crevasse or two before gaining the climber’s trail again for the final steep path to the summit. 
After spending some time on top to enjoy the views and take photos, we begin our descent back to camp arriving by mid-day (7,300’).
We have the option of moving to a lower camp during the afternoon to shorten the next day’s hike out. White Pass camp (5,904’).

Summit Day on Glacier Peak

Day 5

DESCENT TO TRAILHEAD  •  2,100' | 640M

Our last day is the walk out and trip wrap up back in the town of Darrington. We break camp early for the long hike out, retracing our steps back to the North Fork of Sauk River trailhead (2,100’), and a well-earned celebratory dinner in Darrington.

Descending to the Trailhead

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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. To help make the process more straightforward, we have partnered with Harbor Travel Insurance because some of their policies are specifically designed for adventure travel and offer coverage for remote areas, and for activities like mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and trekking, without any altitude restrictions.

When purchasing Travel Insurance, here are a few items to consider:

  • Read the fine print. Travel Insurance will refund you when canceling for a covered reason for any non-refundable cancellation fees. 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), for activities that go above certain elevations, or for 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.


Harbor InsuranceHarbor 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

Our meeting place is the Darrington Ranger Station, 1405 Emens Ave N, Darrington, WA 98241. You are responsible for your own transportation to the program's trailhead. We meet at 8:00a.m. Most climbers will fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) the evening before the program and rent a car for the 2-hour drive. The town of Darrington is approximately 90 miles from SeaTac. Please click here for driving directions.

After a team meeting we drive to the climb's trailhead. You will need a Northwest Forest Service parking pass to leave your car at the trailhead. Passes are $30 and valid for one year. There may be an opportunity to leave some vehicles at the Ranger Station and carpool with other team members. Northwest Forest Service parking passes are available for sale at the ranger station.

Ride Share: If you are participating in a climb and are interested in sharing a ride, please post your information in the "Ride Share" forum of your North Cascades Discussion Board by logging into your RMI Account.

Area Accommodations

You can find camping at the Clear Creek Campground. They offer secluded tent camping by the Sauk River, with mountain views. 

There is one motel in Darrington, the Darrington Motor Inn


For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.


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.


The 566,057 acre Glacier Peak Wilderness is located in the northern Cascade Mountains of Washington State. At 10,541 feet, Glacier Peak is the dominant geologic feature of the area. It’s the most remote major volcanic peak in the Cascade Range. Glacier Peak is a volcanic cone of basalt, pumice, and ash which erupted during periods of heavy glaciation.

The area is characterized by heavily forested stream courses, steep-sided valleys, and rugged glacier covered peaks. Forest vegetation is comprised of true firs, spruce, and hemlock, as well as stands of pine on its eastern slopes. Various species of wildlife inhabit the area and include deer, elk, bear, mountain goat, cougar, marten, and lynx. This area also provides habitat for wolverines and gray wolves.

For more facts click here.


Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest map.

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What You’ll Need

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

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

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

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

If you are planning on renting gear for your climb, there are two options. Please note rental items are not shipped. Pick-up/Drop-off is at the store location. 

Northwest Mountain Shop - 820 Metcalf Street, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 | Phone: (360) 854-8761. Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

Backcountry Essentials - 214 W Holly Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 543-5678. Many of the required equipment items are available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

The Equipment Shop - American Alpine Institute - 1513 12th Street, Belllingham, WA 98225 | (360) 671-1570. Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

  • Whittaker Mountaineering Most of the required equipment is available for purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering when they use code RMI2023 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

Shop Your Equipment List

Equipment List

    • Image of ICE AXE
      ICE AXE

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


      We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat, or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.


      Transceivers are required on all North Cascades programs before July. The RMI Office will notify climb participants if the transceiver is not needed for their climb after July 1st.


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

    • Image of GLACIER GLASSES

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

    • Image of GOGGLES

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

  • Hands

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

  • Guide Pick™

  • Upper Body

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

  • Guide Pick™

  • Lower Body

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

  • Guide Pick™


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


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

    • Image of MEALS & SNACKS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • Image of BOWL

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

    • Image of INSULATED MUG

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

    • Image of SPOON OR SPORK

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

    • Image of WATER BOTTLES
      2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

      One-liter water bottles with wide mouths made of co-polyester (BPA-free plastic).


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


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

    • Image of SUNSCREEN

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

    • Image of EAR PLUGS

      Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.

    • Image of CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

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

    • Image of TRAVEL CLOTHES

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

    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Arrange transportation and lodging.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Be in the best shape of your life!

Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes and anchors, 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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