Why Climb with RMI Expeditions?
Our philosophy is centered around a safe and enjoyable mountain experience. RMI maintains the highest standards for commercial practice and safety compliance and actively operates as a High Reliability Organization. RMI was the first guide service within Mt. Rainier National Park to utilize an OSHA-recognized Safety Committee as part of its standard safety practices. RMI also earned outstanding scores with Washington Labor & Industries through a voluntary safety and health audit. While climbers aren’t necessarily directly impacted by these initiatives, they nonetheless reflect RMI's high standards for commercial practice and underpin our efforts to remain most respected among commercial guide services.
Experience matters. We have a long and celebrated history as a leader in the mountains. The programs we offer have been tried and tested by more than three hundred guides and over 80,000 climbers over the course of the past 50 years! Whether measured in years of operation, numbers of guides who learned their trade under our banner, or the great number of folks with whom we have climbed, we have more experience guiding glaciated terrain and expedition-style adventures than any other American mountain guiding service. Our experience, starting with the planning that goes into each trip through to the decision making that takes place in the mountains, gives us the expertise to provide the best possible mountain adventures!
When You Climb with RMI you Climb with the best
Read Outside Magazine's recognition of RMI as Best Outfitter
Our guides are world-class. Our guide staff includes some of the most notable climbers and guides in the country. Quality characterizes each of the guides on our roster. This is true whether discussing our regard for managing risk, our technical guiding skills, or when referring to the highly personable character of each of our guides. Every RMI guide is well trained and experienced, and familiar with our ethics, standards, and operations. This results in a better experience in the mountains for you!
RMI Guides lead every single trip. All of our trips are led by RMI's own guides, meaning we don’t subcontract with local guides to lead our trips. We work closely with our local partners and assistant guides on all of our international adventures, but an RMI Lead guide is always at the front and personally responsible for the team. As you reach higher elevations and test the limits of your experience, the value of an accomplished, highly trained RMI guide held to our standards cannot be understated. Our professional guides provide the important individual attention key to a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Our in-house guide training exceeds industry standards. Our American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Accreditation Report identified our in-house guide training manuals as “among the best” in the industry and our organization as “one of the leading guide services in the country.” Beyond our history with the AMGA, we operate a state-of-the-industry Advisor program which, while familiar to many college students, is entirely groundbreaking within the professional guiding community. Continued professional development is a high priority. In fact, we have offered more than $100,000 of grant money to guides who are pursuing their professional guide education or certifications. Our guides are, objectively speaking, some of the best-trained guides in the country.
We’re there for you every step of the journey. In addition to our talented guides, our full-time operations team ensures that every climber is properly prepared for the adventure. From extensive training and fitness resources, to equipment gear guides, and team communications, we are devoted to making sure that every climber arrives in the mountains prepared and excited about the adventure ahead.
We are actively committed to Responsible Climbing. We recognize that the mountains are our lifeblood and we feel strongly about climbing responsibly. We shoulder this burden eagerly and our Responsible Climbing Initiatives are far more than a head-nod to being environmentally and socially responsible. From progressive environmental stewardship efforts to social outreach in the communities we visit, we want our trips to contribute to the amazing landscapes and communities we visit.
RMI's Leave No Trace initiatives have never been matched. Long before the National Park Service (NPS) mandated that commercial operators include Leave No Trace (LNT) Skills and Ethics into their guide training, RMI held LNT conferences for Northwest and Alaska commercial and non-commercial land users, including the NPS, mountain rescue organizations, local mountaineering clubs and other entities which brought users into the backcountry. Between 2001 and 2003 RMI created the first-ever LNT Alpine Mountaineering guidelines, which were officially adopted by LNT’s Educational Review Committee for public dissemination in 2011. Every guide employed with us holds either an LNT Master or Trainer certificate so that they can share this key information with each climber and trekker.
Progressive Thinking. Much of the best environmental stewardship comes from good planning and creative thinking. We continually re-evaluate the entire process of outfitting and leading expeditions to make every effort we can to enhance the outstanding qualities of our programs as well as reduce our impact on the mountainous landscapes and communities we visit. This translates to small adjustments to our packing and outfitting practices to large energy projects like our solar power system on Mt. Everest and a solar-powered water system on Mt. Rainier.
A Department of Interior Environmental Audit identified numerous Best Management Practices and included commendations of excellence for our voluntary efforts in the arenas of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. RMI provided shuttles for climbers and guides for years before the National Park mandated such activities for commercial service operators. We took the initiative to build a solar thermal snowmelt system on Mt. Rainier to provide drinking water for our teams and a solar electrical system on Mt. Everest to provide our expedition with power needs. These behind-the-scenes initiatives once more reflect RMI’s high standard of commercial ethics and practice as well as our consideration of future generations of National Park and wild land users.
We get involved. We understand that the mountain communities we visit are deserving of as much respect and support as the physical landscapes. We incorporate cultural experiences into our expeditions wherever possible and actively engage with local communities, by funding educational scholarships in Tanzania, providing community development advice in Papua, and supporting medical access in Mexico and Argentina. RMI also actively partners with a number of domestic organizations to lead climbs of Mt. Rainier in support of their causes. In fact, we have helped the American Lung Association raise over $4.4 million dollars through the Climb for Clean Air. We host educational clinics for school groups, consistently donate needed supplies to local charities, and actively serve unique populations such as disabled veterans and homeless men and women.
Why should you join us? Because we have been setting the standard in mountain guiding excellence since 1969.