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Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $4800
    Deposit
    $1500
    Duration
    11 days
    Difficulty
    Level 3
    Type
    Skills
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier

Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier

Spend nine days in some of the most beautiful mountains on the North American continent - the Alaska Range. Based out of the Great Gorge on the Ruth Glacier, we have the perfect alpine terrain for training and climbing.

The Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fly through spectacular glacial valleys in a ski plane to the Ruth Amphitheater.
  • Become well versed in the skills of expedition climbing in the best classroom possible: the mountains of the Alaska Range.
  • Enjoy our exceptional 3 to 1 climber-to-guide ratio during the course, benefiting from the experience, expertise, and tutelage of RMI's renowned guides.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Base Camp on the Ruth
A single otter on the airstrip
Mt. Dickey and Mt. Barril

RMI's Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier takes place in the Great Gorge on the Ruth Glacier. From our base camp there are a myriad of peaks available for learning expedition climbing skills and numerous moderate and enjoyable climbs are possible depending on conditions. Our expedition course has been designed to prepare you for guided ascents of Denali and Aconcagua, and to enable you to lead your own adventures on other peaks back home. Ice climbing, glacier travel and navigation, expedition techniques and preparation, and crevasse rescue are some of the skills introduced and practiced during the course. In addition, camp construction, sled hauling and fixed-line travel are Denali-specific skills you will master.

Our climbing objective during the trip is the summit of 9,545' Mt. Dickey via the West Face route.

RMI is proud to offer a climber-to-guide ratio of 3:1 on our Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier. Our experienced guides offer extensive personal instruction throughout the course, from the teaching of fundamental climbing knots to instruction and guidance during the climbs. RMI Expeditions is committed to a safe, fun, and educational program and these goals are best achieved with a low climber to guide ratio. While less expensive instructional programs in Alaska exist, none offer the instruction, quality, and experience of RMI.

Successful completion of the Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier in combination with climbing experience on Rainier or other glaciated peaks will make you eligible for any of our expeditions on Denali and provides you with good experience for other glaciated peaks around the world. 

Approaching Mt. Dickey via 747 pass

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

RMI Expeditions was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Denali and a leader in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our experienced guides are some of the best in the world, more than 35 of whom have reached the summit of Mt. Everest, some multiple times. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge necessary to create the best possible trips. We work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader.

With over 40 years of experience of guiding on Denali alone, RMI's legacy of instruction, safety, and success in the Alaska Range is unmatched. Our Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier is designed from years of experience guiding climbers on North America's highest mountain with the goal of providing participants with all of the necessary skills to go on to safely, confidently, and successfully scale Denali and the world's other greatest peaks. 

A single otter glides through the Great Gorge.

SAFETY

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful program without compromising safety. Our climber-to-guide ratio is 3:1 and provides an unusual degree of personal service from RMI's guides and increases our margin of oversight and safety on the mountain.

Our program is fully equipped with comprehensive medical kits and communication equipment. Our guides and staff are highly trained in emergency mountain medicine and work to maintain our strict standards of safety, keeping close dialogue with participants throughout the program. When problems arise on the mountain, away from medical facilities, the level of training and experience RMI's guides have makes them some of the most sought after guides in the profession. 

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 Denali National Park and Preserve.

Climate Change

OffsettersAll of our climbs in Denali National Park and Preserve are 100% carbon neutral. We have partnered with Offsetters, Canada's leading carbon management solutions provider, to purchase offsets for our greenhouse gas emissions. Their projects are verified and validated by third parties to ensure that the emission reductions are real, additional, and permanent, so we know that our contribution is making a real difference.

By supporting this project, we prevent the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions that were generated by our operations from being emitted somewhere else. These offsets allow us to achieve our goal of sustainability and further promote responsible environmental practices.

  • Upcoming Climbs

      • May 8, 2020 Guide: Avery Parrinello Guide: Grayson Swingle Guide: Cody Mack
    Show All
  • Price
    $4800
    Deposit
    $1500
    Duration
    11 days
    Difficulty
    Level 3
    Type
    Skills
Table of Contents
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Day 1

TRAVEL  •  348' | 106M

1:30 p.m.: Meet the guides at Anchorage International Airport (Domestic Terminal), carousel 1 in Alaska Airlines baggage claim.

Shuttle transportation to Talkeetna is included in the program. The shuttle leaves at 2:00 p.m. and takes three hours to arrive in Talkeetna. The group will stop at a grocery store in Wasilla, for the opportunity to purchase any fresh food you'd like to bring on the mountain. The team will arrive in Talkeetna at approximately 5:00 p.m. Overnight in Talkeetna.



Day 2

PRE-TRIP PREPARATION AND TRAINING  • 4,500' | 1,371M

7:00 a.m.: Team Breakfast Meeting

There are a number of important items to accomplish in Talkeetna. After our breakfast meeting we begin our training at the K2 Aviation hangar. The team will go through extensive personal equipment checks. Final recommendations and suggestions concerning gear will be made at that time. The team will plan meals and ready group food and equipment for the glacier flight. There will be an introduction to safety practices, including use of helmets, harnesses, and avalanche transceivers. Instruction regarding Leave No Trace practices and environmental considerations will be made as well. After all is made ready we begin shuttling members into the Ruth Glacier, weather permitting. This spectacular scenic flight requires approximately 45 minutes, one way. Once at the airstrip, we continue our expedition skills training by learning camp site selection, and how to build a mountain camp and kitchen.

The following seminar itinerary is approximate and depends on such considerations as weather, route conditions and strength of the party. Nine man-days of food and fuel are carried on the mountain. There are emergency food rations at Base Camp, in case weather prevents the group from flying off. It is best to purchase an airline ticket booked to depart Anchorage one week after the seminar's end date. When you return to Anchorage, you can then reschedule your flight.



Day 3

MOVE TO BASE CAMP • 4,500' | 1,371M

We pack our camp, load our sleds, and move from the airstrip down the Ruth Glacier to establish our base camp at the base of Mt. Dickey. We'll use the afternoon for further technical skills training. 



Day 4

TRAINING AND SKILLS DAY • 4,500' | 1,371M

At Base Camp we begin building the foundational skills that allow travel and access to more varied terrain. Skills covered on this day include: knots, harness, carabiner and avalanche transceiver use, proper use of the ice axe for balance and self and team arrest, cramponing on moderate terrain, and the basics of roped glacier travel. Evening discussions will take place throughout the seminar and cover a variety of mountaineering topics such as: mountain medicine and wellness, weather, route finding and navigation, expeditionary climbing techniques, alpine climbing techniques, self-care and the art of climbing efficiently.



Day 5

MOVE TO HIGH CAMP AT 747 PASS • 6,370' | 1,942M

We will pack up the gear that we need for a few days of climbing, and move to our high camp at 747 Pass, in preparation to climb Mt. Dickey. We will cache unnecessary equipment at Base Camp. The route to 747 Pass follows the ascending glacial valley to the south of Mt. Dickey, reaching 747 Pass. We will make camp and prepare for the summit climb of the West Face tomorrow. 



Day 6

MT. DICKEY SUMMIT (9,545') • 6,370' | 1,942M

Summit day on Mt. Dickey! We depart 747 Pass, wrapping around to gain the West Ridge and ascend the broad West Face to the summit. Incredible views of the Alaska Range treat us all of the way to the summit, with the summit opening up expansive views of the Ruth Glacier and Great Gorge 5,000' below. We descend back to our camp at 747 Pass to spend the night.



Day 7

RETURN TO BASE CAMP • 4,500' | 1,371M

We pack up our camp, descending from 747 Pass back to our Base Camp in the Great Gorge. The descent takes a few hours, and once at camp, we will spend some time setting camp up again and settling in before doing some light training for the afternoon. 



Day 8

CREVASSE RESCUE TRAINING • 4,500' | 1,371M

During our crevasse rescue practice we learn self rescue, how to extricate ourselves from a crevasse if we have fallen in, and companion rescue, how we extricate a team member. These are essential skills for an ascent of a large expeditionary peak like Denali.



Day 9

TECNICAL SKILLS TRAINING • 4,500' | 1,371M

We spend the morning learning how to construct a variety of snow and ice anchors for use in belaying, rappelling, and crevasse rescue. In the afternoon our focus will be on expedition skills such as fixed rope travel, sled rigging, and a discussion of crevasse rescue. We will consider a variety of crevasse rescue scenarios. In the afternoon, we pack all of our gear and leave our base camp home from the last few days to return to the airstrip and await the planes that will return us to Talkeetna in the morning.



Day 10

FLY OFF • 348' | 106M

Weather permitting, we await the buzz of the engines of the trusty bush planes arriving to take us back to town. Once back in Talkeetna, we will dry and organize our gear and then enjoy a celebratory dinner.



Day 11

TRAVEL

A morning shuttle will transfer us to the ANC airport for our flights home.



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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 etravel@cox.net.

Travel Insurance

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 while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when canceling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance.

  • Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason. Most travel insurance companies provide an option to include coverage that allows you to “Cancel for Any Reason”, but the initial policy must be purchased within 15 days of placing your deposit for the program.
  • In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered.
  • Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.

 

RipcordRipcord Rescue Travel Insurance is travel insurance designed for adventurers, including the best evacuation and rescue services available.

 

Benefits are tailored for adventurers and include:

  • Rescue and evacuation from the point of illness or emergency to your home hospital of choice.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (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.
  • Security extraction in case of unexpected dangerous and chaotic events.
  • Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) options and pre-existing condition waiver within 14 days of your initial trip deposit.

Ripcord Rescue 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. Whether it’s reimbursing you for a cancelled trip, paying your travel medical bills or evacuating you home in an emergency, Ripcord takes the worry out of your travel.

Getting to Talkeetna

FLIGHTS TO ALASKA

Climbers need to arrive at Anchorage International Airport (ANC) by 1:00 pm on Day 1 of the program. The group will meet at 1:30 p.m., Alaska Airlines domestic baggage claim, carousel #1.

If your flight cannot arrive in Anchorage before 1:00 p.m. it will be necessary to arrive a day earlier and go to the airport to meet the team.

Airfare should be booked to depart Anchorage one week after the program's end date. We have found it works well to book a one-way flight to Anchorage, AK, for the beginning of your trip, then scheduling your return flight once the team returns to Talkeetna. Another option is to book a flight with a flexible return date. This works better than an open-ended ticket or missing an early return date.

SHUTTLE TO TALKEETNA

We will arrange a transfer from Anchorage to Talkeetna at 2:00 p.m. the day your program begins. Please arrive in Anchorage no later than 1:00 p.m. Talkeetna is a three-hour drive from Anchorage. If you are traveling to Talkeetna on your own, please let RMI know in advance that you will not require transportation.

Weather

Denali's weather forecast is updated through the National Weather Service

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.

Resources

Mountaineering is replete with literary accounts of high adventure in Alaska. For aspiring Denali climbers, certain historical narratives, as well as how-to guide books, can prove both entertaining and educational, significantly adding to ones enjoyment of the expedition.

The list below represents some personal favorites, from over three decades of guiding in Alaska. I particularly enjoy the story of the first winter ascent: Minus 148 degrees!

Whether you are challenging the West Buttress, learning crevasse rescue on the Ruth Glacier, or rock climbing in Little Switzerland, these titles will greatly enhance your experience and appreciation of Alaska!

- Joe Horiskey

Bass, D., Wells, F., Ridgeway, R.  Seven Summits 1986

Beckey, Fred  Mount McKinley: Icy Crown of North America 1993

Bezruhka, Stephen  Altitude Illness - Prevention & Treatment 2001

Cole, Terence  The Sourdough Expedition: Stories of the Pioneer Alaskans Who Climbed Mount McKinley in  l910 1985

Davidson, Art  Minus 148: The Winter Ascent of Mount McKinley 1986

Houston, Charles  Going Higher: The Story of Man and Altitude 1987

Mason, Gen  Minus Three 1970

Michener, James A.  Alaska 1988

Moore, Terris   Mount McKinley: The Pioneer Climbs 1981

Roberts, David  The Mountain of My Fear 1968

Randall, Francis  Denali Diary: Letters from McKinley 1987

Seattle Mountaineers The Freedom of the Hills 2017

Selters, Andy  Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue 2009 (second printing)

Sherwonit, Bill  To The Top of Denali 2013 (third edition)

Sherwonit, Bill  Denali, A Literary Anthology 2000

Stuck, Hudson  The Ascent of Denali 1914

Washburn, B., Roberts, D.  Mount McKinley - The Conquest of Denali 1991

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Qualifications

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition and with previous climbing experience of a glaciated summit (Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. Shasta, or similar). Prior knowledge and experience with rope travel, the use of crampons, and ice axe arrest is required. This is a great next step toward Denali participation.

Qualifying Programs

Recommended climbing experiences prior to the Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier include:

  • 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 the Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking and trekking with a 40-50 lb. load
  • Using core strength and flexibility to navigate uneven terrain

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!

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

Acclimatization

No acclimatization is necessary for this program.

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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!


  • 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 RMI2019 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

Shop Your Equipment List

Equipment List

    • CLOSED FOAM SLEEPING PAD

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • SNOWSHOES

      Select a short to medium length model of snowshoe- 22" is an ideal size. Team members are more often 'drafting' as opposed to actually breaking trail, so it is not necessary to have a longer pair. You will log miles of roped glacier travel while wearing snowshoes, so spend some time walking in them prior to the trip. We highly recommend models with a heel lift, which makes uphill travel significantly easier.

    • HEADLAMP NOT REQUIRED FOR THIS TRIP

      You may bring a headlamp if your trip takes place during the first two weeks of May.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • SPARE CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES (OPTIONAL)

      Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • DOWN OR SYNTHETIC INSULATED PANTS (OPTIONAL)

      A pair of lightweight, insulated pants are ideal for extra warmth and comfort at camps, both on the glacier and on the trail.

    • MEALS & SNACKS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • INSULATED MUG

      Insulated outdoor-style mug. We recommed a model with a removable lid, which helps retain heat and prevent spills.

    • 2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

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

    • 3 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.

    • READING MATERIAL/JOURNAL (OPTIONAL)
    • PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG

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

    • SUNSCREEN

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

    • TRAVEL SIZE MOISTURIZER
    • EAR PLUGS
    • SLEEPING MASK
    • PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN)

      Practice using this before coming on the climb!

    • PEE BOTTLE (OPTIONAL)

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

    • CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

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

    • 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, cough drops, basic painkillers, an antacid, an anti-diarrheal, and personal medications.

    • We recommend you speak with your physician about which medications make sense to have for remote international travel and/or high altitude climbing. At minimum, we require the following:

    • ANTIBIOTICS

      Broad spectrum antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin (500mg tablets), Metronidazole, and Azithromycin (250mg tablets).

    • ACETAZOLAMIDE (DIAMOX)

      125mg tablets for prevention or treatment of Acute Mountain Sickness.

    • TRAVEL CLOTHES

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

    • SUNGLASSES
    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • 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, shovels, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, and avalanche probes.

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a satellite phone for emergency contact.

Each member will have a sled for use during the program. Sleds aid in transporting loads between camps on the lower mountain.

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Meals

On the Expedition Skills Seminar - Ruth Glacier you will need 9 mountain lunches. All of your mountain lunch items should weigh 7+ lb.

Breakfast and dinner meals on the mountain are included in your program cost. You are responsible for all meals while we are off the mountain.

MOUNTAIN LUNCHES

Mountain lunches are eaten during short breaks throughout the day. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb - lunch begins just after breakfast and ends just before dinner! Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water.

The importance of having foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude, we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty.

Recommended mountain lunch items: bagels, tortillas, crackers (Wheat Thins, Triscuits), hummus, Pringles, corn nuts, smoked almonds, roasted cashews, GORP mix (peanuts, M&M's, sunflowers seeds, raisins, etc), smoked salmon, fresh veggies (carrots), salami, pepperoni, cheese (pepper jack, Swiss, cheddar), jerky, candy (sweet and sour varieties), chocolate bars, hard candies, energy bars (Cliff, Luna), dried fruits (apricots, pineapple, pear), and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).

Perishable food items may be purchased at a grocery store en-route to Talkeetna; you should have the bulk of lunch items already purchased and packed.

BREAKFAST

Breakfasts consist of fresh food (bagels, cream cheese), bacon and eggs, instant oatmeal, instant grits, cold cereal (granola), breakfast bars, and hot drinks.

DINNER

Nine man-days of food are carried on the mountain, which can be stretched in the event of bad weather. Additionally, a cache of emergency food is left at Kahiltna Base Camp.

The dinner menu is a combination of fresh food (vegetables, tortillas, cheese), retort entrees (fully cooked meals packaged in sealed containers and heated in hot water), freeze-dried entrees (Mountain House or Richmoor Natural High), and packaged main course items (ramen, Lipton Rice or Noodles, macaroni and cheese). Various hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa, and cider) and dessert are also provided.

Every attempt is made to assure a variety and adequate quantity.

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Payments

Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $1,500 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments $2,500 or less may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer. Deposit payments over $2,500 must be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program. We will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment due date. If your balance payment is not received within 90 days prior to the start of your program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 90 days must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer only.

Cancellation

$750 of the $1,500 per person deposit is non-refundable. Written notification is required for all cancellations.

Once RMI receives written notification of cancellation, the following apply:

  • If you cancel 90 or more days before the start of your program, the program fees will be refunded less $750 per person.
  • If you cancel less than 90 days before the start of your program, no refunds will be issued.

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 60 days prior to your departure date for a $200 fee per person. There are no date changes allowed less than 60 days before departure.

Land Cost

INCLUDED

  • RMI Leadership
  • Ground transportation between Anchorage and Talkeetna
  • Hotel accommodations in Talkeetna for one night at the start of the trip and one night at the end of the trip*
  • Denali National Park Entrance Fee
  • Breakfast and dinner while on the mountain
  • Group equipment (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, sleds, etc.)
  • Bush pilot service between Talkeetna and Kahiltna Base Camp as stated in the itinerary

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare to Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
  • Hotel accommodations in Talkeetna not included above
  • Meals while not on the mountain
  • Mountain Lunches during the climb
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Bush pilot fees if returning from the mountain early

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy. 

Risk Management

Managing risk 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.

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.

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.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions

In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines:

  • 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.

Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.

Both the parent or legal guardian and the Participant must sign all forms. 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 during the program, both climbers must descend together. 

Summit Attempt

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.

General Policies

RMI's program schedule 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, or other environmental factors, currency fluctuations, changes in outfitting costs, government instability, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to 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, or other environmental factors, government instability, unpredictable social, political or military conditions in countries that we travel. In such a case, you will receive a full refund of program fees paid to RMI, less any non-refundable payments that have been paid to our outfitters prior to the cancellation of the trip. When a trip is cancelled, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

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.

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