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Mt. Rainier - Five Day Climb

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $1568
    Deposit
    $350
    Duration
    5 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Mountaineering
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Mt. Rainier - Five Day Climb

Mt. Rainier - Five Day Climb

The Five-Day Disappointment Cleaver Climb ascends Mt. Rainier's classic route while providing an additional day on the mountain to allow the flexibility to adjust the summit schedule to take advantage of the best window.

CLIMB HIGHLIGHTS

  • An afternoon orientation and one full day of mountaineering training to prepare for the climb.
  • Enjoy greater flexibility in the itinerary to make the summit attempt on one of two days to take advantage of the best climbing conditions.
  • Experience the classic Mt. Rainier climb, ascending 9,000' from its alpine meadows to its glacier-capped summit.
  • Climb with experienced RMI guides, benefiting from their background, training, and expertise; see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

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The Five-Day Disappointment Cleaver Climb gives climbers a more flexible itinerary on Mt. Rainier's classic route. The first two days prepare us for our climb with an afternoon orientation and a Mountaineering Day School, focusing on team building and training. We then ascend Mt. Rainier's lower slopes to Camp Muir (10,060'). Spending two nights in camp allows us the flexibility to climb during the best window for weather and conditions. Having an additional day on the mountain can also allow more time to practice basic mountaineering techniques. From Camp Muir, climbers ascend 4,400' to the summit crater, before descending the same route. The duration of the climb depends on many variables including snow conditions, the time of year, the route conditions, and the weather, but a typical summit push typically involves 10 – 12 hours of climbing round trip from Camp Muir.

This climb is ideal for first-time mountaineers, as well as experienced climbers, looking to take advantage of additional time on the mountain.

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.

SAFETY

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.


NPS Authorized ConcessionerAuthorized Concessioner

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

Address comments to:
Superintendent | Mount Rainier National Park
55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, WA 98304

These services are operated in an area under jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior. No discrimination by segregation or other means in the furnishing of services or privileges on the basis of race, creed, color, ancestry, sex, age, disabling condition or national origin is permitted in the use of this facility. Violation of this prohibition are punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

Climate Change

OffsettersAll of our climbs in Mt. Rainier National Park 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.

Contact Us

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.


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Climber Reviews

Filter By
08/30/2018
Rainier was the biggest physical challenge I have had in my life. The RMI guides and my climbing partners were a dream come true. I really enjoyed the people. The mountain can hold it own and was breathtaking....but wouldn't have been the same with a different set of guides and climbing partners.
Brian J.

08/20/2018
The journey really was as good as the destination (summit). Also made some great friends.
Jon C.

08/17/2018
Reaching our goal. For me, the goal was to make it to Camp Muir 7 weeks after hip replacement surgery. With the encouragement and understanding of the guides I was able to do this and be with my son who continued on to the summit - which he called the best experience of his life.
Kevin C.

08/11/2018
What else can I say, I have climbed with RMI by myself, with my oldest son, with my middle daughter, and now my youngest son; 2012, 2014, 2016, and now 2018 respectfully. EXCELLENT COMPANY ......... WITH THE BEST EMPLOYEES!
John B.

08/07/2018
The relationships I was able to create and enjoy, with both my team and guides. The summit, the climb itself, and the new and exciting experiences.
Kelsey H.

08/01/2018
I liked how there was a day dedicated to learning the basic skills of climbing. As someone that has never mountain climbed before, I found this day to be extremely valuable once the climb was underway. I enjoyed the five day climb as it gave me the extra time needed to acclimate.
Colin L.

07/23/2018
Certainly, experiencing the summit was great, but I think the camaraderie of the trip (the sharing the foxhole experience) is probably what I will remember the most. I will likely never see anyone from the trip again, but what we shared something pretty special.
Walt C.

07/06/2018
I enjoyed bonding with the entire team...our guides & the rest of us. We had great chemistry from the beginning and it felt like we were climbing with family. Hanging out in a crevasse was pretty cool as well!
Keith G.

06/29/2018
These three RMI guides together were fantastic! I was very impressed and feel extremely lucky to have had them for the Rainier Tour!
Ruth M.

06/29/2018
The absolute professionalism and friendliness of the incredibly dedicated guide team each with their own unique personalities. That was on top of it being the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life.
Wells H.

06/20/2018
Other than summiting- Skills Day. It was very informative and appropriately in depth. Also, a great way to get to know the team.
Barclay S.

06/16/2018
The guides were fantastic, highly skilled and competent, and charming.
Greg W.

05/16/2018
The mountain was incredible, the guides were awesome and very knowledgable, the glacading was great, I learned a lot.
Kathleen B.

05/16/2018
Doing something so special with my daughter and of course being the king of glissading on the return down the mountain.
Michael D.

05/15/2018
The whole experience was amazing. I really enjoyed the challeng and getting to know the guides.
John F.

05/11/2018
I truly enjoyed the staff. They were all so helpful, nice, understanding, informative, and knowledgable. I loved all the guides I came in contact with that it made my experience truly amazing and worth remembering.
Joshua M.

08/22/2017
The guides were awesome - Mike, Gloria, Alex. Our entire group was awesome!
Vouth V.

08/20/2017
The guides,the guides, the guides. Their knowledge, professionalism, personalities and above all their work ethic was unbelievably awesome and greatly appreciated.
Thomas D.

08/02/2017
I enjoyed being able to get to know my guides and fellow climbers. It was really cool to be able to summit with both my father and brother. Seeing them excited and happy was the best. The guides made this happen and they were fantastic. I enjoyed just spending time with some quality people coming together to achieve a goal. The team was rad and I learned a lot.
Maxwell W.

08/02/2017
Success to the summit. Meeting and getting to know a little about guides plus other climbers.
Jack W.

08/01/2017
Everything went very well and the guides were great!
Daniel O.

07/24/2017
What I enjoyed about the trip was getting to know the team members and the guides. I thought what we jelled quite well in the short time we spent together.
Brian M.

07/19/2017
Had the time of my life.
Michael B.

07/18/2017
Aside from the amazing scenery, I most enjoyed our leaders. Easy to talk to and very professional, I felt very comfortable completely relying on their judgement in challenging circumstances.
Don T.

07/17/2017
I have wanted to climb Mt. Rainier for almost a decade and the dream became a reality. Having the guides made the trip more enjoyable knowing that I was making the trip the safest way possible.
Chad M.

07/11/2017
Thank you for the once in a lifetime experience. Will never forget this.
Brent B.

07/07/2017
I have no more superlatives left to decribe how much I liked this trip, the GUIDES and the team. Outstanding job, RMI.
Sastry D.

07/03/2017
Beautiful mountain beautiful people
Tracy W.

06/25/2017
First, the opportunity to be on Mount Rainier - above and beyond Paradise.Second, the guide staff. They were great and really made me feel comfortable and confident as I experienced my first glaciated climb.Third, the rest of the team - everyone got along well, worked together and mirrored the positive attitudes of the guides.
Jay M.

06/19/2017
All 3 of our guides were fantastic. They were extremely personable, knowledgeable and made us feel comfortable being guided by them the entire trip. They also made the trip fun!
Natasha S.

06/19/2017
The guides are very welcoming, knowledgeable and answered any questions I (we) had. They were very willing to share their knowledge and expertise. I also enjoyed the camaraderie between the climbers, and between the climbers and guides. I was the only female in the group (of climbers) and not once did I feel left out. I very much felt like I was part of the group - one of the guys.
Aileen C.

06/15/2017
"Epic experience. Felt in amazing hands the entire time. Hard to pick a best part. Our guides were amazing. The trek was unforgettable. Listening to Dave Hahn stories was the icing on the cake. Oh and sliding on our butts down from Muir was so so fun. "
Mike W.

06/15/2017
I cannot emphasize enough how well prepared and knowledgeable our three guides (Andy, Hannah, and Joe) were. This trip was something out of my comfort zone, and our guides did everything in their power to make it a wonderful trip. I will definitely suggest RMI to friends and advise them to try and have Andy or Hannah as a guide in particular!
Matt M.

06/12/2017
RMI provided a great trip. The guides and services at Base Camp only increased my interest further in mountaineering. I will definitely be recommending this trip to others and hope to go on more trips with RMI in the future.
Chris L.

05/20/2017
Although the weather was on the extreme side, it was a fun experience for me that I will not forget. All of the guides were professional and seemed to enjoy their work.
John R.

05/20/2017
It was an awesome trip and definitely a memorable climb of my life. It was my first ever alpine climb, and you guys made it super fun and safe. I liked the talks in the basecamp. These talks analyzed weather, terrains in great details, which made us all understand what was our situation, what was the plans after, and most importantly, why these plans were made in this certain specific way. Another highlight was the tutorials on different knots for rope while we were stuck in the basecamp during the horrible weather. Our guides didn't need to do these, but they offered us the best knowledge and moment as they could.
Jianchen T.

05/17/2017
I enjoyed everything, from the RMI organization, to the climb itself and the interaction with the guides. It was everything I was expecting, and much more! You guys are top notch services.
Patrick A.

05/14/2017
The knowledge, experience, and patience of the guides. Training day/snow school was a perfect introduction to mountaineering. I loved that the guides encouraged those of us who were not feeling confident about the summit attempt due to a lack physical conditioning to still attempt (within limits of course) and get as far as we could. Overall, for someone who has had zero exposure to the climbing culture and only has experience with day hiking, I was able to be prepared and enjoy the trip.
Sonali M.

12/05/2016
Overall, it was excellent.
Randy B.

09/20/2016
I've already recommended RMI to at least a dozen people. You couldn't have made the experience easier and more organized.
Robert C.

09/02/2016
A thank you to everyone involved at RMI and Whittaker. A big thank you to Peter Whittaker for showing up and serving us some beer at base camp on Sunday- I thought that showed a massive amount of class.
Benedict R.

09/02/2016
I most enjoyed the experience with the guides. I have been on guided trips before, but felt the RMI guides were a cut above. I felt more at ease, and less of an outsider in the mountain world with them. I really feel like a part of the incredible mountaineering community now.
Peter T.

09/01/2016
I will never forget this trip!! Everyone on my team was friendly and easy to talk to - we all seemed eager to learn and enthusiastic about the journey on the mountain. Though it was extremely difficult and I completely underestimated the mountain, I learned a lot about myself and what it means to really persevere through physically and mentally challenging feats. In addition, I can't thank the guides enough for their incredible leadership. I owe them a huge amount of respect!!
Mary Jo P.

08/30/2016
Awesome experience. Already recommend the program to a friend getting stationed in Washington. Planning my next trip already with RMI.
William C.

08/30/2016
The Trip was great. Hanging out on the mountain with all of the whistle pig teammates was a pleasure. The RMI Guides are fantastic, they helped out in every way possible, encouraged us to push ourselves to the limits (Joe, thanks for the direct encouragement to the summit), but always kept and eye out for health and safety. They deserve a big High Five. Thanks to all Teammates, Guides, and all the rest of the RMI staff that made the trip great.
Paul B.

08/30/2016
I met a lot of great people in our group and built relationships based on our common goals, anxieties, and willingness to each other with encouragement or support. The guides were incredible: engaged, professional, safe, positive and encouraging.
Brian B.

08/25/2016
In my opinion the trip was executed flawlessly. We were afforded the best opportunity we could to summit and we did. I can't wait to come back.
Anthony E.

08/22/2016
I loved it all. I felt safe and secure throughout the entire trip. I really loved the fact that nothing was unexpected, except for the beautiful night sky we were able to see, luckily.
Patricia C.

08/22/2016
By far the best part of the trip was the guides and the group that was cultivated by them. Not only did the guides show concern and make safety a priority, but they also went out of their way to get to know each of us, show care and concern for us as people, and help make the whole trip as smooth as possible. Solveig, Gloria and Blake were phenomenal -- professional and personable -- getting us to the summit and back down in a safe and enjoyable way!
Katie M.

08/15/2016
RMI is a well run organization. I have used RMI for both of my Mt. Rainier climbs and have had nothing but good things to say. I stayed at the Bunkhouse and it was very nice. The restaurant was very good as well. There really is no need to leave Ashford. If I decide to attempt to climb more mountains through a guide service, I will definitely be using RMI.
Kevin K.

08/06/2016
Two things. First, getting to know my guides and team. They were all wonderful and the group meshed very well. Second, the climbing. Our guides did a great job of taking care of all of the logistics and safety details so we could focus on enjoying the climb.
Timothy M.

08/05/2016
The overall experience was the best I can imagine. It will be remembered the rest of my life!
Jerry K.

08/01/2016
Climbing up the mountain through the ice and snow.
Edward S.

07/31/2016
Trip was life changing! Guides were excellent. I did not in all honesty think I'd make it to the summit but I did!
Dave A.

07/27/2016
Have been through the one day mountaineering training and it is great to hear the same things albeit from someone else; this class is invaluable. This was a great RMI team to climb with and all did an excellent job, they rocked it!
John B.

07/25/2016
The organization and plan - the itinerary, in other words. It is so well thought out - it made for the highest possibility of success on the mountain. I also really enjoyed interacting with our other team members and guides.
Francis D.

07/24/2016
Great trip with great guides
Richard K.

07/23/2016
The entire experience was awesome, but a few things that stand out are the professional and friendly guides, meeting great people, being able to sleep in the tents one night at Camp Muir, and obviously making the summit even though the weather wasn't great.
Tami P.

07/22/2016
It's hard to identify one thing! The amazing scenery, the camaraderie, the sense of accomplishment, the awesome guides.
Christina J.

07/20/2016
The guides were incredible and completely made the whole trip worth it. They actively engaged with us and made the connection right off the bat, which helped the trust factor on the climb.
Julienne C.

07/15/2016
Other than the climb itself, my favorite thing about the trip was the guides. Mike, Bridget, and Bryan are very safety-conscious, knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. They worked hard to ensure we had an amazing experience. I would gladly climb with them again.
Joshua F.

07/11/2016
The preparation, itinerary, and communication was very thorough. I felt comfortable from the start of the climb to the very end.
Jacob K.

07/09/2016
Our guides could not have been better - professional, informative, fun, great in all dimensions.
Michael G.

07/08/2016
What started out as a quiet group turned into a very cohesive positive group. Once we were on the mountains we all just meshed. Made some friends for life. The views and people made it all worth it. Even though I didn't summit, my consolation prize was the most beautiful sunrise I've ever seen in my life. The practice day hike out to Ingraham Flats was by far the highlight for me. (It was the only time I didn't feel sick or hurt)
Melanie A.

07/08/2016
I enjoyed the program, and will plan on a similar trip in 2018 with RMI.
Ino R.

07/07/2016
The summit day! Honestly the whole thing. Climbing up the cleaver in the dark, Sid continuously offered suggestions for where to place my feet or alternative routes up around the rocks. It kept me focused and relaxed. Throughout the entire day, Sid and Joe were constantly engaging with me (and all of us), offering tips for getting up tough spots and reminding us to breathe. Everyone was super upbeat and it made the whole experience really incredible. I learned a few new ways to get up and around steps that are typically a little tall for my short legs, and how to carry/use my ice axe depending on the terrain. I was learning all the way up and down and felt very encouraged by the guides.
Marina D.

07/05/2016
Training and emphasis on safety and techniques for success. emphasis on safety with room for fun
Ted R.

07/05/2016
The people and the challenging environment. Also the weather :-) - we lucked out.
Maureen H.

07/03/2016
It was a true adventure with obvious risk but the risk was always managed well.
Mike G.

06/27/2016
The guides were great, knowledgeable, professional, personable, helpful, encouraging, firm when needed, and kept the mood light when appropriate.
David C.

06/24/2016
I plan on repeating this trip as well as trying some of rmi's other trips!
Armaan D.

06/22/2016
All of the friendships I gained and the level of professionalism amongst our guides. Also the accomodations at base camp were surpurb.All the employees were excellent and provided awesome service to us climbers.
Darren S.

06/22/2016
I enjoyed learning and the challenge of working toward the top.
Christopher K.

06/19/2016
Being able to go from no climbing experience to making it to the summit shows how effective the guides and the program itself are at teaching and guiding. I would recommend this climb to any other aspiring mountaineer as a great first climb.
Casey G.

06/13/2016
RMI exceeded all my expectations. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed the trip and what a well run operation RMI has put together. I would not hesitate to recommend RMI to family or friends and I would definitely climb with RMI again. Outstanding job RMI! Please keep up the good work.
James K.

06/12/2016
Everything was great! The whole experience was top notch. RMI's excellent reputation is well deserved. Thank you for making my Mt. Rainier trip an excellent experience.
John C.

05/20/2016
The camaraderie was nice, and the environment was good.
Greg G.

05/19/2016
Successful climb along with outstanding stories from Seth and the support from Caleb to both summit and make it down safely.
Eric G.

05/16/2016
I will make it a point to send you more customers. There were other guiding services on the mountain and I could see, first hand, that RMI really paid attention to the details that made my experience enjoyable and successful and that the other services were not providing. I am a huge fan of RMI after my climb.
David G.

11/13/2015
I enjoyed the whole thing, I found the guides to be great people who were friendly and easy to get along with while at the same time authoritative when they needed to be. Everyone seemed to have a great time, Including my father who had to turn around early in the climb. It was a top notch experience and I will be recommending RMI to any and all who show interest in climbing Rainier or any adventure you guys provide!
Matt B.

10/27/2015
The guides and the rest of the climbers. I thought we had a really strong team, and while not everyone made it to the summit, we all had a great time along the journey. The staff and guides were very professional and a joy to work with. I've spent many years working in the hospitality and camping industry, and the guide were some of the hardest working and most hospitable people I've encountered.
Charles R.

10/13/2015
Thank you... It sounds overly dramatic, but the entire experience, albeit brutal at times, was unforgettable. I loved it.
Jed L.

10/04/2015
The experience was amazing and the trip was very well run.
Kevin R.

10/02/2015
I enjoyed just about everything about the trip except for the bunkhouse! It was just very difficult to sleep in that environment for me. I would have rather been climbing in rain and 50 mile an hour winds that listening to guys snoring all night long. Just something I need to get better at. The skills days were great as was all of the climbing. I thought the structure of the program was awesome and it prepared me for a successful summit!
Karl F.

09/15/2015
I enjoyed the opportunity to climb a mountain with trained experts who's main focus was on safety and not summiting. I also enjoyed the views and staying in a tent at Camp Muir for two nights.
MaLeah H.

08/21/2015
I thought the tent at Camp Muir was fun
Ted H.

08/21/2015
Drinking with guides in Ashford after the trip
Brian W.

08/20/2015
meeting the other summit hopefuls. Your team is amazing!
Mary C.

08/17/2015
Drinks with the team and guides after we returned to Ashford.
Crystal L.

08/15/2015
Just being on the mountain with experts was the most enjoyable part of the trip
Thomas M.

08/04/2015
I enjoyed the beautiful views and the beauty of the glaciers:)
Trudi S.

08/04/2015
Pushing myself to the max without passing the limit of safety and ignoring the obligation I have as an individual to team and guides. In short climbing allows me the opportunity to develop good decision making!
Russ F.

08/04/2015
The guides! they were such joys.
Emily N.

08/03/2015
People
Steve N.

08/02/2015
Professionalism of guides
Barbara B.

08/01/2015
Although I didn't summit, the overall experience of planning, exercising, and getting to walk the mountain was incredible! Acphysicsl, emotional, mental and spiritual challenge. Meeting the people and the strength of the guides, was truly inspirational. I'm gonna attempt it again.
Mark E.

08/01/2015
The climb down Dis Cleaver with Katrina, such awesome scenery on that part of the mountain!
Matt S.

07/31/2015
The challenge... especially for an older guy that has never done this sort of thing before.
George V.

07/30/2015
Everything. Especially loved the day climb out to the flats.
Allison S.

07/28/2015
The whole experience. Summiting was the goal but it was all the great people experiences and sights along the way that made it for me. So many good people I met along the way and the new friends I made are some of the things I value the most from the whole experience.
Greg W.

07/27/2015
Guides' personalities and care.
William M.

07/27/2015
The people - guides and fellow climbers - and the incredible views. I was also thrilled that we got to do a sunset climb. I was extremely rested during the climb and in a great mood. Fantastic last-minute change of schedule.
Stefania Palmyra G.

07/22/2015
The Summit climb.
Douglas J.

07/16/2015
Being in the mountains. The professionalism and care that RMI puts into each trip. With dozens, if not hundreds of climbs RMI holds each year, the guides make each one a unique experience and they ALL never show that they've grown weary of doing the same route over and over. They should be commended, but then again, I don't think RMI would keep anyone on staff who didn't want to be climbing in the first place. From a client point of view, I appreciate the attention to detail and the personal touch each guide brings to the table.
Ted C.

07/16/2015
Great Trip, Guides are top notch, positive, helpful, personable, and capable. Solveig, James, and Pepper were a pleasure. They worked hard and long but always had a smile and were eager to help out in any way to make the trip enjoyable. Will return next year to finish climb of Rainier and will request the same guides. The fellow climbers were also great. They all had a great attitude contributed to making the trip fun.
Paul B.

07/15/2015
I enjoyed the facilities at Base Camp, the bunkhouse and the Guides.
Tim H.

07/13/2015
Pushed my limits. Got beyond level of comfort, but at no time felt unsafe. Guides provided excellent support and advice.
Robert S.

07/13/2015
I enjoyed the challenge, but most of all I enjoyed the people. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable and the group of people I got to climb with were great. I had an absolute blast and I'm looking forward to returning in the future.
Jessica S.

07/09/2015
I learned some important skills that will apply to all of my future hiking/mountaineering. I also met some very cool people. And the scenery/wildflowers were second to none.
Colleen T.

07/07/2015
The nature and (sad to say) the physical exertion. (When younger, I would have ran up the entire mountain.)
Steve R.

07/06/2015
Interacting and learning with the guides was the best part. The Rainier Base Camp also provided a great atmosphere.
Doug S.

07/03/2015
Everything
Dale H.

07/02/2015
Our climbing team - what wonderful human beings!
Matthew P.

06/25/2015
Summit day
Jason L.

06/22/2015
Wonderful trip due to a number of factors: great guides, helpful office and rental staff, unrivaled weather. The latter can't be controlled, of course, but it sure helped to make it memorable.
Michael B.

06/22/2015
I felt like everyone knew what they were doing and were committed to my success.
Alberto P.

06/22/2015
Challenge,Learning curveEnvironmentGroup
Katrin L.

06/19/2015
The RMI guides make sure that you are doing things the right and safe way.
Rick H.

06/13/2015
The whole complex in Ashford was excellent and very convenient. Having lodging, equipment rental,the grill and the store all together was great. The lodging and food was reasonably priced. The guided did a great job in preparing and getting us to the summit.
Todd P.

06/06/2015
I initially picked RMI because I expected to get the best guides around, but what I received was, well.......way better than I could ever expect. Walter,Alex, and Andrew were all excellent in every way. The way they kept the team working as one and in the highest spirits was a lesson not to be forgotten. This trip was more fun and challenging than I had hoped. I wouldn't change a thing
Matt F.

06/04/2015
RMI guides are first-rate. They are well-trained, in good physical shape, good instructors, focused on safety, professional and friendly.
Brian T.

06/01/2015
The guides. Walter Hailes, Alex Barber, and Andrew Keifer couldn't have been better!
Mark P.

05/31/2015
Very organized and informative. You can tell from the get go that there is an affinity for Mt Rainier and a level of experience that gives you a great shot at a very successful climb. The affiliation with Whittaker was helpful in getting accomodations, breakfast and necessary equipment. The information on training was helpful to keep me on track and was clear that I needed to be in very good condition.I also think the training day is a good idea. The activities are pretty basic, but it gets everyone moving after travel days and refreshes skills you don't use every day.
Tom O.

05/21/2015
The outdoor beauty of the area was an obvious high point for this trip, but RMI's respect for the environment and knowledge of the mountain was equally important to my overall experience.
Marci P.

05/19/2015
The guides stories and their teachings. Interaction with the crew and the climb itself (so pretty much everything!) RMI had a great group of guides and their organization is incredible, very much on top of things every single step of the way.
Diane H.

05/18/2015
There are so many aspects on this trip that I enjoyed. From the hard skills of mountaineering to pushing my comfort level.As an Outward Bound instructor in the past, I could take various classes/skills from other organizations and gain the same knowledge. What really stands out to me about RMI is the professionalism that the guides display that allows a participant to feel safe/comfortable to challenge oneself. I can honestly say that I could NOT go any other organization and feel the same way.
Jill D.

05/18/2015
The overall experience was great. We got time to ourselfs to enjoy the mountain but also got the knowledge in the short amount of time to successfully summit the mountain.
Derek C.

05/17/2015
How the guides pushed through adversity
Matthew K.

05/17/2015
I enjoyed learning new skills from the leaders and using all the knowledge and equipment to complete the summit. While I enjoyed completing the actual summit, I think the process of getting there was more enjoyable. The main leaders (Tyler and Mike) were outstanding and I trusted them in all aspects. Tyler's experience and leadership made the trip an enjoyable success. I would say the actual summit difficultly was harder than I expected due to the altitude. I think the focus on safety also made the trip enjoyable.
Bill W.

05/16/2015
The whole experience, from end to end, was incredible. The balance of professionalism and humor in the guide teams was probably the single most important thing overall. When it came down to brass tacks (and one minor medical emergency on the descent) they were incredibly professional, while at the same time were just a great bunch of people to spend time with.
Paul B.

12/01/2014
The guides provided good information to use for training and also for future climbs. It was good to get to talk with them and gain knowledge from their experiences.
Jason W.

10/05/2014
Everything! Great group. Weather challenges and beautiful weather. Learned a lot. Continuing to improve. Will be back next summer to summit!
Kelly O.

10/02/2014
I liked having a day of rest before the climb and the flexibility of Seth in allowing me to sleep in the tent when everyone else slept in the hut. Getting a good night sleep in the tent helped contribute to my successful summit. Seeing the summit on sunrise was worth the early alpine start.
Jonathan F.

09/29/2014
An excellent guide team that allowed for a smart, safe and enjoyable adventure. The weather was perfect and allowed us to enjoy the full beauty of the mountain. It will be a trip that I will always remember
Jeff N.

09/28/2014
Honesty, commitment to safety, dynamism of guides, atmosphere at RMI basecamp
Scott E.

09/22/2014
All three guides worked well together and would love to climb with them anytime in the future.
Paul H.

09/15/2014
Top notch guides!
Ted C.

09/06/2014
The opportunity to bond with fellow climbers and our guides as a cohesive team. Also, the way out guides and others cared for an injured climber was extraordinary, and a testament to RMI's values.
Tyler K.

09/01/2014
The whole experience was awesome... even though I did not summit, it was an amazing time!
Matthew S.

09/01/2014
Everything was put together extremely well.
Bryan J.

08/27/2014
The group dynamics worked unexpectedly well; it is rare to get 9 people of very diverse ages gelling well. The guides are always a treat to be around.
Vivian M.

08/25/2014
The guides were kind and courteous and a pleasure to talk with.
Douglas A.

08/25/2014
Wonderful guides, always felt safe.
Joel W.

08/20/2014
This is my second trip with RMI and all the guides on each have been fantastic. Will do it again.
Dan L.

08/13/2014
The humor, experience, and scientific based expertise of the guides when it came to food, water, and climbing techniques.
Curtis S.

08/13/2014
I always enjoy spending time in the mountains... and the experience with RMI did nothing to diminish that!
Steve L.

08/11/2014
Great team esprit d'ecorps! We all supported each other.
Peter T.

08/06/2014
Learning opportunities like snow school day, learning about packing, eating, breathing, etc. Down time at Miur, tackling rocky terrain, working with a team. Friendly guides and climbers
Molly M.

08/05/2014
The chance to take on a challenge I would never have approached without the likes of Solveig and company.
David W.

08/04/2014
I ENJOYED how clean the hostile was, Thank you! Everyone at RMI was helpful Food was great Guides were awesome
Joshua R.

08/04/2014
Cannot wait until next year! Great job.
Rick S.

08/03/2014
I had an absolute blast on our trip.
Josh Z.

08/03/2014
Camaraderie with the team and guides. The views, the snow school experiences, and the feeling of summiting and meeting goals.
Sanket A.

08/03/2014
Spending time on the mountain with my son and his buddies.
Jerry Z.

08/01/2014
Climbing with my Freinds and the beautiful mnt.
Larry R.

08/01/2014
The people who I climbed with and the guides who led us.
Scott P.

07/27/2014
One of the greatest experiences of my life. RMI guides helped to compliment that rather than potentially diminish the experience.
Bob L.

07/21/2014
The overall experience and being in the midst of some of the greats of mountaineering was super cool. Such history at Whittakers and I couldn't have asked for more...except maybe to reach the Summit, but that was my own damn fault!! I will be back to take care of unfinished business.
Kimberly W.

07/19/2014
Being able to finish!!
Billy R.

07/16/2014
Learning from the staff the key elements involved in safe climbing. I enjoyed Garrett's academic conversations on a number of topics relevant to mountaineering.
Jack D.

07/15/2014
The guides were very friendly and nice,did not feel like commercial outfit.
Robert A.

07/14/2014
I enjoyed the process of learning a little bit about the art and science of climbing somewhat difficult mountains. Summiting was amazing and it's something that I shall carry with me the rest of my life.
Roy D.

07/11/2014
We were fortunate enough to have excellent weather and beautiful views. Besides having a great adventure, we learned a great deal about basic mountaineering.
Scott S.

07/09/2014
Reaching the summit and spending time with my dad and a great team; this has become and will always remain a memorable and special experience in my life.
Stephen S.

07/08/2014
The guides were the best. They made me feel totally comfortable and made my trip great.
Jody C.

07/04/2014
I enjoyed finally getting to the summit of Mount Rainier. I first tried on an independent climb in 2005 and chose not to go higher than Camp Muir. Thanks you RMI for helping me achieve the dream of standing on top of Mount Rainier!
Ben B.

07/02/2014
Like the way one summits a mountain, step by step, RMI gained my confidence as an organization that would do all it could to help me up Rainier if I could hold up my end of the bargain by being in great physical condition and being equipped with a great attitude. In many small (and some big) ways, RMI kept my confidence: the thorough equipment list, the excellent meal plan, the helpful rental shop, the awesome guides, John Colvert's 16-week training program, email bulletins about every aspect of climbing. Great work people!
Matt L.

06/30/2014
People matter most, so while I enjoyed the beauty Mountain and the personal challenge of the climb I know that the whole climb could have gone very differently given different guides and climbing partners. I have to say I most enjoyed building relationships with the other climbers and overcoming a great challenge together...shared trial and triumph.
Chad D.

06/27/2014
I enjoyed every moment. there wasn't anything i would of asked of or wished had been altered
Matthew C.

06/26/2014
standing at the top of Mt Rainier
Afshin M.

06/26/2014
Besides successfully climbing Mt Rainier the guides were awesome inspiring friendly and helpful. Your guides are what makes climbing with you great. Before I came to climb everyone told me RMI was the best. Now I know why and will be telling everyone I meet.
Lars S.

06/25/2014
The new friendship with the guides and other climbers. The experience of being on the mountain. Making it to the top on my first attempt.
Kyle C.

06/25/2014
I really enjoyed being on the mountain and spending the time there. The RMI experience was great.
Mark E.

06/23/2014
Being on the mountain. Great guides and team members.
Corbin K.

06/23/2014
The mountain and the excellent guide team were were lucky to have had assigned to us.
John G.

06/23/2014
interacting with new people
Jarrod F.

06/22/2014
the adventure, great group of guides and people
Steve F.

06/16/2014
RMI is an incredible service with outstanding guides and staff providing all the services necessary to put together the complex logistics with these multi-day climbs. It is a thoroughly tough, enjoyable and intense learning experience. I'd opt to go with RMI again in a heartbeat! Thank you!
Benjamin C.

06/08/2014
Mountain views
Lee S.

06/06/2014
The guides and the mountain.
David S.

06/06/2014
The climb to Camp Muir
Sam S.

06/05/2014
Mark will find this funny, but I enjoyed climbing the most. Although I didn't make it to the summit I came to climb and embraced every chance I could to be out of the hut and climbing or watching the climbs. I could feel my confidence growing and just wish I had more days on the mountain.I've already reached out to a local guide based on Lindsays recommendation and plan on continuing to grow my experience and comfort with exposure. My son has already asked when we will climb Mt. Marcy and I'll be in the Gunks before the summer is out.I really appreciate Mark understanding the situation I found myself in. One item I didn't mention to Mark is that after the accident I had received a text from a friend reminding me that he had already lost another friend on the same route on a RMI trip - Patrick Nestler - 1998. I didn't want to mention this at the time but I know that Mark could tell I had some heavy thoughts going through my mind. Patrick died descending the DC, which I was calling my demon. I didn't want to cast any more of a shadow on the mountain than had already been cast. I was hopeful that I would be able to face the DC.I know I made the right choice for my trip and I will be back.
Daniel K.

06/04/2014
The challenge and the mountain.
Carmela d.

06/03/2014
The experience, the beautiful mountain scenery from Muir and the comraderie with our surprisingly tight group.
Scott E.

06/02/2014
The views
Andy B.

05/30/2014
Friendships with guides and other climbers
Robert J.

05/28/2014
Camaraderie. Between the guides and the climbers, the trip was such a success because of all the individuals.
Andrew P.

05/27/2014
summitting is hard to beat
Nick S.

05/27/2014
The guides made us feel safe even during the tougher parts of the climb.
Jeremiah H.

05/27/2014
Learning new skills and the challenge of the climb.
Bill Y.

05/21/2014
Everything
Max d.

05/20/2014
Great people (both guides and customers", sunrise almost on the summit of Mt. Rainier.
Stephan Z.

05/19/2014
Getting to know the guides, especially Tyler Jones. Also seeing the view from Muir and the summit.
Josh D.

05/19/2014
I enjoyed meeting amazing people & hearing all their adventures & the "personal" reasons why they were there. It never ceases to amaze me. The laughter, camaderie, and lessons were the most I valued from this trip. It has certainly inspired me to go home & try new things.
Lourdes G.

05/19/2014
The experience was excellent. I love the feeling I get in the mountains. Summit or not, the best part is the journey.
Randy S.

11/23/2013
I really enjoyed the night we spent in tents instead of in the shelter. That was an incredibly unique experience and one I am unlikely to be able to repeat.
Rebecca S.

10/15/2013
I enjoyed the mountain and meeting others.
Justin L.

10/02/2013
Our guides - Billy and Nick. They made it a positive experience despite horrible weather that kept us from reaching Muir. They stayed positive throughout and made sure we had our layers working to keep us as dry and warm as possible in the weather we faced. Both are excellent teachers and clearly enjoy sharing their knowledge and love of the mountain. I would jump at the opportunity to climb with either of them again.
Marc O.

10/01/2013
The day when we actually got to go on the mountain. Too bad we didn't get to go further, but it's not RMI's fault that the weather was poor. I also enjoyed just talking about mountaineering experiences with the other team members and with the guides.
Marlaina R.

10/01/2013
Team synergy and guides effort to make the trip fun even though weather was not cooperating.
Fatima W.

09/26/2013
I truly enjoyed every day. I learned a lot and had fun even when the weather was nasty.
Ewa B.

09/24/2013
I think what I enjoyed most and what also most surprised me with this experience was the group of fellow climbers and guides that I had the luxury to spend a few days with on the mountain. The training school, climbing, scenic views, cold, food, weather etc. were as I was expecting after months of researching the trip but the quality of individuals that I would be sharing those experiences with was completely unexpected yet made the whole trip.
Joshua T.

09/19/2013
Confidence it gave me to pursue future climbing trips.
Mark R.

09/11/2013
Being around the people, hanging out at Muir, being on the mountain. Great views. Taking on a challenge.
Dan D.

09/09/2013
Meeting all the inspiring guides and fellow climbers, standing on top of Rainier was great too!
Jamie S.

08/21/2013
Solid physical and emotional challenge that I could share with my brother, son, and nephews.
Scott S.

08/20/2013
Everything
Jeff S.

08/20/2013
It was probably the most exciting adventure I have ever taken. I was truly a challenge and the work I put in paid off with the summit day experience.
David S.

08/20/2013
The guys, being on the mountain, learning more about my limits.
Stephen E.

08/20/2013
The sense of accomplishment from reaching the summit!
Ryan S.

08/20/2013
the challenge, hearing guides stories
George M.

08/11/2013
Starting dark and early on summit day and reaching the summit right before sunrise.
Clark B.

08/04/2013
Learning and using the technical skills
Jason B.

07/30/2013
Unique challenge and comradery.
Rich M.

07/28/2013
I enjoyed everything about the trip. The guides did a great job of making everyone in the group feel comfortable without compromising safety. The trip was excellent.
Katherine K.

07/28/2013
The outdoor experience on the mountain was exhilarating to me. Of course, we had excellent weather which was a big factor. We were given an opportunity to descend into a crevasse which was a thrill for me.
Jesse C.

07/27/2013
The trip was very enjoyable. The climbing and training were both very good and the guides were excellent!!
Jim K.

07/22/2013
Spending five days with my daughter in the the beautiful environment around Ranier.
Nick B.

07/22/2013
I really enjoyed everything about my trip.. There isn't one thing in particular that stands out. Of course standing on the summit was an incredible feeling, but the entire experience was pretty life changing. From the check in process, to the helpfulness of all of the support staff, to the people in the outfitter's store, everyone in Ashford was great. The caf staff were all SO friendly and nice, every time we went in there! The professionalism and skill of the guides was really awesome, and I wouldn't want to go with another company anywhere else. The guides on my trip all showed really precise attention to detail when it came to training, safety, and keeping an eye on the group, all while completely rocking it out from a customer service sand point. For me, having the opportunity to climb with my Dad, and RMI guides, made my experience!
Jennifer B.

07/15/2013
All of it.
Nick P.

07/14/2013
Climbing, sunrise at High Break, and standing on Columbia Crest on a blue sky day!
Mark B.

07/11/2013
Doing something we had never done. The time with my daughter,the accomplisment
John M.

07/10/2013
I really like learning. I learned a lot of mountain skills (followed by copious amounts of practice very shortly thereafter). I love learning about the mountain (history, what the different environments are, how the routes were developed, etc.). Mostly, I also enjoy learning about the personal stories of the guides (how they came to this job/lifestyle, what their passions are, etc.).
George F.

07/09/2013
My first thought is that I loved everything about the trip. After more reflection (or perhaps some olfactory reminiscence of the Muir facilities...or my enduring fear of the blue bag), the human factor stands out to me as the most important part, specifically the guides. The mountain, the thrill of roping up, the crunch of crampons on ice--these things would have been memorable regardless, but Eric, Lindsey, and Chase made the experience extraordinary.
Jeremy D.

07/07/2013
The summit and going into a crevasse
Ryan B.

07/02/2013
Marveling at the talent of the guides, and the ease in which they do highly skilled activities. The mountain was AWESOME! I really appreciated how organized and regimented everything was. I appreciate everyone sticking to a scheadule and following through. I liked that a realistice expectation was established and completed.
Paul T.

06/19/2013
The sense of accomplishment from reaching the Summit with friends with whom I had trained.
Paul K.

06/17/2013
I truly enjoy all aspects of the trip. i was able to get to know the guides much better this time as well as the other climbers. i have some new friends and hopefully will make some other climbs in the future with RMI.
Chuck H.

06/15/2013
The team, the guides, and although it was a challenge, everyone made it so fun
Collette B.

06/11/2013
There were two things that I think can't "best" each other, so I'll just mention them both. The experience and the people. The obvious beauty of Rainier is unique and it's something to behold. The experience of roped travel, crossing glaciers, the freezing cold, eating junk food because it's the responsible thing to do, all of these are experiences I'll cherish. Finally, you can do the aforementioned and it would be worth the expense and the effort. But if you share the experience with people like Linden, Katie, Mike, and Katrina--that just makes it all the more rewarding and memorable. It's not an exaggeration to say that the people are what made the climb the unmitigated success that it was. And we didn't even make the summit!
Ted S.

06/04/2013
The experience of of the trip, what I saw, felt, and experienced.
Alex L.

06/01/2013
All of the relationships I built along the way -- with the guides and with my fellow climbers.
Jeff G.

05/30/2013
The guides, the mountain, the team, the knowledge gained.
Laura G.

05/29/2013
My favorite part of the trip was getting to spend time on such an incredible mountain. I also enjoyed learning some of the skills and techniques I've been reading about for years. Of course, meeting the other people on the team and the guides was great, too.
Leigh S.

05/24/2013
The people. Your guides made the trip far more than just a climb. It was a tremendous learning experience that will stay with me throughout my mountaineering career.
Nick G.

05/23/2013
Thoroughly enjoyed it start to finish, even the hellish parts. If I had to pick a favorite moment, it would have to be descending from the summit when my head cleared and I realized I'd be heading home to see my cats and my girlfriend.
Whitey F.

05/23/2013
Not a fair question. To narrow it down, let's say my favorite part was Monday through Friday.
Josh S.

05/23/2013
It was probably the sense of accomplishment at the end. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn't know it was going to be THAT tough. That said, RMI did a great job of helping me prepare by suggesting workout regimens leading up to our climb, food, rental gear, etc. Had RMI been an organization that just says, "Show up and we'll take you to the top" I know I would not have been as well prepared and may not even have made it up.
Scott G.

05/22/2013
Although it was one of the harder times on the mountain, it ended up being one of the most enjoyable. On Monday as we were climbing up to camp Muir, we ended up getting caught in an ice storm. The wind and ice made it very hard to continue to climb, but the guides were right there to motivate us to keep going. At one point, one of our fellow climbers became to cold to move. She ended up having to be carried up to camp Muir by several guides. When she got to camp she was completely covered in ice and wasn't moving or talking. As soon as the guides got her in, they immediately went to work to warm her up. It was amazing to see how fast they got to work and all knew exactly what to do. They eventually got her warmed back up and everything ended up okay. But just seeing how fast the guides worked and how well they worked together, I knew right away that we were all in good hands. Without the guides help and support, that day could have ended up very differently.
Chad B.

  • Upcoming Climbs

      • May 4, 2019
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      • June 7, 2019
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  • Price
    $1568
    Deposit
    $350
    Duration
    5 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Mountaineering
Table of Contents
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Day 1

PRE-TRIP ORIENTATION

3:00 - 6:00 p.m.: We will meet at 3:00 p.m. at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford, WA. Please dress casually and bring your climbing equipment and clothing. *Note: Whittaker Mountaineering Rental Equipment is available for pickup after 12 p.m.

We begin our Pre-Trip Orientation with a welcome and introduction of team members and guides. The afternoon is spent providing a focused introduction to a variety of topics and preparing climbers for the ascent. This includes a detailed personal equipment discussion and gear check; an introduction to safety practices including use of helmets, harnesses, and avalanche transceivers; and instruction regarding Leave No Trace practices and environmental considerations.

Please make your own arrangements to stay in the Ashford area 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 on the lower slopes of Mt. Rainier. Climbers are introduced to a number of skills, from the foundational techniques of efficient mountain travel (rest-stepping and pressure breathing) through cramponing, roped travel, and ice axe arrest practices. 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 together on the mountain.

Please make your own arrangements for the day’s meals and a place to stay in the Ashford area this evening.

The Mountaineering Day School



Days 3 - 5: THE CLIMB

The Climb takes place on Days 3, 4 & 5. On Day 3 we hike to Camp Muir. We have the option to make our summit attempt on the morning of Day 4 or Day 5 to utilize the best window for weather and conditions. The decision of when to make our summit attempt is left to the discretion of the guides to ensure the best overall chance of success for the team. We return to Rainier BaseCamp on the afternoon of Day 5. The following itinerary is meant to highlight route details and a summit bid outline, but due to the intended flexibility of the program, timing may vary.



Day 3

CLIMB TO CAMP MUIR

Meet at 8:15 a.m. at Rainier BaseCamp. After a short team meeting, a shuttle takes our group to the trailhead at Paradise.

The hike from Paradise (5,400') to Camp Muir (10,060') is nearly 4.5 miles and takes most of the day. Once at Camp Muir, the guides will address specifics regarding the climb, including route conditions, food, equipment, clothing recommendations, and any further questions you might have. Accommodations at Camp Muir consist of a small mountain hut or tents and sleeping pads. After dinner we settle in for our first night on the mountain.

Climb To Camp Muir

Climb To Camp Muir



Day 4

ADDITIONAL TRAINING

We wake with the sun to enjoy sunrise and breakfast. We will use the day to preview the first section of the climbing route, climbing to Ingraham Flats, which also gives us the chance for further practice and refinement of the climbing skills we covered on the Mountaineering Day School. At the Flats, we have the benefit of being able to lay eyes on subsequent sections of the route above to prepare for the upcoming summit bid. We descend the route to Camp Muir and spend the afternoon preparing for our summit bid.

Acclimatization & Training At Camp Muir<



Day 5

SUMMIT BID

We make an alpine start for our summit attempt, beginning in the early hours of morning. We don ropes, crampons, helmets, and grab our ice axes, leaving Camp Muir by the light of our headlamps. The route begins with a rising traverse across the Cowlitz Glacier and ascends the pumiced switchbacks of Cathedral Gap. From here, we gain the Ingraham Glacier and ascend either the Ingraham Direct or Disappointment Cleaver routes, small variations to a similar line of ascent with the actual route choice being determined by many factors that vary throughout the season. Once above the Disappointment Cleaver, we ascend the upper slopes of Mt. Rainier, navigating the crevassed glaciers to gain the summit crater. If the weather and timing cooperate, we take a short hike across the crater floor to Register Rock, and then to Columbia Crest (14,410'). This is the highest point in Washington, and when the weather is clear, the view from the summit is spectacular. Panoramic views stretch for miles in all directions, from the Pacific to the eastern side of the Cascades. The summit crater is a wildly unique environment, capped in perennial snow, with steam rising out of the cavernous vents.

From our high point, we descend back to Camp Muir. The descent typically takes approximately half the amount of time that it takes for 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, and the weather.

After arriving back at Camp Muir, we pack up our gear and descend to Paradise in the early afternoon. At Paradise, our shuttle takes the team to Rainier BaseCamp. With our gear unloaded in Ashford, it is time to gather as a team to celebrate our adventure.

*We do not recommend scheduling an airline flight before midnight on the last day of your program.

Summit Day

Summit Day



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Qualifications

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 the Five-Day Mt. Rainier Climb, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking with a 35-45 lb load
  • Steep climbing and glacier travel with a 20-25 lb load
  • A 10-14+ hour summit day
  • Mountaineering techniques requiring 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 Climbing Time
Elevation Gain / Loss
Total Distance
Pack Weight
DAY 1 - Pre-Trip Orientation in Ashford
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
DAY 2 - Mountaineering Day School
2 - 2 ½ hours
Round Trip
Gain = 1,000'
Loss = 1,000'
4 miles
Round Trip
20 - 25 lbs
DAY 3 - Hike from Paradise to Muir
4 - 6 hours
Gain = 4,600'
4.5 miles
40 - 45 lbs
DAY 4 - Training day at Muir: possibility for light activity or short hike
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
DAY 5 - Summit attempt and descent to Paradise
8 - 12 hours (summit attempt)
+ 2 ½ hours
(Muir to Paradise)
Gain = 4,400'
Loss = 9,000'
12.5 miles
Round Trip
20 - 25 lbs
40 - 45 lbs

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

Acclimatization

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.

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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 rent or 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 RMI2018 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

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

Equipment List

    • SLEEPING PAD

      Not required for this trip.  Climbers' hut(s) are equipped with pads.

    • 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.

    • 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

      If you own a transceiver, bring it and we will ensure it is appropriate for the climb and up to standards.   If you rent one, batteries will be provided, picked up during the Pre-trip Orientation and introduced during the Mountaineering Day School. These will be worn on the upper mountain during our summit climb.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

      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 (or double boots - a boot with a removable insulated liner) will work all season. Appropriate leather boots (stiff-soled, insulated and designed to hold a crampon) are suitable only for warm 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 or double boots.  A freezing level above 10,000' will provide the option for either plastic boots, double boots or single leather boots. Freezing levels above 10,000' are only seen on a consistent basis between July 1 and August 15 on Mt. Rainier.  We strongly recommend plastic or double boots outside of this time frame.
      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.

    • SUNSCREEN

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

    • 2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Hydration systems are not recommended and, while they can work well below Camp Muir, they are not considered appropriate above Camp Muir or on the upper mountain. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • ZIP-LOCK BAG (1 GALLON)

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

    • CAMERA
    • TOOTHBRUSH
    • TOOTHPASTE
    • HAND SANITIZER(S)

      Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.

    • SEPTIC-GRADE TOILET PAPER
    • INSULATED MUG

      Stainless steel or 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!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: shelter, climbing ropes, sleeping pad, 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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MEALS

On the Five Day Mt. Rainier Climb you will need 4 mountain lunches, 2 dinners, and 2 breakfasts while on 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: dry salami, smoked salmon, jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, toffees, Life Savers), gummy bears, sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).

Breakfast

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.

Dinner

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. We also recommend your bring hot beverage mixes such as coffee, tea, cocoa, or cider.

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.

Once we are at the Camp Muir hut, 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.

  • Consider a Whittaker Mountaineering Meal Package For Well Balanced Meals
    Designed By Climbers For Climbers

    Reserve Your Meal Package

    Go To Whittaker Mountaineering

 

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Payments

Deposit Payments:* A non-refundable deposit payment of $350 per person secures your reservation.

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 90 days prior to the start of you 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. 

*Payments $2,500 or less may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer. Payments over $2,500 must be made via e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Cancellation

The $350 per person deposit is non-refundable. Written notification is required for all cancellations.

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

  • If you cancel 60 or more days before the start of your program, program fees will be refunded less the non-refundable $350 per person deposit.
  • If you cancel less than 60 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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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What is the Climber-to-Guide Ratio on this program?

Our climber-to-guide ratio is 3:1 on the Disappointment Cleaver and Ingraham Glacier routes.

What is the maximum group size?

The maximum group size of any program anywhere on Mt. Rainier is 12 individuals, including guides.

 

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