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Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $3315
    Deposit
    $550
    Duration
    6 days
    Difficulty
    Level 3
    Type
    Skills
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Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise

Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise

dollar sign Price / Deposit

$3,315 / $ 550

Meter Difficulty

Level 3

Clock Duration

6 days

Climber on cliff Type

Skills

An expedition style ascent of Mt. Rainier's Paradise Glacier, teaching foundational mountaineering skills before making a summit attempt on Rainier's classic Disappointment Cleaver Route.

Jump To…

RMI's Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise is an instructional mountaineering course ascending the Paradise Glacier to Camp Muir for a summit attempt via the Disappointment Cleaver route.

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

  • A day of foundational skills training and 5 days of extensive practical training while ascending Mt. Rainier's Paradise Glacier and to the classic Disappointment Cleaver route.
  • An expedition-style climb allows us to establish successive tented camps as we ascend the Paradise Glacier in preparation for our summit bid.
  • The diverse terrain of the Paradise Glacier is ideal for learning mountaineering skills and techniques on a program suited for novice mountaineers.

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Our Expedition Skills Seminar on the Paradise Glacier focuses on developing foundational mountaineering skills while ascending a less traveled route to our high camp: Camp Muir. Establishing tented camps, we ascend the Paradise Glacier using the mountain's terrain to learn mountaineering skills such as snow & ice anchors, crevasse rescue, ice climbing, fixed line travel, belaying, and other technical skills. Upon reaching our high camp, we will make our summit attempt on Mt. Rainier's classic Disappointment Cleaver route.

RMI's Expedition Skills Seminar - Paradise is ideal for climbers interested in building their mountaineering skills while climbing the rarely traveled Paradise Glacier. The diverse terrain and relaxed itinerary provide excellent training opportunities.

Our Expedition Skills Seminars are comprehensive training courses designed to educate climbers to the mountaineering skills needed to tackle the world's greatest peaks. Successful completion of the Expedition Skill Seminar - Paradise will make you eligible for many of our expeditions around the world, including Denali, and provides you with a foundation for other major glaciated mountains.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

The Mountain Guides at RMI have forged an unrivaled reputation as the leading alpine guides in the United States. Integral to some of America’s earliest Himalayan explorations, our guides draw from years of expedition guiding and climbing worldwide, ensuring each program is led by consummate professionals with a wealth of experience.

Renowned for their leadership and character, our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers. They possess a rare blend of compassion, enthusiasm, and the capacity to empower others to obtain new heights. These are qualities that can only be found in those at the pinnacle of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides remember their own humble beginnings in the mountains and take immense satisfaction in assisting other climbers to reach their goals.

Our unwavering commitment to meticulous attention to detail, unparalleled focus on individual climbers, and genuine enthusiasm for these adventures make for an unforgettable experience.

SAFETY

RMI is dedicated to providing the safest mountain experience. Our expert guides prioritize leading enjoyable and successful climbs while maintaining the highest standards of safety. Every climb involves thorough pre-trip planning, weather and avalanche forecasts, and meticulous attention to detail. Our guides are extensively trained in remote medicine and rescue techniques, and they carry comprehensive medical and rescue kits as well as radio communication equipment. Safety is always our top priority, no matter the destination or objective.


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.

CARBON NEUTRAL CLIMBS & Climate Change

Offsetters

All our climbs in Mt. Rainier National Park are 100% carbon neutral. We have acquired offsets for greenhouse gas emissions through our partnership with Ostrom Climate, Canada's top carbon management solutions provider. Their carbon offset projects undergo rigorous verification by third parties to validate that emission reductions are genuine and permanent, ensuring that our contribution is making a tangible impact.

For Mt. Rainier, our primary carbon emissions stem from several sources: the electricity for our office, warehouse, and employee housing, all shuttle operations, commuting miles for office staff, stove fuel used on the seminars, and propane used at Camp Muir for cooking and melting water. These activities generate an estimated 15 tons of carbon annually. We participate in a "Green Power" program for all our electricity needs, which means our electricity comes from the wind farms in eastern Washington, which significantly reduces our emissions. Electricity is one of the biggest sources of emissions, and without the Green Power program, we estimate the annual amount of carbon emissions to be closer to 70 tons.

By supporting this project, we effectively prevent the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated from our operations from being emitted elsewhere. These offsets are instrumental in fulfilling our sustainability objectives and advancing 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 through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or [email protected].


Climber Reviews

Filter By
08/21/2023
The guides were so knowledgeable! I learned so much on the expedition.
James S.

08/17/2023
The guides were amazing. Every one of them demonstrated a deep knowledge of mountaineering and was deeply invested in the clients.
Joshua O.

08/14/2023
Learning skills in a relatively relaxed setting. Our guides had our safety in mind but were willing to cater the trip to individual needs and desires at the same time.
Jefferson L.

09/06/2022
I loved everything! I know that RMI is one of the best guiding services when it comes to teaching good mountaineering techniques, but what really surprised me was how great of a group dynamic they were able to create! Our team truly did feel like a team.
Johanna M.

08/30/2022
Guides were very impressive, and the team serendipitously was a very wonderful mix of individuals from different walks of life.
Duke L.

08/29/2022
The sense of comradely cultivated by guides staff.
Andrew I.

08/29/2022
insane guides. Amazing group Was so so about summiting with a bunch of people i had never met before, came out of it with feeling quite the opposite with new friends and connections
Katie W.

09/06/2021
I enjoyed learning a lot about mountaineering, and I enjoyed summiting - all of my hard work paid off!
Jeanne K.

08/31/2021
If the rest of your guides are as awesome as Grayson, Seth and Emma then you are doing an amazing job of hiring the right people. I would be glad to go on another expedition with any of them. Keep up the great work!
Shane M.

08/29/2021
I thoroughly enjoyed climbing with RMI. I felt very safe with the guides and truly had an amazing time climbing Mt. Rainier last week. I am very pleased with everything RMI had to offer, from the preparation of the climb until the final day of the expedition when we were driven back to Ashford.
Kurt W.

08/21/2021
This was wonderful to share with other women. Thanks for making that possible. I can’t describe how important outdoor connections with other women are.
Kathy C.

08/18/2021
I enjoyed the camaraderie of an all women's trip with women who had similar interests. I also liked how the trip pushed me out of my comfort zone. I learned new things every day. It was a great trip.
Jennifer A.

08/16/2021
I loved being able to connect with women who had similar interests while learning from truly best in class guides about mountaineering.
Kirsten H.

08/01/2021
I told some of the guides that I think I can become the first Puerto Rican mountaineer (as far as I know, there are none). That would be a huge feat considering I was born and raised in the Caribbean, and snow/ice travel is not our definition of fun. I hope I can make that dream come true, and now I feel I have a few more skills and definitely a lot more background knowledge on what it would take to make it happen. I'll be back for more!
Alexandra G.

07/20/2021
Learning new skills. The team was excellent at teaching. I recently came off a 12 day course with a competitor of yours, and nothing against my other guides, but I learned more from your team in 1/2 the time.
Dave B.

08/15/2019
The guides were awesome, which made the whole experience wonderful and makes me want to do more trips with RMI! Aside from them, I loved waking up on summit day and starting off on the bid under the stars - magical experience (and, of course, the sunrise).
Amanda M.

07/21/2019
I enjoyed learning the skills required to summit a glaciated peak. All instructors were very knowledgeable, and helped us make connections between the skills, and function of mountaineering.
Mark T.

07/09/2019
I really appreciate the patience and the skills all our guides have. Some people are good at what they do but are incapable or imparting knowledge to others. That is not the case with out seminar. All of our guides, are very good at teaching us and making us comfortable and safe throughout our entire skills.
Irene D.

09/06/2018
Knowledge and ability of the guides - they were all fantastic!
Renee M.

09/02/2018
Honestly - what draws me to the mountains is the beauty and solitude, but with RMI the most enjoyable thing was the people :)
John M.

08/23/2018
Trip was great. Knot tying and crevasse rescue were highlights of the seminar. The entire climb was great.
Joe F.

08/08/2018
I developed a true appreciation for mountaineering and now plan to do more expeditions- Cheers to out guides for instilling that passion for the outdoors with us, it was contagious.
Ryan L.

07/23/2018
Loved the long time on the mountain and the mix of slow ascent to Camp Muir, then the long push of summit day.
Brian K.

07/20/2018
The best trip ever! Will recommend to all who want to experience the world of mountaineering.
Robert J.

09/15/2017
Great chemistry among climbers and guides. Small climbing group, so had lots of individual attention. Guides are knowledgable and attentive.
Jeff G.

08/31/2017
I really enjoyed the pace and flexibility of the training - we covered exactly what we needed to learn and so much more. I came away from the seminar with so much more confidence in my glacial skills, I cant wait to apply everything to my big mountain trips in the future.
Lynda G.

08/03/2017
This changes every time I think about it, but I met a lot of great people (guides included) and experienced a ton of adventure...I'll take that anytime.
Casey K.

07/20/2017
I enjoyed the crevasse rescue day the most, the ice climbing. And our guides, they really made the difference.
Martin L.

07/17/2017
Jumping into a crevasse, enjoyable guides, learning how to build anchor stations and seeing their strength
Tommy M.

10/13/2016
The guides were the best part of the trip and made the whole expedition exponentially more enjoyable.
Matthew V.

08/28/2016
I learned an incredible amount, and the guides & RMI staff did an excellent job with the atmosphere and camaraderie. The people were the best part.
Jeffrey T.

08/28/2016
The guides were awesome. They were very experienced and very knowledgeable.
Brian E.

08/24/2016
Summiting. Learning crevasse rescue and ice climbing while camping on the isolated Paradise glacier for 3 days.
Colin M.

08/21/2016
Easy going attitudes of the guides, office and facilities staff. No one seamed stressed out :-). The free Wi-Fi at the RMI compound helped immensely.
Keith L.

08/07/2016
Thanks for providing this opportunity! I feel like the skills I learned in this program have opened up a number of possibilities for myself going forward! I look forward to going with you guys to Denali next year!
Kirk S.

07/23/2016
I can't imagine a more complimentary team of guides. The system of instruction and guidance they provided was fantastic. They worked really well together. The trust, respect and confidence they demonstrated in each other certainly carried over to all of us. My favorite activity of the the seminar was the crevasse rescue day.It was great to have a place to store clothes/gear we weren't bringing on the seminar with us. Thank you for that!
Patrick C.

07/22/2016
I learned much more than expected on this trip. The hands on instruction was very helpful and follow up feedback from the guides in practice reinforced the teachings.
Scott R.

07/19/2016
I enjoyed the entire seminar experience from learning, training and climbing; but enjoyed using those skills on the summit climb the most.
Scott C.

07/18/2016
I enjoyed a life changing experience.
Kourtney d.

07/17/2016
tough question to answer as I don't know where to even start. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget and I am now afraid I have a bit of a mountain addiction that I am going to have to explain to my wife. (the jalapeo burgers at the bar and grill were pretty amazing too!)
John B.

07/12/2016
Great guides. Very friendly. Would highly recommend to other people!
Gurprataap S.

08/26/2015
Excellent guides. I can't say enough good things about them.
Kristofer S.

08/06/2015
The interactions with my fellow climbers affected me the most, and made the experience about more than simply getting up and down the mountain. The way that the guides encouraged this relationship building through a shared learning experience made this seminar really special for me, and has inspired me to keep climbing in whatever capacities I am able in the future.
Patrick H.

07/28/2015
The way RMI really owned the mountain. There was an emergency on the snow field that the guides immediately stepped up. Leave No Trace was taken seriously. Our group really gelled and nobody wanted to leave!!
Amanda B.

07/27/2015
The scenery. Since I had a chance to get a view of the Alps on a trip to Germany a couple of years ago, I had been dying for a chance to get up on some snow-capped mountains and see what it looks like to be up in the clouds. I've always had a fascination with alpine scenery, and you don't really get much of that in Virginia, so, yeah, definitely scenery, and also definitely the people. You go and say to someone in Virginia that you want to train to climb mountains, they look at you like you've lost your mind as they plan another trip to a local vineyard where undoubtedly, some Dave Matthews Band knockoff is playing acoustic sets. Being there in Washington, with people who share the same interests as you (guides included), it's a fantastic feeling, and I'm sure I'll be in contact with my guides and team members for a long time to come.
Taylor P.

07/24/2015
The challenge coupled with the guides we met on the trip were by far the best part of the trip. The mountain itself was far more challenging than I think we had anticipated, and so reaching the summit was fantastic. The guides are the people that got us there, kept us safe and became our friend over the 6 days.
Hayley W.

07/23/2015
In my opinion there is no other option.
Bradley W.

07/22/2015
Knowledgeable and passionate guides. this is exactly what i wanted out of this trip
William R.

07/17/2015
I enjoyed the training and found the learning experience to be very interesting. Bevelling the ground to set up camp, crevasse rescue training,tying knots, etc. Of course if was very nice to reach the summit as well. I listed the recommend RMI as low because honestly I dont think I have any friends that would want to do real mountaineering.
David C.

07/14/2015
Obviously, summit day was the best, but I appreciated the skills I learned. It's what I signed up for and RMI delivered on the knowledge.
Ryan J.

09/08/2014
Zeb, Bryan and Pepper were first class guides. Extremely professional and attentive, yet making every minute of the trip so enjoyable. I would highly recommend this team to anyone!
John M.

09/02/2014
The experience was awesome! I am surprised and thrilled with the amount of learning that occurred during the six days spent with the RMI Team. From knot tying to avalanche awareness the days were filled with a wealth of information that I slowly absorbed from the guides. Each guide had different experiences to share, which made enriched the experience on the Mountain. The learning combined with a perfect amount of work made for a week well spent on a Rainier Skills Seminar. I feel more confident and prepared to spend many more days, and nights, in the mountains.
Anne F.

08/27/2014
I enjoyed the guides and the people on this trip. That made the trip what it was. The skills learned were very helpful for future climbing and being able to reach the summit was terrific, but without the great group of guys on this trip it would not have been the same.
Nick B.

08/27/2014
I gained experience with many of the skills required for mountaineering.
Joe D.

08/12/2014
the guides were awesome. did a great job of teaching and getting us to the summit
Brian H.

08/12/2014
My goal for this trip was not just to climb and summit Rainier but to learn skills that would take me further in mountaineering and to build my confidence on harder routes. While summit day and standing on top was truly one of the most intense and rewarding experiences of my life, the entire process was amazing. My three guides were patient, knowledgable, had great senses of humor, were tough with me when they needed to be and inspired confidence. I felt completely safe with them and they helped me overcome alot of my hesitancy and fear on steep terrain. After having some less than pleasant experiences with instruction here in Colorado, my days on the mountain with Leon, Robby, and Chase were fantastic. On summit day, my rope team leader Chase did a great job. I knew if I just listened to his instruction, I would be fine. We came down on some slippery, slushy snow which is my most feared terrain and following Chase, it was difficult but went great. Back here in Colorado, I've tested my new confidence on a couple of routes I would have found myself fumbling and sliding on in the past-I put my new lessons and advice to work and cruised down without a problem. I've been raving about RMI since I've returned and hope to continue my climbing adventures with you!
Elizabeth G.

08/10/2014
Learned an incredible amount of skills in a short trip. The guides we awesome and I loved being on the mountain.
John L.

08/06/2014
Our guides were excellent. Gear check on day one was extremely helpful to ensure we were adequately prepared for the trip.
Thomas M.

07/23/2014
All of the learning we did. I loved knowing more about techniques and details of how to mountaineer.
Mike S.

07/20/2014
Learning various climbing techniques. The whole trip was just great. Guides and the things they showed us gave me confidence that I can take the step to doing more technical climbs.
Jon H.

07/16/2014
I most enjoyed sharing this climbing experience with the other members of the team. Time spent in the mountains is stolen time and I couldn't have had a better group of guides to have shared that with. Thank you RMI.
Michael B.

07/16/2014
Guides were professional, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic.
Matthew B.

09/04/2013
I enjoyed the ice climbing and anchor building techniques learned during our crevasse rescue portion. I enjoyed learning how to efficiently move through the mountains.
Nicholas F.

09/03/2013
Summit day was long and hard -- I really enjoyed being challenged and encouraged to accomplish something that was out of my comfort and experience zones.
Ken K.

09/01/2013
I enjoyed the interaction with the guides and the other people on the trip. I think we had a really nice group of people. Of course, I enjoyed getting to the top and back down too. That was the icing on the cake. I really liked the crevasse training and the ice climbing. Really, the whole trip was great. I don't have any complaints.
Jean K.

08/26/2013
The guides
Malcolm F.

08/24/2013
Practicing the skills, such as crevasse rescue, ice climbing, cramponing, etc. And working with an exceptional group of guides and clients, who made every day a fun adventure, even when we were working hard.
Shaun A.

08/21/2013
Experiencing mountaineering expedition life with Adam, Erik, and Leah. What a triple crown! The Paradise team. I know its by the luck of the draw, but what great people I was blessed with to share this great experience!
Lew S.

08/09/2013
Adventuring with my son
Anne B.

07/29/2013
Learning big mountain skills from professionals like Garrett, Steve and Andy. Those guys are impressive!
Paul E.

07/25/2013
Fellow climbers. Views
Gabe P.

07/19/2013
Guides and the route.
Richard C.

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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to [email protected].

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend travel insurance for this trip. Your travel insurance policy should include trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, and evacuation.

Navigating through the different options for travel insurance can be challenging. When purchasing Travel Insurance, here are a few items to consider:

  • Read the fine print. Travel Insurance will reimburse you when canceling for a covered reason for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that you insure. However, there are exclusions, so make sure you understand the "covered reasons."
  • Confirm that your activity is a covered "activity." Not all travel insurance policies will offer coverage for activities such as mountaineering, climbing, skiing, or trekking adventures. Policies can also exclude coverage for activities due to the gear used (crampons, ice axe), activities that go above specific elevations, or activities in a particular region of the world. If there are exclusions, you may need to add an "Adventure" or "Sports" package to cover your activity.
  • Verify that your state of residence is allowed with the policy that you are purchasing. Not all insurance companies offer policies in all 50 states.
  • Contact your travel protection company directly for any questions you have regarding benefits or coverage.

We have partnered with Travelex Insurance and Harbor Travel Insurance because they offer certain policies specifically designed for adventure travel and offer coverage for remote areas and activities like mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and trekking without any altitude restrictions. 

 

 

For your convenience, we offer Travelex Insurance Services, Inc.(CA Agency License #0D10209) travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. 

 

For more information on the available plans, visit Travelex Insurance Services or contact Travelex Insurance (800) 228-9792 and reference location number 47-0370. 

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.

 

Harbor Insurance 

 

 

 

 

Harbor Travel Insurance covers the following critical benefits:

  • Evacuation to a nearest appropriate hospital once hospitalized.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, AD&D, and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses, and military veterans.

Harbor Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries, and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word.

Getting There

Rainier BaseCamp is located in Ashford, WA, and is the home of RMI Expeditions, Whittaker Mountaineering, Whittaker's Bunkhouse, and BaseCamp Bar and Grill. Ashford is located 75 miles from the Sea-Tac Airport, and most climbers traveling to Ashford will want to rent a car. This is the most convenient and reliable way to get here.

Ride Share: If you are interested in sharing a ride, please go to your RMI Account, then to "Discussion Board" and "Ride Share" to post your information.

Seattle Airport Car Service
Phone: 206-375-4000
Email: [email protected]

ENTRY INTO MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

All our Mt. Rainier programs begin at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford. All Mt. Rainier climbs, seminars and schools include transportation for our climbers from Rainier BaseCamp to Paradise or to the White River Entrance.

You do not need to have a timed entry reservation if you are using RMI’s provided transportation.

If you are driving your own vehicle into Mount Rainier National Park, you will need to make a reservation for entry. Timed Entry Reservations - Mount Rainier National Park.

Ashford Area Accommodations

The Hideaway Tiny House
The Overlook
Whittaker's Motel and Historic Bunkhouse | 360-569-2439
Nisqually Lodge | 360-569-8804
Alexander's Lodge | 360-569-2300
Wellspring Spa & Cabins | 360-569-2514
Guest Services Inc: (Paradise Inn and National Park Inn) | 253-569-2275
Mt. Rainier Visitor Association | 360-569-0910
Camping

You may also go to VisitRainier.com to search for accommodations in the Ashford Area.

Weather

For updated Mt. Rainier weather forecasts, click here.

Please click on the links below to see the Mt. Rainier webcams:

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.

Facts

Mt Rainier became the nation's fifth National Park in 1899, some twenty-nine years after it was first climbed. Mt. Rainier National Park encompasses 235,625 acres and is 97% wilderness and 3% National Historic Landmark District. At 14,410', Mt. Rainier is the most prominent peak in the Cascade Range. It is a dormant volcano that last erupted approximately 150 years ago.

Guided mountaineering activity has taken place since the late 1800s, and The Mountain is still considered a prime training ground for climbing in Alaska, South America, and the Himalayas.  With more than 20 active glaciers encompassing some 36 square miles of ice, Rainier boasts the largest ice cover of any peak in the lower 48 United States.  Its weather can be deceptively gentle or as fierce as encountered on any high mountain anywhere in the world.  There is a wealth of information on the Mt. Rainier National Park website. We encourage you to enhance your enjoyment of the climb with some fun facts about the Park and the history of climbing there.

Resources

General Information on Mt. Rainier National Park (MRNP) - www.nps.gov/mora

The Mountaineers Book - www.mountaineersbooks.org

Gateway Communities & Activities outside Mt. Rainier National Park - www.visitrainier.com

Recommended Reading

The Challenge of Rainier, by Dee Molenaar

Mt. Rainier - A Climbing Guide, by Mike Gauthier

Mt. Rainier: The Story Behind the Scenery, by Ray Snow

National Geographic Trails Illustrated MRNP topo map

 

Contents
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Contents
Print all Trip Details Print this Page

What You Need to know

A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought processes behind each item are much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program considers 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. 

Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. If you own the item, or have something you think is similar, bring it with you. If the guide feels it is inadequate, you can rent or purchase the necessary piece from Whittaker Mountaineering. 

The guides’ recommendation on whether to bring along or leave behind specific item(s) comes during the gear check when the team first meets. If a guide deviates from the list, it is for a good reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, etc. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item that may not be needed or the need to buy or rent an additional item. 

Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for any mountain. It does not exist because of the many variables climbers face throughout the climb. Fine-tuning will occur once you meet with your guides and continue throughout the program. 


  • Whittaker Mountaineering 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.

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

Equipment List

GUIDE PICK

Guide Pick™ is a collaboration between RMI Expeditions and Whittaker Mountaineering. At the end of each season, Whittaker Mountaineering surveys RMI's guides to determine the best mountaineering gear and apparel. They compile the results, reach a consensus, and award the best in each category with a Guide Pick™ label.

This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have characteristics and performance abilities similar to those of the Guide Pick.


Pack & Travel

Image of 85+ LITER BACKPACK
85+ LITER BACKPACK

Your pack must be large enough for your layers, climbing gear, and food, as well as a portion of your tent and your share of group equipment. The pack volume you choose depends on your experience and the quality of your gear; if you opt for a smaller pack, practice packing and make sure you can fit all of your gear with room to spare. You will not need a separate summit pack.

Guide Pick™

Sleeping Bag & Pad

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SLEEPING BAG

We recommend a bag rated between 20° and 0°. Allow ample room for movement. We recommend down over synthetic for its light weight, warmth, and packability. If climbing in April, May, June, or September, or if you know you sleep cold, consider a 0° F bag. Sleeping pads are provided at Camp Muir.

Guide Pick™

Image of COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
Guide Pick™

Image of INFLATABLE SLEEPING PAD
INFLATABLE SLEEPING PAD

A full-length inflatable pad.

Guide Pick™

Image of CLOSED FOAM SLEEPING PAD
CLOSED FOAM SLEEPING PAD

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

Guide Pick™

Technical Gear

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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.

Guide Pick™

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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. If you rent a harness, a triple-action carabiner is included.

Guide Pick™

Image of TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER
1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER

Used for clipping into the climbing rope. Harness rentals include this carabiner.

Guide Pick™

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1 LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for clipping into anchors, etc.

Guide Pick™

Image of NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S)
3 NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for pack ditch loop, etc.

Guide Pick™

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CRAMPONS

10-point or 12-point adjustable steel crampons with anti-balling plates designed for general mountaineering use.

Guide Pick™

Image of AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES

Transceivers are worn on the upper mountain during your summit attempt. If you rent a transceiver fresh batteries will be provided.

Guide Pick™

Image of TREKKING POLES
TREKKING POLES

We recommend lightweight and collapsible poles with snow baskets.

Guide Pick™

Image of MECHANICAL ASCENDER (OPTIONAL)
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.

Guide Pick™

Image of ' ACCESSORY CORD
12 ' ACCESSORY CORD

6 mm cordelette in one continuous length OR precut into two 4' sections OR two 13.5" Sterling Hollow Block sewn loops.

Guide Pick™

Image of ' ACCESSORY CORD
15 ' ACCESSORY CORD

7 mm cordelette in one continuous length OR one 240cm dyneema sling.


Head

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HELMET

A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™

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WARM HAT

Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™


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BUFF

A Buff provides versitile head and neck protection. A neck gaiter is also acceptable.

Guide Pick™

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HEADLAMP

Start with fresh batteries and bring extra set(s) of batteries appropriate to the duration of the trip.

Guide Pick™

Image of GLACIER GLASSES
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.

Guide Pick™

Image of GOGGLES
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.

Guide Pick™

Image of SAFETY GLASSES (OPTIONAL)
SAFETY GLASSES (OPTIONAL)

Helpful in keeping blowing dust out of the eyes at night. If you wear prescription glasses, make sure they can fit over.


Hands

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

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES
LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES

Light weight liner or softshell gloves. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES
MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated mountain gloves.

Guide Pick™

Image of HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVES OR MITTENS
HEAVY WEIGHT GLOVES OR MITTENS

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated gloves or mittens. These also serve as emergency backups if you drop or lose a lighter-weight glove.

Guide Pick™

Upper Body

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

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY
LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY

Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Light weight, light-colored, hooded baselayers (sun hoodys) are highly recommended for sun protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

One step up in warmth and bulk from a baselayer. A technical fleece makes an ideal light weight insulating layer.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

A down, synthetic, or softshell hoody makes a great midlayer.

Guide Pick™

Image of RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL)
RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL)

An uninsulated, waterproof shell jacket with hood.

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED PARKA WITH HOOD
INSULATED PARKA WITH HOOD

Your expedition-style heavy parka must extend below the waist, have an insulated hood, and be able to fit over the rest of your upper body layers. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it also serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill.

Guide Pick™

Image of SPORTS BRA
SPORTS BRA

We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.

Guide Pick™

Lower Body

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



Image of SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS
SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS

Softshell climbing pants can be worn in combination with a base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.

Guide Pick™

Image of RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)
RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)

Non-insulated, waterproof shell pants must be able to fit comfortable over your baselayer bottoms and softshell climbing pants. Full side zippers or 7/8 side zippers are required so that shell pants can be put on while wearing boots and crampons.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS  (OPTIONAL)
LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS (OPTIONAL)

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

Guide Pick™

Feet

SINGLE OR DOUBLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

Boots are one of the most important pieces of mountaineering gear, and bringing the right pair is critical to your safety and success on Mt. Rainier. You will need one pair of boots for this climb, and the type of boot you wear will be dictated by freezing level. If the freezing level is below 10,000 feet, your guide will require the use of double boots. If the freezing level is above 10,000 feet, you may use either single or double boots. We consistently see freezing levels below 10,000 feet in April, May, June, and September, though periods of cold weather are not uncommon in July and August.

If this is your first time climbing, we highly recommend renting boots from our partner company Whittaker Mountaineering. Mountaineering boots do not break in like normal footwear so there is not much advantage in buying them unless you want to see how they feel on your feet before the climb or plan on doing more mountaineering in the future. If you rent, you can switch between single and double boots the day of your climb.


Image of RAINIER AND 5000 METER SINGLE BOOT TEXT

SINGLE BOOTS: Insulated, full-shank, and crampon-compatible leather or synthetic boots designed for mountaineering. Single boots tend to be lighter and more comfortable than double boots at the expense of warmth.

Guide Pick™

Image of APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)
APPROACH SHOES (RECOMMENDED)

We recommend a pair of light running or approach shoes for one to two hours of use on the approach to Camp Muir (after the snow melts, typically by mid-July), and for use as a camp shoe.

Guide Pick™

Image of GAITERS
GAITERS

A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing. Not needed if using a boot with an integrated gaiter.

Guide Pick™

Image of PAIRS OF SOCKS
2 PAIRS OF SOCKS

Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc.), should work just fine for this climb.

Guide Pick™

First Aid & Medications

Image of SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
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, basic pain reliever, and personal medications.

Guide Pick™

Personal Items

Image of MEALS & SNACKS
MEALS & SNACKS

You are responsible for providing your own meals and snack food in town and while on Mt. Rainier. See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

Guide Pick™

Image of BOWL
BOWL

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

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED MUG
INSULATED MUG

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

Guide Pick™

Image of SPOON OR SPORK
SPOON OR SPORK

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

Guide Pick™

Image of WATER BOTTLES
2-3 WATER BOTTLES

One-liter water bottles with wide mouths made of co-polyester (BPA-free plastic). No hydration systems as they tend to freeze on the upper mountain and be hard to fill. Cold water for drinking is provided.

Guide Pick™

Image of GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG
GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG

This will be your personal trash bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of LARGE GARBAGE BAGS
2 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.


Image of PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG
PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG

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


Image of SUNSCREEN
SUNSCREEN

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

Guide Pick™

Image of TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
Guide Pick™

Image of LIP BALM
LIP BALM

We recommend SPF 15 or higher.

Guide Pick™

Image of EAR PLUGS
EAR PLUGS

SPARE CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES (OPTIONAL)

Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


Image of PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)
PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)

Practice using this before coming on the climb!

Guide Pick™

PEE BOTTLE (OPTIONAL)

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

Guide Pick™

Image of CAMERA (OPTIONAL)
CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

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


Image of POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)
POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)

A small power bank, enough to charge a phone or e-reader several times.

Guide Pick™

Travel Clothes

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TRAVEL CLOTHES

We recommend bringing a selection of clothing to wear while traveling, site seeing and dining.  


Pre-Trip Checklist

Purchase travel insurance.


Arrange lodging in Ashford.


Reserve rental equipment.


Arrange transportation to Ashford.


Be in the best shape of your life!



Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, group cooking gear, shovels, climbing ropes, 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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Contents
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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.

ENTRY INTO MT. RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

All our Mt. Rainier programs begin at Rainier BaseCamp in Ashford. All Mt. Rainier climbs, seminars and schools include transportation for our climbers from Rainier BaseCamp to Paradise or to the White River Entrance.

You do not need to have a timed entry reservation if you are using RMI’s provided transportation.

If you are driving your own vehicle into Mount Rainier National Park, you will need to make a reservation for entry. Timed Entry Reservations - Mount Rainier National Park.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF REACHING THE SUMMIT OF MT RAINIER?

There are three main categories that generally prevent climbers from reaching the summit: weather, route conditions, and individual fitness. 

WEATHER

In an average year, 21% of our climbs do not reach the summit due to weather, route conditions, or both. 
Avalanche hazards, high winds, poor visibility, rain, and snow, can singly or in conjunction with the other elements, impact our ability to safely climb. Your guides are charged with managing the risks encountered on the climb and maintaining a reasonable margin of safety. 

If weather conditions reduce our margin of safety to an unacceptable level, we will no longer be able to climb. This may mean we turn around, or we may not even ascend above camp.

THE ROUTE

On Mt. Rainier, guides work on the route continually throughout the climbing season. Route work involves rerouting to avoid hazards. This can include overhead (icefall and rockfall) and underfoot (crevasses and steep slopes) hazards. As the route becomes more complex and steeper throughout the season, route work can include kicking steps, chopping, shoveling, setting running belays, fixed lines, and ladders. Some changes occur daily on the route and may necessitate a quick fix by your guide team during a climb. A larger reroute may be needed multiple times throughout our season, requiring a guide team to work multiple days to establish a new route. 

Generally speaking, the route is never closed or “out,” and there is usually a way to the top. However, it might not have the appropriate margin of safety needed for our climbers (it might require more advanced mountaineering skills and experience levels).  When this happens, all the guide services on the mountain coordinate resources to establish a new route. Like mountain weather, we manage but can’t control the climbing route, and it is not unheard of for the route to be unclimbable for multiple days. While the route work is being done, we will ascend with our climbers as high as is safely possible and appropriate on the existing route. 

FITNESS

Fitness is the one factor that you have the most control of, and that has the highest impact on your success, safety, and fun. 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. The length of the climbing route dictates the required fitness for the climb. We do not have fast or slow rope teams – our teams move at a steady pace determined by the duration and complexity of the given route. 

Climbers do have control over their ability to affect their mental fortitude to some extent, and their fitness, to a very large extent. Therefore, you can maximize your chances of a successful summit climb by focusing on individual fitness. Over 50 years of guiding climbers on Mt. Rainier has shown us that the following factors have the largest influence on a climber’s ability to reach the summit. 

Age: We can’t control it; we get older every year. Simply put, the older you are, the more fit you need to be. As we age, our max heart rate decreases, leaving us with a smaller heart rate reserve. Hard efforts feel harder, and we can’t sustain the same intensity efforts for as long. Focusing on your fitness regime is the best way to compensate.

Body Mass Index (BMI): Your BMI is not as significant as your age and is not the best representation of fitness. However, if we use BMI as a corollary for whether an individual is at a healthy weight, slightly overweight, or significantly overweight, then BMI data shows that climbers with a BMI in the normal range (18.5 - 24.9) will have a better chance of reaching the summit than climbers with a higher BMI.

Aerobic Threshold: Our aerobic threshold is the level of intensity (or heart rate) at which your metabolism switches from a sustainable level of effort in which your muscles can replenish their energy stores at the same rate they burn them to one in which they are burning more than they can replenish. Beyond this intensity, our performance is necessarily time limited. Performance in endurance sports is highly reliant on Aerobic Threshold. Your Aerobic Threshold can be changed significantly with training.

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