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Glacier Peak Climb

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $1160
    Deposit
    $350
    Duration
    4 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Mountaineering
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Glacier Peak Climb

Glacier Peak Climb

Glacier Peak is a moderate glaciated climb on Washington State’s most remote volcano.

Glacier Peak

CLIMB HIGHLIGHTS

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

Ascend through pristine old growth forests to the high glaciers of the North Cascades. Build your climbing skills as you climb the fourth tallest peak in Washington. Glacier Peak is a fun, straight forward glacier climb with a long and scenic approach hike. All the necessary climbing instruction is included in our four-day itinerary and no previous climbing experience is required. Participants will need a high degree of hiking fitness.

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

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

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 alpine climbing around the world have built a core of consummate professional guides.

Our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers, known for their leadership as well as their character. They possess the compassion, enthusiasm and ability to empower others and inspire them forward. Such qualities may only be found in people at the top of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides still remember their own first steps into the mountains, and enjoy helping other climbers reach new heights.

Our exceptional focus to detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures make our programs truly memorable.

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.

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.

  • Upcoming Climbs

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  • Price
    $1160
    Deposit
    $350
    Duration
    4 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Mountaineering
Table of Contents
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Day 1

ORIENTATION & HIKE TO BASE CAMP

The group meets at 8:00 a.m. at the Darrington Ranger Station in Darrington Washington. Please see our Travel Details document for driving directions and carpool opportunities. Your RMI guides will meet you at the ranger station for introductions, group gear distribution and personal gear check. From Darrington we drive along the Sauk River for approximately one hour to the North Fork Sauk Trailhead (2,100’) where the day’s hiking begins. This is a long day with full packs. During our hike we travel through classic North Cascade old growth forest and make camp for the night just above tree line (5,900’) in the high alpine meadows.



Day 2

HIKE TO HIGH CAMP AND MOUNTAINEERING SCHOOL

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



Day 3

SUMMIT ASCENT

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



Day 4

DESCENT TO TRAILHEAD

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



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Travel Consultant

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

Travel Insurance

We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.

There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance:

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

 

Harbor InsuranceHarbor Travel Insurance covers the following critical benefits:

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

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

TripAssureWe have partnered with TripAssure, a Trip Mate brand, to provide travel insurance for our climbers. TripAssure has created the Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs.

TripAssure's Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to Cancel for Any Reason. In order to receive Cancel for Any Reason� coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with RMI. We recommend that you carefully read the Plan Document that applies to your purchase.

Getting There

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

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

Area Accommodations

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

There is one motel in Darrington, the Darrington Motor Inn

Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

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

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

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

For more facts click here.

Resources

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest map.

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What You’ll Need

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

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

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

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

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

Ascent Outdoors - RMI climbers receive a 10% discount for rental items and non-sale products. A discount code will be sent after registering for your climb. Rental items are not shipped. There are two locations:

  • Ballard - 5209 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 | Phone: (206) 545-8810
  • Redmond - 7330 164th Avenue NE, E145, Redmond, WA 98052 | Phone: (425) 242-0773

Northwest Mountain Shop -  829 Metcalf Street, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 | Phone: (360) 854-8761. Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.


  • Most of the required equipment is available for purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering when they use code RMI2019 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.

Shop Your Equipment List

Equipment List

    • 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

      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

      A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.

    • 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

      Mountaineering specific leather boots are the preferred choices for ascents in the North Cascades. They must provide good insulation as well as a rigid sole for kicking steps and holding crampons. Lightweight hiking boots are not acceptable as they don't work well with crampons, or in very cold or wet weather.

    • TREKKING BOOTS / APPROACH SHOES

      A pair of approach shoes or lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain.

    • SUNSCREEN

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

    • MEALS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • 2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT DROPS

      Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops. We do not recommend the tablets due to the extended wait time.

    • 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.

    • TOILET PAPER

      We recommend packable, biodegradable, personal size rolls.

    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Arrange transportation and lodging.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes and anchors, and blue bags (for solid waste disposal).

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

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