First off, trying to climb Rainier while avoiding glaciers is a bit like climbing El Capitan without doing any rock climbing. You kind of miss the whole point of it. If you are going to do Rainier, put in the effort and learn glacier travel and crevasse rescue. It is not rocket surgery, but you better have your stuff down.
So far you have received some really good advice. Since you have ruled out hiring a guide to teach you crevasse rescue, you can certainly do the self taught thing. Someone mentioned finding partners to take you up. If
you can find a qualified
climber who is willing to take you up, you are golden. My experience is that the climbers who are qualified are not interested in doing the standard routes, and the climbers who are interested in doing the standard routes lack experience.
You can reasonably teach yourselves glacier travel and crevasse rescue if you dedicate yourself to research and practice. FOTH
, as mentioned, is pretty basic but still has good info. Andy Selter's book, Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue
goes into more detail.
Get your partners together and practice one skill a day until you have it down cold. Hang a rope from a tree or a cliff and practice prussiking with the rope you plan on climbing on. You will dial in the diameter of the prussiks you need and the length of the prussiks.
You can hammer pickets into the campus lawn (tell anyone giving you grief you are doing physics research) and work out the mechanics of the various haul systems. Load up a duffel or backpack with weight to simulate a fallen climber. Rotate through so everyone has plenty of practice being on the end and the middle of the rope - the responsibilities are different. Obviously the real deal will compound the difficulties; rope jammed in the lip, crappy snow, weak anchors, etc.
Get out to the local ski hill and practice setting and testing anchors in snow of various consistencies. Practice with pickets, flukes, bollards as well as improvised deadmen like ski poles, buried stuff sacks filled with snow, even a heavy partner in a deep hole if the snow will hold nothing else. Plan for contingencies. What will you do if the rope is hopelessly stuck in the lip? Did you allow enough rope in the coils to drop down a free end after padding the lip? Test various systems and know what the strengths and limitations of each one is.
Plan to climb Baker before your trip to Rainier and run through your systems a few times including setting and testing anchors before making a summit attempt. This will give you practical experience with rope management, glacier navigation, exposure to similar climbing situations as well as some acclimatization.
Here is an article on SP with additional information on Rainier that you may find useful: http://www.summitpost.org/so-you-want-t ... ier/507227