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Rainier w/ IMG?

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Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby OwenT » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:45 pm

Me and my dad are planning on doing Rainier next summer and we wanted to get a guide so I looked at RMI, Alpine Ascents, and IMG and decided IMG was going to be that best. I'd like to know what others thought about it. The reason I thought of IMG over AA was that for AA you have to go to Seattle to start and it would be easier for us to go strait to the mountain, also it seemed like with IMG you spent more time on the mountain learning skills which is what I'm looking for.

Also, I tried posting this with Google Chrome but anytime I clicked either New Topic or Post Reply it would send me to my profile. Anyone had this problem and fixed it?
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby boisedoc » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:23 am

I did two trips on Rainier with IMG (first trip was not successful due to a storm). I found all of the guides to be professional. They use an identical itenerary to Alpine Ascents and I would imagine the Alpine Ascents guides are all excellent also. As you noted, RMI is on the mountain a little less and starts their summit day from camp Muir rather than Ingraham Flats. I think the RMI guides are all good as well (most of the guides from all three services know each other and interact a fair amount). If you want a prime spot for next summer, sign up soon after they announce the dates (probably in September). As far as learning skills, I think it is pretty limited for the three day Rainier ascents- they mainly want to make sure you can get up the mountain without killing yourself. In fact, IMG had scaled back their snow school after several clients dislocated their shoulders practicing self arrest (not sure how true this is, but that is what the guides told me). You would probably be better off taking a week long class if you want to learn more about glacier travel.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby OwenT » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:20 am

Okay thanks for Rainier Info. I think our next targets are either Glacier Peak or Mount Baker. We know someone that's climbed Rainier a few times and Baker as well so he's got some experience. But as far as being competent to do something like that on our own what kind of classes do you suggest and where(preferably closer to home, we live in Moses Lake WA).
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby sm0421 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:25 pm

I climbed with IMG in May and didn't make to the summit because of the snow condition. They are expensive and next time I'll go with RMI. I had the same reason choosing them because they had one more day in the mountain but in reality you won't learn much and you won't have a weather day.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby Dmk9869 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:47 pm

I climbed Rainier with RMI the first week of Jun. We ended up having 4 guides for six climbers, it was a great experience. The weather was predicted to be terrible on the summit day but our head guide kept us optimistic. We started extra early on the summit day to beat the wind and snow. They pushed us pretty hard and we made the summit before the bad weather hit. I would definitely recommend RMI and plan on using them again in the near future for Ouray and Denali. Ask for head guide Geoff Schellens he was awesome.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby OwenT » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:25 pm

My only reservation about RMI was that you don't start your summit day at Ingraham flats, making it longer. Is it crowded climbing and camping when you stay down there? (Camp Muir is where you stay, correct?)
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby Dmk9869 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:19 pm

I went via the Emmon's route, the first night we stayed on the interglacier, second and third were at Camp Schurman. When we arrived at Camp Schurman there were only five or six people there. The day we left another guide group had arrived but it was far from crowded.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:27 pm

OwenT wrote:My only reservation about RMI was that you don't start your summit day at Ingraham flats, making it longer. Is it crowded climbing and camping when you stay down there? (Camp Muir is where you stay, correct?)


Camping at Ingraham Flats saves only an hour or so over camping at Camp Muir, and you have to lug your camping gear up and down that much farther. Camp Muir can be crowded, but there is a limit to how many folks are permitted to stay there.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby BigMitch » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:55 pm

RMI is cheaper than IMG/AA, but you what you are paying for is one extra day on the mountain and having the guides cook gourmet food for you at Camp Muir and on Ingraham Flats.

The "camping" at Camp Muir for RMI and IMG/RMI is sleeping on a plank in the wooden hut.

As ExcitableBoy writes, you only save about an hour on Summit Day, which in IMHO, is no big deal unless you are hauling your camping gear, which you will not be doing because IMG/AA already have tents in place on Ingraham Flats.

Don't expect to learn much because the focus is to get the client to the top.

If you want to learn a lot, then take classes from a guiding service.

Also, beware of someone with "experience." Find out what kind of technical instruction they have beforehand.

There are some people with considerable "experience" who don't have a clue what they are doing.

See, for example, the American Death Triangle on an ice anchor at 6:39 in this video on Liberty Ridge (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QWyMmZZ ... video_user). I am not making this up!

Only by getting a very good instruction early on in your climbing career, will you be able to tell the technically competent climbers from the incompetent ones. Think it as the price of a good education.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby OwenT » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:34 am

Ok thanks for sharing guys, this is good stuff to be hearing, I've got a much better picture of what's going on.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby kcurchin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:09 pm

All three guiding companies are terrific.....whatever best fits your needs. I would suggest you call each company, explain your background and goals ( beginner with no experience and going with your dad). The guides are trained, have passion for the mountains and their clients. I would suggest you and your dad be in AWESOME shape. I have climbed Rainier 4 times, about 20 other mountains up to 22,800' and Rainier is a long and strenuous hike ( I am probably about your dad's age). Summitting Rainier is a tremendous accomplishment so prepare, train and do what the guides say.....they are there for your safety.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby ty454 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:24 pm

I did Rainier via the DC route two weeks ago - we spent a night at Muir, then the next day moved up to Ingraham flats, and then that night went to the summit from the flats. On one hand it was a pain to move camp from muir, however it was really nice on summit day not having to get up and do that extra 1000' of elevation. Additionally I think we had better views from the flats and it was also a bit cooler out. We also spent the night on the flats after the summit vs. heading all the way down to muir or even worse paradise.

I have a hard time imagining going from muir to the summit and then all the way back down to paradise in one go. It certainly wouldn't be much fun. I'm in pretty good shape and was gassed by the time we got back to the flats after summit day. I could have gone back down to muir but would have been a zombie going all the way back down to paradise. Another thing that was good about the flats is that it puts you that much further ahead of the guided throngs of people coming from Muir on summit day.

FYI we didn't use a guide service - the four of us all took the AA beginning mountaineering class last year on Baker and one of us had summitted Rainier last year with AA. So we were by no means experts, though we had the basic skills to feel confident enough on the DC route, even in marginal weather. The guides from IMG/RMI/AA are all pretty helpful if you have questions within reason.

My recommendation is take a beginning mountaineering class on the likes of Baker first, assuming mountain climbing is something you plan on doing more than once. Rainier was much more physically demanding than Baker. Plunge stepping down that damn Muir snowfield the day after summitting in the hot sun was probably my most hated part of the entire trip. That and my wife somehow losing our camera on the way back down from the summit to the flats (now we have to climb it again just to prove we did it...)

We did have a real awesome thunderstorm up on the flats though. It was thundersnow and we got about 6" in 20 minutes. It was really weird being up IN the storm with lightning all over. You can actually hear the electrical sounds when you're up in it....very cool.
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Re: Rainier w/ IMG?

Postby pantone159 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:46 am

I have been twice with RMI from Muir to the rim (one summit, one not). I think it is probably *good* to start from Muir and not Ingraham Flats, that way the first stretch is a nice warmup, then take a tuneup break at the Flats, before you take on the Cleaver, and the steep slopes above. Keeping on down to Paradise at the end of the day is kind of annoying, but you get it over with. You can boot slide or glissade part of the way down the snowfield which is at least a change of pace. Once you get to Pebble Creek it gets tedious, but then you are almost done.

I would guess that all the guide services are quite good, although I have only used RMI.
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