Mount Rainier Comments

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wildstar - Dec 11, 2004 4:26 pm - Voted 10/10

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Fantastic page.


Johnhl94563 - Feb 15, 2005 9:28 pm - Voted 10/10

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My pleasure. I THINK you just updated all this recently since I know I looked at the page prior to my climb July 2004. I think this is the most complete page I have ever seen. Great job.

James C

James C - Apr 7, 2005 9:18 pm - Voted 10/10

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Me and my dad are thinking about giving Rainier a shot my junior year. Thanks for the good luck.

JasonSampson - Jun 20, 2005 10:52 pm - Voted 10/10

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SusanM - Jul 28, 2005 9:56 pm - Voted 10/10

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Excellent and informative page.


jenniferdenoya - Oct 24, 2005 1:59 pm - Voted 10/10

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REALLY great page!

2skinners - Jan 16, 2006 1:32 pm - Voted 10/10

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Super page!! Very indepth.

Erik Beeler

Erik Beeler - Jan 17, 2006 12:19 pm - Voted 10/10

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I am planning a trip to climb Rainier in early April and I am finding this page most helpful. Well done four stars.

John Climber

John Climber - Feb 18, 2006 5:34 pm - Voted 10/10

Excellent page. Congratulations


Incredible good page. A lot of information, beautiful photos, good links, clear background info, stadistics, ....good work!!


JasonH - Feb 19, 2006 2:35 am - Voted 10/10

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Great page, one of top five pages I've seen so far. You have tons of info and pictures and it is well organized.


JasonH - Feb 20, 2006 6:11 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Untitled Comment

When I left Seattle 8 years ago, Mt. Rainier was one of the last things I saw before I got on the plane. So I have a fondness for that mountain as well.

Timothy Pearl

Timothy Pearl - Apr 6, 2007 7:40 pm - Hasn't voted

Watch the Road Closures

3 of us had planned on an early May ascent... and being from CO hadn't heard anything about the floods in November. Just found out today that our trip is off due to road closures till (at least) mid-May. NPS is not permitting climbers till then. Be sure to call NPS if you're planning on climbing early this year.

rdberkowitz - Dec 1, 2007 9:14 am - Hasn't voted

Question: Dissapt. Cleaver in Sept.

I'm looking to do an early September Mt Rainier climb (first time), and wanted some opinions on conditions that time of year. I've heard various reports--some say it's too late in the season and avalanches are a big risk; others say it's fine just the later you go the more you take a chance with weather. Any thoughts would be great! Or, other thoughts on northwest summits accessible in early Sept?
Thanks! Rachel


SpankyBob - Sep 8, 2008 12:43 pm - Voted 10/10

Guide Services

As of 2008 there are three guide service concessions on Rainier. Here are my thoughts and comments on their operations. All three services feature climbs of the DC and my comments are directed to DC climbs. These services also guide other routes on Rainier. I encourage others to add their comments.

RMI - Rainier Mountaineering Inc
Their headquarters are located in Ashford Washington, just outside Rainier National Park at an altitude of about 1,800 feet. Their operation in Ashford quite large and includes their headquarters, a cafe, well equipped mountaineering store, bunk house, grill, and other buildings. I stayed a night at the bunk house and was not very impressed by the accommodations. The staff in the store did not seem very helpful and the grill staff were downright unfriendly. It should be noted that the operations were very busy and I could have just gotten them on a bad day. Additionally, the support crew at base camp is only one aspect of the total RMI experience.

RMI has the "A" concession on Rainier meaning they have full time access to half of the hut at Camp Muir. The bread and butter RMI trip spends the first night at Camp Muir followed by a very early alpine start for the summit and then a full descent to Paradise. Clients are expected to complete a glacier travel course prior to the actual climb. Most students take the glacier travel course on the day prior to their climb to Muir. This provides an opportunity for the clients to get some altitude exposure, yet still get a good night’s sleep (climb high, sleep low). The disadvantage to this approach is that clients may have a tough training day followed by a climb to Muir and then a tough summit day.

I have not participated in an RMI program, but my impression was that RMI cranks through the classes in a factory like manner. When I encountered RMI teams on Rainier, they always seemed pretty grim. Additionally, RMI clients are responsible for cooking their own meals. RMI will provide water, but the students have to provide their own food. This can be a positive if you are a picky eater, but I prefer the ease and sense of community afforded by the group dining of IMG and AAI.

RMI typically climbs in a 3:1 client to guide ratio. RMI offers the least expensive guided climb. There lower cost is due to factors such as their higher client to guide ratios, less time spent on the mountain, and lack of shared food.

IMG – International Mountain Guides
IMG headquarters is just up the road from RMI in Ashford. There bread and butter DC trip begins with a group orientation and gear review in the afternoon prior to the start of the climb. The first day of climbing ends at Camp Muir. IMG shares the “B” concession with AAI and thus alternates access to the client hut at Camp Muir. The next day the team goes through a glacier travel course and climbs to a higher camp at Ingraham Flats at around 11,000. Summit day begins with an alpine start from Ingraham Flats and descends all the way to Paradise.

IMG climbs with a 2:1 client to guide ratio. Having an extra night on the mountain offers the team some flexibility to adjust the climbing schedule to cope with changing conditions and gives clients some extra time to acclimatize. IMG program also feature group meals. They have cooking shelters at Muir and Ingraham Flats. IMG trips tend to be more expensive than RMI trips.

I climbed twice this year with IMG. Our June trip was turned back by bad weather and high avalanche risk. We climbed to Muir in a snowstorm hoping we may get better weather conditions. Unfortunately the storm worsened that night and dumped too much fresh snow on the upper slopes to make a summit trip safe or feasible. We turned back from Muir. The IMG staff were able to help us change our travel plans to accommodate the early retreat and the IMG guides gave us a glacier travel and crevasse rescue program at base camp in Ashford on what would have been our summit day.

My second trip with IMG was in early August. The weather could not have been better. Because the DC route was so crowded and the weather was so mild we changed our itinerary. We climbed from Muir to Ingraham Flats and rested a couple of hours on the second day. We left for the summit in the early afternoon of the second day and reached the top an hour or so before sunset. We were back at Ingraham Flats by 11:00 PM. We shared dinner and were just going to sleep as the other climbers were getting ready for their alpine starts. We had a leisurely descent from Ingraham Flats to Paradise on the third day.

I found the IMG staff to be very personable. I liked that they remembered me in August from my June trip. The IMG staff were also very accommodative when I wanted to try a second attempt and were able to help me get a second spot very quickly.

I would not hesitate to recommend IMG for those wanting to climb with a guide service.

AAI – Alpine Ascents International
AAI shares the “B” concession with IMG. Their DC climb is very similar to that of IMG. I do not have first hand experience with them. My only comment is that their headquarters is located in Seattle. The initial check-in and gear review is done in Seattle. The team is then shuttled to the Paradise trailhead on the first day of the climb. For those traveling far this may be slightly advantageous. There are a number of first rate mountaineering equipment retailers located in Seattle and there are a wider variety of hotel and dining choices in Seattle than in Ashford.


osatrik - Jun 28, 2009 8:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Historical Errors

Your paragraph "The first ascent is believed to be in 1852, but is undocumented. The first recorded ascent was on August 17, 1870 by General Hazard Stevens and Philemon Van Trump, via the Kautz glacier. James Longmire and the Yakima Indian Sluiskin provided the party with assistance in getting to the base of the mountain. They climbed in 1 day from their camp just below the Kautz. Upon reaching the summit, they nearly collapsed due to exhaustion, but managed to find a steam vent to hide in." contains several errors. Van Trump and Stevens ascended the Gibralter Ledges route, not the Kautz. Kautz's previous attempt on the Kautz Glacier route topped out at around 13,000 feet. Help provided by Longmire to the first summit climb was primarily in introducing the climbers to the Indian guide, Sluiskin. Longmire accompanied Van Trump on the third climb included Longmire. The fourth person accompanying Van Trump and Stevens on the first attempt was Edmund Coleman, first to summit Mt. Baker, but he dropped out before they reached the base of the mountain.


PellucidWombat - Feb 13, 2010 12:28 am - Hasn't voted

Liberty Ridge?

What happened to the route? It's no longer listed in the "routes" section, and in your table the link to it takes me to a "forbidden" page.


vertx - Feb 18, 2010 12:24 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Liberty Ridge?

The owner must have deleted it. If you are interested in taking that route over, the elves may be able to restore it and give it to you.


PellucidWombat - Feb 19, 2010 10:29 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Liberty Ridge?

Possibly. I admit I haven't climbed it yet, but I have friends who have. Also, I'm planning a trip this year and am currently putting together a lot of info for the route, so I could be an appropriate "owner" right now, and definitely if I succeed on it!


savychoksana - Jun 9, 2021 7:34 pm - Voted 10/10

Climbing Rainer July/August 2021

Hi all,

I’m planning to climb Rainer end of July- beginning Aug 2021. Is anyone interested to join the team? I’m planning to have a guide with me - I did similar climbs in South America, so west coast terrain is new to me.

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