Mt Rainier Climb

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Washington and Oregon. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Pacific Northwest Climbing Partners section.
User Avatar
kevin trieu

Posts: 979
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:59 pm
Thanked: 88 times in 64 posts

by kevin trieu » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:05 am

you have climbed Denali?

User Avatar

Posts: 1462
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Thanked: 101 times in 71 posts

by fatdad » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:13 am

Unless you're confident that your buddy can haul you out of a crevasse, I'd either get him some instruction or go guided.

Rainer's a great climb and doesn't require too much technical experience for the dog routes, but why in the world would you consider something like the Kautz for an inexperienced climber?

User Avatar

Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:12 am
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

by mountainzguy » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:10 am

RMI offers day schools for a fairly low price that teach fundamentals without being dragged up the mountain. The other companies probably do this too.

If you feel confident in your own routefinding, navigation, crevasse rescue, etc. skills then maybe you can ask your buddy to take the day school ( and the crevasse rescue class(, then afterwards take him up. Give you a chance to enjoy yourselves more, as well as feel the joy of going unguided. It would also cost $360 a person rather than $1000 a person.

I think if you go guided, with your experience level, you'd probably hate it. So to keep you and your buddy together on the climb, might as well do it this way.

User Avatar

Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:50 pm
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

by nickmech » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:10 am

What does the buddy want to do? You've both got plenty of time to get the skills to go without guide service. Don't take a noob on the Kautz route. Emmons is less busy than Muir/DC but not as interesting of a climb. DC is more fun than Emmons and only place that seems a little crowded is at camp Muir.

User Avatar

Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:50 pm
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

by nickmech » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:38 am

Get Mike Gauthier's book, " Mount Rainier, a climbing guide". It describes Rainier and all the routes very well. If you haven't been to Rainier before I think you should stick with Muir or Emmons because they are easiest to follow with the traffic. Kautz is longer and much less travelled. Definately get some crevasse rescue gear and training. As far as differences between the two, getting to Camp Muir is just a long snow hike. After Muir there is usually a boot path depending on when you go. Early season you can take Nisqually glacier direct or later you go up the Cleaver depending on snow conditions. Lot's of fun. The Emmons route is longer and starts in the forest before getting to Camp Schurman. The upper part is pretty easy travel unless the bergschrund is bad. I've never had an problem there. Either way Rainier with a good partner is a great climb.

User Avatar

Posts: 513
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:41 pm
Thanked: 23 times in 21 posts

Re: Thats an idea...

by bird » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:03 pm

grammys11 wrote:I might put him in a day school the day before and see how he likes it. If the guides think he's OK, then at least it will be fresh in his mind... probably more fresh than me! That might be the only way to do the Emmons or the Kautz...

Im thinking Muir might be the best bet though, especially since we are both first-timers and both out-of-towners...

For someone who has never been to Rainier, are we splitting hairs, or is there a noticably big difference between the routes?

By the way, thanks for your help guys! Merry xmas!

Why don't you both take the day school? Then you will be refreshed, and you can watch your buddy in action. If he seems to "get it", then go for it on the DC. The DC can be a bit crowded, but it's crowded with fellow climbers with stories to share. The route is usually well marked (yeah, yeah, have your own route finding/map skills dialed in). The Emmons route is a bit less interesting IMO, though less crowded. Rainier is great, enjoy.

User Avatar

Posts: 3619
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Thanked: 648 times in 484 posts

by ExcitableBoy » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:02 pm

Emmons will be the most straight forward route with the fewest objective hazards. The route from Camp Shurman is very easy, go up, bypassing crevasses on the way. The approach is a bit longer than to Camp Muir, but IMHO is more scenic and enjoyable.

DC is a little more complicated and a bit steeper (just when gaining the cleaver) and also entails more objective hazards such as falling rock and seracs. The approach to Camp Muir is the shortest to any high camp on the mountain.

Kautz Glacier is a notch harder than either Emmons or DC and involves a longer approach. Late season can involve actual ice climbing.

My choice of routes when I take newbies out is to do Emmons as a two day climb. You could plan three days, spending the first night at Glacier Basin and practicing snow skills and the like before moving camp up to Camp Shurman.

Return to Pacific Northwest (WA, OR)


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests