How Difficult is a Mt. Rainier Climb?
Mt. Rainier is a long climb with heavy backpacks. It can be very strenuous at times. Although it is not a technical peak and only requires travel on moderate snow slopes the weight of your backpack, the length of the days and the high altitude all take a toll on you. You will need to be in top physical condition.
Do I Need Any Prior Experience?
You should have previous backpacking experience. We included two days of mountaineering skills for participants to learn or refresh on crampons techniques, rope team travel, self arrest and crevasse rescue. Participants should be in top physical shape with prior hiking experience.
What Are the Age Limits for This Climb?
We encourage participants to be age 16 or over, although exceptions can be made based on previous experience. Participants under the age of 16 will need to submit a climbing resume for review. As long as you are in excellent physical condition, are approved by your doctor, and are able to legally sign the liability waiver, you are welcome to join us!
How Long are the Climbing Days?
Each day is challenging. At the beginning of the climb altitude is not an issue. However, pack weight is heavy. As we ascend, packs get lighter but altitude takes its toll. Summit day is 14-16 hours long.
What are the Sleeping Arrangements on the Mountain?
We will provide tents. To minimize the amount of necessary gear, climbers will share a tent. Your tent will be designed to sleep the number of climbers assigned in it [i.e. a 3-person tent will sleep 3 climbers and a 2-person tent will sleep 2 climbers]. We will only make exceptions to this on rare occasions. Please feel free to contact us if you feel you need your own tent.
How Heavy Will My Pack Be?
You can expect a 45lb-55lb pack for the first two days. Summit day will require 10lb-15lb packs.
Why Do We Begin Our Summit Attempt in the Dark?
We get an alpine start for many reasons. In general everything is safer at night when the temperatures are cold and the sun has not begun to melt the snow and ice. The terrain is firmer for easier climbing, snow bridges over crevasses are frozen, the snowpack is more stable and rock fall is less of a hazard.