Overview:

Standing at 14,411’, Mt. Rainier is one of the most challenging peaks in the continental United States.  It features over 13,000 feet of relief and well-developed glaciers guard its climbing routes. These same tests of endurance and technical know-how make Rainier one of the most sought after mountaineering objectives in the country.  But it isn’t just the challenge that attracts alpinists, Mt. Rainier provides an amazing opportunity to see some of the biggest glaciers outside of Alaska, including the Emmons and Winthrop glaciers.

As a member of our small, guided mountaineering party, you’ll cross some of the largest glaciers on Mt. Rainier, gain close to 10,000 feet of elevation and develop your skills under the tutelage of our AMGA-trained mountain guides. You’ll have the opportunity to spend multiple nights on Mt. Rainier at Glacier Basin Camp (6000’) and Camp Schurman (9500’).

Since weather is the most challenging factor to manage that could prevent a successful summit, Colorado Mountain School guides the Emmons Route over a 7-day itinerary to provide some of the most favorable circumstances for success.  This itinerary reserves a healthy window (3 days) for our summit attempt and will maximize our chances of success. While we wait for the perfect weather for our climb there is a great opportunity to develop skills and explore the Emmons and Winthrop glaciers that flank Camp Schurman.

Climbing and descending this demanding route over a 7-day period provides an exceptional opportunity for the fit and well-trained climber to climb on the less traveled, more pristine side of Mt. Rainier with some of the most favorable circumstances for success.

View the “Sample Itinerary” tab to learn more about the Mt. Rainier expedition.

Prerequisites:

Climbers joining this expedition should have taken an Introduction to Mountaineering Course with CMS or an approved comparable course with another company, or have ample personal experience using crampons, ice axe, snow climbing / glacier travel and climbing/hiking peaks. Also, a high level of cardiovascular fitness and mountain endurance is required. 

Preparation:

The Emmons Route does not take us into overly technical terrain and technical climbing experience is not a requirement.  However, a base knowledge of glacier travel techniques with a rope is essential to a safe climb and gives us the best chance of summiting.  Having a familiarity with snow climbing techniques will allow you to harness your fitness and not waste it. This is essential and typically underrated.

If you lack technical skills but are still interested in this expedition, we recommend you one of our weekend Intro to Mountaineering or five-day Mountaineering Development Series Level 1 training courses in the winter or spring. We can also arrange a private lesson with a mountain guide.

In addition to technical skills, fitness and familiarity with full-shank mountain boots and crampons is essential to a successful climb.  With over 10,000-feet of elevation gain, this route is a grueling endurance endeavor and efficient travel is essential. We recommend being comfortable hiking with a 45lb pack and in full-shank boots. A good training hike would feature 3500 vertical feet of gain in this fashion.  Other endurance training is strongly recommended.

Duration:

7 Days

Maximum Ratio:

2:1; 4:2 maximum

Minimum Age:

18

Meeting location:

Arrive in Seattle by noon.  The guides will communicate with you ahead of time to arrange the airport / hotel pick up around noon.

Notes:

Payment Schedule:
· 50% deposit due with an accepted application
· Balance due 90 days before Day 1 of trip

Expedition Cancellation Policy:
· A non-refundable $100 application fee will not be refunded from your initial deposit.
· 100% (minus application fee) will be refunded 120 days prior to trip start.
· 50% (minus application fee) will be refunded 91 to 119 days before trip start.
· 25% (minus application fee) will be refunded 46 to 90 days before trip start.
· 0% will be refunded 0 to 45 days before trip start.

Day 1 (Saturday, June 15, 2019):

Arrive in Seattle by noon.  The guides will communicate with you ahead of time to arrange the airport / hotel pick up around noon.

We will then check everyone’s gear and food to make sure we have what we need and proceed to REI/Feathered Friends for any last minute rentals.  REI and Feathered Friends can supply the majority of the rentals you will might need for this program and can be arranged ahead of time. Grocery shop as needed before driving to Enumclaw hotel.

Day 2 (Sunday, June 16, 2019):

Leaving around 0730 we will drive from Enumclaw to White River trailhead and hike to the Glacier Basin Camp (6000-ft).  Typically we will hike this leg in hiking shoes and carry our mountain boots as it is usually dirt trail this time of year.  We will have the options to hike directly to Camp Schurman (9500-ft) as weather window and team indicates is preferable.

Day 3 (Monday, June 17, 2019):

Move camp to Camp Schurman.

Day 4 (Tuesday, June 18, 2019):

Weather window for summit attempt or skills development.

Day 5 (Wednesday June 19, 2019):

Weather window for summit attempt or skills development.

Day 6 (Thursday June 20, 2019):

Weather window for summit attempt or skills development.

Day 7 (Friday June 21, 2019):

Descend to White River. Drive to Seattle, hotel drop-off.  To fly out this day flights would probably need to be at least after 9pm to avoid unforeseen issues, not recommended.

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