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Mt. Rainier Instructional Climbs and Courses
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Covid-19 Notice Regarding 2021 Mt. Rainier Programs

While we are certainly planning for several eventualities, our working plan for 2021 will be based on the assumption that Covid-19 is still prevalent. We will move forward under similar protocols implemented during 2020, and plan to run all Rainier programs in 2021 with the exception of the Little Tahoma Seminar. There are some notable changes to the way we've traditionally ran our programs as listed below:

  • We will not be providing meals on our climbs in 2021. We hope this changes so we can get back to serving our world-famous Camp Muir Burritos! Please see our food suggestions page for additional details.
  • We plan on providing transportation from IMG HQ to/from the trailhead. However, this may not be feasible under Covid-19 protocols. We're working on alternative options and will keep all registered climbers updated on any changes to this plan.
  • We will provide single tents to all climbers unless you are members of the same household wishing to share a tent.
  • We will require a cloth facemask during the first ½ day orientation and in IMG vehicles.

Naturally people will want to know our 2021 Covid-19 cancellation policy. For 2021, funds from any National Park Service, WA State mandated or IMG directed Covid-19 related cancelled programs, will be to carried over to the same program and same or closest date in 2022. Short of an NPS, WA State or IMG directed cancellation, our no refund policy remains in place. Note that if your 2020 program was rescheduled by IMG, and is rescheduled again in 2021 due to Covid-19, you will have the option to carry your funds over to 2022, or be issued a refund.

Additionally, we will defer accepting reservations for pre-climb tent lodging at IMG Headquarters until April 1, 2021, when we will have more current information on the status of COVID and any impact it may have on operations for the season.

As is the case with all things Covid-19, we will remain as flexible, communicative and as transparent as possible in these unprecedented times.

Which 2021 IMG Mt. Rainier Climb and Mountaineering Course is Right for You?

Please browse the list below to compare and contrast the level of mountaineering instruction and climb difficulty, expedition length, and prices of the International Mountain Guides Mt. Rainier programs and click the trip names to get more climb details. We are proud to offer among the lowest client to guide ratios available and believe this maximizes our clients' training experience and success rate. Please contact us with any questions.

What time does my climb start? Most IMG Rainier trips will meet at 2pm on the first day of your climb. Muir/DC, Kautz, Emmons, Liberty Ridge climbs, and all seminars meet at IMG HQ. The Backcountry Touring Seminar, Mountaineering Day Schools and the 2-Day Crevasse Rescue School meet at 8am at IMG HQ. Many more questions about our climbs and courses are addressed in the Rainier FAQ

PLEASE NOTE:

    Availability on this page will be updated once daily, but changes occur regularly. Submit your application to office@mountainguides.com as soon as possible for the best chance to secure your preferred dates. Applications received are time-stamped and processed in the order received. If the dates you request are not available, the office will contact you to offer alternatives. We do not hold any slots without a completed application. Please allow at least 2 business days for turnaround time.

Mt. Rainier Winter Expedition Training and Seminars

Denali Expedition Seminar

February 6-12, 2021 (2 spots open)
March 6-12, 2021 (2 spots open)
April 3-9, 2021 (one spot open)

Client/Guide Ratio: 2:1
Price: $2,612
Days: 6½

Training focused on preparation for an IMG expedition to Denali or other high altitude peaks. Get the best possible training necessary to participate in an expedition to Denali including ice axe arrest, cramponing, sled rigging and hauling, expedition camps, snow shelters, snow anchors, crevasse rescue and fixed ropes. This program is equally useful for those looking for a good introductory winter training seminar. February, March and April only.

This program is a must for all prospective Denali climbers!

Meet at 2pm at IMG Headquarters in Ashford on Day 1.

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AIARE Avalanche Level 1 Course

Mt Rainier (meeting at IMG headquarters in Ashford, WA):
December 18-20, 2020 (FULL)
January 1-3, 2021

Crystal Mountain (meeting at the Crystal Mountain Fire Hall):
January 22-24, 2021
February 12-14, 2021
February 26-28, 2021
March 12-14, 2021

Client/Guide Ratio: 5:1
Price: $500
Days: 3

Whether you are new to exploring the mountains during the winter or want to freshen up on your snow and avalanche skills, you'll find topics covered in this course tailored to the backcountry recreationist. This curriculum meets and exceeds all guidelines put forth by the American Avalanche Association's Education Committee for an Avalanche Level 1 course.

Day 1 for all courses is a remote, four hour Zoom lecture. Days 2 and 3 are held on site at either Mt. Rainier National Park (meet at IMG headquarters in Ashford, WA), or Crystal Mountain Ski Area.

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2-Day Backcountry Ski Touring Add-on

Meeting at the Crystal Mountain Ski Area:
February 15-16, 2021

Private programs available on your schedule for groups of 2 or more.

Client/Guide Ratio: 3:1
Price: $500
Days: 2

IMG's instruction in back country ski touring, offered as an add-on to our AIARE Level 1 course is the complete package to start you off with the right set of skills to enjoy the winter mountains on your skis or snowboard. After completing the entire AIARE Level 1 avalanche class, you'll spend the next two days skiing out of the Crystal Mountain back country area learning the latest techniques and safe travel with our skilled instructors.

The program follows the February 12-14, 2021 AIARE Level 1 Course.

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AIARE Avalanche Rescue Course

Meeting at IMG headquarters in Ashford, WA:
January 4, 2021

Meeting at the Crystal Mountain Ski Area:
January 25, 2021

Client/Guide Ratio: 5:1
Price: $250
Days: 1

AIARE Avalanche Rescue is a one-day course that focuses on the basics of companion rescue for new students. Returning participants will expand their skill set with advanced topics and realistic scenario practice to help improve their skills. This program is intended to be retaken every other year or so to keep up on best practices in rescue techniques and gear. The Avalanche Rescue Course is a prerequisite of the AIARE Level 2 Course. Each student will receive professional coaching on their rescue skills as well as a rescue card acknowledging the completion date.

Meet at 8am at IMG Headquarters in Ashford or Crystal Mountain Ski Area.

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Mt. Rainier Ski Traverse

Apr 14-19, 2021

Client/Guide Ratio: 3:1
Price: $1,785
Days: 5½

Come join us for an unforgettable ski and ski mountaineering training experience. It is not an exaggeration to say that Mt. Rainier has some of the world's finest alpine ski mountaineering terrain. You will be training and skiing on a wide variety of fantastic terrain including glaciers, chutes, and long descents during the course of a full south to north traverse across the lower flanks of Mt. Rainier from Paradise to the Carbon River Entrance below 10,000 feet. Programs are guided by our AMGA certified ski guides.

Meet at 2pm at IMG Headquarters in Ashford on Day 1.

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Mt. Rainier Climbs with Basic Mountaineering Instruction

3½-Day Muir/DC Summit Climb
May 2021

1-4 (FULL), 3-6 (FULL), 5-8 (FULL), 7-10 (FULL), 9-12 (FULL), 11-14 (FULL), 13-16 (FULL), 15-18 (FULL), 17-20 (FULL), 19-22 (FULL), 21-24 (FULL), 23-26 (FULL), 25-28 (FULL), 27-30 (FULL), May 29 - Jun 1 (FULL), May 31 - Jun 3 (FULL)

June 2021

2-5 (FULL), 4-7 (FULL), 6-9 (FULL), 8-11 (FULL), 10-13 (FULL), 12-15 (FULL), 14-17 (FULL), 16-19 (FULL), 18-21 (FULL), 20-23 (FULL), 22-25 (FULL), 24-27 (FULL), 26-29 (Women's Climb; FULL), Jun 28 - Jul 1 (FULL), Jun 30 - Jul 3 (FULL)

July 2021

4-7 (FULL), 6-9 (FULL), 8-11 (FULL), 10-13 (FULL), 12-15 (FULL), 14-17 (FULL), 16-19 (FULL), 18-21 (FULL), 20-23 (FULL), 26-29 (FULL), 28-31 (FULL), Jul 30 - Aug 2 (FULL)

August 2021

1-4 (Women's Climb; FULL), 3-6 (FULL),  (FULL),  (FULL),  (FULL), 7-10 (FULL), 9-12 (FULL), 11-14 (FULL), 15-18 (FULL), 19-22 (FULL), 21-24 (FULL), 23-26 (FULL), 25-28 (FULL), 27-30 (FULL), Aug 29 - Sep 1 (FULL), Aug 31 - Sep 3 (FULL)

September 2021

2-5 (FULL), 4-7 (FULL), 6-9 (FULL), 8-11 (FULL), 10-13 (FULL), 12-15 (FULL), 14-17  (FULL), 16-19 (FULL), 18-21 (FULL), 20-23 (FULL), 22-25 (FULL), 24-27 (FULL), 26-29 (FULL)

Client/Guide Ratio: 2:1
Price: $1,610
Days: 3½

This basic mountaineering climb and instruction program is designed for those who want more individualized training and a less hurried approach to climbing Mt. Rainier. We enhance our training curriculum by adding a half day pre-climb orientation and instructional meeting at IMG's Headquarters in Ashford, just outside the park. Training and skills instruction continues throughout each day of the ascent. This increases acclimatization, minimizes total days for the trip and allows for training to be conducted on the mountain in real conditions all the way to the summit and back. Three full days are spent on the mountain for maximum acclimatization and a more enjoyable experience. Packs are lighter because of the fixed camps and minimal group gear to carry. Expect a 35-40 pound pack.

Meet at 2pm at IMG Headquarters in Ashford for initial group training and orientation on the starting date.

When's the best time to climb Rainier? Find out

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Alternate Suggestions for June - September

Want a comparable climb to Mt. Rainier this summer? Try our Mt. Baker or Shuksan climbs or one of our many Custom Climb options in the North Cascades. Rates are reasonable and space is still available in the main summer months.

Mt. Baker Mt. Shuksan Mt. Olympus North Cascades Custom Climbs

4½ Day Emmons Summit Climb

May 29 - June 2, 2021 (FULL)
June 6-10, 2021 (FULL)
June 14-18, 2021 (FULL)
June 19-23, 2021 (FULL)
June 27 - July 1, 2021 (FULL)
July 5-9, 2021 (FULL)
July 10-14, 2021 (FULL)
July 18-22, 2021 (FULL)
July 26-30, 2021 (FULL)
July 31 - August 4, 2021 (FULL)

Client/Guide Ratio: 2:1
Price: $2,091
Days: 4½

The 4½Day Emmons glacier climb is another excellent basic mountaineering training program suitable for first time climbers in good physical shape. It is recommended for anyone desiring a complete mountain experience in a more remote alpine environment, away from the greater crowds found on the south side of the mountain. A more self-sufficient climbing experience with all gear carried by the group, but all the advantages of IMG's 2:1 guide ratio. Expect to carry a 50+ pound pack and enjoy a beautiful and scenic route. We enhance the training curriculum by adding a half day pre-climb orientation and instructional meeting at IMG's Headquarters in Ashford, just outside the park. Training and skills instruction continues throughout each day of the ascent.

Meet at 2pm at IMG headquarters on Day 1.

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Glacier Skills Seminar & Summit Climb

June 29 - July 5, 2021 (FULL)
July 19-25, 2021 (FULL)
August 2-8, 2021 (FULL)
August 14-20, 2021 (FULL)

Client/Guide Ratio: Days 1-3: 4:1;  Days 4-6: 2:1
Price: $2,612
Days: 6½

The "high end" IMG training program. Includes standard glacier training and expedition camping with a focus on improving technical skills including ascending steeper snow and ice slopes, route finding and glacier travel. Three nights are spent on the lower glaciers of the mountain, starting at 6,000 feet and moving up to approximately 8,000 feet. One night is spent at Camp Muir at 10,000 feet and a high camp at the Ingraham Flats, 11,000 feet. Specific training is conducted at each location. Training throughout the program focuses on developing climbing skills, safe travel in the mountains, and self-rescue skills. Summit attempt included.

Meet at 2pm at IMG Headquarters in Ashford on Day 1.

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Mountaineering Seminars and Training

Mountaineering Day School

May 27, 2021
June 5, 2021
June 18, 2021
June 25, 2021
July 6, 2021
July 17, 2021

Private schools available on request, minimum 4 participants.

Client/Guide Ratio: 5:1
Price: $243
Days: 1

A great introduction to basic glacier travel skills. You'll learn proper handling of an ice axe; practice self-arrest and team arrest; learn to climb in balance up and down steeper slopes; crampon techniques and efficient travel as a member of a rope team over glaciated terrain. Plus, how helmets, climbing harness, climbing rope, crampons and ice axe are used properly and safely.

Meet at 8am at IMG Headquarters in Ashford.

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Advanced Mountaineering Day School

July 7, 2021
July 18, 2021

Private schools available on request, minimum 4 participants.

Client/Guide Ratio: 5:1
Price: $243
Days: 1

A continuation of the MDS to include steeper angle cramponing skills: flat footed French technique, front pointing, standing in balance on crampons and efficient movement over steeper terrain. Use of ice axe for traction and support. Anchor construction on snow and glacier ice. Belaying, rope and anchor management, rappelling and lowering.

Note that training conditions on the lower mountain vary throughout the season. The program will adjust to take best advantage of the current conditions.

Meet at 8am at IMG Headquarters in Ashford.

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2-Day Crevasse Rescue School

May 28-29, 2021
June 6-7, 2021
June 19-20, 2021
June 26-27, 2021
July 8-9, 2021
July 31 - August 1, 2021

Private schools available on request, minimum 4 participants.

Client/Guide Ratio: 5:1
Price: $471
Days: 2

A comprehensive introduction to climbing skills: knots, rope work, self-rescue, anchors, crevasse rescue. We believe this is the most comprehensive crevasse rescue course available in the U.S.

Meet at 8:00 a.m. at IMG Headquarters in Ashford.

The first day is conducted at Headquarters. The second day is conducted on the mountain. Participants are responsible for their own overnight lodging.

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Mt. Rainier Climbs with Intermediate Mountaineering Instruction

Kautz Summit Climbs

4½ Day Kautz Summit Climb:
May 31 - June 4, 2021 (FULL)
June 12-16, 2021 (one spot open)
June 21-25, 2021 (FULL)

5½ Day Kautz Summit Climb:
July 2-7, 2021 (FULL)
July 11-16, 2021 (5 spots open)
July 23-28, 2021 (one spot open)
August 1-6, 2021 (5 spots open)

Client/Guide Ratio: 2:1
4½ Day: $2,091
5½ Day: $2,319
Days: 4½ or 5½

4½ Day Climb: This intermediate skills climb with mountaineering instruction is the next step up from the standard Camp Muir/DC and Emmons glacier climbs. It involves carrying all gear up the mountain, setting up two camps as the team moves into position for a summit attempt. The program is run from late May to early July only, when early summer snow conditions prevail.

The crux of the route on summit day has several rope lengths of steeper snow with possible exposed sections of glacier ice. It is for people in excellent condition who have previous climbing experience; are looking to enhance their skills; and are seeking a greater summit day challenge. The program training curriculum is comprehensive and continuous, but previous cramponing practice on steeper glacier snow and ice slopes is required from a previous successful climb of Mt. Rainier or other similar glaciated peak. You are responsible for one night of lodging in Ashford, after the ½ day orientation on day one.

5½ Day Climb: This intermediate skills climb with mountaineering instruction is a more technically challenging program, ascending the Kautz Glacier route in peak summer conditions. It is for people in excellent condition who have previous climbing experience; are looking to enhance their skills; and are seeking a greater summit day challenge. The program training curriculum is comprehensive and continuous, but previous cramponing practice on steep glacier ice is required as is a previous successful climb of Mt. Rainier. We add the Advanced Mountaineering Day School into the trip itinerary to better set up the group for success on the summit day. We feel an extra day spent training on the lower slopes of the Mountain in advanced cramponing and ice axe technique is instrumental in preparing the team with the skills they will need to ascend the firm glacier conditions found later in the summer. You are responsible for two nights of lodging in Ashford, after the ½ day orientation on day one and after skills training on day two.

For either option, meet at 2pm at IMG Headquarters in Ashford on Day 1.

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Fuhrer Finger Summit Climb

June 6-11, 2021 (2 spots open)
June 24-29, 2021 (2 spots open)

Client/Guide Ratio: 4:2
Price: $2,572
Days: 5½

The Fuhrer Finger climb is an excellent choice for an intermediate level climb and mountaineering training curriculum. This program is only for those with prior alpine climbing experience looking for a more challenging route and skills training on Mt. Rainier. The steeper section of the route is longer in length than on the Kautz climb, but about the same in technical difficulty. Previous alpine climbing experience on major glaciated peaks and basic mountaineering skills including cramponing in firm ice and snow conditions are required. Each climb is limited to 4 climbers and 2 guides for the very best in customer attention. The five day schedule (all on the mountain) allows time for honing skills, a high camp set up at the top of the Finger at 11,000 feet or higher and maximum enjoyment of the climb to the summit.

Meet at 2pm at IMG Headquarters in Ashford on Day 1.

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Mt. Rainier Climbs with Advanced Mountaineering Instruction

Liberty Ridge Summit Climb

May 30-4, 2021 (FULL)
June 13-18, 2021 (FULL)

Client/Guide Ratio: 4:2
Price: $2,572
Days: 5½

Liberty Ridge is our most advanced climb and mountaineering instruction program. It is the most technical and physically demanding guided route on Mt. Rainier, and a classic. Each climb is limited to 4 climbers and 2 guides. Previous technical ice climbing skills, up to WI 3; past participation in technical multi pitch steep snow/ice climbs and excellent stamina are required for this program.

Meet at 2pm at IMG Headquarters in Ashford on Day 1.

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All prices quoted above include Mount Rainier Climbing Pass, Park Entrance Fee and shuttle service from IMG Ashford HQ in and out of the Park.

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