Mt. Rainier Emmons Route Summit Climb
The 5½ Day Emmons Glacier Summit Climb is an excellent basic mountaineering training program. It's perfect for anyone desiring a less-rushed summit experience in a more remote alpine environment, away from the bigger crowds found on the South side of the mountain. The focus of this group climb is on glacier skills training, self-sufficiency, and teamwork. This climb is more physically demanding than the standard 3½ Day Summit Program due to the heavier loads, the longer distance traveled, and lower-elevation start. All group equipment is carried by the team, resulting in an average pack weight of about 45-55 pounds. The Emmons Route incorporates significant roped glacier travel, which the team prepares and trains for each day during the approach to Camp Schurman. Despite being longer than our other novice-level climb on Mt. Rainier, this route is popular due to its consistently moderate snow and relatively few objective hazards. The Emmons Route is a great choice if you are looking for a more complete mountain experience, training as a team on a less frequented route on the largest glacier in the lower 48 States.
While our 5½ Day Emmons Glacier Summit Climb is suitable for novice climbers with little or no previous climbing experience, this program does require adequate fitness and endurance training in order to be successful.
Why Choose This Program?
While climbing Mt. Rainier is never an easy endeavor, the longer nature of this program enables you to climb comfortably within your limits, and to enjoy a slower-paced descent on the final day of the program. Additionally, you'll spend two nights at or above 8,200ft, which will help you feel better rested and acclimatized on summit day. Our 5½ Day Program is recommended for anyone hoping to avoid the bigger crowds of the standard 3½ Day Summit Program, while continuously learning the skills for safe glacier travel on a big mountain. Choose this program to enjoy a less-rushed, more self-sufficient alpine experience. In addition to the training throughout the program, we'll include a half-day pre-climb instructional orientation at IMG's Headquarters in Ashford, just outside Rainier National Park. Also, the second day of the program is a skills training day at Paradise so the team has time to practice their skills prior to starting their ascent. This increases acclimatization minimizes total days for the trip and allows for training to be conducted on the mountain in real conditions.
IMG employs a light and efficient philosophy for climbing. IMG will provide shelter, stoves, fuel, cookware, and group climbing gear (ropes, pickets, shovels, etc.) for the team to carry to each camp. We will help you review your personal climbing gear prior to departure to make sure you are not carrying any unnecessary weight up Mt. Rainier. Total personal gear, including filled water bottles, should be approximately 50 pounds, excluding your boots and trekking poles.
There are no specific climbing prerequisites for this program. All that is required is an eagerness to learn, a significant base of cardiovascular physical fitness, and previous experience carrying an overnight pack. You will be expected to carry this weight over the course of many hours each day. For training suggestions please review the information provided on our Training for Rainier page. This is a novice climb for those interested in learning elements of travel on big, glaciated mountains. Technical training is conducted during the pre-climb orientation, on Day 2, and continually throughout the climb.
Some of the more specialized gear (like plastic boots, harness, etc.) is available for rent from IMG. Please consult our Rental Page for details.
Safety is our number one priority. We make no guarantees with respect to the program objectives. Many circumstances, including weather and abilities of yourself or other climbers may inhibit you from reaching the summit. Our goal is to give each of our customers the best experience we possibly can, regardless of the weather, route conditions, or time of year.