Mt. Rainier Fuhrer Finger Route Summit Climb
The Fuhrer Finger climb is a good choice for the climber with previous mountaineering experience looking to break into more advanced climbing. This climb will help any climber develop their skills through an advanced mountaineering training curriculum. This is a small group climb, limited to 4 climbers and 2 IMG guides. You can be assured that you'll receive the focus and attention from our premier guide staff throughout this program.
While our Fuhrer Finger Summit Climbs are suitable for those with previous climbing experience, this program does require adequate fitness and endurance training in order to be successful.
Why Choose This Program?
Climbers on this program have often previously climbed the Kautz route on Mt. Rainier (or similar) and have a working familiarity with the skills required for that program. The Fuhrer Finger route is more technical and significantly more unrelenting than either the Emmons or the Kautz routes. Participants must be confident cramponing in firm and icy conditions on moderate to steep slopes and be familiar with using two ice tools for the steeper sections of the route. This is a challenging climb that ascends the steep Fuhrer Finger Route, a direct line up the South side of the mountain. This program is far more remote than our other programs; it is normal to not see another party on the route. The Fuhrer Finger itself is a chute that narrows down to a few hundred feet across, typically 40-50° in angle. Once above the "Finger," the upper mountain climbs steeply up along the Wilson Cleaver (often including a short section of 60° snow and ice) to 13,500 feet before the glacier angles back to a more typical 20° slope. Hazards on this route include the potential for rock or ice fall and we climb the exposed part of the chute rapidly to avoid prolonged exposure. The flexible 5-day program curriculum allows enough time to train and complete the climb comfortably, but if you have not climbed on steeper glacier or ice slopes before, we strongly recommend choosing another route as your first attempt of Mt. Rainier. If you are looking for something physically challenging, a chance to improve your technical skills and a smaller group climb, then the Fuhrer Finger route is an excellent program.
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 55 pounds, excluding your boots and trekking poles.
This is an intermediate climb requiring previous glacier climbing experience. All participants must have prior alpine climbing experience on Rainier or other similar glaciated peaks and be familiar with basic mountaineering skills including cramponing in firm ice and snow conditions. As with all IMG programs, a review of basic climbing skills is incorporated into this program's itinerary. Additional skills will be taught including multi pitch belayed climbing, lowering, and rappelling. Previous experience on multi day backpacking trips is highly recommended. This is a strenuous and more technically demanding summit climb, and is not for first time climbers. To learn more about training for this climb, please read our Training Suggestions for Mt. Rainier.
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.