IMG Rainier Glacier Skills Seminar Itinerary
One fundamental aspect of all of IMG's training seminars is that the itinerary varies from course to course. The guides will determine the exact route and camp placement prior to the seminar depending upon the weather, conditions, ability of the group, and skills they want to highlight. There is real opportunity to get away from the crowds and enjoy a unique experience on Mt. Rainier's glaciers. The seminar progresses up the mountain moving from camp to camp, putting the team in position for a summit attempt at the end of the program. Most days will be centered on training and skill exercises, lectures, and informal discussions at camp, but camps will be moved to give participants hands on experience in establishing safe, sheltered and well constructed camps as well as experience in the day to day skills required for extended expedition camp life.
Day 1 Meet at IMG Ashford Headquarters (directions) at 2:00 p.m. This pre-climb meeting of 4-5 hours is instrumental in getting the team outfitted, informed, packed and educated prior to departure the following morning. Topics to be covered include an introduction of the entire team; an introduction to Mt. Rainier National Park, its mission and ecology; a safety briefing. Review personal clothing and equipment with discussion. Practice specific knots useful for the seminar and construct prussik slings. Learn additional rope handling skills and belaying as time permits.
You are on your own for lodging this night, see our suggestions for nearby lodging and camping. Due to Covid restrictions, IMG is not able to provide our normal platform tent options on site.
Day 2 Meet at IMG Headquarters at 8:00 a.m. Load up and depart for Paradise (5,400 ft.). The group will depart with full packs and all gear for the seminar, hiking to the lower part of the Paradise Glacier, typically located at an altitude of less than 7,000 feet. The team will learn to set up an expedition camp with tents and a cook kitchen. As time allows the group will practice basic glacier travel skills prior to dinner.
Day 3 After an early breakfast, the team will continue skills training with ice axe and crampons in preparation for navigating higher up the glacier. The team will break camp and ascend the Paradise Glacier to a camp at an altitude below 9,000 feet. This camp will be situated to take maximum advantage of nearby crevasses for training.
Day 4 A day of technical rescue training with self-rescue and team rescue practice scenarios. Other skills may include snow and ice anchors, anchor systems, belaying, ascending and descending ropes. Return to camp at end of day.
Day 5 Move to Camp Muir or the vicinity at 10,000 feet. Continued training in ice climbing, technical route finding and other glacier travel skills including short roping techniques.
Day 6 Move to high camp at 11,000 feet on the Ingraham Glacier. Settle in and get to bed early in anticipation of a pre-dawn summit climb departure.
Day 7 Summit day and then descent of the mountain to Paradise. During the descent the group will practice navigation including map and compass and gps. The party will hope to return to Ashford Headquarters between 2:00-4:00 p.m. but weather and route conditions may affect our return time.