Mt. Rainier Glacier Skills Seminar
The Glacier Skills Seminar is International Mountain Guides' "high end" training program. It is designed as an in depth skills and training seminar for people with aspirations for more climbing in the future who want to spend a significant amount of time becoming familiar with these skills. This is excellent hands-on training to prepare for any of the big, high altitude, glaciated, technical peaks in Alaska, South America, the Himalayas and elsewhere, but is specifically focused on increasing alpine climbing skills in mid-summer conditions. The Seminar climbs the mountain in expedition fashion, working its way up the mountain from camp to camp, in order to eventually put the team in position to summit, and to familiarize you with the day to day fundamentals of expedition climbing. This program incorporates the Mountaineering Day School into the course curriculum and goes into greater detail teaching many other advanced climbing skills. Training and skills sessions include anchors, self and team crevasse rescue, ice climbing, route finding, glacier travel and fixed line ascension. The seminar is specifically scheduled for mid summer to capitalize on firmer snow conditions and more exposed crevasses for glacier training. The route of ascent will be the best late season choice while still avoiding most of the more well traveled parts of the normal route: via the Paradise and Cowlitz Glaciers to the vicinity of Camp Muir, with a high camp on the Ingraham Glacier. A summit attempt is included at the end of the seminar.
Why Choose This Program?
The Glacier Skills Seminar is our most in depth, hands-on training program and offers a generous amount of time to introduce you to and then increase your proficiency in critical alpine climbing skills. We delve into great detail during the training, lectures, and informal discussions in our small group to allow you to comprehensively understand the topics covered. This is an excellent program for anyone with the desire to increase their technical climbing skills in preparation for more challenging climbs. Unlike our summit climbs, this program is not solely focused on making it to the top. The primary goal is training in expedition climbing skills. At the end of the program we will climb to the summit as a team, utilizing all of the training we have learned during the seminar.
The Glacier Skills Seminar is a great way to immerse yourself in the alpine environment for an extended period of time and learn how expedition climbing works intimately through practical application. It will provide you with a unique opportunity to learn extensively from the first hand experience of our internationally renowned guide staff. The Glacier Skills Seminar is the right choice if you are serious about becoming proficient in climbing in order to use your skills on other challenging mountains.
Topics to be covered include:
- Ice axe and ice tool use
- Ice climbing
- Belaying and rappelling
- Glacier travel and rescue
- Short roping and short pitching
- Ice and snow anchors and anchor systems
- Glacier route finding and navigation
- Ascending and descending fixed line
IMG provides breakfasts, dinners and hot drinks for the group on the mountain. We feel this adds a lot to the experience in terms of convenience, comfort and camaraderie. We provide all group gear including tents, stoves, cook gear, ropes and snow/ice anchors.
Our group size is never larger than twelve (8 climbers and 2 guides for the lower glacier training sessions, then 8 climbers and 4 guides for the last three days on the upper mountain).
There are no prerequisites for the Glacier Skills Seminar as the Mountaineering Day School is incorporated in to the course curriculum. All participants must arrive in excellent physical condition and come prepared to carry 50 lbs. or more. For training suggestions please review the information provided on our Training for Rainier page »
Expect to find firm snow and glacier ice conditions with well defined crevasses and a complex route to the summit. These are perfect conditions for maximum training in advanced ice axe and cramponing technique. The perfect seminar to prepare you for more technically challenging expeditions.