Mt. Rainier Kautz Summit Climb
Standing at 14,410 feet tall, Mt. Rainier is the highest peak in Washington and is the most glaciated peak in the Lower 48.
The Kautz Glacier is an iconic intermediate level climb that is more physically demanding and technically challenging than our novice routes. This is excellent choice for people with a strong base of fitness who have done some previous climbing and are looking to hone their alpine skills while tackling a greater summit day challenge. The training curriculum for this trip is comprehensive, but previous cramponing practice on glacier ice is required. All Kautz programs will include an advanced training day at Paradise on Day 2 to help the team members fine-tune skills prior to venturing onto the upper mountain.
Climbers on this program have often previously climbed either the Emmons or the Disappointment Cleaver routes on Mt. Rainier or have other comparable technical experience. You must be confident cramponing in firm glacier conditions on steeper slopes and ready to learn more advanced techniques for climbing through steeper, icier terrain. This is an intermediate climb that ascends large and imposing glaciers significantly steeper than those found on our Disappointment Cleaver program. The crux of the Kautz route, just above high camp, involves ascending a steep face that increases in angle from 30-50° and likely includes a section of firm snow or glacier ice. Multiple pitches of belays by the guides from ice anchors are often employed to facilitate passage.
The 5½ Day program allows enough time for the team to learn the necessary skills to complete the climb comfortably and confidently. If you are looking for a climb that will challenge you physically and technically, then the Kautz Glacier route is an excellent choice.
Prerequisites and Training
This is an intermediate level climb requiring previous glacier climbing experience. A review of basic climbing skills and lessons on advanced climbing skills is incorporated into this program's curriculum through the skills day at Paradise on Day 2. For those looking for an extended learning experience on Mt. Rainier, we also offer our popular IMG Crevasse Rescue School. This school in conjunction with your Kautz climb is highly recommended for those who are looking to capitalize on training opportunities.
All participants must have prior alpine climbing experience either on Rainier or on other 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.
For fitness suggestions, please see out Training for Rainier page.
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.