Logistics

7:00 a.m. Ashford Washington

Meet in Ashford, Washington at 7:00 a.m. for a quick gear check, introductions, and an overview of the day. This meeting will take place at the Whittaker’s Bunkhouse Cafe, where you can grab a quick coffee before we begin.

FOR SUMMER 2021, AS PART OF COVID-19 REGULATIONS: After our brief orientation in Ashford, climbers will need to self drive from Ashford to the trailhead at Paradise. Please note that Mount Rainier National Park requires all vehicles to carry tire chains when traveling in the park during the winter season (November 1 – May 1). This requirement applies to all vehicles (including four-wheel drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions. Review the Tire Chain FAQs for more information. You can rent chains in Ashford at the gas station across from the Whittaker’s Bunkhouse.

Please review the Gear information and come prepared. Climbers who do not arrive equipped for the day will not be able to proceed with the course.

If you plan to rent gear from Alpine Ascents, you can pick up these rental items from our Seattle office the day prior to your course.

In Ashford

We will be meeting in Ashford, Washington at 7:00AM. Many climbers choose to spend the night in Ashford the day before their course. Here are a few options climbers have used in the past, although many more exist.

Whittaker’s Bunkhouse
Phone: (360) 569-2439
Website 

Nisqually Lodge
Phone: (360) 569-8804
Website

Alexander’s Lodge
Phone: (360) 569-2300
Website

There are many excellent Ashford rentals on AirBNB as well.

Gear Overview

Link back to your gear list:

If you plan to rent gear from Alpine Ascents, you can pick up these rental items from our Seattle office the day prior to your course.

Check out this video that talks through our entire gear list for the 3 Day Rainier Climb. This includes gear you won’t need for your 1-day Course, but the video should give you a basic understanding of many items on your gear list.

Mountain Lunch

Climbers need to bring their own lunch for this training day. It’s a long day, so please plan on bringing about 1,000 calories of food.  Here’s a sample lunch pack:

• Cold pizza, fresh sandwich, or burrito
• Bagel with meat & cheese
• Piece of fresh fruit
• Trail mix
• A bakery cookie
• Small bag of chips or similar salty snack
• Cold drink mix for your water

A training course such as this requires a much higher energy expenditure on a daily basis than what you may be used to. Eating well and frequently not only sustains energy levels but also keeps positive morale and attitude. By nature, mountains have periods of inclement weather and it is important that caloric intake be high and regular to help avoid hypothermia and other cold weather or altitude-related problems.

Preparation for your Course

For this course, we will be hiking with day packs to our classroom on the Lower Nisqually Glacier.  The hike is around 2 miles, 1,500′ of gain, and will take approximately 60-75 minutes.

  • Prior experience traveling on snow, self arrest training, and familiarity with rope team travel is strongly recommended.
  • Pack Weight: 30 Pounds

Prior to arriving at the course, we recommend participants take time to learn and practice the following knots:

  • Butterfly knot
  • Clove hitch
  • Girth hitch
  • Mule knot
  • Prusik hitch
  • Klemheist hitch
  • Munter hitch

Check out our Knots & Hitches series on the Alpine Ascents YouTube channel.

Additionally, closely review the following chapters in Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills:

  • Basic Safety Systems
  • Snow Travel & Climbing
  • Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue

Physiology of Mountaineering

Please read our primer on the basics of altitude physiology and awareness of the dangers posed by travel in the mountains.

LNT

Alpine Ascents International practices Leave No Trace principles on all expeditions. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Please Visit:

7 Principles of Leave No Trace

As guides, we spend time teaching the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principals and practices. There is nothing more beautiful than working hard to get high into the mountains, come upon a pristine campsite, witness incredible views and have the feeling that no one has been there before.

Conversely, there is nothing more disheartening than working hard to climb a mountain, reaching a site and encountering trash, food waste and toilet paper. Please read the seven LNT principles, and call the office if you have any questions about what you can do to plan ahead.

Tipping

Guides are permitted to accept and greatly appreciate tips. An average tip for the guide team is $25-50.

Please be aware that we are unable to process tips by card. You are welcome to tip your guides with cash or via mobile payment such as Venmo or PayPal.

COVID-19 Protocols

While we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, we do carry out a variety of measures designed to mitigate the risk of illness for climbers and staff. It is important we work together with the same team-oriented perspective we rely on in climbing, and we greatly appreciate your partnership. Please take a few moments to thoroughly read the information below and know that we look to improve our operation as additional information about the virus becomes available.

Screening

If you experience fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea please immediately contact Alpine Ascents. Anyone experiencing these symptoms within 14 days of their trip date will be asked to reschedule their trip. All climbers are verbally screened for these symptoms on arrival, and all staff are screened daily.

Face Masks

For your safety and the safety of staff, cloth or surgical face masks are required at all times on Alpine Ascents’ premises. If you arrive without a mask, staff will provide one for you. We strongly recommend reviewing proper mask wearing procedures prior to your arrival.

While climbing and traveling in the mountains, all climbers are required to have a face mask easily accessible in a waterproof bag (Ziploc, etc.). When social distancing measure are not feasible, such as at a belay, you will be requested to wear your mask.

Transportation

In line with local restrictions, you and/or your household need to arrange transportation to/from all trailheads, hotels, etc. All necessary trailhead parking permits will be provided.

Mitigation Measures at our Office

Hand washing and hand sanitizing facilities are provided at every entry point, in every gear check area, and of course within every restroom. We encourage you to regularly clean or sanitize your hands while at Alpine Ascents, especially after touching your face, sneezing, coughing, using the bathroom, eating, or drinking.

Common areas, high-touch surfaces, and restrooms are sanitized regularly. We are committed to keeping our environment clean for your protection as well as ours.

All equipment at Alpine Ascents is disinfected in line with CDC protocols, using EPA-registered disinfection supplies certified to mitigate COVID-19.

Alpine Ascents’ staff are trained in recognizing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. This training comes in addition to thousands of hours of first-responder or other medical experience.

The guides did an awesome job teaching skills and then allowing students to apply them. This being my first experience ever being on a glacier, I feel the guides did an incredible job teaching as well as demonstrating and assuring safety throughout.

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Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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