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Mount Rainier 1 Day Mountaineering Fundamentals

One Day Self Arrest and Glacier Training Seminar

Our one-day seminar teaches basic skills essential for mountaineering. Successful completion of the course fulfills the prerequisites for our 4-Day climb of Mount Rainier via the Emmons Glacier. Participants can expect a full day of learning and practicing snow climbing techniques which include ascending and descending steep snow slopes, cramponing, ice axe use, and self-arrest.

The training area will be about an hour from the Paradise Visitor Center on the beautiful lower slopes of Mt. Rainier. We’ll spend all day learning and practicing the basics of traveling on snowy and icy surfaces. We start by working on a variety of walking techniques for moving safely and efficiently over a variety of snowy slopes. Good footwork, balance and rest techniques are invaluable skills that you will use in all future mountaineering endeavors. Guides then introduce the use of the ice axe and students conclude by practicing a variety of self-arrest positions.

This program is ideal for novice climbers seeking to learn the fundamentals of mountaineering and gain confidence traveling on glaciers and steep snow slopes. It’s also a great course for those who have taken a prolonged break from mountaineering and would like to refresh and revisit skills before a climb.

Course Objectives
• Cramponing
• Self-Arrest
• Basic Ice Axe Skills
• Ascending and Descending Steep Snow Slopes

Mt. Rainier (14,410 ft), is the highest volcano and largest glaciated mountain in the contiguous U.S. This alpine giant is famous for its superior climbing as well as its pristine wilderness. The vast glaciers and alpine ridges of Mount Rainier offer challenges for novice and veteran climbers alike. Alpine Ascents provides a diversity of climbs led by renowned professional guides to accommodate climbers of all skill levels.

“The program was professional from start to finish – gear check to to return home. The clients’ interests were first and foremost – after being an Alpine Ascents client on 4 previous occasions I have come to expect high quality of service and my expectations were met on Mt Rainier.”

Prerequisites
Excellent Physical Condition

1 Day Course FAQS

Please note you will be mailed specific information for your climb upon registration. The following is to serve as a helpful guideline.

How do I reserve a space for a climb?

The best way to reserve space on a Climb is to call our offices and place the deposit on a VISA/MC/AMEX. Our climbs fill quickly on a first-come, first-served basis, and registering over the phone is the best way to ensure reserving the climb dates you want. You may also submit an application by mail with a check, money order or credit card number.

What does the Gear Check cover?

A mandatory gear check will take place the day before your climb at 2:00pm.  You are required to attend this meeting, so we can do a thorough gear check, provide packing suggestions, review the route we will be taking discuss Leave No Trace Practices and the National Park Mission Statement and answer any questions you may have regarding the climb.
Location: Alpine Ascents office @ 109 West Mercer St., Seattle, WA
What to bring: Please bring your pack fully packed with all gear listed on the gear list.  Rental Gear can be picked up at the gear check.

When should I fly in and out of Seattle?

Arrive in time to attend the gear check (preferably the night before the gear check in case of travel delays) and plan to depart the day after your course ends. There are variables that make it difficult to guarantee the exact time each course will end. You will need to be ready to go at 7:00am on the morning your course begins.

Where can I buy flights?

Alpine Ascents uses the services of Charles Mulvehill at Scan East West Travel: 1-800-727-2157 or 206-623 2157. They are very familiar with our International & Domestic Programs and offer competitive prices on all domestic and international flights. charles@scaneastwest.com

How do I get from the airport to my hotel and downtown Seattle?

From Sea-Tac International Airport to the Marqueen Hotel, or any hotel in downtown Seattle:
Shuttle Express: Airport to Marqueen Hotel or downtown Seattle and return.

Cost: $21.00 (one way depending on number of riders)
The Shuttle Express also has regular service to downtown Seattle and can be easily found via Sea-Tac courtesy phones.

If I am driving to your office where can I park?

Street parking is limited to 2-hour meters.  There are numerous pay lots located adjacent to and across from our offices.  Please be advised, overnight parking may be difficult to secure during the summer season. Please note: Free long-term parking is generally difficult in the vicinity of Alpine Ascents.  If you plan to stay in Seattle and have a car, try to arrange a taxi or ride to our offices on the morning of the climb. Extra gear may be stored in our offices until your return. Please give us a call if you have any problems.

How do I get to Alpine Ascents International?

Directions

  • From Interstate 5, take the Mercer Street Exit and follow the signs to Seattle Center/Space Needle. (A quick right turn onto Fairview Ave., and a quick left turn onto Valley St., which becomes Broad Street.)
  • After you pass the Space Needle on your right, make a right turn onto Denny Way.
  • Proceed to 1st Ave. North and turn right.
  • Proceed to Mercer Street and turn left.
  • We are located at 109 West Mercer Street, directly across the street from Bank of America and Next Door to Ozzie’s Tavern.
  • Street parking is limited to 2-hour parking meters, though there are several pay lots near our offices.
Where do I stay the night before and after the course ?

There are several lodging options for our climbs. We meet at our office on the day of the climb at 6:00am. Alpine Ascents has partnered with our neighbors the Marqueen Hotel – located two blocks from our office. Reservations for your room should be made as soon as possible.

Marqueen Hotel
Phone: 206-282-7407
www.marqueen.com

Rates: Reasonable by Seattle standards, vary by season.

If you wish to share a room with another climb participant, the Marqueen can help with those arrangements. You will need a room for the night prior to the start of your climb and for the last night of your climb. The hotels are 2 blocks from the Alpine Ascents office. Extra gear may be stored at the Mediterranean or at our office until your return.

Staying elsewhere in downtown Seattle is another option. During the climbing season, hotels in the Seattle metropolis are difficult to reserve and are a bit more expensive. You may elect to stay in any one of the numerous hotels in the area, but you will be responsible for getting to our offices by 6:00am the morning of your climb. We are a short taxi cab ride away from most of the downtown hotels and local equipment shops. After the climb, we will return to our offices and you can return to your hotel by taxi at that point. You will need a room for the night prior to the start of your climb and for the last night of your climb. Please note: Free long-term parking is generally difficult in the vicinity of Alpine Ascents. If you plan to stay in Seattle and have a car, try to arrange a taxi or ride to our offices on the morning of the climb. Extra gear may be stored in our office until your return.

What do I need to bring?

When you sign up for a course we will send you a confirmation package that includes an equipment list detailing each piece of equipment you will need. Please read your equipment list very carefully. You are required to bring every item on the list so be as precise as possible when packing. Alpine Ascents rents quality technical equipment at reasonable rates. If you have any equipment-related questions please call us (206-378-1927). You can also email us at: Gear@AlpineAscents.com We have a full-time gear expert on staff.

Where do I pick up my rental gear for the climb?

You will pick up your rental gear at our offices during the gear check.

Any tips on packing?

The mountains of the northwest and north coast are heavily glaciated temperate mountains. This means they are subject to highly variable weather conditions.

  • Pack everything in two layers of sturdy plastic. (Trash Compactor Bags work the best) Bring one large trash bag to completely and easily cover your pack. You should bring at least 4 bags.
  • It is likely that you will be asked to help carry some of the group equipment, so make sure there is some additional room in and on your backpack.
Where is a good, trustworthy store to purchase gear?

We run our own retail climbing shop and online gear store, where all Alpine Ascents climbers receive a discount and can receive personalized advice from our gear experts.

I am concerned that the gear I am renting will not fit or work properly.

The boots, packs, crampons, ice axes, tents, and other items are cleaned and checked on a daily basis. Gear is sized at the gear check and changes can be made at that time. All of our gear is of the highest quality. Please note that double plastic boots do not break in.

Is this trip going to be physically challenging?

Yes. See the training tips above, but… Keep in mind that you are climbing a mountain and it is not easy. If you follow our physical fitness tips and do some training on your own, you should complete the climb with no problems.

What if I need to leave the course early?

For climbers who need to be escorted from the course, there is an evacuation fee.

What kind of physical condition should I be in?

You should be in excellent physical condition for this course.

We highly recommend checking with your physician before embarking on strenuous physical activity. We reserve the right to turn away those climbers who we determine to be in inadequate physical condition.

What kind of experience do I need to participate in this course?

No previous mountaineering experience is required. This course is designed for aspiring mountaineers in excellent physical condition or as a refresher course for those with prior experience.

Is food provided on my course?

Lunch is provided on this course. If you have any food allergies or requirements, please let us know in advance. There is a place on the application to do this. You may be asked to help carry provisions to each camp. If you have a particular favorite snack/lunch food or beverage mix, please feel free to bring it along. All group climbing equipment is provided on the climb. Before departing for the trailhead, we will check and organize personal/group gear.

How many students/guides are there per class?

This course has a maximum 5:1 climber to guide ratio.

Reading List

This is a highly recommended shortlist and we would be happy to pass on a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.

Mount Rainier: A Climbing Guide
by Mike Gauthier, Bruce Barcott, Mountaineers Books
Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue
Andy Selters, Mountaineers Books
The Illustrated Guide to Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue
Andy Tyson, Mike Clelland, Climbing Magazine
Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills
Don Graydon (Ed.), Kurt Hanson (Ed.), Mountaineers Society, Mountaineers Books

It was absolutely awesome expedition. It is only because of a climber who climbed with you before who encouraged me to give it a try with another company is why I went with you guys. The guides worked amazingly well as a team. Not only professional with safety first but also fun and obviously got along and respected each other.

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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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