Rainier 8 Day Mountaineering Course

Course Overview

This was a great course. Very challenging and rewarding and I will absolutely use the skills that I learned. Our guides exceeded my expectations, they are natural leaders that I would trust in any situation. –2020 Climber

This is an incredible eight-day training course, culminating with a summit climb on Mount Rainier’s Emmons Glacier. Not only do you train in one of the most ideal locations for snow, glacier and ice climbing, but you also attempt the highest volcano and glaciated peak in the continental United States. Our guides give you in-depth and comprehensive instruction and allow you to progress at your own rate. On summit day we have a 2:1 climber-to-guide ratio. Some of the topics covered: climbing equipment, route finding and navigation, glacier travel, climbing protection, crevasse rescue, and steep snow and ice climbing (if conditions permit). This is truly a one-of-a-kind course. We are allowed to offer only four departures per year, so sign up early!

Climbers who successfully complete this course will be eligible to join our Denali expeditions and other high-altitude climbs around the world.

Course Objectives

Increasing technical knowledge/skills in all aspects of snow and alpine climbing including:

  • Glacier travel
  • Rope/belay techniques
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Route finding
  • Self-arrest
  • Rappelling
  • Safe climbing
  • Cramponing

Developing educated, self-reliant climbers with the ability to evaluate subjective/objective hazards including:

  • Rock fall
  • Glacier conditions
  • Gear evaluations
  • Critical decision-making
  • Group experience
  • White-out conditions
  • Wilderness navigation
  • Weather conditions

Environmental Responsibility

Alpine Ascents is deeply committed to maintaining ecosystems at home and around the world. With each expedition, trek and course, we not only attempt to leave the environment as we found it, but strive to assist the local population in protecting the land and people indigenous to that region. Alpine Ascents reaches for the highest ethical business practices at home and abroad. Each staff member is dedicated to environmentally sound alpine ascents.

At Alpine Ascents environmental stewardship remains one of our core values and we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices very seriously. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. On every one of our courses and climbs we teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Our Wag Bag® program made a pioneering step in human waste management for the National Park System and Forest Service in the North Cascades. On Aconcagua, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our on-going maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.
This is an extremely rigorous eight days and being in strong physical condition is mandatory. Please note, the guide retains the right, at any point, to determine whether a climber is sufficiently fit to continue the climb.

I did enjoy the course. Outdoors activities, and particularly mountaineering, are very new to me, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the course. I feel that the course gave me a good foundation from which I can either pursue more climbing, or from which I can pursue more training now that I understand what sorts of things I need to know.

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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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