Mount Rainier Climbing Notes
Please submit any useful information about climbing Mount Rainier that may be useful to other climbers. Consider things such as access and accommodation at the base of Mount Rainier, as well as the logistics of climbing to the summit.
January 31, 2016
Jay from United States
The comments listed above has an error. If you decide to climb Mt. Rainier via the Emmons Glacier you start from White River Campground and NOT from Sunrise Visitors center. From the White River Campground parking lot you hike approximately 3.3 miles to Glacier Basin. From there you ascend to the base of the Inter Glacier. It is advisable to rope up here and climb the Inter Glacier to the ridgeline on the upper left side. From here you will drop down onto the Emmons Glacier and make a short climb up to Camp Shurman. From there you ascend through the Corridor and then veer right on to the Winthrop Glacier or veer left and onto the upper reaches of the Ingraham Glacier.
March 12, 2015
Austin from United States
Mt. Rainier (aka Tahoma by natives) is a beautiful peak with numerous routes to her large, volcanic summit. Popular routes are the Ingraham Direct ruote, as well as the Disappointment Cleaver. Both of these routes are accessed from the Paradise parking lot at roughly 5,800ft ASL. From Paradise, climbers ascend to Camp Muir at ~10,050ft and overnight in the climber's shelter (made publicly available by the NPS, enough room for 20-25 climbers).
After an alpine start around midnight, climbers continue northward, crossing the Cowlitz Glacier. After a short ascent through Cathedral Gap, climbers will arrive at the Ingraham Flats at ~11,000ft. From here, the decision is made to summit via one of the two route options discussed earlier.
Another popular route utilizes the Emmons glacier. Climbers attempting this route begin at the Sunrise visitor area and hike to the toe of the Emmons glacier. From here, they ascend to Camp Schurman, overnight, and continue to the summit.
For experienced mountaineers, the Fuhrer Finger and Liberty Ridge routes offer exceptional opportunities not to be had elsewhere in the lower 48 states of the United States.
The mountain is seldom climbed in the winter, but if a weather-window presents itself lots of teams give the summit a try! "The Ledges" accessed from Camp Muir is the most popular - and perhaps the only reasonable - route to the summit in the winter months. This route takes a direct line towards the summit from Camp Muir to the base of Gibraltar Rock. After walking a series of ledges that traverse the Gibraltar Rock, continue upward via the Nisqually Chute. From here a nearly direct line to the summit can be used as the upper mountain is a glaciated dome.
For questions regarding conditions, there are lots of forums that help climbers get the beta they need. These sites are also helpful for those seeking climbing partners.
Of course, the NPS rangers in MNRP are always helpful to provide the latest information regarding park access, availability, permits, etc.