Im in the same boat man, Im an alpine greenhorn who would also like to go up the big hill. I doubt it would be a waste of time if I complete it but I would prefer not to break myself financially doing it(dont mind breaking myself physicall). I am only about a 5.8 climber but I have load of backpacking experience and a USMC background. Although I doubt DONT CLIMB IT was the answer you were looking for, I would also appreciate any tips. I was orginally intending to do the RMI trip and just byte the cost but have since cancelled that idea, I will be heading out to Seattle on the 11th of May and will be there until the 19th. Any suggestions would be appreciated.