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Rainier climbing options for novice solo climber


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Looking for some options. I am 0 for 3 on Rainier. 2 DC routes and one Glacier Skills Seminar. Weather has forced turnaround each time. I have always used one of the guide services since I am usually making the trip alone or with one other novice climber.


I am hoping to get back next July or August for a 4th attempt, but curious what options I have as far as alternatives to one of the concessionaires. I am flexible enough to be able to wait out the weather either sitting in a hotel or in a tent at Muir, Ingraham, or elsewhere on the mountain.


Are there any experienced climbers willing to pass on their knowledge? I'm 47 and not going to break any speed records, but I am fit and train for endurance.


I'm not looking for anything solid right now, just thinking out loud to get a jump on plans for next year. I'll need to make a decision fairly soon when the dates for next year open up with the services.



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I'm not sure what your question is. But, Being able to wait for a good weather window as you suggest will improve your chances of summiting.


Where do you live? If you want to skip the guide services, you have enough time until next summer to get some skils and if you have some skills then maybe you can find a couple of local partners


Why Rainier? There are lots of other, funner climbs in the Cascades, if Inwere you and wanted to travel to the Cascades and hire a guide, I would book a three or four day north cascades trip instead -- unsolicited advice, I know. But you will likely get more personal instruction and attention this way and have more varied climbing over more interesting terrain.

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I would prefer going on my own, but living in the middle of the US with no hills, it's hard to get in and skills training. Only thing i have here is a 600' hill I hump up and down with pack and boots when I am preparing.


I did a Glacier Skills seminar with IMG 2 years ago in July. Got shut down at Ingraham on summit day in an electrical storm complete with about every form of precip imaginable. I really enjoyed the extended time on Rainier over running up and down.


I'd love to be able to hook up with a seasoned climber(s) that likes to spend some time on a climb instead of a weekend quickie, I just don't have the contacts out west. I really like everyone at IMG, but with the way the concessions on Rainier are ran, there's no option to wait for a break in the weather.


They just today released their 2014 dates. It's a crap shoot picking a date with the weather a year in advance.


I'm open to climb just about anything. Rainier has just been a thorn in my side and I won't be satisfied until I finish it.


I'll keep trolling here on CC like I have been and maybe will be able to hook up with a willing group next season.




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The last two weeks of July typically are the time to shoot for, regardless of which way you go (guided or private). There are often folks looking for partners on this site, and if you come out for a week or more you could do a warm up climb like Adams or Baker to see if you mesh as a team. With your three attempts, it sounds like you have a pretty good feel for the mountain and the conditions to expect, and have a bit of crevasse rescue/self arrest training. I guess, given good weather, it seems like you should be able to do it as a private party just fine.



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Just toss out invites, you'll find people. Put up your experiences in the climbing partners a few months before the trip.


I did this when I lived in TX and got 6 trips up here that way. Just remember, it's Russian Roulette when you do that. You could get a crazy good partner, or someone who's a huge liability. I've been both during that time frame.


If I'm free I'd be happy to link up with you to see if you want if I have time next year.

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As said, just start posting on here for partners to hook up with. I too have been turned back on Rainier and know what you're talking about. I personally don't like climbing in a single file line on a minute to minute schedule in a group, knowing that they can't wait out weather. I DIDN'T think you were copping an attitude, I thought you were just being polite in saying that you'd rather not do the guide thing. P.S. I'm also in the flat land part of the country and spend lots of training time on those 600' hills! It sucks....but it works!

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I too wonder about climing possibilities NOT using the guide services. Having summited 12 different 14,000 foot mountains without the regimented guide services, I would not be satisfied with that level of structure. Most of my climbs have been 'solo' climbs, but often with other climbers who I have met up with on the trail. I understand the need to be in a group for glaciated or technical mountain routes, but also desire to have input.

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