Mount Rainier, the most heavily glaciated peak in the contiguous United States, offers an exciting challenge to the mountaineer. Each year thousands of people successfully climb this 14,410 foot active volcano.
Reaching the summit requires a vertical elevation gain of more than 9,000 feet over a distance of eight or more miles. Climbers must be in good physical condition and well prepared. Proper physical conditioning can offset the effects of fatigue that lead to mistakes and injuries.
Weather, snow, and route conditions can change rapidly, making the difference between a pleasant and rewarding experience or a tragedy. Before beginning a climb, obtain a current weather forecast. During your climb, turn back if weather conditions deteriorate. Severe winter-like storms on the mountain are not uncommon during the summer.
Plan Your Climb
If you would like more information, contact Mount Rainier Climbing Rangers at (360) 569-6641.
Winter storms on Mount Rainier are frequent and severe, with high winds, deep snow, and extremely poor visibility. Winter conditions generally exist from mid-September to mid-May. All parties attempting a winter ascent should be experienced in winter mountaineering, avalanche forecasting and rescue, and be familiar with the intended routes of ascent and descent. The maximum party size for winter climbing is 12. A party size of at least 4 is recommended.
Did You Know?
In the early 1930s the Civilian Conservation Corp constructed fire lookouts throughout the park to help protect the surrounding area from fire. Four historic lookouts still remain in the Mount Rainier National Historic Landmark District including Tolmie, Shriner, Fremont, and Gobblers Knob.