A buddy of mine just got back from summiting Mount
Rainier in Washington, and the effort gave me the idea of posting some Rainier resources here at gadling for folks
who might want to tackle this monster. To many folks in the Northwest, climbing Rainier is a right-of-passage, the must
do thing before you slip into the cloudy and mountainless netherworld. But it ain’t easy. The weather is harsh, at
times deadly, and the mountain’s 26 glaciers make it a seriously dangerous climb. Other dangers are altitude (the
summit reaches 14,410 into the sky), True paranoids might also be concerned that Rainier is an active volcano, and some
scientists have predicted it could blow, a la sister peak Mount St. Helens, any day now. But rookies have done it and
lived to tell the tale.
But let’s say you want to take on the beast of the Northwest. How do you go about it? Well, two of the best
outfitters in the area are Rainier Mountain Guides and
Mount Rainier Alpine Guides, run by Eric Simonson and Paul Baugher, both
long-time climbers. RMI is owned by Peter Whittaker, the nephew of Jim Whittaker who was the first American to summit
Everest. So you know you’re in good hands. Check out these places and plan the best time to try the mountain. Summer is
obviously best, with June, July and August being prime months.
Now, if you want to scope out the mountain itself, and figure out the best route up, here’s a list of the
best routes from
the folks at Mountainweb, a site I recently discovered and like a lot.
So that’s our Rainier primer. Happy climbing!