Guide service for Rainier...

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Guide service for Rainier...

Postby cfoye130 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:49 pm

So a few friends and I are thinking about doing Rainier this 4th of July weekend. I know its a much different animal from our typical 14er here in Colorado. Anyone have any recomendations on Guide services, or if we really even need one? Anyone know anything about IMG? I've met Phil Erschler a few times and he seems like a stand up guy.

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Postby tress » Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:10 pm

there have been several threads on this, you might want to search those...
If not:
Early July, IMO, is not the time to go, if possible look at going mid April through June, for various reasons. I went end of April early June and conditions were sweet, ie crevasse etc.... although no gurantees
A guide service depends on the groups experience, on the 4th of July Im sure you can follow the masses but if no one knows avy danger, ropes use, self-arrest etc...then...from what people say guides will get you up and down in a hurry, usually 3days, not much time is spent on teaching rope work, avy danger, rescue systems.
DC is the easier route, so Im told,

Ill stop there cuz Im sure others will chime in with more detail,,,again do a search to find more info.
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Postby tundraline » Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:25 pm

After doing some research, our group chose IMG for Rainier (which we will be doing in March and again in mid-July). IMG is less expensive than RMI, and also provides food on the mountain (which I understand RMI does not). In addition, the client to guide ratio of most IMG trips or courses appears to be smaller than that offered by RMI. Several people I know, including two professional climbers, recommended IMG over RMI. The 2006 issue of Climbing Accidents in North America published by the AAI describes at least two accidents involving RMI personnel, and none involving IMG.
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Postby Rockymtnhigh69 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:30 pm

I have two friends that have used RMI for Rainier and they both loved it..

Plus, dont ya think any outfit that Ed Viesturs is involved with would be top notch? :D
On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm....
And that's when the Ducati got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

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Rainier Guide Service

Postby viejo » Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:28 pm

If you ask the question if you even need a guide service for Rainier, then you most likely do.

You're right in your comment that Rainier is a different animal than Colorado 14'ers. Probably more so than you imagine.

To self guide your party will need to be adept at roped travel, navigating crevasse fields, crevasse rescue (self and assisted rescues), and route finding on a very big mountain. While the DC route likely will be well traveled and have a good boot track, you can quickly lose that track if the weather turns, as it frequently does.

If you don't have complete confidence in these skills as well as ice-axe and crampon use, please avail yourself of one of the guide services. While the DC and Emmons ascents are pretty straight forward in good conditions, any route on the mountain will become epic if it socks in. And in a much bigger way than our Colorado 14er's.

Enjoy your trip. It's a great mountain. But be aware of and realistic about your skill set.
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Postby XPLSV » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:05 pm

I went 21 years ago with RMI. Lou was still out on the slopes daily at that time. Took a one day class on self arrest and rope team climbing, camped overnight down the road a bit from paradise...had a hard time sleeping as the deer kept coming through and I was sure they were going to step on my face! Anyway, we did the first day climb, slept a few hours, got up a midnight for a meal and then set out for the summit. My biggest concern, and others, was that my rope team might get turned back at some point on the second day. If it was in a bad spot, there would be no re-roping of climbers onto another team. They did separate teams by ability groups, so the weaker climbers were on the weaker rope team. However, every rope team made the summit that day. It was August, and we left the summit by 9:00 AM and I heard ice falls and saw avalanche dust in front and behind us all the way down. That is the bad part about going later in the year. It was a great climb, but all of my film was overexposed! I've been meaning to go back but haven't done it. Yet.

It's an interglacial period...
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Postby rleclair » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:37 pm

I went with 9 friends July 10-12, 2004 and RMI guided our group up Disappointment Clever from the Paradise TH. You are correct that Rainier is a different animal from Colorado 14ers as the majority of the climb in glacial/snowfields. We had perfect weather for our summit bid and I was very pleased with RMI as a guide service. We had 3 guides with an incredible amount of experience on the mountain and I thought the $795 for the 3-day trip was well worth the experienced gained. You'll probably hear different opinions about guided vs. unguided - ultimately it comes down to your experience level but if you ask the question - then you probably should be guided - just my 2 cents worth... Have a great time!
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Postby strat1080 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:56 pm

Whether or not you need a guide for Rainier depends on the experience you have. You can't gain the skills to climb Rainier through any climbing in Colorado. There isn't a mountain in Colorado that would prepare you for Rainier. You need to know the fundamentals of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. If you don't have these skills, then you need a guide period. Rainier is notorious for fierce storms due to the fact that it is in the Pacific NW. Some parts of the mountain receive over 100" of precipitation annually.
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.
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Postby BearHamr » Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:48 am

I would strongly suggest NOT going with RMI, PM for more details.

If you are skilled at glacier travel and cravass rescue there is no need to go with a guide service.

Piggy-back their route as it will be marked and filled with traffic.
The only thing necessary for the truimph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke
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Postby CODave » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:27 pm

BearHamr wrote:I would strongly suggest NOT going with RMI, PM for more details.

PM sent.
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Postby strat1080 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:48 pm

robinmtns, what I was saying is that you can't gain the skills necessary for Rainier through just ordinary climbing in Colorado. Somebody may be very a very experienced climber in the Rockies but that wouldn't prepare you for Rainier. You have to have some training in glacier travel in crevasse rescue in order to safely and confidently climb Rainier without a guide. I'm certainly not saying that nobody who has never been on a heavily glaciated mountain should climb Rainier without a guide.

This sentence pretty much sums up what I was trying to say. "You need to know the fundamentals of glacier travel and crevasse rescue. If you don't have these skills, then you need a guide period". I'm just saying that Rainier requires different skills and experience than peaks in Colorado. If somebody doesn't have the skills necessary for the climb then they need a guide.
Quit whining and move your %$# up that mountain.
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Postby CG_old » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:51 pm

I gained the skills I needed for Rainier in INDIANA and had a very safe and successful unguided climb (Rainier, Baker, and Hood). You can pick the skills up in places without glaciers pretty easily if you're creative.

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