Our four-day Mt. Rainier is one of our signature summer climbs. Our team will be led by two of our highly experienced guides and is a group of only four climbers. The trip includes an introduction to mountaineering and the summit climb.
Mt. Rainier is located in the Cascade Mountain Range of United States state of Washington and has an elevation of 4392 m / 14,411 ft. As the sun rises and we make our way up this active stratovolcano, you will see beautiful views of the Pacific Northwest!
Your professionalism and incredible service you provide your clients on Mount Rainier is greatly appreciated. This park and the public are fortunate to have guides and companies like yours with such great integrity serving on the Mountain.
— CUA Coordinator, Mount Rainier National Park
Day 1: Orientation and Equipment Check. Your guides will provide a program orientation and conduct a personal check of each climber’s equipment. There will be ample time for Q&A, packing and gear fitting suggestions, and directions for the next morning’s met up in Paradise. Exact location and time of the orientation and equipment check will be confirmed by email/phone just prior to the trip start.
Day 2: The group meets at the Paradise parking area (1646m/5,400ft) in Mount Rainier National Park. After our check-in with the National Park Service climbing rangers, we begin the hike to Camp Muir (3105m/10,188ft). The group sleeps at Camp Muir in tents. A great source of information about the hike to Camp Muir can be found on the Washington Trails Association website: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/camp-muir
Day 3: We will conduct a climbing skills review which includes crampon techniques, ice axe use, self-arrest techniques, and rope-team travel. After the skills review, the group will ascend to the Ingraham Flats camp (3383m/11,100ft) to sleep in tents
Day 4: Summit Day: We begin before dawn and climb the Disappointment Cleaver route to the summit (4392m/14,411ft), the fourth highest-point in the Lower 48 states and the highest-point in the state of Washington, sign the summit logbook, and then descend to our camp at Ingraham Flats to sleep
Day 5: We descend from camp to the Paradise parking area, conclude our program, and exit Mount Rainier National Park
Day 6: Contingency day for weather or other delays
summer date to be announced
Cost: $2,950 per person
Deposit: $2000 to secure entire 4 member team climb
Balance Due: 90 days prior to climb date
• Mount Rainier National Park reservation and permit fees
• Two highly-experienced Madison Mountaineering guides
• Personal equipment check and guidance on gear fitting and optimized packing
• Breakfast and dinner while on the mountain – if you have specific dietary needs, please let us know and we will be happy to accommodate
• All shared group equipment, such as tents, stoves, climbing ropes and hardware, first aid, etc.
• Transportation to the orientation and equipment check location or the Paradise parking area trailhead
• National Park Service climbing recovery fee
• Mount Rainier National Park entrance fee ($30/vehicle)
• Medical and evacuation insurance (please see below for options)
• Accommodations prior to and following the climb
• Any expenses incurred by early departure from the program
• Personal items and equipment
• Ice Axe: A short ice axe no longer than 60 cm.
• Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
• Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles for the trek to base camp
• Climbing harness: An alpine climbing harness
• Carabineers: 4 locking and 2 non-locking
• Belay / Rappel device: For rappelling or belaying climbers
• Helmet: Must fit over a thick hat
• Light hiking boots or trekking shoes: For the trek to base camp
• Mountaineering Boots: A double plastic or insulated synthetic boot
• Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Short Underwear: 1 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear
• Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
• Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
• Insulated Jacket: Primaloft or Down
• Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
• Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers
• Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
• Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat
• Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days
• Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp
• Buff: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust
• Glacier Glasses: wrap-around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Goggles: With dark lenses.
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Expedition Backpack: A 65+ liter internal frame backpack
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least 20 degrees. Down is preferable over synthetic
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket
• Self Inflating pad: A full-length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Cup: 16oz. minimum
• Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
• Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
• Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 40 or stronger
• Lipscreen: 2 sticks, SPF 30 or stronger
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
• Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1 liter capacity minimum
• Pee Funnel: For Women
• Knife: Optional
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 1 small bottle
• Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: For days in Seattle.
• Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band-aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops
‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastrointestinal or respiratory illness
‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
‣ Pepto Bismol for loose stool
‣ Excedrin for headaches
‣ Anti-nausea medications
• Climbing Snacks:
‣ Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 4 days such as Nuun
‣ Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
‣ Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
‣ Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milky Way, etc.
‣ Hard Candy: 1 cup
‣ Crackers: 1 box
Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!
Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.
Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!
Early this morning our Ecuador climbers reached the summit of Cayambe at 5,790 m (19,000 ft)! Located in the Cordillera Central, this glaciated super-volcano runs along the Ecuadorian Andes mountain range. The volcano and most of its slopes are located within the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve. Weather conditions looked beautiful on the summit today with epic views from high above the clouds! After a short rest at the high altitude hut, our team packed up their gear and will now drive back down the mountain and toward their next mountain ascent on Chimborazo.
Way to go team!!
William enjoying the amazing summit views from Cayambe.
Route to summit.
Lower glacier crossing.
Beautiful views in the Andes as our climbers set off for the Ecuador volcanoes! Our team will spend the first few days acclimating on local peaks close to Quito in preparation for Cayambe at an elevation of 18,996 feet. For a detailed overview of this exciting climb please visit our page here.
To the top!
William celebrating his first summit of Pasochoa. This extinct volcano is located in the Guayllabamba river basin in the Ecuadorian Andes.
Yesterday Jeff, José, and I summited Pichincha in record time and enjoyed panoramic views of Cayambe, Cotopaxi (active), and many other notorious mountains across Ecuador. Once we reached the summit at 15,700 feet we had lunch and continued to acclimate as we prepare for the journey to Cayambe hut today. After our climb we checked out of our hotel in Quito and drove a short distance to Hacienda Guachala, a famous establishment that dates back to 1580! As we fell asleep we enjoyed a warm fire in our room and woke up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee on our patio. Today we will journey to the Cayambe hut and begin to review the technical skills that we will need for the climb. Service will become harder to find but I will try and update the blog as soon as I am able. Onward!
Photos taken below by Andrew Tierney
Bouldering across a rock field as we make our way up Pichincha.
Jeff and José Luis climbing up the last few steps of Pichincha!
Jeff and Andrew at the summit of Pichincha (15,700 feet).
Beautiful views looking over the city of Quito from Pichincha!
Today Jeff Glasbrenner and I explored the rolling country side and completed acclimatization hikes near Quito. We cruised to the top of Pasochoa at 13,860 ft and bagged another nearby summit as well. After a day of hiking we explored the beautiful city of Quito where we saw the historic sites and had an authentic Ecuadorian dinner in town. Tomorrow we will continue to acclimate to the altitude with our amazing guide, José Luis, and climb Pinchincha at 15,700 ft. The weather is beautiful and our team is very excited to begin our journey to Cayambe in the days to come.
To the top!
Photos taken using DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone and GoPro Hero4. Enjoy!
Virgin of El Panecillo overlooking the city of Quito
Church of San Francisco
One of my favorite shots looking over the city of Quito!
Basílica del Voto Nacional – Quito
Rolling layers of fog made for a beautiful picture here from the summit of Pasochoa (13,860′).
Jeff and I taking our first summit photo! More to come!!
Our adventure rig for the week!
Climbing down from Pasochoa over the rolling hills outside of Quito
Palace in the Plaza Grande
Church of La Compañía de Jesús
Congratulations to Luke, Zack and Estalin for successfully making it to the Summit of Cayambe Volcano at 5,790 m (19,000 ft)! Cayambe Volcano is located in the Cordillera Central, a gorgeous range of the Ecuadorian Andes in northern Ecuador. Our climbing team came together as a team and safely pushed through the clouds all the way to the top of this Holocene compound volcano! Prior to this exciting summit push our team was able to relax and enjoy the scenic city of Otavalo surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura 4,630 m (15,190 ft) and Cotacachi 4,995 m (16,388 ft).
Now back in the city of Hacienda Guachala, the team is resting before departing for Estrella del Chimborazo Lodge at 4,000 m (13,125 ft). Estalin, Luke and Zack will organize gear and prepare for the next day’s climb to our high camp. Stay tuned!
Estalin’s photos are shared below, enjoy!
We stopped at the monument called the Mitad del mundo (middle of the world) that is said to be the “only real” statue located right on the equator!
The indigenous Otavaleños are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool (that is sometimes as black as a raven), which are sold at this famous market in Otavalo city. Luke and Zack were able to find beautiful souvenirs here!
Luke and Zack enjoying the local cuisine in downtown Otavalo. They needed all the energy they could get before making the summit push to top of Cayambe!
Our team stayed safe and worked together as a team to make the successful push to the summit!
Luke, Zack and Estalin posing for a summit shot at 5,790 m (19,000 ft) on top of Cayambe!
Today the Madison Mountaineering team made another acclimatization climb to the summit of Ruku Pichincha Volcano at 4,698 metres (15,413 ft)! This was the teams third successful day trek as they continue to adapt to the elevation gain in the Andes. These peaks were visible from the nearby city of Quito where the expedition began. Weather today was partly cloudy with breaks in the clouds throughout the afternoon. The team is now in route to Hacienda Guachala near the town of Cayambe. This colonial town is known as the oldest hacienda (Spanish for estate) in Ecuador, with structures dating all the way back to 1580! Tomorrow the team will be making another day hike to Imbabura and continue this epic journey. Onward!
Interesting Fact about Pichincha Volcano: On May 24, 1822, General Sucre’s southern campaign in the Spanish-America war of independence, came to a climax when patriot forces defeated the Spanish colonial army on the south-east slopes of this volcano. The engagement, known as the Battle of Pichincha, secured the independence of the territories of present day Ecuador.
Beautiful photos from our expedition leader Estalin below! 🙂
Team starting the trek to Ruku Pichincha:
Lunch break with a pretty epic view!
Traversing rocky terrain:
Luke resting before the last step to the summit:
Last push before the summit!
Summit of Ruku Pichincha Volcano at 4,698 metres (15,413 ft):
Making our descent through the clouds:
Luke enjoying the moment! 🙂
With the eruption of Mount Barujari in West Nusa Tenggara settling, the Madison Mountaineering team is preparing for liftoff in Bali. The spread of volcanic ash from the volcano is moving to the south and west of the eruption point. With any luck, our climbing team will be headed to Timika and then board a helicopter to base camp today. While in Bali the team has enjoyed the breathtaking forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. Bali is a part of the Coral Triangle, a famous oceanographic area with some of the highest biodiversity of marine species in the world. The weather has been warm for the most part in the low 80’s, with occasional thunder storms in the area.
Earlier today, the Jakarta Post wrote an article that details the Bali airport gradually reopening and the continued effects of this powerful volcano eruption. The Madison Mountaineering team will receive daily updates as the climbing team progresses toward Carstensz Pyramid. Daily dispatches will be posted here!
For family members and friends, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email me if you have any questions as this expedition continues. Onward!
Gear check with Ankur and Sangeeta in Bali:
Team welcome dinner in Bali! The adventure begins: