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Mount Rainier, Washington


Prominence: 13210 ft, 4026 m

Elevation: 14,411 feet, 4392 meters


True Isolation: 731.18 mi, 1176.72 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 14,417 ft / 4394 m
Alternate Name(s)Mount Tahoma; Mount Tacoma
Highest SummitColumbia Crest
SubpeaksMount Rainier-Southeast Crater Rim (14,200 ft/4328 m)
Point Success (14,158 ft/4315 m)
Liberty Cap (14,112 ft/4301 m)
Steamboat Prow (9720 ft/2963 m)
Whitman Crest (9323 ft/2842 m)
K Spire (8886 ft/2708 m)
Mount Ruth (8690 ft/2649 m)
Peak TypeVolcano
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)46° 51' 11'' N; 121° 45' 38'' W
46.852947, -121.760424 (Dec Deg)
594497E 5189569N Zone 10 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
State/ProvinceWashington (Highest Point)
County/Second Level RegionPierce (Highest Point)
Links

Search Engines - search the web for "Mount Rainier":
     Wikipedia Search
     Microsoft Bing Search
     Google Search
     Yahoo Search

Other Web Sites
     Mount Rainier at SummitPost.org
     Mount Rainier at ListsOfJohn.com
     Mount Rainier National Park
     Rainier Mountaineering Inc. Guide Service
     Alpine Ascents International - Rainier
     International Mountain Guides - Rainier
     CoHP.org Trip Report for Pierce, WA by John Roper
     CoHP.org Trip Report for Pierce, WA by Don Beavon
     CoHP.org Trip Report for Pierce, WA by Dale Millsap
     CoHP.org Trip Report for Pierce, WA by Carl Millsap

Weather and Snow
     National Weather Service Forecast
     NOAA Snow Depth Map

Lists that contain Mount Rainier:
     USA Lower 48 Range5 High Points (Rank #4)
     World Peaks with 4000 meters of Prominence (Rank #21)
     Washington State Drainage Basin High Points (Rank #1)
     USA/Canada Range4 High Points (Rank #8)
     Triple Crown CoHPs (Rank #1)
     Apex (Toughest) CoHPs (Rank #1)
     Mazamas Sixteen Northwest Peaks Award (Rank #1)
     Mountaineers 6-Peak Pin (Rank #1)
     Mountaineers 5-Peak Pin (Rank #1)
     North America 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #46)
     Cascade Volcanoes Peak Pin (Rank #1)
     Peaks on US State Quarters (Rank #1)
     Washington State Wilderness High Points (Rank #1)
     North America Peaks with 2000 meters of Prominence (Rank #4)
     United States State High Points (plus DC) (Rank #4)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     USA Lower 48 Top 100 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #1)
     Washington State Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     Chemeketan Eighteen Northwest Peaks Award (Rank #1)
     2000-foot Prominence CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #1)
     Washington State 8200-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 5000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     Washington County High Points (Rank #1)
     Washington State Top 200 by Prominence (Rank #1)
     USA Lower 48 Top 400 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #1)
     Cascade Range 9000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     Smoot's "Climbing Washington's Mountains" 100 Peaks (Rank #1)
     Washington State Peaks with 25 Miles of Isolation (Rank #1)
     Washington Bulger List (Rank #1)
     Washington County Prominence Peaks (Rank #1)
     Peaks with Most Page Views on Site (Rank #1)
     Peaks with most Unsuccessful Attempts (Rank #1)
     Peaks with Most Ascents Using a Rope (Rank #1)
(Peak is on over 20 lists; Not all shown here.)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Climbing Washingtons Mountains (Smoot)
       Summit Routes: Washington's 100 Highest Peaks (Stephenson, Bongiovanni)
       Cascade Alpine Guide, Vol. 1 (Beckey)
       Climbing the Cascade Volcanoes (Smoot)
       Fifty State Summits, Guide with Maps to State Highpoints (Zumwalt)
       Highpoints of the United States: A Guide to the Fifty State Summits (Holmes)
       Mount Rainier: A Climbing Guide (Gauthier)
       Washington's Highest Mountains: Basic Alpine and Glacier Routes (Goldman)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1979-08-22 by Greg Bramlet
     1992-08-11 by Greg Slayden (Unsuccessful) (GPS Track)
     1994-07-20 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2002-06-26 by Greg Slayden (Unsuccessful) (GPS Track)
     2003-02-08 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2004-07-28 by Ben Lostracco
     2007-07-19 by Caj Svensson
     2009-06-06 by Randy Christofferson
     2011-07-31 by Bri Wilson
     2011-09-01 by Chiky De Las Torres (GPS Track)
     2012-01-01 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2012-07-15 by Bri Wilson
     2012-08-04 by Joe Hans (GPS Track)
     2013-06-11 by Marlin Thorman
     2013-07-04 by Jerome Veloksy (GPS Track)
     2013-07-14 by Emily Wheeler (GPS Track)
     2013-07-21 by BMS 914 (GPS Track)
     2013-07-28 by Rob Woodall
     2013-08-14 by William Musser
     2014-05-15 by ChadL Painter (GPS Track)
     2014-06-01 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2014-06-04 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2014-06-14 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2014-06-15 by Mihai Giurgiulescu (GPS Track)
     2014-06-17 by Mihai Giurgiulescu (GPS Track)
     2014-06-28 by Jaime McCandless (Unsuccessful) (GPS Track)
     2014-07-18 by Aaron Nash (GPS Track)
     2014-07-27 by Walter Blume (GPS Track)
     2014-08-24 by Matt Dolan
     2014-08-24 by James Barlow (GPS Track)
     2014-08-24 by Daniel Dolan

View ascents of peak by registered Peakbagger.com members.

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Mount Rainier
     Elevation Ladder from Mount Rainier
     Prominence Ladder from Mount Rainier


Description:

Mount Rainier is perhaps the single most impressive mountain in the 48 contiguous United States. It ranks fifth in height, a tiny bit lower than California's Mt. Whitney (14,494'/4418m) and three Sawatch Range peaks in Colorado. And it ranks second to Mount Shasta in total volume for a single peak. But no other peak has the combination of high elevation, massive bulk, and extensive glaciation--and Mt. Rainier stands alone in splendid isolation, with only 40 miles separating sea level at Puget Sound from its glacier-clad summit. No other peak nearby even remotely challenges its supremacy.

In most of the United States, a hike of 3000 vertical feet to the summit of a peak is considered about average; 4000 to 5000 vertical feet is considered a very long and extremely tiring trip, and anything above 6000 vertical feet is rare and devastatingly difficult. However, Mt. Rainier, by its easiet route, requires ascending 9000 vertical feet (that's 2740m for you non-Americans). This distance is the same as for the climb from advance basecamp in the Western Cwm to the summit of Mt. Everest.

Even though Rainier's elevation is low by the standards of the Himalaya and the Andes, there are only 20 mountains on earth have more topographic prominence--it just beats out K2 for spot #21 on the list of most prominence peaks on earth. Mount Whitney, at #81, is the next peak in the contiguous USA on that list.

Mt. Rainier can be seen from 150 miles away, and makes an appropriate design for Washington's license plate, since it's visible from such a large chunk of the state. Looming over Seattle and Tacoma, sometimes above the layer of clouds, Rainier has an overwhelming presence like that of few other peaks in the world.

The upper mountain is covered with large glaciers and snowfields covering over 30 square miles, much of this terrain covered with yawning crevasses.

To the casual tourist or climber, the only current evidence of volcanic activity on the mountain is some ice caves in the small, shallow summit crater, created by steam melting the snow. However, geologists consider Rainier an active volcano, and small eruptions were seen in in 1894-1895. As recently as the year 1400 a devastating lahar from the slopes of the mountain inundated large areas of lowland with thick mud deposits.

Climbing Notes:

As of 2007, the National Park Service allows three professional guide services to conduct clients to the summit of the peak and to offer mountaineering programs on its slopes. A three-day trip generally costs about $800 to $1100 and includes a day of training, a day to hike halfway up the peak, and a long third day when you summit and return to base. See the "Other Web Sites" section above for information from these three companies.

Any well-coordinated and experienced hiker in excellent physical shape can make the climb with the guide services. The biggest variable is the weather--if the date of your scheduled climb is stormy, you might not even make it past the halfway camps of Camp Muir or Camp Schurman (but they still take all your money). Also, be aware that many guided climbs end at the crater rim, a short trip from the true summit at Columbia Crest.

It is certainly possible for very fit and experienced mountaineers to climb the mountain without a guide. You do have to register with the National Park rangers and pay a small fee, but beyond the sheer scale of the peak the easier routes don't present much of a challenge to those used to crossing glaciers. The Camp Muir-Disappointment Cleaver route is usually a wide, trenched-out path made by hundreds of climbers every day, including the 30-strong RMI guided group.

Other routes offer more solitude and/or challenge. The Interglacier-Emmons Glacier route is the second most-used, and avoids the crumbly rock of the Disappointment Cleaver for an endless glacier trudge. The Liberty Ridge on the northwest is perhaps the most famous of the more difficult routes, which vary all the way to the nearly-impossible Willis Wall, a 4000-foot north face of crumbling rock and ice.

A few tips for those considering doing the Camp Muir-Disappointment Cleaver route without a guide:

1. Be in excellent physical condition. I've heard that climbing Rainier is like running a marathon, so a training regimen beforehand is a good idea. Recent (within the past week) high-altitude expeience, such as time spent scrambling in Colorado, is a help, too.

2. Wait for good weather. Storms on this mountain can be horrible, but summer usually sees several good, long stretches of sunny, cloudless, and settled weather. Not having strict time constraints and waiting for one of these periods is a good idea.

3. Water, water, and water. Drink lots of it. Plan to spend several hours at Camp Muir melting snow, and leaving for the summit with a gallon per person is not unreasonable at all.

4. Leave early--both from Paradise on the first day, so you can get your camp set up, melt snow, and acclimatize in the afternoon--and from Camp Muir. RMI starts out at about 1 AM, and leaving at midnight is pretty common. Fresh lithium batteries in the headlamp help keep a good beam for the hours of hiking up in the predawn chill.

5. Early season (through mid-July) is usually better than later, since by August the crevasses have opened up into yawning chasms that often take lots of time to circumvent.

6. Know how to do pulley systems for crevasse rescue. Crevasse falls along the heavily used routes are rare, and there are usually lots of people around to help pull someone out, but you shouldn't count on that. Buy a good book on the subject and practice it as much as possible.

7. A party size of three or four is best. Two-person crevasse rescue can be dicey, and solo climbing is reckless and heavily frowned upon by the park service.


The massive, icy form of Mount Rainier in the classic view from the Paradise Inn area on the south side of the mountain (1994-07-19).
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   MS-Research
TopoQuest   Bing Maps   MSN/Encarta   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 13,210 ft/4026 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 13,210 ft/4026 m
  Line Parent: Mount Massive
  Key Col: Armstrong, BC    1201 ft/366 m
Isolation731.18 mi/1176.72 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Mount Whitney  (SSE)
Isolation Limit Point: 36° 34' 44'' N; 118° 17' 33'' W
    ILP Map Links:
Bing Maps   MSN/Encarta   Google Maps
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Pacific Ranges
Range3: Cascade Range (Highest Point)
Range4: South Washington Cascades (Highest Point)
Range5: Mount Rainier Area (Highest Point)
Range6: Mount Rainier Massif (Highest Point)
Drainage BasinsMajor Triple Divide Point
Puyallup (HP)
Puget Sound (HP)
Pacific Ocean
Nisqually (HP)
Puget Sound (HP)
Pacific Ocean
Mount Rainier Crater (HP)
Internal Drainage-N.A.
Worldwide Internal Drainage
OwnershipLand: Mount Rainier National Park (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Mount Rainier Wilderness Area (Highest Point)
Topo MapMount Rainier West O46121g7 1:24,000
First AscentAugust 17, 1870
Hazard Stevens
Philemon Van Trump
Route #1 Glacier Climb: Disappointment Cleaver
Trailhead: Paradise (Paved Road) 5420 ft/1652 m
Vertical Gain: 8991 ft/2740 m
Distance (one way): 8 mi/12.87 km
Route #2 Glacier Climb: Emmons Glacier
Trailhead: White River Campground (Paved Road) 4260 ft/1298 m
Vertical Gain: 10,351 ft/3154 m
Distance (one way): 7.45 mi/11.99 km
Route #3 Glacier Climb: Kautz Glacier
Trailhead: Paradise (Paved Road) 5420 ft/1652 m
Vertical Gain: 9291 ft/2831 m
Distance (one way): 5.65 mi/9.09 km
Google Maps Dynamic Map

 Mount Rainier    Other Peaks
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Other Photos


Mount Rainier in winter from the nearby Crystal Mountain ski area (1995-12-23).

Skiing at 13,000 feet on the Emmons Glacier (1999-08-01).



The massive icy bulk of Mount Rainier and its Emmons Glacier face (2005-09-25).
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Mount Rainier with Doug (2013-07-10). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
Click here for larger-size photo.


Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Photo by Lance Colley (2013-07-10). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Traversing the Emmons Glacier (2014-08-09). Photo by Aditya Sankar.
Click here for larger-size photo.





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