5 Reasons to Consider Hiring a Guide to Climb Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier Guide Service

Should I hire an expedition company to help me climb Mount Rainier?

Hiring a mountaineering expedition company can be a great way to climb Mount Rainier. Below are five reasons to consider hiring a Mount Rainier guide to help you reach the summit:

Five Reasons to Consider Hiring a Guide to Help You Climb Mt. Rainier

1) Learn Skills

A guide service will assist you in learning all the skills you need so you can climb by yourself or with a group. In your chosen Mount Rainier climbing guides, you hear the voice of years and years of combined experience. Well-meaning friends who offer to tutor you might leave out important aspects or techniques to mountaineering that can keep you safe. Guide services are constantly learning about their craft, regularly working with their instructors on the latest information, trends, and techniques for mountain climbing.

2) Take Your Skills to a New Level

Okay, so you know a few things about hiking, backpacking or climbing mountains. Great. A guide can help you take those skills to a new level. With the guidance of an experienced expedition, you can attempt routes and peaks that would otherwise be beyond your current level of ability.

3) Peace of Mind for your Loved Ones

The fact that you are climbing with a group of experienced mountain climbers that really know the ins and outs and personality of Mt. Rainier will provide immeasurable peace of mind for your family and friends back home.

4) You’re Busy

A guide service can simplify much of the preparation required to tackle Mt. Rainier’s summit. To be clear, there are no shortcuts in preparation. However, a Mount Rainier expedition company can speed up the process by giving you training regiments, packing lists, and schedules and itineraries to keep you on pace to be in optimal physical condition on the day of the climb. A good guide company will also rent you equipment that you don’t want to purchase. Call ahead to ask about what to rent and what to buy.

5) A Good Guide Will Make the Tough Call

Number one priority for a good mountaineering guide is safety. Mountain climbing is a dangerous activity, and while Mt. Rainier expedition companies help to minimize risk, they cannot eliminate it completely. Climbing with a guide that you trust will help when there are times to make a tough decision, such as turning around and heading down when the situation calls for it, despite what you or a disappointed teammate might say.

How do I choose a guide service to climb Mt Rainier?

If you’re going to climb Mt. Rainier, experience on Mt. Rainier is extremely important. Successful summits and good people skills are two important traits to look for. Ask how your prospective guides were trained and where they learned their skills. Find out what kind of training they provide to get you ready for your Mount Rainier trip. And ask around; talking to those that have climbed Mt. Rainier with an expedition company will gladly give you first hand accounts.

Suggested read: Which Mount Rainier Guide Service is Most Popular?

Who Are the Best Mt. Rainier Expedition Companies?

The following three expedition companies have decades of experience climbing Mount Rainier.

Below is a detailed profile of each:

Alpine Ascents LogoAlpine Ascents International


Address: 109 West Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98119 (map)

Phone: 206-378-1927

Email: Climb@AlpineAscents.com

Founded in 1986, Alpine Ascents has been conducting guided climbs on Rainier since 1996 and boasts one guide for every two climbers on their expeditions. Based in Seattle, they offer an 8-day training course and 3, 4, and 5 day summit climbs. As they are headquartered in Seattle, they offer round-trip shuttling from the Emerald City, which can mean a big savings on a rental car or gas.

International Mountain Guides LogoInternational Mountain Guides


Address: 31111 State Route 706 E, Ashford, WA 98304 (map)

Phone: 360-569-2609

Email: webform@mountainguides.com

International Mountain Guides (IMG) serve breakfast and dinner on every climb. They have a long list of local, guided climbs to help you prepare for climbing Mt. Rainier. Need a place to stay before the hike? Tent rental at IMG headquarters in Ashford is a reasonable alternative to local motel lodging.

RMI Expeditions logoRMI Expeditions (Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.)


Address: 30027 SR 706 East, Ashford, WA 98304 (map)

Phone: 360-569-2227

Email: info@rmiguides.com

Named Outside Magazine’s Best Outfitter for 2014, RMI Expeditions has programs that have been trusted by over 80,000 climbers over the past 45 years. RMI prides itself on its guide certifications and its global mountaineering expertise.

More Resources for Finding a Guide to Climb Mt. Rainier

The American Mountain Guides Association provides a great resource for learning more about mountaineering experts. Their Hire-a-Guide section is particularly helpful.


Top image credit Flickr.