Preparing for the Climb
Please register early for the climb to ensure your spot and so you will have enough time to train and do your fundraising. Click on the following link for a day-by-day description of the itineraries of each route on the actual climb weekend.
Climb and Route Descriptions
Climbing Skill Level
This climb is open to anyone who is physically fit and will commit to a training regimen to prepare themselves for the climb. Prior mountain climbing experience is not necessary, but is beneficial. One day of training is included in the climb. Prior experience with backpacking, hiking in snow, and camping is recommended.
Climbing Mt. Rainier requires a lot of special equipment and clothing. Download a list of the gear you'll need by clicking the following link:
Climber's Gear List
Sherpa's Gear List
If you're an experienced hiker, you'll likely have much of the clothing you'll need. Most of the technical equipment you'll need can be rented, such as an ice axe, plastic boots, trekking poles, helmet, and crampons.
Check out these stores for rental gear:
Physical Conditioning Requirements
This climb is extremely rigorous, requiring excellent strength, endurance and the ability to carry a 40-plus pound pack. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to ensure your and the team’s safety and success.
Recommended Training Regimens
Here are some proven suggestions to get you ready for the physical challenge.
- Start training immediately. The more time you have to get in shape, the better.
- Cardiovascular training (such as running and cycling) and strength and endurance training (such as weight training and stair climbing) should both be included in your program.
- Start cardiovascular training by running, biking, hill climbing, or using step machines.
- Try exercising for an hour or more per session, and keep your heart rate and respirations at a reasonably high level, without over doing it. Three to four long training sessions per week are going to be more beneficial than short daily workouts. The intensity of your workout should reflect the level of effort we anticipate needing to climb the last 1,000' to the summit.
- Begin your strength training by working on muscle groups used in mountaineering. Specifically, you want to target your quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, back and shoulder muscles.
- There is no better training for mountaineering than up and downhill hiking. Get outside and go on extended hikes with a weighted backpack 2 - 3 times per week. Try hiking for 60 to 90 minutes at a time with a 10 - 15 minute break after each segment. Begin your training program with a 20 - 25 pound pack and work up gradually to the approximate weight expected to be carried on the climb. If there are no hills nearby, stairs work fine for training, especially if you can find a taller multiple storied buildings or stadium steps. When working out in a gym, use stair stepping machines and treadmills with a weighted pack. Additionally, treadmills raised up to the full 15 degrees will be more beneficial than running on relatively flat terrain.
Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life!
More In-Depth Information