Mount Rainier/Emmons Glacier

A 10,000 foot glacier climb on the slightly less popular east side of Mount Rainier (originally known as Tahoma). The hike to camp passes through Glacier Basin, site of mining activity up through the 1930's. The route, including the climb up the Inter Glacier, can get icy by late July, increasing the difficulty.

getting there

Take SR l69 south from Renton to Enumclaw. Turn left (south) on SR 410. Reach the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park in 34 mi. Drive 5 mi and turn right on road to Sunrise. Sign in for climb at the White River Entrance Station. Drive 5 mi to turnoff for White River Campground (gravel road left at the White River bridge). Park at White River Campground (2 mi).

Approach

From White River Campground (4,400 ft), hike 3.5 mi to Glacier Basin (5,935 ft). Continue on way trails for another mile to base of the Inter Glacier (7,000 ft). Rope up here.

ASCENT ROUTE

Ascend 1,500 feet up the middle of the Inter Glacier, bearing slightly southeast to reach the glacier rim (9,000 ft) at Camp Curtis. Do a traversing descent to the Emmons Glacier and ascend the Emmons to Camp Schurman (9,500 ft) at the base of Steamboat Prow. Arrive early for good campsite (hut is for emergencies only).

From Camp Schurman, follow a smooth snow slope called "The Corridor" slightly east, to about 12,000 ft. Here the glacier becomes heavily crevassed and offers many variations in routes to the crater rim. The usual routes go straight up and left, or bear right and across to the saddle between the true summit, Columbia Crest, and Liberty Cap.

The actual summit (14,411 ft) is on the far west side of the crater rim. The summit register is just below at a large boulder.

Descent ROUTE

Descend the climbing route.

Trip Profile

SEGMENT TIME (HOURS)  ELEVATION GAIN (FEET)
Trailhead to Camp 6-8 5,100
Camp to Summit 5-8 4,900
Summit to Camp 3-4
Camp to Trailhead 3-4

EQUIPMENT

Standard glacier equipment — helmet and wands recommended.

NOTES

  • This is a strenuous climb on a very large mountain. Excellent physical conditioning is mandatory.

Information for LEADERS

Permits

Climbing and backcountry permits are required. Fees apply.

Priority Climbs List

This is a very popular climbing route. Please check the PRIORITY CLIMBS LIST before listing trip to be sure your branch has priority for this route for the dates you plan to schedule it.


  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: June, July, August
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 5, Technical 5
  • Elevation Gain: 10,000 ft
  • 14,411 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
    Mount Rainier Wilderness
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Default Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
Map
  • USGS Mt Rainier East
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270
  • USGS Sunrise
  • Red Marker
    46.902581, -121.643500
    46.9025810197 -121.643500328
  • Red Marker
    46.852886, -121.760374
    46.8528857 -121.7603744
 
Activities

Upcoming Activities



Intermediate Alpine Climb - Mount Rainier/Emmons Glacier

Climbing Trip
Three day climb of Rainier / Emmons route.
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 5, Technical 5
Sat, May 26, 2018 - Mon, May 28, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants 0 leaders
Registration closes May 24
Everett Branch

Glacier Climb - Mount Rainier/Emmons Glacier

Climbing Trip
FOR THE COKUS/SHIH SIG
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 5, Technical 5
Sun, Jul 1, 2018 - Tue, Jul 3, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
1 participant on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration opens May 1
Seattle Branch

Basic Alpine Climb - Mount Rainier/Emmons Glacier

Climbing Trip
This climb is full.
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 5, Technical 5
Tue, Jul 24, 2018 - Fri, Jul 27, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
5 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens Jun 1
Everett Branch

Basic Alpine Climb - Mount Rainier/Emmons Glacier

Climbing Trip
2-3 day climb of Rainier via Emmons Route. START FRIDAY, AUG.3. Please don't email leader
Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 5, Technical 5
Sat, Aug 4, 2018 - Sun, Aug 5, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
6 participants 0 leaders
Registration opens May 11
Seattle Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Tahoma/Emmons
Resources

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