Mount Rainier/Fuhrer Finger

Mount Rainier's Fuhrer Finger route is Grade II featuring glacier travel on 30-45° snow and ice slopes.

getting there

Take I-5 to exit 142. Exit to SR 161 and drive south until exiting at State 512W. Travel 2-3 miles and get off at Puyallup exit (Mount Rainier sign). Drive via Eatonville and SR 706 to the Nisqually entrance to Mount Rainier National Park (approximately 80 mi from Seattle). Pay entrance fee and drive 19 mi to Paradise, 5,400 ft.


From Paradise, hike to the Nisqually Moraine Trail and descend to the Nisqually Glacier. Cross the Nisqually at approximately 6,200 ft and ascend the obvious Wilson Gully on the opposite (west) side of the glacier. Beware of rockfall potential in Wilson Gully. Follow Wilson glacier along the left edge to about 9,000 ft, then cut across to the right towards the cleaver between Wilson and Nisqually glaciers. There is a good camp site at 9,500 ft, some parties have made camp at 10,000 ft but had to dig platforms.


Move directly up the finger toward the junction with the upper Nisqually Glacier. Rockfall potential, helmets recommended. Continue up the slopes to the top of Wapowety Cleaver at 13,000 ft, staying left near the cleaver. Climb levels out here, but you may have to negotiate crevasses.


Descend the climbing route or carryover and descend the Disappointment Cleaver route.


Seattle to Trailhead 2.5
Trailhead to Camp 6 4,100
Camp to Summit 5-7 4,900
Summit to Trailhead 6-8


Standard glacier gear, pickets and/or flukes.


  • As one of the shortest routes on Rainier, a very fast party can climb it in one day from Paradise.
  • Under good snow conditions, this route offers good moderate-angles snow climbing.
  • A climbing fee is required.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Intermediate Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Mountaineering Climb
  • Elevation Gain: 10,000 ft
  • 14,411 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
    Mount Rainier Wilderness
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269
  • USGS Mt Rainier West
  • USGS Mt Rainier East
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270

Upcoming Activities

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Mount Rainier/Fuhrer Finger

Climbing Trip
two-day, strenuous, carryover
Difficulty: Intermediate Mountaineering Climb
Sat, May 8, 2021 - Sun, May 9, 2021
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants
Registration closes Apr 30
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports

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