Mount Rainier/Gibralter Ledges

The Gibralter Ledges route on Mount Rainier is Grade II with 35-50° snow and ice.

getting there

Take I-5 to exit 142. Exit to SR 161 and drive south until exiting at SR 512 West. Travel 2-3 mi 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 the Skyline Trail to Panorama Point. Continue up, crossing Pebble Creek, then up the Muir Snowfield to Camp Muir, 10,050 ft.


Ascend western edge of the Cowlitz Glacier below the Cowlitz Cleaver. Pass beneath the Beehive and cross the cleaver through a notch to reach the base of Gibraltar Rock. Follow obvious ledge system, placing pickets as necessary to protect from exposure. Ascend ice chute, crux, between Gibraltar Rock and upper Nisqually ice cliff to the saddle between Gibraltar Rock and the final summit slopes. Continue for a long 2,000 ft to the east crater rim. Cross crater to true summit.


Descend via the climbing route. Alternatively, during periods of high rockfall, one could descend the Ingraham Glacier and then pass through Cadaver Gap of Cathedral Rocks to return to camp.


Seattle to Trailhead 2.5
Trailhead to Camp 6 4,680
Camp to Summit 7 4,330
Summit to Camp 5


Standard glacier gear, flukes and pickets.


This climb can only be recommended during winter months due to extreme rockfall and icefall on the ledges. Beware of rockfall and icefall during mid-day warming. A direct and straightforward route.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate Mountaineering Climb
  • Elevation Gain: 9,010 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
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier West No. 269
  • USGS Mt Rainier West
  • USGS Mt Rainier East
  • Green Trails Mt Rainier East No. 270
  • Red Marker
    46.786151, -121.735298
    46.7861512851 -121.735297591
  • Red Marker
    46.852886, -121.760374
    46.8528857 -121.7603744

Upcoming Activities

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Mount Rainier/Gibralter Ledges

Climbing Trip
Winter climb of Washington's premier volcano.
Difficulty: Intermediate Mountaineering Climb
Sat, Mar 24, 2018 - Sun, Mar 25, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
0 participants
Registration closes Mar 22
Tacoma Branch

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Mount Rainier/Gibralter Ledges

Climbing Trip
Classic winter route up Rainier
Difficulty: Intermediate Mountaineering Climb
Sat, Apr 7, 2018 - Sun, Apr 8, 2018
Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
1 participant on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Mar 31
Everett Branch
Trip Reports

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.