Mount Rainier. Photo by Errett Allen/Blitzo collec...
At 14,411', Mount Rainier is the highest peak in The Cascade Range and the state of Washington, and one of the most beautiful mountains in America. This is the gem of the Cascade Range and the most sought after summit in the range. Towering more than twice as high as any surrounding peak, Mount Rainier is an incredible sight! With twenty-six named glaciers, this is the most glaciered peak in the U.S.A., outside of Alaska. Three summits rise above 14,000 feet, Liberty Cap (14,133'), Point Success (14'150') and Columbia Crest (14,411), being the true summit. Two overlapping craters exist. The first ascent was made on August 17, 1870 by Hazard Stevens and Philemon B. Van Trump, by the Gibraltar Route. Climbing Mount Rainier can be an serious undertaking, even by it's easiest routes. Severe weather can come at any time. Rockfall and hazardous terrain also exist. Be prepared! The mountain has claimed more lives than all other Cascade peaks combined. All climbers must register with the Park Rangers.
There are several entrances to Mt. Rainier National Park. Check a map to find the one that suites you best. Route approaches will be described with the route.
Approach via the White River Campground/Glacier Basin Trail and hike into the base of the ridge on the Carbon Glacier via St. Elmos Pass and across Curtis Ridge (most parties camp on Curtis Ridge). After negotiating the cracks on the Carbon Glacier, start scouting your access onto the ridge (either side can be accessed around 8000 ft). Climb 30-40 degree snow slopes and traverse scree and rocks up to Thumb Rock at 10,500 ft. From Thumb Rock, either go straight up a short ice pitch (70-80 degrees...[more]Browse More Classics in WA
Although 2-day hikes up the Ingraham Glacier/Disappointment Cleaver route are common, you will likely appreciate your experience much more if you take at least a one more day to hike the route, with at least one campover at Ingraham Flats. Those who do the two day hike end up having a much more athletic than aesthic experience, with little time to fully absorb, photograph and appreciate the many spectacular views as well as explore the many crevasses on the Cowlitz and Ingraham glaciers. An online trip report for the classic Disappointment Cleaver route can be found at: