North American Classic Climbs

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Mount Rainier

Liberty Ridge One of the top 25 routes in this collection!

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In the eyes of many, Rainier is the most important mountain in the contiguous United States. The adventure of a lifetime to thousands of beginning and one-time climbers, Rainier has offered the most extensive and serious glacier terrain to all levels of climbers in the lower 48 states for a century and a half. Nearly mandatory for the aspiring expeditionary climber, Rainier offers many excellent routes, among which Liberty Ridge is perhaps the best. On the remote north side of the mountain, it is a fairly major excursion just to reach the bottom of the route, either from the west (Carbon River), or the easier eastern approach from the White River (The CD covers both.) While not a serious technical climb in good late spring or early summer conditions for those competent with crampons and ice axe, the length and unrelenting angle make it challenging in any conditions. Crevasses, rock fall, and avalanche hazards will keep your attention, while the views will make the effort worthwhile.


Snow & Ice in early season, Mixed later.




Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park, Washington, USA



G9, I1, I2, W5


IV, Extensive Snow & Ice to 45 degrees, potential for 5th class rock depending on time of ascent


Route Descriptions & Maps:

Western approach USGS topographic map

First Ascent:

O. Daiber, A. Campbell, J. Borrow, September 29-30, 1935


Trip Reports:

Halladay 5/04
Artman 5/01
Rogers 7/00
Sverdrup 6/99