The registration fee is $100 and the minimum fundraising commitment is $1000 (tax-deductible) for a spot on one of the three climbs. All fundraising proceeds will go to a village in Nepal needing another school building.
The fee covers climbing fees, some transportation costs, and a t-shirt. The fundraising amount includes a required skills clinic, volunteer rope leaders, and coordination of the climb.
Additional costs not included in the fundraising or fee are for technical climbing equipment, cold weather gear, and food. See the gear list here. Much of this equipment can be rented, but depending on how much gear you already have, it is not unrealistic to spend another $500-1,000 to build out a set of equipment (backpack, layers, etc.) that you will also be able to use for many other Pacific Northwest outdoor activities.
Do I need mountain climbing experience?
No. As long as you are in reasonably good shape and willing to do some training, this is a very doable challenge. There will be training seminars leading up to the climbs to teach mountainiering skills that are also covered by the donations.
Who leads the climbs?
A combination of experienced UW MBA and Boeing Alpine Club climbers. Participation is limited so that there is no more than 3 unexperienced climbers per experienced leader.
How much of a time commitment is this?
Not as much as you think. Training should begin in late-Winter / early-Spring, and we will have organized training hikes throughout the spring. Training mostly consists of lots of walking up and down stairs and getting used to carrying a heavy backpack. The fundraising is also pretty straightforward because of the combination of the cause and the achievement. If this is something you really want to do, you can definitely fit it into your life.
When do I need to make a decision to do this?
Mt. Rainier has a limited permitting system for how many climbers can be on any given route on a given day. We need to submit our requests for permits prior to April 1, which means we set a hard deadline of March 15 to commit to the climb.
However, we strongly recommend committing earlier, as we typically fill up our spots by early February, and can only add new climbers on a case by case basis after that point.
Is this a once in a lifetime experience?
Absolutely. The accomplishment of reaching the summit is incredible and is enhanced by doing it to raise money for children in need. You will never look at Mount Rainier the same way after you've been to the top!