Regulations for Guiding on Mount Rainier

Four skiers cross a snowy slope on the side of Mount Rainier.
Climbers traversing a snowfield on Mount Rainier.

NPS/Cameron Reade

An activity within Mount Rainier National Park is considered commercial when it is packaged and provided to others and compensation is offered to the organization/person proffering the activity. Commercially guided mountaineering is regulated through the 2005 Mount Rainier Commercial Services Plan (MORA 2005) (CSP).

Who May Guide?

A person may only commercially guide clients on Mount Rainier as granted through a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA), Special Use Permit (SUP) in lieu of a CUA, or concession contract.

The CSP limits non-concession, guided climbs to a “Single Trip Guide” climb. This limit means that any person not working for a concession may only lead a single trip per year on Mount Rainier as a professional guide, either as part of a CUA or an SUP. The park further defines the Single Trip Guide to include organizations, which is to say if the organization has a CUA, they will not also be issued an SUP, nor can an organization hold two (or more) CUAs or SUPs.

Concession Guide Services

In 2019, three guide services are in the third year of a ten-year term concession contract. These mountaineering concessioners for Mount Rainier National Park are:

The three companies are required to guide clients on Mount Rainier and are authorized to provide other related services within the park. Each guide service may lead multiple trips on Mount Rainier, with a maximum number of trips per route, as identified in their contracts. At the beginning of each season, they provide the park’s commercial services office with a list of guides who are part of that year's Mount Rainier program. These guides may not guide outside of the concession contract on Mount Rainier, except to assist another concessioner.

Limits on Guides

  • A guide may only lead one trip per calendar year on Mount Rainier if they are operating under a CUA or SUP.
  • A guide may lead one or more trips a year on Mount Rainier only if they work for RMI, IMG, or AAI and the trips are for those companies.
  • Guides who are part of a concession company’s Mount Rainier annual guide roster shall not also guide for a CUA or SUP.

Learn more about climbing Mount Rainier.

Last updated: March 21, 2019

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