Just did this hike on Saturday October 20th with 3 buddies. Couldn’t have picked a better day to do this hike! Perfect weather and not a cloud in site. The views were amazing... clear enough to see Mount Adams, St Helens and even Mount Hood in Oregon!! Saw a mountain goat and 2 avalanches over on the Nisqually Glacier. You could hear the booms...very cool! Well worth the effort as it is tough. Especially (for me at least) the last quarter mile or so was very taxing. Partly because i was fully geared up testing some new equipment carrying about 40 lbs. Took us 5 hours up and 3 hours down. We could have shaved an hour or so off that time if we really pushed but we were in no hurry. Too bad the snow was mostly ice so no glissading but it was a great hike nonetheless. I plan to do this hike a couple more times with hopes to summit Rainier by the end of next summer!