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The elevation of a mountain tells us how high it is above sea level and shouldn't be confused with prominence, which is the term given to denote the height of a mountain in relation to its base. The prominence of Mount Rainier is 13,210 feet (4,026 m), which is actually higher than K2, the second highest mountain on Earth. However, the elevation of Mount Rainier is 14,411 feet (4,392 m), which is much lower than some of the world's highest peaks like Everest, which has an elevation of 29,029 feet (8,848 m) and K2, which has an elevation of 28,251 feet (8,611 m) above sea level.
The highest mountain in North America is Denali, which has an elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. Mount Rainier is situated in the Mount Rainier National Park, which has a base elevation of 1,600 feet (488 m). This means that a climb up Mount Rainier results in a very high elevation gain. Mount Rainier is the highest elevation point in the state of Washington, which has a mean elevation of just 1,700 feet (520 m).
Due to its huge elevation and impressive prominence, Mount Rainier can be seen from dozens of miles away and is a key part of Seattle's surrounding landscape. Climbing Mount Rainier takes two to three days on average and involves a vertical elevation gain of over 9,000 feet (2,743 m) in total. The climb does feature some technical challenges and anyone who attempts it needs to have a good level of physical fitness and will strongly benefit from some prior climbing experience.
Two of the key camps along the ascent of Mount Rainier are the high camps of Camp Muir and Camp Schurman. Camp Mui is located on the southern side of Mount Rainier and has an elevation of 10,080 feet (3,072 m), while Camp Schurman is situated on the east of Mount Rainier and has an elevation of 9,440 feet (2,877 m). Both camps are equipped with Ranger Stations and toilets.
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