Why is it Called Rainier?
Inspired by the Toughest Challenge
In 1975, my father and I spent a week climbing Mount Rainier (14,411.05 feet). It was the most physically grueling climb either of us had ever accomplished, but we both agreed years later that standing on Rainier's summit was one of the most inspiring moment of our lives – akin to a religious experience.
When Rainier expanded to Europe in 1998, it was frequently assumed our technology public relations agency was named after the illustrious Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and although he’s probably a great guy, that is not the case.
Mount Rainier itself was named in May of 1792 by Captain George Vancouver, a tribute to his boss, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier (1741 - 1808). Peter Rainier was an “Admiral of the Blue” in the British Royal Navy, regarded as a model sailor and commander, renowned in battle and worthy in politics.
Rainier never saw his mountain and in fact never set foot on American soil. It is not known whether Vancouver’s blatant brown-nosing benefited his naval career, although he did end up with an entire island in his name.
Of Volcanos and UFOs
And a final bit of trivia: the origin of the term “Flying Saucers” comes from an unexplained sighting pilot Kenneth Arnold observed over Mount Rainier on June 24, 1947, giving birth to the modern UFO era.