In this paper, we propose a new open-loop rate/link adaptation algorithm (ARFHT) for the emerging high-speed IEEE 802.11n WLANs. ARFHT extends the legacy rate adaptation algorithms for SISO WLANs to make it applicable in the context of MIMO-based 802.11n WLANs. It adapts the MIMO mode in terms of spatial multiplexing and spatial diversity, the two fundamental characteristics of the 802.11n MIMO PHY. It also modifies the link estimation and probing behavior of legacy SISO algorithms. The combined adaptation to the appropriate MIMO mode as well as the appropriate modulation coding scheme selection achieves high channel utilization. In this paper, we provide the intuition and the design details of the ARFHT algorithm. A comprehensive simulation study using ns-2 will demonstrate that ARFHT achieves excellent throughput performance in most scenarios and is highly responsive to varying link conditions, with minimum overhead.