I found the course to be extremely interesting and informative. I was able to learn new skills and sharpen old skills in an environment that was simply on of the most incredible place in North America. The focus and dedication of the guide made this an experience of a lifetime. As an experienced climber myself, I was impressed by my guide's vast knowledge and his method of instruction. I've attended many one and two day climbing classes but this was by far the most comprehensive. It was a tremendous experience and I think you have a great company. I was researching guide companies and Alpine Ascents had the best reputation. I was not disappointed. Greg R.
Alpine Ascents Alaska School
Easily the greatest addition to our programs since inception, Alaska embodies the Alpine Ascents spirit of inspiring wilderness. In early 2000, Alpine Ascents opened the Talkeetna, Alaska office just outside of town and we are honored to be part of this thriving community. While many have seen the great Alaska wilderness in photos, a single visit will easily mark the Alaska Range as one of the most extreme and exciting mountain regions on earth. Our staff and guides have traveled to every corner of the globe (from the Himalayas to the Karakorums to the Andes) and Alaska, USA, is without question the most prized place to be working, living and climbing. We currently offer three comprehensive courses at our Alaska location: Our 8 Day Mountaineering, 12 Day Mountaineering, and the 8 Day Intermediate Courses. Our Alaska school is also a perfect destination for graduates of our North Cascades courses who wish to maintain their skill level and climb in this spectacular environment. We look forward to having you climb with us in Alaska, and share in one of the worlds great marvels. Looking forward to seeing you in the great North!
Distinguished among climbing schools, the 8 Day Alaska program is a progressive development, hands-on program where our goal is to educate climbers in mountaineering essentials, giving graduates a firm understanding of alpine climbing skills. This course was formerly a six day course but the additional two days have greatly added to the scope and dimension of what our instructors can teach and guide. The curriculum covers the essentials of mountaineering including: glacier travel, self-arrest, navigation, route finding and snow skills in one of the finest alpine environments imaginable (full list of course objectives below). We have the benefit of rigging and pulling sleds on this course, which is great practice for those looking to climb Denali in the future. The course culminates with a summit attempt of one of the peaks in the area of the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, such as: Mt. Francis (10,450'), Kahiltna Dome (12,525'), Point Ferene (9,300'), Control Tower (8,670'), or Mt. Crosson (12,800'). In addition to the skill set and the summit attempt, we look for this program to be a remote mountain experience; applying skills as we learn them with a keen eye on safety, personal maintenance , environmentally friendly campsite construction and Leave no Trace ethics. This serves as a prerequisite for many of Alpine Ascents' intermediate level climbs, including Denali, and is a stepping stone for more technically difficult mountains. >>>More on this Course.
The 12 Day Alaska Mountaineering Course is one of the most comprehensive programs we offer. It covers the essentials of the 8 Day course and devotes six days to climbing numerous peaks and developing more advanced mountaineering skills. This course is highly demanding and its rewards are significant. It is designed for the very fit beginner and intermediate climber who are serious about acquiring an in-depth mountaineering experience throughout the Alaska Range. Again, please note this course requires excellent physical condition as the small team size moves rapidly and for long periods each day. We will attempt to summit two-four mountains such as: Mt. Francis, Control Tower, Pt. Ferene, Mt. Explorer and Mt. Crosson, honing and improving skills and technique with each new challenge. Completion of this course will put you well on your way to becoming a solid mountaineer. >>>More on this Course.
Alaska Intermediate Course
These eight day advanced courses are designed for 8 Day and 12 Day Course graduates. Each presents the climber with complex alpine challenges. Team size is small, 4:1 and moves at an advanced pace completing a series of climbs in a relatively short period of time. In fact, this is one of the guides' favorite courses, as it poses challenges to the team that often result in the most exciting climbs of the season.>>>More on this Course.
Our guiding team is comprised of world-renowned guides and full-time professional climbers. While some of these guides have historical climbing achievements synonymous with their names, others are well known for their guiding and teaching experience. A number of our guides have been recipients of coveted climbing awards and scholarships.
Our guides are an integral part of Alpine Ascents because they understand and share our climbing principles. These individuals are dedicated to sharing their excellence with others. Many of our guides have been with Alpine Ascents for over five years, with a handful of veterans working with us for most of their careers. The quality of our guide staff is the primary difference between us and our competitors.
The role of an Alpine Ascents guide is to impart knowledge, use calculated judgement and assist individual climber development. Our guides are experienced educators who evaluate their strengths by monitoring climbers' achievements. Thus we stress our acute ability to provide students and expedition members with personal attention, realizing the commitment to assist each climber in obtaining their goals.
The Alaska Range is home to Denali (20,320') the highest mountain in North America. Denali has numerous vast glaciers that flow down to an altitude of 2000', creating over 18,000' of glaciated terrain and the highest relief from top to bottom of any mountain in the world. Surrounding Denali are hundreds of peaks, many of which are the most sought after climbs in the world. Most notably are the vertical rock walls and narrow corniced ridges of Mount Huntington and the endless ice routes of Mount Hunter.
Climbers reach the Alaska Range via ski-equipped planes. En route to the glacier air strip we fly through the Alaska range scanning breathtaking views of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Instruction takes place on the glaciers surrounding these mountains and we complete our course by climbing one or two of the smaller but equally magnificent peaks in the area.
Alaska Range Challenges
Control Tower (8,670') is one of the peaks that is climbed during the six-day course. It is a central landmark located behind camp on the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. We ascend Control Tower from the North East. The route we climb is exciting; we traverse a narrow ridge then up a final steep section. This climb is a great stepping-stone in the Alaska Range.
Mt. Frances (10,450') is centrally located between Denali, Hunter and Foraker giving stunning 360 degree views from its summit. Our climb ascends the narrow East Ridge on snow and ice for approximately 2,000ft providing excellent climbing using all the skills we have learned during the course.
Mt. Crosson (12,880') presents a two-day climb in which we set high camp half-way up on the South East Ridge. This ridge is steep and continuous for over 5,000ft offering excellent climbing and a great challenge for the aspiring alpinist. This climb is truly a classic.
Kahiltna Dome (12,525'), another Alaska classic, offers excellent climbing up the three-mile long North East Ridge. The entire climb offers superb views of the West Buttress of Denali and Mount Foraker.
Point Ferene (9,300'), centrally located on the Kahiltna Glacier, is a satellite peak of the Kahiltna Dome. Ascending from the north, we use the same approach route as the climbers for Denali. The climb is a beautiful, moderate glacier climb.
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition is required. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack for multiple days serves as excellent preparation for this course; Climbers must be able to carry an average of 50-60lbs. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Comprehensive training information can be found here.
We regularly organize private courses for individuals, corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these courses early as we are often able to cater these programs to group-specific desires. Please contact our office to further discuss the benefits of private courses.
Alpine Ascents International is an authorized concessioner of Denali National Park.Return to Top of Page