NORTH CASCADES MOUNTAINEERING SCHOOL
"For rugged alpine peaks, big glaciers and lofty volcanoes, no mountain range in the Lower 48 comes even close to the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest. But it's the lonely beauty, the challenging approaches, and the wild variety of terrain that keeps climbers coming back for more." -Peter Potterfield, Selected Climbs in the Cascades
"There is no substitute for professional training when involved in recreation or work in the mountains, and based on first-hand experience, I have no hesitation in recommending Alpine Ascents' Mountaineering programs. Their professional approach to training, supported by their staff of highly qualified mountain guides, makes for a training experience that is as challenging and informative as it is safe and enjoyable." -Mark Lonsdale, Author, STTU Alpine Operations
"My guides both displayed a great level of expertise and confidence in their mountaineering skills. Just watching them work/guide was beneficial to the learning experience. I could not have been happier with the course. Despite challenging weather, we had lots of time to learn new skills. We were able to be flexible with when and what we did to best take advantage of the situations we were presented with. Jonathon showed great leadership skills both in his interactions with us, the climbers, and the other two guides. His passion for guiding and teaching was very apparent, as was the respect that everyone had for him. Peter was also a fantastic leader and I felt like we won the "guide lottery" having them both on our trip. Being proficient in something does not always mean you are also good at teaching these skills to someone else. Both Jonathon and Peter, were not only able to clearly and effectively teach us the how of new skills, but the when and why of putting them to use. This is my 2nd AA adventure, Rainier 3-day last year being the first and once again you guys were awesome. Everyone is super professional, organized and responsive creating a stress free environment leading up to the trip." Saveria T.
"Excellent, I never knew I could learn so much in only 6 days!! The guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about teaching us." Gosia
"Alpine Ascents is an extraordinary expedition and training program. Our guides, shared a strong ability to transfer their knowledge of mountaineering to members of the expedition. I have worked with a number of instructors and trainers during my time as a Navy SEAL and Cecelia is one of the best hands-on teachers I have ever worked with." Erica
"Previously had done a 3 day Mt Washington course with XXX The instruction offered by the Alpine Ascents course was vastly superior." Jim
"A wonderful program packed full of skills that were well presented and taught." Kerr
"The program was everything I thought it was going to be. It was well planned and executed. Thanks for a great trip. I have never been outside the city and it was a blast. Guides were incredible" Pete
“I really enjoyed the program a great deal. From the suggestions on physical preparation and gear list through the climber evaluation I received, I thought the program was well designed” Joe T.
“This is the best program, on the planet” Davis W.
“It is a great program; I learned a great deal everyday and have a whole new respect for mountaineering” Sean W.
"Simply EXCELLENT! Wonderful guides who never lost their patience with me or anyone in our group. Being great climbers is one thing, but being teachers who can clearly impart knowledge in a friendly and cordial manner is another. All three of our guides were both. Would recommend the course to others in a heartbeat! The program was fantastic, I am truly grateful for the experience." Tony S.
"Excellent! The quality of leadership was most respectable. The design incorporated in the progressing days was useful, cogent and amazing! I learned safety first! Was reminded of training that flight attendants must go through: You hopefully never have to use these skills, but you'd better be prepared! One of the things that continually amazed me was the way each one of these leaders was available and supportive, pleasant and instructive. I felt very cared for." Tom D.
"The program was excellent. It covered a variety of materials in 6 days time, all of which was useful. I participated to learn specific skills and came home with those skills and more. I will be a safer and more confident climber for having had the opportunity to take your course. I also felt it built on the general mountaineering skills I have acquired from just being in the mountains in the past. I was completely confident the entire week that our guide would keep us safe. I trusted him. He had the patience of a saint, by the end of 6 days time, he was relaxed, fun and he always maintained a good sense of humor. I really appreciated how easy-going he was throughout the week. He didn't press us on time or rush us along - which was really nice. This is probably the quality I most respected. There were times during the week that I laughed harder than I have in a very long time. On another note, your office service is the best, bar none. I also compliment your printed materials and your website. I'm always surprised at how quick you are to respond to questions and to provide material. Compared to other programs I've participated in, I just find you to be better organized. Many thanks!" Lisa C.
"I think the greatest strength of the company was reflected in this course and in every trip I've done with Alpine Ascents; and that is the guides. My guides were 100% fantastic. They were truly impressive in regards to both their skills and knowledge as well as their interpersonal skills. The main reason I continue to take trips with Alpine Ascents is that you have the best guides in the business. As far as I've seen in my experiences no one does it better than Alpine Ascents International. From education to organization from safety to the skill level of the guides Alpine Ascents is head and shoulders above the rest." -Tim A.
"It's a great program, great company! I would highly recommend Alpine Ascents to others (and have). The company surpassed my expectations in handling a weathered-out Alaska 6-day course by readily offering credit for another course. Everyone I've worked with from Alpine Ascents has been very knowledgeable, friendly and professional.***Note that Jon and Erik in Alaska were great during the few days that we waited to fly. They both shared a lot of knowledge and insights. Despite not getting on the mountain, it was worth the trip - which is saying a lot. Keep doing what you're doing." Christina T.
"This is a great program. Lots of material is covered and the days are long, but it was still relaxing and I was able to enjoy the mountains. I emerged from the program actually feeling rather...hmmm...I'm not sure of the right word. In a phrase I now know how much I don't know! But I've got the fundamentals I need to start doing some real mountaineering - starting at a basic level - to develop the skills I need to progress to harder stuff. That is of course, the only way to become competent, experienced and safe doing this sport - you have to DO it. I do fell I learned the basics in a fundamental way, and now I can go off and practice them on my own to raise my competence level to a point where I am comfortable climbing without an instructor there. I like the focus on hard skills, which is one reason I chose Alpine Ascents. I've worked for an outdoor education company, I'm familiar with all of the soft skills stuff, and that didn't play much of a role in this course, other than the essential teamwork things that are a fundamental part of mountaineering. So I liked the balance and focus on skills. I think the goals of the program were absolutely met. As I understand them, the goals of the program were to offer an introduction to all (or most of) the aspects of mountaineering required for safe and successful travel in the mountains. We weren't supposed to emerge from the course with a mastery in all the skills, but we were supposed to emerge knowing all the things we NEED to become competent in for safe mountaineering, and with a basic knowledge on which we can build in our own research, training, and experience. And I did feel I emerged with that. I definitely feel that I have the base knowledge I need to go practice these things and then step onto a mountain." Sean H.
"I found the programs to be thorough and professional. The staff are both pleasant to work with and a great help when needed. The course took me from understanding concepts to understanding how to utilize concepts under real-world conditions. I found the whole system to be thorough and professional. I have previously taken courses with Two other well-known schools. I found your staff as professional if not more professional than anyone I worked with in either of those programs. I didn't have many questions for your staff, but all interactions were highly professional as well as friendly. I found the literature and the web site very thorough and enabled me to know what to expect. I would have no problem recommending your services for people seeking either mountaineering training or guiding." Nate B.
"I wanted to take a minute and thank all of those at Alpine Ascents for making my experience in the 6-day course so terrific. Your program is absolutely phenomenal. Having over 10 years of climbing experience on rock, ice and mountaineering, I did not expect to really gain that much from the course outside of the crevasse rescue and glacier travel knowledge. Nothing could have been further from the truth. During the course, we had explained to our guides that a couple of us were planning on another climb before we left the Seattle area. After covering the day's material, they continued working with us well into the evening. At our request, they would spend additional time going over other methods of glacier safety, additional route finding techniques, understanding crevasse development, weather precautions, which routes to select and why, additional crevasse rescue techniques, and the list goes on. Anytime they thought of something that might be useful to us on our climb, they added it in (and it seemed like they were always thinking about what they could add). The next day, as we climbed, they continually showed us what we had discussed the night before. This cemented the knowledge by backing up the theory with experience. And I thought I wouldn't learn that much! Wow, was I pleasantly wrong! They were truly committed to teaching as much as they could possibly teach. All in just 6 days. It's this kind of commitment to giving beyond what is expected that will make the difference every time! I can't ever recalling anyone every working so hard to ensure we learned as much as was humanly possible. Keep up the good work. Your course and the guides that teach it are making a huge difference in the climbing community!"-Dan S.
"From my first contact with Alpine Ascents, through my guide's departing farewell, I have learned that Alpine Ascents is a polished, professional, well-run organization. During my 6-Day experience at Mt. Shuksan I was treated as a person with respect yet pushed and challenged. Although the elder (55) of the group (17, 31, 32) I was not treated differently which was much appreciated. I believe I learned much and will apply aspects of the program which fit my needs as I climb the "Whites" of New Hampshire. My guide reduced "big picture" information to "detail" with ease and clarity, through solid demonstrations then by practice with continual critique by him. He elevated my own confidence beyond what it had been. Thank you Alpine Ascents for such a pleasurable, challenging and unforgettable experience!" -Richard B.
"Excellent! The program was extremely challenging and educational." -Michael L.
"I thought that from start to finish the program was extremely well put together and executed." -Michael M.
"As an outdoor enthusiast I was thoroughly impressed by our guide's skill, patience, knowledge and ability to lead." -Joe S.
"This was an excellent course. It covered all aspects of basic mountaineering and glacier travel skills. One of the real strengths of Willi and the program is the close personal attention that each student receives. I felt Alpine Ascents offered a wonderful experience in the North Cascades Mountaineering School. It was challenging but I feel I walked away with a lot of knowledge and increased respect for nature and the environment. I also felt the whole experience was very well organized from the application process through the achievement of the summit." -Amy S.
"Overall the program was superb! I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in increasing their climbing skills. Our guides were excellent leaders." -Constantine B.
"Fantastic Experience! The course was extremely well organized and we were continually being exposed to relevant information. The basic skills required for mountaineering were developed effectively and I found myself more confident each day." -David G.
"The guides' skill level was outstanding. They were obviously very experienced in back country as well as technical skills. Not only was my guide an excellent climber but a great teacher." -Mary S.
"It was great to know our guides had experiences around the world. They were good leaders and excellent teachers. Their enthusiasm for the sport was infectious. These guys were really enjoying themselves." -David D.
"I made the summit and learned a lot. It's a great feeling of accomplishment and it's gotten me on the lookout for other times when I'm approaching a task or problem too timidly." -Theresa M.
"I can summarize the course in a sentence: It was a fantastic experience, with excellent leadership and a substantial body of mountaineering knowledge. I would recommend it to anyone who desires an intensive dose of mountaineering information." -James G.
"An excellent program: awareness of the environment, experience in glacier travel, pushing individual limits (testing ability) and crevasse rescue gives otherwise untouched experience. An extremely high level of confidence and competence is felt by my guide's leadership." -Leslie B.
"Everything I could have ever hoped for. The Mountaineering School gave me enough exposure and training to create an intense desire to keep climbing and pursue high altitude goals. Our guide was nothing but extraordinary. His skill, leadership and teaching ability were unsurpassed." -Brian C.
"A fantastic program and experience." Wayne
"Most excellent program - during the first portion our guide far exceeded my expectations in terms of skill, leadership as well as teaching ability. Though we had some challenging situations on Rainer I always felt safe under their leadership." John
"From the suggestions on physical preparation and gear list thought the climber evaluation everything was excellent. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn mountaineering skills on the first part of the course and put them into place on Rainier - a pefect mix. Knowing that I was going to need the learned skills on Rainier made me focus more intently on the educational aspects of the program." Joe
"The Denali Prep course was my first trip to the Northwest. More beautiful than I could have imagined. Was a great opportunity to experience the weather extremes. The curriculum was well-organized and well-taught. I can see why it is a requirement prior to heading to Alaska. As always the guides and the setting exceeded expectations. Each time I go with you folks into the mountains, I always feel my safety and well-being are your utmost concern. It allows me the freedom to concentrate on the individual task of getting to the top. Your guides have always exercised firm but flexible control with the group despite sometimes widely varying personalities." David F.
"Absolutely Awesome. It inspired me to continue to pursue climbing and I am looking forward to the next opportunity I can arrange a trip. The guides were each capable of leading the entire group or providing additional instruction on an individual basis. My confidence in their skills and abilities never became a question. Each demonstrated the ability to lead the group and had significant experience with personal motivation and encouragement. They always stressed safety and teamwork. This was my first experience with snow. I feel fully confident that the training they provided would allow me to participate and succeed in an expedition. Having the opportunity to summit during the course is proof of the training they provided. I also benefited from their advice and experience with various equipment and gear which provided me knowledge and insight into what direction I need to go in preparation for future climbing. The best aspect of the course is the practical application of the training. Reaching the summit was a definite highlight of the week and gave the group a real goal to pursue. Other strength was the exchange of information from the guides about real experiences on Denali." Scott C.
"The guides were highly competent and knowledgeable. They were upbeat, patient, and generous in the sharing of information. I am very impressed with Alpine Ascents, their course, and their personnel." – Gene P.
"I thought it was a great course focusing on Denali issues. It was a great experience and everything was well organized."- Garrett E.
"Very well organized, very high quality. I was impressed by the food selections, which exceeded my expectations. Professionally run, excellent guide." – David A.
Excellent! Small class and individual attention from a real pro, can't be beat. Excellent Guide, great focus on safety, much was learned. Far better training than I have received from other outdoor organizations. - Gregg G
Program followed a logical course the allowed for individuals to develop at a comfortable pace. Very Good program. - Ray F.
The Program was outstanding. Gene was a great instructor, we had a great time and learned so much. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in rock climbing. The length of the program is good because you get to make lots of climbs without having to use too much vacation. - Vincent M.
The program was everything I expected and more! I received and learned the information I was looking for and more. My guide really made this the course the most informative program I have ever attended. I have been with other groups and all I have to say is that every guide who I have met through Alpine Ascents is genuine and professional and a pleasure to be around. I can't say that for the others. - Cary M.
Very well organized from start to finish. Information packet was complete and helpful. Pre-trip questions answered promptly. Logistics were handled smoothly. Trip provided the right mixture of instruction and enjoyment. I definitely have a better feel for my abilities and limitations in the wilderness. I was hoping to gain knowledge and confidence backpacking and traveling through wilderness as a prep for the 6-day Mountaineering course. The course exceeded my expectations. - Deb W.
This program was perfect for me. I am a true beginner and this gave me the opportunity to learn the basics and build confidence. I felt this course covered all the very important skills you must acquire to have a fun, safe adventure. - Colleen B.
Exactly what I wanted - Informed Instruction of L.N.T. - Backpacking - Camping. Even "old time" campers and backpackers have something to learn from the course, Excellent! - Rick F.
It was wonderful. The location was great because we saw a range of terrain and weather and trails. I learned a huge amount of practical skills. - Janie F.
ALASKA RANGE MOUNTAINEERING SCHOOL
My guide had a deep inherent knowledge of the mountain that seemed to flow very naturally. She was a wealth of facts and knowledge shot-gunning her extensive climbing experience at us. The both of them though different seemed very proficient on the mountain. - Evan M.
Excellent program. Very thorough and comprehensive. I was reviewing Freedom of the Hills and was surprised at how much of that book was covered in the course. thanks for a great course! - Daniel H
The program was great; very in depth and offered everything your website promised. - Josh M
The program was fantastic. It complemented and advanced what I knew about mountaineering and helped me feel comfortable leading climbs on glaciated peaks. Both guides get a 10/10 in my book. The program itself was well conceived as it taught us established fundamentals of mountaineering but then allowed us to tailor the course material to our individual needs and interests - Sam L
This was a great course and well worth the experience. The course covered the basics of mountaineering which will be helpful to expand upon in the future. The days were full and long which helped keep the tempo high. Both guides were able to take charge and lead the group in all aspects of the trip. As a person who works from a schedule I feel there was a little room for improvement when it comes to letting the group know what the plan for the day was or an overview of the course. I feel if I know what the plan is, I can better prepare my gear for the days events. Overall their leadership skills were good and effective. - Jeff H.
The 8-Day Mountaineering Course was a great in depth introduction to mountaineering. The guides were very informative, sharing mountaineering and winter camping tips throughout the whole day. Alaska was an amazing place to spend eight days as well! The mountains were beautiful and I can’t wait to get back and attempt Denali with Alpine Ascents in the future! - Rob M.
The 8-Day Alaskan Glacier Mountaineering seminar was incredible! The guides David Kratsch and Matthew Emht were great leaders of the teams and made the course fun, exciting and very educational! I will recommend this course and those two instructors to any one interested in mountaineering courses or expeditions! Plus, spending the week in Denali National Park and flying in on an airplane away from civilization made another dream come true! This is the best organization I have ever invested in my educational and future adventure opportunities! My guide was - Fantastic in communication with students during the lessons or climbs. Three of us from the group of 10 were taken on a more challenging ascent to push and test our skills/knowledge from the course. He led the group and it was incredible day utilizing every skill we learned for the week from crevasse rescue, technical climbing, glacier travel, compass utilization, team work! - Roland K.Read a letter from a climber to Denali National Park
"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. Jon was incredibly skilled and his vast experience was amazing. He did not hesitate to explain or demonstrate any aspect of mountaineering. As an experienced climber myself, I was impressed by Jon'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.
"As an avid rock and vertical ice climber I thought I knew a lot. This course was inspiring, challenging and most of all humbling. Jon and Willi were true professional and provided me with a confidence that I thought I would never have while climbing big peaks. Overall the course was more than I anticipated. Alpine Ascents has set the bar quite high. I used this program as a prerequisite for future expedition. I am confident that the itinerary covered all that is needed to give an individual the information needed to conduct a self-assessment of their own limitations for future climbs." Ernie B.
"Absolutely met it's goals. What a fantastic place to spend a week! We climbed, we learned, and the guides had exactly the right balance between safety and fun. A great experience, one that let me climb Rainier with skill and confidence." -Jeff B.
"The course was very challenging and physically demanding. The guides had a wealth of information to share. The overall experience was outstanding and I would recommend this class to anyone interested in climbing. I wanted to know that I could have sufficient skills to pursue future climbs. And having completed this class, I know that I can." -Samantha K.
"The program emphasized personal responsibility & focus as well as group participation, which I fell are two major factors in good mountaineering. Well-organized, intensive, and a lot of fun!" -Robin S.
"The program you have designed was incredible. Our guides made the trip a remarkable outing. This was my first time climbing and you can bet I'll be back again. A 10 would be an understatement. The only weakness is that I didn't stay longer." -John S.
"I thought the program was excellent. I had previously been on two guided climbs with another guide service, and most of what was covered in Alpine Ascents' 6-Day course was new information to me. The guides were great, the leadership was spectacular. I am looking forward to many more expeditions." -Todd M.
"I was impressed with the comprehensiveness of the program. Both guides displayed the highest skill levels, leadership and communication skills time and time again. I easily exceeded my initial goals." -Mike M.
"The program was exactly as I expected. We had a good group, our guides were a perfect mix. My individual goals were met and surpassed. I was able to get a real sense of mountaineering and how it is done today. With plenty of spicy history notes and a better understanding of why it is done the way it is." -Ray M.
"Well organized and planned. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The guides were both patient and extremely knowledgeable." -Michael D.
"I truly enjoyed the experience. I learned a lot and was physically and mentally challenged each day. Alpine Ascents delivered." -Rob S.
"Outstanding! Guides were competent, friendly, knowledgeable, weather was great. Other climbers were great. The Alaska Range was impressive, mountains were amazing. I now feel like I am a competent component of a rope team." -Shane B.
"Fantastic program. The scenery was spectacular, the instructors were excellent, the flight into and out of the glacier was breathtaking." -Marina H.
"I thought it was excellent! I was impressed with the design of the curriculum-building skills upon skills as well as the emphasis on safety." -Jamie B.
"Following our recent completion of your 6-day Alaska Mountaineering Course, we felt is important to convey our thoughts and appreciation concerning our week with your company. While the Alaska Range provided an impressive environment in which to absorb instruction, our positive experience was more directly attributable to our guides. From day one their instruction was clear and well-presented. Their patience in working with beginner and intermediate climbers was appreciated, and answers to questions on every topic were complete and well thought out. The comfort level they established for us was important in our confidence throughout the week and for our climbing in the future. More valuable than the information they passed along was the manner in which they taught us to think through situations and really understand the reason why certain behavior was important. They asked us questions and presented "problems" for us to solve on our own. We left the course with a solid base of fundamental skills and safety consciousness for continued mountaineering pursuits, along with good direction regarding things to work on to further improve those skills. The most worthwhile portion of the trip was the camaraderie we felt within our group, guides included. Their sense of humor was welcome and relaxing. It is evident that you success with Alpine Ascents is partially due to the fact that you surround yourself with capable and quality people. on this we congratulate you. We definitely expect to employ Alpine Ascent International's services again sometime soon." -Dave K. -Mike S. -Chris F.
"I thought that the course was most enjoyable and challenging. I had the opportunity to learn and practice technical climbing skills and teamwork. Alpine Ascents did an outstanding job with logistics and course instruction. And most importantly, I had fun. I learned far more than I ever thought I would." -Bentley B.
"The program was approached in a very serious manner and the guides had tremendous knowledge of the region. They were both very thorough with their instruction of the mountaineering skills. Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome." -Kevin C.
"I was very happy with the course. I achieved all of the personal goals that I had set for the course and I enjoyed every minute of it. The 4:1 ratio for our course was perfect. It was small enough to feel individualized but large enough to have a variety of goals and opinions of what to learn. You guys are doing a great job!" -Edward L.
"The program was very intensive and a wonderful experience. I have never climbed in the Alaska Range before, and this was a great introduction. The skills taught and the knowledge of the guides was fantastic." -Rich K.
"A very thorough course set in the most beautiful location I have ever been in!" -David H.
"Program was excellent. Awesome location. Inspiring scenery. Guides generated good camaraderie. We learned quite a few skills, learned useful tricks of the trade and were challenged. Would recommend highly to others!" -Steve H.
"Excellent. Having this class in Denali National Park exposed me to a class and quality of climbing beyond my expectations. This class was a great balance between safety, team building, skills and a lot of climbing. Best climbing I have ever done! My skills improved measurably." -Jeff B.
"Exceeded expectations on all levels. Superb! Fun, challenging, beautiful, adventures...Lots of great climbs and happy times in the mountains. Both guides were excellent. I had the utmost confidence in their ability." -Heather K.
"Alaska was awesome, a great place to have the course. All of the guides were excellent, one of the reasons I chose Alpine Ascents again." -Luke W.
"Excellent course in a fantastic setting. My guides were exceptional and dynamic. I would and will recommend your program." -Martine J.
"Great program! I had a terrific instructor whose judgment I respected and trusted. Course and curriculum were well thought out and expertly taught." -Brian M
"My overall opinion is that the program was First Rate! One of the best experiences of my life. My guides are both top people, you are very fortunate to have such individuals working with you." -Eric K.
What Former Kilimanjaro Climbers Say
"Logistics were well organized, everything fell into place and even the smallest details were looked after. Assigning an Alpine Ascents guide is an excellent idea for providing a good flow of communication (especially if there's a problem or issue). Ben Jones is an excellent guide and a veritable asset to Alpine Ascents. He communicates well, is extremely patient, informative and consistent throughout our week with him. Ben has an agreeable, positive and motivating attitude for his clients. He is upbeat, gives positive feedback to his clients and is obviously regarded with much respect and affection by the Tanzanian guides and porters. What I especially appreciated about Ben was his ability to find a strong positive in every single client, regardless of their alpine experience. I also really liked the Bob Marley and Michael Jackson playlists he provided as we trekked upwards on the trails. Ben is clearly talented, sympathetic to the cultural surroundings (he was actively learning Swahili on our trek) and responsive to clients' needs. He also has a wonderful attitude of gratitude which spilled over to both clients and supporting staff. My goal was to summit Kilimanjaro without stumbling too much along the way. More seriously, I made many new, quality friends on this adventure and arrived home safe and healthy.
Strengths > clearly a premium, first class adventure. As an experienced mountaineer, this was the most "luxurious" trip I've undertaken. Dining tents at lunch and dinner; camp set-up and take-down, etc. (this is stuff I usually expect to do myself!). Cuisine throughout was good and varied. I actually gained a few pounds on my return to Canada!
My initial thought was that the cost of this trip was significantly higher than competiting companies and I wondered what the "value" was in a premium trip. I now know the value is about on-going safety of clients on the mountain, a high degree of luxury on the safari (especially needed after the mountain experience) and the fact that logistically, I had every assurance all details were looked after. I loved giving over decision making to Ben and the support team! So if you get pushback on pricing, I would talk about "the client's investment and the quality" in this adventure. That lower price doesn't necessarily give you the best quality experience. Loved the cybercasts > my family and friends were especially thrilled to hear our voices from across the planet, which instilled a degree of comfort and reassurance for those at home." - Margaret I.
"I have to say, that I can only speak of Alpine Ascents, the Seattle office, Gordon Janow, Joe in equipment, Chris, Ellen Cravens and Eric Murphy in superlatives. From the first phone call with Chris, through the end of our trip, and followup, our experience with Alpine Ascents has been great, without reproach. At every step of the way, we felt that fine attention was given to our every need. Eric's skill is exceptional, along, with his willingness to share all aspects of his skill with us, and at the same time make us all feel good about our own skills. Eric always made it comfortable for us to ask questions (even when certain questions were asked over and over again). We can't say enough about Eric. Eric served as guide, parent, doctor, pharmacist, mentor etc. to all of us. He always showed a lot of patience and true care and concern every step of the way. Along with that, he made us all comfortable with sharing ANY concerns we had, no matter how, why or when. Along with the above, he always managed to keep us all with a good sense of humor. Eric has a very unique ability to keep us all focused on our goal, helping us to understand all our needs and at the same time, not letting any of us get to upset about anything. My dream of climbing Kili was met and far exceeded my expectations from growing not only from the experience, but from my fellow climbers and staff." Steve H."The climb far exceeded any expectations I had. The entire program, from arrival at the airport to departure was run effortlessly and smoothly without any hitches making it extremely easy for me to just concentrate on the trekking aspects and nothing else to concern myself about as it was all taken care of. There was so much attention paid to detail that all my concerns and worries were immediately alleviated. The camping side of it was incredibly well run and organized by some truly amazing tanzanian staff members. The food was better than any I have had in luxury restaurants which was made all the more memorable and remarkable as I visited the kitchen tent and saw the surroundings the chefs were having to prepare food in! Quite incredible. I do believe that the high quality of the food and nutritional value played a big part in my successful summit.
Eric proved to be an extemely knowledgeable and informative guide, giving off a quiet and encouraging confidence that in turn made me feel very confident about my trekking and then summit attempt. I felt that no questions were off limits and Eric was able to answer all of them without any hesitation, due partly to expereience and due to what we felt was a genuine interest in what we were asking. He is a natural leader, he does it in a very natural and comfortable way, the way he interacts with the local guides is very heartening to see as he treats them as equals, yet respect is given by all around him. There was no doubt in anybody's mind as to who the leader was! However, it was done in a very unassuming way with people looking to him for guidance. I had the time of my life on the mountain, helped by a great group, fantastic local people and mostly by having Eric with us.
My main goal was to reach the summit which I did with relative ease, thanks in the way in which the program was run. Other goals were to familiarize myself with camping life, dealing with inclement weather patterns, interacting with a group of strangers and learning about the ways of the mountain. All these goals were met, again due to the strength of the program which was brilliantly run. ...I cannot identify any weaknesses. One of the strengths that came to mind was the superb acclimatization methods used, the self care that was drummed into us by Eric as well as the longer trail days and the advantage of using Kosovo camp for the last night. That coupled with nutritional food hugely contributed to a successful summit bid.
I used a UK based company for another climb I did locally, but found them to be lacking in detail and reassurance of what were probably deemed as irrelevant questions. I decided against using them for Kilimanjaro, instead opting for Alpine Ascents, best decision I ever made as I never felt that anything was too much to ask, as the office staff were also extremely helpful.
I wish I could think of something to suggest, but I do feel that this was a wonderful program run in a very professional manner and made it an unforgettable experience for me, truly a once in a lifetime trip and I cannot thank Alpine Ascents enough for such a memorable week!" - Sandy M.
This program was incredibly well done on multiple levels. I can't imagine a better structured and functional program to Kilimanjaro. Every detail was amazingly worked out to perfection. The entire program went over in a seamless fashion without a single hitch, despite many many individual details that required constant management. It became very clear after just one day that this program was truly the pre-eminent program on the mountain!
Eric is truly a gifted, world class guide. It was clear from the first moment that Eric functioned as a very effective leader with both the group and the Tanzanian staff (porters, guides, etc.) He provided a source of authority, knowledge, support, and gave individual attention to climbers in need when the situations required. He did a fantastic job of managing multiple different activities at once and as a result, made the climb seem effortless from a logistics standpoint. It was a pleasure to see Eric so well integrated into the local culture and the local people. This provided an extra level of satisfaction with the climb that I assume cannot be found elsewhere. — Chuck M.
“The Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari were excellent in every respect. Alpine Ascents provided all necessary planning material to ensure we showed up for the trip well prepared and ready for the challenge. It was very clear the Alpine Ascents and their local guide staff have the Kilimanjaro deal down pat. Everything went extremely smoothly. It was a pleasure to participate in such a well planned and executed expedition.” Dave H.
“In terms of strength, the program is very professionally run and the various people involved know what they’re doing. I was particularly impressed with the way the porter joyously welcomed us into camp with dance and song, after working so hard for us…their exuberance was quite touching.” Pamela S.
"A 100% success! Alpine Ascents lived up to my expectations and beyond. Any bumps in the road were handled with smooth transitions and appropriate management." Patricia P.
"Overall opinion of the expedition was excellent - first-rate service. The trip exceeded my expectations. I felt 100% safe going up the mountain with John., he is a natural born leader. He communicates well, is flexible, stays true to his word and has a very calming personality. He practices safety first and is incredibly responsible and respectful of the porters. Nice to see a guide that is so organized, always!! My individual goal was to meet new people, enjoy the journey, reach the summit and celebrate the wonders of nature with the wild animals. All things were accomplished in a very pleasurable way with no stress!! 100% professional, incredibly organized, attention to detail, guide strength, number of porters, reputation, commitment to the environment, guide-to-client ratio, optimal route selection, pre-trip information. Our trip to Kilimanjaro was by far the best we have taken. Material sent and website are excellent with a wealth of information. The office staff was always there to help." Maria A.
My goals were two fold. First I wanted to be as successful as possible with the summit attempt which resulted in achieving the summit. Secondly I wanted to become more knowledgeable of the local culture by connecting with the individuals in and around the climbing area. This second goal was also met for me as the climbing support crew (guides, porters, etc) were engaging and informative. Additionally, the safari personnel were also very willing to engage about many local topics. Both of these successes leave me with the impression that due to Alpine Ascents' continued engagement in the Tanzanian area and working to a higher standard of excellence has left no question with the support groups what the objectives are. In short, Alpine Ascents has with the Kili expedition, set a level of excellence that is known throughout the Tanzanian climbing community.
"It was outstanding in every respect. I really cannot think of anything that could be improved. I think John Hauf was a key strength - he made the whole thing work, but I also think the 1st class approach to accommodations, food, etc. was also important. I did not realize that your approach was different from the others in terms of guide, personal attention, support etc., so that was a pleasant surprise. While I don't have a lot of experience with other organizations, those that I do have, did not have the same professionalism and experience that John exhibited." Pete J.
"This was an extraordinary experience. From logistics to guiding, the expedition was very well planned and executed, exceeding all of my expectations. Great planning, great logistics, great people and all under the leadership of a great guide. This expedition is a great introduction to the world of climbing and the world of Alpine Ascents." Ciprian P.
"Let's forget about the evaluation form and let me summarize this trip with one word: FANTASTIC!! This was a dream journey not to be forgotten for the rest of our lives. Everything worked great and I cannot think of one single thing that went wrong or was missing." Mike K.
"As you already know, the trip was a great success, everyone in the party summited, and we all enjoyed the safari. A tremendous contribution to the success of the trip and to the enjoyment of it was made by your guide, Allen Carbert. Allen was always helpful to us and patient even in circumstances which would have infuriated me. His enthusiasm was infectious, and motivated us to succeed. For me, who found the summit day very hard, this was critical. He gave excellent guidance on acclimatization, and knew how to repeat the important points for it, such as the need to consume fluids, without this seeming tedious or repetitive. As well as being an excellent mountaineer and guide, Allen is also a very pleasant human being, whose companionship and lively conversation kept our spirits up. Having been on a trip with another organization where the guide, though knowledgeable, was quiet and introverted, I know what a difference this makes."-Peter Y.
"The expedition was incredible, logistically everything appeared to be flawless - My guides, always mindful of safety and acclimatization, made every step of the climb enjoyable, interesting and fun."-Billy B.
"The entire two weeks came off without a hitch. Given the logistics of international travel we never waited for any part of the trip. Each day's climbing was enjoyable and well-planned. The safari could not have run more smoothly. Most of the group found the experience a defining moment in their lives." -Kevin D.
"Kili was hands down the best trip of my life. It exceeded all expectations." -Larry C.
"An outstanding climb, safari and experience. I can not imagine a better trip!! Detailed information about the mountain and safari was tremendous. Accommodations far exceeded my expectations. Food was great!" -Charles M.
"The expedition was an outstanding combination of mountaineering, naturalism and social studies. I can't imagine a more alluring introduction to high-altitude expedition mountaineering." -John D.
"The expedition exceeded my expectations in every way. Accommodations and travel within Kenya and Tanzania were perfect. What made the trip so wonderful was the guides and fellow climbers. Alpine Ascents does a fabulous job in support - in answering questions and providing the right information. It was really the experience of my life and I will never forget it." -Suzy G.
"Extremely well organized, the guides were very helpful and knowledgeable and Tobias our African guide was the best. A great trip!" -Judith T.
"Outstanding. I thought all parts of the climb and safari were just superb" -Rob M.
"Out of all my travels, including Everest, this was the best! It was so well organized we never missed a beat. Thank you." -Bob H.
Return to Top of Page
" Absolutely outstanding program on every level! The itinerary was the perfect blend of cultural experience, acclimatization before climbs and recovery after climbs. There was not one dull moment, yet I never felt rushed or unprepared. The food and lodging were by far the best I have ever had on a climbing trip, and Jose Luis and his team were without a doubt the best all round guides I have climbed with. Overall, Outstanding: always put safety first, conducted a very thorough skills review before our first climb, and provided great coaching and motivation during the climbs. I learned more in two weeks than I did in my previous three climbs combined!!" Jim M, 2011 Climber
"First Class itinerary and guide staff! Great trip" Allen W.
"Overall it was a wonderful trip, combining numerous climbs with a real taste of the local Ecuadorian culture. It was very well organized from the time we arrived at the airport in Quito until we left 15 days later. The variety of lodging as we moved around the country was always more than adequate and the food was always good. I have nothing but compliments to give to Jose Luis, the other local Ecuadorian guides and even our bus driver who was always on time and drove with significant skill over some very difficult roads. All of the guides were very knowledgeable about their country, its history as well as any and all facts about mountaineering in Ecuador (as well as many other regions outside of Ecuador). In fact they were always willing to readily share this knowledge with all of us." Chris S.
“Excellent program allowing for optimal acclimatization. Good balance between mountaineering and touring the area. Excellent accommodations (unique, good variety). Plenty of good food. I would highly recommend the trip.” David T.
“Great program. The expedition was well organized and leadership was outstanding…AAI has the logistics dialed in on this one. No hitches in logistics. Lots of moving around from hotels to huts to climbing. Everything went as smoothly as one could possibly expect.” Kurt G.
"The guides are first rate. Jose Luis, Renee, Javier and Pepe all had strong mountain skills and good people skills, the combination I feel makes for a great climbing trip. I can not say enough about Jose Luis! I have climbed Rainier, Orizaba, Denali, Aconcagua and trekked to Everest Base Camp, using various companies. In my ~11 years of experience, Jose Luis is the best guide I have had! His experience is extensive, his skills on the mountain are solid and he has a wonderful way with people, which is sometimes hard to find. I enjoyed his company greatly and felt totally comfortable climbing with him at all times. His choice of rope teams was always on target. His strategy for reorganizing teams when some members decided to turn around was also excellent. There were a couple of occasions when one or more group members was sick and Jose Luis made great decisions on the fly which allowed the group to keep going, the sick members to get better and then continue with the trip. I was impressed with his decision making.
The itinerary is well structured for acclimatization. I saw many groups of seemingly fit people turn around on each of the peaks we climbed, which I believe was mostly due to acclimatization problems. The trip was planned well to build a solid base, so I felt we were given the best chance possible to summit Cotopaxi and Chimborazo at the end. The training prior to the climbs was excellent. The glacier travel, cramponing and crevasse rescue practice was more extensive than I have received on some major expeditions! Even for someone experienced, this was an excellent refresher." Rich C.
"Jose Luis was superb and played a huge role in making the expedition so enjoyable. He obviously has outstanding abilities and is a great teacher. He is very patient and loads of fun to be with. I was amazed at how tireless he was in chauffeuring us around and putting forth extra effort to tell us about the country, its history etc. There seemed to be no detail too small for him to worry about or to take care of. Despite having run this trip three times in the past few months, he genuinely seemed excited and interested in what we were doing and completely dedicated to making sure we were having the best possible experience. At most times it felt less like an arranged expedition than a trip visiting with friends in Ecuador." Jerry G.
"Great trip. Ecuador is a fantastic country and virtually all of the people we dealt with were hard working and pleasant. We have traveled around the world and have to say this was our best trip ever." Ted and Amy L.
"I felt like, with Jose Luis, I was in the hands of one of the best guides in Ecuador. He is fun to be with and had a great rapport with the group. The trip was extremely well-organized, and I had fun the entire time. Overall I thought the organization of the trip was flawless." -Hathy A.
"Excellent expedition. Well-planned and executed. Bonus of exposure to Ecuadorian culture. Guides were personable, hard working and fun. World class climbing." -Thomas A.
"This was an amazing trip all around, from the people, the accommodations, the food, the mountains, oh, and the climbing was good too! Alpine Ascents always seems heads above most other organizations I've traveled with." -Michael M.
"My experience with Alpine Ascents in Ecuador was truly great. To explain why is almost impossible because so many things made it a good experience. All the climbers in our group were grateful for the attention to safety. Having fun during the trip was another thing that was emphasized. The trip wasn't just about hustling up some mountain. I sincerely look forward to climbing with Alpine Ascents in the future." -Kathleen S.
"I had a great time on the trip. My guides are top notch people, they taught me a ton and made every experience enjoyable. Alpine Ascents stands head and shoulders above any other guide service I have ever encountered." -Mike M.
"To put our comments into perspective, my wife and I have also had the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro, Rainier, Aconcagua and some local mountains around Calgary, but all with different guiding companies. In summary we were tremendously pleased and satisfied with every aspect of our holiday and climbs. Alpine Ascents truly exceeded our expectations. In particular we were most impressed with your lead guide Jose Luis Peralvo. In addition to being an excellent guide and always being concerned for our safety, was a wonderful a most gracious host to us. My first mountain trip where I did not lose weight. The travel logistics, hotels and lodges etc, were all superb. We will certainly climb with Alpine Ascents again and won't hesitate to recommend your company." -John & Janet D.
"Willi is without a doubt, the finest guide I have ever been associated with. He made this trip totally interesting and a real educational experience from a mountaineering standpoint."-Brian C.
"It was truly an outstanding and personally rewarding experience. Ecuador is a beautiful and interesting country to explore. "-James R.
"I've been exposed to a number of guide services and it would be hard for me to believe that I could find a better mountain guide than Willi. "-Jeff H.
"Based on my experiences with other guides services and speaking with other climbers, Alpine Ascents International is the only guide service I would use again. Our guides were nothing short of outstanding. "-Mick J.
What Former Everest Climbers Say
"I have received reports of other teams turning back in mid climb between the South Col ad Summit due to the conditions. So, it makes it all the more impressive that Alpine Ascents has put their team on the top of the world including 18 year old Leanna Shuttleworth... I have spoken over the last several days about 'support systems on Everest'. The major operators like Alpine Ascents, ... demonstrate this every season," - Alan Arnette, alanarnette.com
"Just wanted to let you know that I had a fabulous time on Everest and the trip could not have been better. The guides were all amazing climbers, teachers, and friends. I felt positive about the climb from beginning to end, and I thank you and everyone at Alpine Ascents for being a part of that. I also thank you for putting together such a competent and skilled team of guides and Sherpa, that helped me get to the top. Each day and each step was important, and I will take the memories with me forever. Many thanks and all the best.
Climbing with Alpine Ascents was the best decision I made, and I could not have been more pleased. You may pay more than some of the other companies, but I think you get more. The client-to-guide ratio was low, so there was always someone covering your backside. The experience level of the guides and the Sherpa team was very high, with many Everest summits between them. The tents, food, equipment, and technology were top notch, as well as the relay of information that was passed along to friends and family back home. Most of us only have one shot at Everest. Why not give it the best shot that you can?" - Lori Schneider, Everest Summiter, interviewed on OutsideOnline.com
"Thanks so much to all of you at AAI for making my dream of making the Seven Summits come true, I could not have accomplished this feat without the support of the entire team especially the guides and Sherpas. " Kay L.
"Could I take this opportunity to thank all at Alpine Ascents for a great Everest climb. Dave and Vern were fantastic throughout, I doubt there's a better guiding duo and company on the planet. I shall certainly be climbing with Alpine Ascents for the foreseable future. When I heard Dave was guiding on Carstenz, my interest increased 10 fold, will let you know, thanks again for providing a first class expedition, Alistair Sutcliffe."
"Finally, there are the much-quoted $65,000 slots, with a couple of high-profile outfitters. I've gotten to know one of them, Alpine Ascents, quite well here at base camp, and have to admit, if I could afford it, I'd probably go for it. Cynics would argue that I'm saying this because I've gobbled up so much of Alpine Ascent's tea cake up here, but for a climber, to be able to climb with mountaineering legends like Vern Tejas or Willi Prittie is an experience akin to painting with Picasso or golfing with Palmer. In some cases, if you can afford it, 65 grand is not an overwhelming price to climb with the best. Now if you'll excuse me, I think Alpine Ascents is serving tea."-Finn Olaf Jones, Discovery.com
Letter from an Everest Climber
121 Mercer Street
Seattle WA 98109
I have to write a short note to you complementing you on your excellent group of employees on the 2002 Everest Expedition. With such a large logistical problem at hand the only solution is a group of talented, hard working people that can overcome obstacles.
Collectively and individually the guides excelled at their jobs, and many times went the extra mile to make things happen. Willi, Vern and Luis have a wealth of experience and were willing to share their knowledge and skills to give us a safe and educational trip. Mike and Jose Luis made every effort to keep us out of harms way. The Sherpa were without peers as a group and Lhakpa personally ensured each of the climbers were looked after with expertise. Ong Chou is without question a large part of our success as he kept us well fed and healthy during our time at Base Camp.
As you know the trip was a huge success. I can remember you and I having lunch a year ago in Talkeetna and your words were: "If you want the best chance at the summit, and the safest trip possible, it would be smart to choose Alpine Ascents International." You were right and I am glad I made the decision to go with you,
Thanks for the awesome experience and Kudos to the entire crew!!
CleveReturn to Top of Page
EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK
"Fantastic! It was everything I had hoped for and more! I wanted to thank you and Alpine Ascents for a wonderful trip to Everest Base Camp! I wish I were back in the Khumbu! The itinerary was perfect! It allowed plenty of time to acclimate and I felt stronger as we got to higher altitude. Also, the folks you had on the ground in Nepal were fantastic! I'm used to handling arrangements while I travel by myself, so it was a great comfort (and a bit luxurious) to have someone there for me to take care of everything at all times. I especially like the side trip to Thame (Kami's village) to acclimate further. Meeting Kami's parents and spending time at the Monastery in his village was probably the highlight of my trip after being at Everest Base Camp. I have been very happy with the Alpine Ascents staff and programs thus far and look forward to future trips." Carolyn M, Fall 2011 Trekker.
"Overall, the trek was by far one of the most amazing experiences I've had, including being stuck in Lukla for a few days and trekking out to catch our heli-ride! Ben, Gopal, Kami, Subais and Jiban were all top-notch and made the entire experience memorable, as well as enjoyable and fun." Anne K. Fall 2011 Trekker.
"The guides excitement for the area is contagious. I noticed their watchful eye on each of us for signs of health issues (although it was done on the sly) ensured that we were well taken care of. The distances were designed to be possible for the average person and yet still challenging for a sense of accomplishment. Guides were outstanding, friendly and extremely knowledgeable." Spring 2011 Trekker.
"An absolutely outstanding, once in a lifetime journey, experience. It was truly incredible to not only trek to base camp, but to be able to do it with superb Sherpa guides and world class Mt. Everest climbers, in terms of our guides and some of the climbing sherpas. We would definitely do it all over again, now knowing what we know and most definitely with Alpine Ascents and would highly recommend this trek to others.
We found that Alpine focused not just on “trekking to Mt. Everest Base Camp and back”, but very much on teaching us about the local culture, the sherpa way of life, beliefs and culture, sharing their years of experience in the region with us, discussions on acclimatization, how to stay healthy during the trek, which really assists in one enjoying the trek through staying healthy and acclimatizing well, real focus on safety
Our guides were superb, world class, but most importantly, were very approachable, supportive, helpful, doctors at times, and a privilege to have hiked with. Very easy to get along with for sure and each a fascinating person to have the opportunity to spend some time with.
The strengths of this trip are your great guides, superb logistics and organization, thorough knowledge of Nepal and the local community, excellent local guides and Sherpas, very attuned to the need for appropriate acclimatization, being attuned to your clients and checking in with them especially those who were having difficulty acclimatizing, well equipped and knowledgeable about appropriate medical assistance, drugs, and the application and usage thereof, very personable and approachable guides, integration with the Everest climbing team was a real important extra and benefit this year. There are probably a few more I forgot!
Your quality is outstanding and superb. Your years of experience really show forth." John D.
"We thought is was an incredible experience. The tour of Kathmandu prior to our departure was incredible and the knowledge of our guides was exceptional. The timing of the days was good and their ability to care for everyone was great. What a treat to have a world class climber lead us through the mountains he knows so well. Your staff was excellent and the cybercast was also very helpful to friends and family that were following our trip." Tiffany B.
"Absolutely wonderful. The trek met and exceeded my expectations. Seeing the Himalayas and Everest is a memory that I will never forget - so happy that my husband and I made the decision to go on this adventure. It was so beautiful!" Rachel S.
"Spectacular! Did not want to leave the Khumbu. Guides were of absolute highest caliber." -Margaret K.
"Most remarkable trip of my life - expertly guided by extremely knowledgeable people. There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to describe the experience. Office staff was attentive and helpful." -Larry S.
"One of the most fantastic, rewarding and magical journeys I've ever participated in. Outstanding guides and leadership with a wealth of climbing and cultural expertise." -Jason G.
"Fantastic. Everything I'd hoped for and more! Learned lots about climbing, Nepal, saw monasteries, met the Everest Team, met a lama etc. I successfully had my first altitude experience, I got to see fantastic scenery, we were able to interact with the Sherpa in the region and to get an understanding of their way of life, history and culture."-Bill S.
"Fabulous, thrilling, arduous. The acclimatization was well-done and the Sherpa were very responsible and helpful. My guides instruction in pressure breathing, rest step and general skills made it possible for me to reach all our goals, He explained what effects altitude has which helped me manage when the time came."-Alison G.
"A great adventure, a real trip to remember. Good people, good company, good arrangements - enjoyed the cultural as well as the overall mountain experience." -Richard T.
"It was tons of fun and I would do it again. This trip was one of the most well-organized and well-run operations that I have been associated with. The guide's knowledge of the region, it's history and customs and their ability to pass this information along to the clients really helped me to make this a very enjoyable experience. The Sherpa with us were friendly, caring people who seemed genuinely interested in seeing that we all enjoyed ourselves. The office staff was most helpful. Emails were answered almost immediately and when I called for information it was provided during the call. This trip was a true adventure and a good time was had by all."-Harris P.
"The expedition provided an even richer experience than we were anticipating. The personal and educational look at Nepal was exceptional. We had anticipated that Alpine Ascents was the number one trekking company in the world and were pleased to discover this was true." -Warren & Becky J.
"Excellent, Beautiful, Tough! We had a great time." -Rob & Marilyn R.
"I'd been to Nepal before, but traveling with Alpine Ascents was a different trip altogether. The trek logistics were flawlessly organized, from Kathmandu to Base Camp (even the layovers in Bangkok) so I could concentrate on enjoying the countryside. Traveling with experienced guides like Todd and Willi opens doors that are closed to most visitors. Not only do those guys know the way, they know most of the people along the way, and the result is a cultural experience unmatched by anything I've experienced before. It's the way Himalayan travel should be." -Peter Potterfield, Editor, www.GreatOutdoors.com
"Overall the trip was outstanding. The climbs themselves combined with the culture made for a very enjoyable vacation. The guides were very professional, fun and easy to get a long with. The logistics were seamless. I felt like I was in good hands at all times. Jose Luis was the best all-around guide I have ever climbed with." Shane B.
"Excellent trip along with very flexible itinerary. Jose Luis was outstanding, His foremost concern was the safety and well-being of the group. One of the safest and most skilled individuals I have ever met in the mountains! Excellent strengths in the gaining of acclimatization near and on Pisco and the level of acclimatization was clearly shown by our group by excellent conditioning when Pisco was climbed (In an excellent perspective to other groups who suffered on Pisco and/or who were unsuccessful)." Paul M.
"I wanted to tell you that Jose Luis and Rene are just wonderful. They are just great and you run a perfect operation. I will be a client as long as my legs allow me to climb, I am already thinking about next summer..." Alberto A.
"We had a great time, the group was great, I learned more about climbing on this trip with Willi, than I have on all of my previous climbs. I count my Alpine Ascents Mongolia trip as one of my favorite vacations. Mongolia is an amazingly beautiful country and the Mongolian people couldn't be nicer or more hospitable. It is an adventure that should not be missed." -Kim F.
"The ground support was excellent in the areas of travel, timing, events. My individual goals were met and exceeded, My guide was extremely patient and he is a superb teacher, I feel lucky to have had him as a guide. Our Mongolian liaison was outstanding." -Jeannie B.
"I'd do it again. Met my expectations in terms of culture, conditioning, and mountaineering experiences. Good logistical layout. Great local guides, great point of interest visitation plan. I rate it higher than other organizations expeditions I have been on." -John K.
We are so pleased with the tour. You have opened a new world for us, a culture and place so beautiful, so complex, so rich. As usual in traveling we come home with another perspective on which to view our own world. The trip was a wonderful overview. I cannot wait for the opportunity to return with you and to explore more profoundly the richness of the culture. Thank you for everything that you have done.- Doug S.
Gordon - Your deft guidance and deep knowledge of India made our experience unforgettably outstanding. All five of our senses were continually stimulated - to the max. Also the unusual bonding of the group was gratifying. We care about one another.
Truly, the trip was absolutely wonderful. It infiltrates my thoughts night and day and I've not yet grown tired of looking at pictures. The way you orchestrated everything - time, places, food, experiences was great - just enough guidance and information. For example the way you eased us from elegant Raj boulevards gradually to the cacophony of Varanasi's thoroughfares seemed masterful! I couldn't have asked for more. -- Laura I.
Your background and experiences in India helped us experience India in a unique way that no other tour can offer. --Sue R. 2005
"The region is incredible, excellent cultural introduction during first week of acclimatization, the mountain is amazing, base camp set up is pretty deluxe, staff was superb."- Greg J
"This is a very strong program. The food was excellent. On the climbing side, the guides were excellent. Everything was well organized. Equipment, transportation, etc. were never a problem. I can't think of any weakness or criticisms." -Robert S.
"The expedition to the Matterhorn was my second trip with Alpine Ascents, and it more than lived up to my expectations. The guides were excellent, the climbing was fantastic. This was an excellent trip that only served to further Alpine Ascents standards." – Adam P.
"While I loved each and every expedition with Alpine Ascents, the Matterhorn expedition was superb. Our guide was a true leader and gifted climber. He went out of his way to increase our skill, confidence and sense of achievement." Jim B.
"Our climb, lodging and food, in-country training, Beni and other Swiss guides, Zermatt and Switzerland exceeded expectations." Ben H.
"Excellent. The guides were friendly and pleasant while clearly leading the party with authority. I enjoy the fact that they were not condescending to the climbers. As leaders, they communicated effectively with the climbers regarding itinerary, route, what to expect on the climb and safety. Strengths are the quality of the guides, the planning and logistics, the excellent teaching and communication and the focus on safety. I did not see any clear weaknesses". 2012
"Our guide did a great job of adapting/adjusting the program to suit the skill and experience of the climbers who showed up for this trip, and knows all the variations available in the locale to make that possible". 2012
"Great program, really enjoyed the first three days of training/acclimatization hike around the glaciers and the impressive hut system found in the Alps. The extensive rock climbing was unexpected but all of the guides did a great job getting us prepared to handle challenges of the first portion of the summit day on the grand couloir." 2012
"This was a fantastic program that offered me a lot more than I was expecting. This is a mandatory AAI trip for the range of experiences and climbing options. I was completely satisfied and would recommend this to everyone regardless of their past climbing achievements. There were no weaknesses that I could see. The program's huge strength is that this really isn't just a Mont Blanc program, it's a Chamonix alpine climbing program. The shear range of climbs and options is mind-boggling. What's more, all of this fantastic climbing ends up each night at a hut or hotel with the possibility of a fantastic meal and wine! Another strength is the great job that Gordon does making sure that all pre-trip arrangements are correct. Gordon was very flexible with me as I had to change my trip several times." - Mark F. 2011 Climber
"You have an outstanding staff / contacts in France and Switzerland. Jonathan Spitzer is energetic and personable. I sensed everyone was at ease with him within minutes of meeting. Jonathan's choice of supporting guides was excellent. They were equally personable. While we did not do the advertised program, I would like to say that I really appreciated your accommodation to let us do more technical climbs as an alternative. The quality of routes, huts, and infrastructure make Chamonix a special place. " -Chris C 2011 Climber
"The expedition experience took us through a number of different challenges. It was a great learning opportunity. Very good communications from AA and the lead guide in getting things set up, equipment needs. Guides have exceptional mountaineering skills. " - Frank B. 2011 Climber
WASHINGTON SUMMIT CLIMBS
"From start to finish, I knew we were with the right outfit. It was an unforgettable experience, a true lifetime experience. Across the board my guides all showed great leadership. I'm a teacher myself and these guys know how to teach. I not only learned and felt confident, but I had a great deal of fun in the process. People learn better when they are relaxed and enjoying themselves and they were awesome at this. They were funny smart, charming, gentle and accommodating. It must have been a huge challenge to take an all-women group, spanning 4 decades of cancer survivors. We were an incredible mixed bag of skills, ability and attitude and these guys made us feel special. Gentlemen to the bone!!!! Cancer was forced on me, I had no choice but to face that challenge, but climbing Baker I CHOSE, for myself and pushed through a lot of fear and limitations as I hoped I would. I hurt this morning but I am alive and well and a stronger, better woman for this experience. I also made great friends!!!" Dyani B.
"I was very pleased - there was excellent documentation and guidance prior to the climb. The fitness goals were very helpful and definitely helped us ready for the demands of the climb. The trip was excellent. As good if not even better than any other climbing related program I've participated in."-Jeff R.
"Excellent. Climbing Mt. Baker was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The guides were easy to talk to and fun to be around. There was plenty of food, enough time for rest and lots of time for hands on learning and asking questions." -Sharon A.
"Very well organized from the beginning when I first contacted the office through the climb itself. The office staff helped me choose the best possible climb for my interest and ability and the written materials I received were completed and helped my choose my gear correctly, which can be confusing for a beginning climber. Your reputation is well-deserved, I would definitely choose a trip with you again." Lisa S.
"What an incredible trip! I did things I've only seen others do. Me! Our guide was so knowledgeable, helpful, encouraging and fun! Thanks Alpine Ascents for giving us this top-rate guide to make our Adams Glacier experience A+"-Don, Thom, JJ
"Excellent. The gear we rented and the other supplies we needed were very well-prepared. Our gear check was well-run, and our guide is beyond reproach in terms of skills and judgment for a mountain guide. He navigated with pinpoint accuracy and safety precautions in difficult weather conditions. Our group was comprised of 3 life-long friends, our guide now feels like a fourth!"-Gregory C.
"Top notch program with over the top service. This is probably one of the most dangerous things I have done, yet i never felt like I was in any danger. This can all be contributed to the four guides and their leadership. Exceeded my expectations: All four guides had the skill and knowledge to keep all clients worry free, safe, and working hard. This was a great experience that neither my brother or I will every forget." Philip M, 2011 Climber.
"Climbing Mt. Rainier with Alpine Ascents is officially one of the best experiences of my life, one I will tell to anyone who will listen. Spending two nights on the mountain, at Muir and high camp, really works in breaking up the climb into easy sections, allows for a rest and time to take in the amazing views. The ratio of guides to climbers makes for a more personal summit day climb, which is something I really appreciate. Overall the program is one I would recommend to anyone who has plans or dreams to climb Mt. Rainier. Wow....I learned so much from this climb, being my first technical climb, I did have a lot to learn, and the guide team was there to teach. Each guide spoke and taught, while taking turns, as from the same book on the trail, at breaks, around the dinner/breakfast table or "snow school". I feel privileged to have climbed with such great teachers and, being a sponge for the knowledge, I learned a lot. I have lived below the shadows of Mt. Rainier my whole life and until last year I had not even stepped foot on the mountain. Now I can say to everyone "I have climbed that mountain. See the slope between Little Tahoma and Rainier, right up that slope". Yes my goal was met. Now I just have to get a new goal so I keep up on my training and continue to feel 20 years younger." Greg S.
"This was the most interesting adventure I was ever engaged in. With some luck in terms of weather, I believe this 3-Day Muir Climb was perfectly executed by AAI. All guides on this climb had great mountaineering skills. Stuart, as our main guide showed true leadership! The entire team under his leadership performed outstanding. I am really thankful for Stuart, that he and the other three guides made the decision to summit Rainier at sunset, instead of sunrise like we planned at the beginning. Since hearing the next morning after our sleep after the climb that many other groups did not reach the summit because of the conditions up at the top, I was so glad of our guides decision!" Andrew S. July 2011 Climber
"This was by far an experience of a lifetime. Our guides and the Alpine Ascents staff are top notch individuals – instilling confidence and a strong sense of safety throughout the program. From the excellent pre-trip communication to the flexibility and candidness on the climb I was greatly impressed with the professionalism of all involved. I chose Alpine Ascents because of what I had heard about other guide services and was not looking for a drill sargent / military style rigid structured climb – and our summit success is a testament to how important such flexibility is – had we stuck to the pre-defined schedule we’d not have summited due to the weather and conditions. I felt a big piece to my enjoyment was a sense of ‘team’ – not only with the climbers but with the guides as well. Throughout the program we were joking around, sharing stories and bonding. Even after the climb was over the guides were quick to tell me that if I ever had questions about future climbs, or anything of that sort to feel free to reach out to them – I honestly feel like I made a group of new friends over the course of our program and very much appreciate that! Thank you Alpine Ascents – top notch professionals who clearly make the enjoyment, safety and success of clients a top priority!
Strengths: Flexibility, professionalism and organization. I especially appreciated being provided the opportunity to make our summit bid the day prior to plan. This option was the difference between a successful climb and one that would have ended like others who attempted on Monday – in having to turn around at 13,000’. The communication prior to the climb was great – I always felt like I could ask questions and get prompt answers.
Weakenesses: None stand out. The guide staff was engaging and instilled a confidence in those of us climbing that not only would they ensure our safety but that they’d do what it took to put the odds in our favor for a successful trip." - Matt P. July, 2011 Climber
"I was very impressed with the high level of skill, professionalism and knowledge of all of the guides. I felt very safe with the guides and was very entertained by their mountain and personal stories. The guides had great people skills and seemed to have an almost immediate understanding of the needs and likes of each individual in our group. This was my third climb of Mt. Rainier, with the first two being with RMI 17+ years ago. RMI was a good experience but my experience with the 3 guides with Alpine Ascents far surpassed my expectations and just made it such a more personal and joyful experience. Good leadership really shines when they are able to pull a team together, with similar goals, yet very different personalities. The guides were fantastic at this. They made everyone feel very comfortable and at ease. The climbing and group experience was incredible. I was able to take some extrordinary photos that I just love. I felt strong enough to handle the adversities . Bottom line, my personal goals were far exceeded, and I really thank my guides. Also, the training recommendations that were given were incredibly helpful, it worked." Eve G. July 2011 Climber
"This expedition was everything I had hoped for and more. I never felt unsafe or unprepared in any phase of our climb. As a novice climber, I leaned heavily on the knowledge and professionalism of the guides. What an incredible experience! What a thrill to climb with such experienced guides - their resumes speak for themselves! I had complete faith that our guides would know what to do regardless of any situation that arose. I liked the way all four guides worked together - sharing the technical and teaching workloads. I never sensed that one guide "felt he was better than the others." And that commands your respect. There were situations where the guides had to improvise based on conditions and made the right decisions every time. I would think the hardest part of the guides' job would have to be teaching the same basic skills to (mostly) novice climbers week after week after week. But they took time to make sure everyone was proficient in those skills. Right down to the smallest detail. I felt prepared the moment I stepped on the mountain. We had fun. And with four guides and eight clients in bad weather and tight living conditions that's not always possible. All four of our guides were easy to talk to. Answered questions. Laughed and joked. Shared and interacted. In other words, they were one of us. That goes SUCH a long way in easing the nerves of a first-time climber like myself. I wanted to learn to climb in hopes of doing more and I now have the basic skills required to do that. Although I came up just short of the summit, I came to Alpine Ascents and Mount Rainier for a trip of a lifetime and I got just that. I loved the attention to detail that the program had. I knew what to expect and when to expect it. And again, as a novice climber - the last thing your nerves want is surprises! As a Floridian, I was well prepared for the weather which was a big concern to me too. I can't think of any weaknesses in the Alpine Ascents program." July 2011 Climber.
"I was very impressed with the program. From the beginning I found it very professional and I found people very responsive. Whether responding to initial inquiries, working out schedules, helping with equipment rentals all the way through the climb I thought everyone was great. Our group of guides were very easy to get along with. They really put us at ease. I truly enjoyed the experience thanks to our great guides. The four of them really made the trip for us." James O. 2011 Climber.
"Really enjoyed the experience. The food was great. Very happy to have succeeded. The mountaineering skill level of the guides was excellent. The office staff were very helpful. All the correspondence, forms, and documents were sent out well in advance. Also got help with rental items as well as some pointers. Any questions sent by email were promptly answered. The training guide is a great way to get a perspective on what will be required physically. The equipment list is good. Keep up the good work! " Bert B. 2011 Climber
"Outstanding program -- very thorough from gear check until drop off at the end." Gordon R. 2011 Climber
"What can I say but Excellent! Would not hesitate to recommend. 10 out of 10. These are the guides you'd want with you if you're in dire straits. I don't want to single out any one guide because each guide was the essence of what a guide should be. That was the BEST skill that separates Alpine Ascents from other guide services. Any one guide could be the leader and and some times due to their professional skills it seemed as they all were the leader, each stepping up to any task at hand and dealing with it. Each guide was not only an excellent climber, but came across as a true friend, genuinely interested in not only our safety, but our enjoyment of the entire experience. The guides ARE the program." - Dave F. June 2010 Rainier Muir Climber.
"Very Impressed. This climb was much more challenging and fulfilling than expected. The schedule was flawlessly executed between the gear check and the return to Seattle. I was impressed by how organized and punctual this company was in preparation for this climb. There was a symmetry of information between the climbers, guides, and headquarters that made this trip flow much smoother. The food, the transportation, and the gear provided were all perfect.
All four of the guides were very knowledgeable and their confidence on Mt Rainier was contagious. At any of my "what am I doing here?" moments, I was quickly reminded by the motivating actions and experience of these guides to stay focused and follow their lead. There was no point in which I would have questioned their professional opinion or decision during ascent or descent. It was as though they knew this mountain almost too well, and that was comforting in itself. It was plain to see that each guide knew exactly what they were doing at any given moment on that mountain, and when appropriate, relayed their knowledge to the rest of the group. From learning each guide personally, it was understood that mountaineering was their passion and absolute safety was their priority. The diverse climbing backgrounds of each guide afforded us all the opportunity to learn even more as much of their vast prior experience became applicable to Mt Rainier.
Having spent time in the military, I can really appreciate the level of professionalism and leadership embodied by all four of these guides. As stated above, the contagiousness of their confidence created a much more functional team out of the climbers. All of the guides took safety seriously and each potentially dangerous action was immediately corrected. Each guide was quick to take on their individual responsibilities and provide logistical, informational, and safety related support to the group. They give great attention to detail and remain vigilant the entire climb, ensuring maximum safety for every climber and guide. I am confident that any one of these guides could successfully lead any group of climbers up any mountain. As well, I would hope to have any or all of them as a guide on a future climb with Alpine Ascents.
As this was a great learning experience, the guides were definitely great teachers. They each provided easy to understand explanations all the necessary mountaineering rudiments as well as stressing important safety concerns. Whether it was efficient climbing techniques or ways to keep your hands warm, each guide provided essential techniques that I took advantage of and will continue to use on future climbs. Explanations were articulated well and the guides were adamant about everyone fully understanding a concept before moving on.
I found that the second day of rest and training was very helpful to prepare for the summit climb the following morning. The guide to climber ratio was perfect for any assistance I needed or questions I had during the climb, there was a guide available nearby to help. The food was great and very filling. I Truly enjoyed the post-climb group dinner on level ground, it really provided an entertaining closure to the trip. The shuttle to and from Seattle is incredibly convenient for out of town/state/country climbers." Matthew M. 2010 Rainier Climber
"I'd need a thesaurus for all the superlatives. This is my 6th guided climb and it was by far the best. We never felt rushed or frantic. We had enough time and information every step of the way. Every question was answered. Every detail was provided. I give this experience my absolute highest rating. I had been stopped by weather @13,000 feet on a previous climb. As I am in my mid-fifties, I don't know how many more years of climbing I will have. So, my goal of reaching the top was met with the kindness of the weather spirits and the strength of our guide team.
I think you guys have it pretty much wired. I give your company a 10, and you can quote me on that. I want to thank all of you for a wonderful experience that I will treasure for my entire life." Keith S.
"Awesome! Great guides. Felt safe and well informed at all times." Jim H.
"Overall, excellent guide team -- JJ is awesome, Lakpa... what can I say, the dude has made it to the top of Everest 13 times, Brent and John we both really good, patient, knowledgeable ...good teachers." Bryan N.
"The program far exceeded all expectations I originally had. The gear check was efficient and informative, and the organization of the whole program was impeccable. Our guides were all extremely knowledgeable and friendly. They taught us a tremendous amount in a short amount of time, while at the same time were very conscious of some of the 'slower' members of the group. The guides went out of their way to befriend each climber. They all seemed to be genuinely interested in not only our safety, but our personal interests as well." Jonathan F.
“I could not be happier with your program! I would highly recommend you to anyone interested in climbing Rainier. It was such a great experience.” Jennifer S.
“This is my 6th guided climb and it was by far the best…I give this experience my absolute highest rating.” Keith S.
"Fabulous trip. Very well organized. Tough climbs. When climbing both peaks, there is a tremendous amount of transport and logistics involved. The full rest day in Puebla was crucial.
All were great leaders.
I climbed Rainier with XXX in ’86 and ’96. I climbed Rainier this summer with you; your itinerary (Ingraham Flats) was far superior.
"I am thoroughly impressed with your program and would recommend it to anyone. From the web site, to the print materials, the reservation process, the rentals, the gear check, transport, guides and itinerary I thought it was wonderful. Your program is the most organized and thorough of any that I have participated in. Being able to call and talk with staff during the preparation phase was especially reassuring. " Steven L.
"I just arrived back from an extended vacation and wanted to send you a quick note in regards to my trip with Alpine Ascents to Mount Rainier during the week of July 22. I cannot describe how good of a time we had on the mountain, not only was the weather terrific, the guides were fantastic, exceptional in their knowledge of Mount Rainier as well as climbing in general. They were all outspoken, easy to get along with and went out of their way to make the trip enjoyable for all the climbers. I certainly came away with great memories, renewed confidence and an urge to get another climb on my calendar as soon as possible. I would like to thank you again for providing a first-class operation and I look forward to climbing with Alpine Ascents again in the future."-Karl M.
"Alpine Ascents as an organization always does a great job. You are thorough, have a great gear list, provide good food for the trip, good organization in general. All three of the guides did not hesitate to teach during the entire trip. It was welcomed information and I never hesitated to listen to them. Their styles of teaching were very good, and imparted their knowledge in non-threatening ways." Karen K.
"Alpine Ascents always does a great job on the mountain. The guides are a pleasure to work with and are very experienced Rainier climbers. Alpine Ascents International is one of the best organizations on the mountain." - Mount Rainier National Park
"A great experience. All 3 of our guides demonstrated excellent skills and were a pleasure to climb with. I would most definitely join another expedition." -Amy S.
"Excellent, I could not imagine anything better. Guides took charge but were not overbearing. It was nice to see others go to our guides for advice." -Mark S.
"This was a great climb. The guides were great and made everyone feel as part of a team. They were patient and did everything possible to ensure our success on this climb. The guides displayed great leadership skills. They pushed us when necessary and were patient at other times. I have climbed Rainier with another guide service before. What sets Alpine Ascents apart is that with a smaller, more experienced group we are made to feel as part of a team. Also there is a much greater flexibility on the climb regarding different paces."-Todd S.
"It was fantastic - professional, educational, yet fun & relaxed. I had an amazing experience."-Brett K.
4 Day Climbs
"I have now participated in 4 AAI climbs in Washington. I think the program is great overall. The guides I have had have been both professional and personable resulting in a sense of confidence and safety regarding the climb as well as fun. I have heard a few anecdotal stories from fellow climbers about other companies and those experiences were lesser than any of my AAI experiences." Tom
"Great program 4 days made the Emmons climb very enjoyable and the the guides were great" - Taylor
"The Kautz climb was an incredibly well organized and executed climb. Having guides with such world climbing experience was a huge benefit. They were excellent leaders as well." Anthony
"The program was professional from start to finish - gear check to to return home. The clients interests' were first and foremost...after begin an Alpine Ascents client on 4 previous occasions' have come to expect high quality of service and my expectations were met on Mt Rainier." Robert
"Absolutely Outstanding - Guides were excellent" Brooke