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
Mount Everest, rising 8,850m (29,035ft) above sea level reigns as the highest mountain on Earth. Since the first ascent in 1953 by Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, reaching the summit of Everest has been considered one of the greatest achievements in Mountaineering. Every Spring Alpine Ascents International embraces this challenge taking a group of qualified climbers to climb Mt. Everest via the South Col route in Nepal
Our 2012 Expedition was a great success with 14 climbers (5 Climbers, 3 Guides, 6 Sherpa) reaching the summit (Big congrats to climbers - and our guide staff). We feel the 2012 season exemplifies the importance of having team-based climbing with a low climber to guide ratio and a high level of leadership and support. Many of the teams that had lesser support/Sherpa/guides did not have a summit attempt and faced other difficulties on the mountain. For 2013 we are committed to the same level of support and now more than ever, feel that Alpine Ascents offers the best chance for safety and success available on Everest. The events of 2012 re-affirm our commitment and belief in guiding Everest with small climber to guide ratios and highly supported expeditions.
2011 recap: 100% of our Everest climbing team made the summit this year! 6 climbers, 4 guides and 6 summit sherpa. Guide Michael Horst and climber Rob Hart summited on May 14th, and leaders Garrett Madison, Lakpa Rita, and guide Ben Jones summited on May 19th, with 5 climbers. In a Himalayan first - 3 of our team members proceeded to climb Lhotse within 24 hours of summiting Everest along with Kami Rita Sherpa. >>More
In 2010, 100% of our climbers who reach the South Col summitted on summit day. Our summit day consisted of 7 climbers 4 guides and 7 summit sherpa. (Chewang made his 19th summit, he hopes to break the record next year) Below is the list of climbers guides and sherpa. Every one felt great and some climbers wanted more after they returned to the South Col. We are proud of everyone's performance.
2009's summit team included 7 climbers with guides: Vern Tejas (9th summit); Lakpa Rita Sherpa (11th); Garrett Madison (expedition leader) (3rd); Michael Horst (2nd); Sherpa climbing team: Chewang Nima Sherpa, (19th); Kami Rita Sherpa (17th); Dorjee Sherpa, (13th); Fura Kancha Sherpa (6th); Dawa Nuru Sherpa (11th); Ang Passang (10th); Mingma Thsering (12th).
Alpine Ascents International is America's premier Everest Guide Service. Our combination of veteran Everest guides, experienced climbing Sherpa with many summits, quantity of oxygen, and years of logistical expertise is simply unmatched. We are particularly proud of our extraordinary success rate. Alpine Ascents has the highest success rate of any company putting paying climbers on the summit of Everest. See "Why Climb With a Professional Mountain Guide". This season we look to have our same leaders as in past years. Our group of experienced Everest guides includes Vernon Tejas, Lakpa Rita Sherpa, Michael Horst and Ben Jones who are not only renowned mountaineers, but are also recognized for their ability to assist qualified climbers to the summit.
Guided vs. Non-Guided
We are still believers that guides make all the difference. On previous summit days many non-guided climbers have turned around due to variable weather conditions. Most of the teams had Sherpa support but no leadership from guides which led to poor decision making.
We make this point to emphasize that there are many ways to climb a mountain and you should be well versed in these options in terms of safety and chances of success. We invite you to read the following informative articles regarding the complexities and importance of understanding your options for climbing Mount Everest.
2012 Outside Magazine Article on Everest Guiding
- Small Group Size: Alpine Ascents has small group sizes. Expeditions with 30 to 50 people are very hard to manage and offer little assistance to the climber. (Some of the non-guided base camps can have 40 climbers)
- Rest Day at High Camp: Alpine Ascents takes a rest day at high camp on the South Col, breathing supplemental oxygen and rebuilding our strength before summit day. Other companies climb from Camp III to the South Col (an exhausting day) reaching high camp late in the afternoon and a few hours later leave for the summit. We believe our extra day greatly increases summit success as well as reduces the likely hood of extreme exhaustion and greater chance of an accident. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal states that 80% of the deaths on Everest happen on summit day or shortly thereafter. Marked fatigue, late summit times, and the tendency to fall behind companions are common among non-survivors.
- Oxygen Supply: Alpine Ascents provides more oxygen for climbers than any other company. We also use the lightest oxygen system (7lbs) which reduces fatigue and summit day times.
- One to One Sherpa Assistance on Summit Day: For a group size of 10 we will have 16 Sherpa carrying loads on the mountain. On summit day a Sherpa will be assigned to you who will carry extra oxygen for you the entire day.
- Food & Base Camp Support: Alpine Ascents has the best equipped Base Camp on Everest, a full-time Base Camp Manager, and a gourmet menu designed and tested to keep the team well-fed, strong and healthy.
- Professional Mountain Guides: You will always be climbing with Professional Guides who lead the team everyday on the mountain. Our lead guides are experienced Everest and Himalayan veterans. This combined with our Sherpa support carrying loads and oxygen you will be provided with the leadership and guidance that will give you the best chance of reaching the top.
- There may be many personal reasons to choose a particular guide service, but there are five main areas of concern that you should look at carefully:
- 1. Safety Record
- 2. Guides (Professional International Mountain Guides and Sherpa Staff)
- 3. Logistics in country
- 4. Pre-Trip Planning
- 5. Success Rate
In all five categories, Alpine Ascents ranks highest in the climbing industry. No other guide service has the safety record, quality of guides, finely honed programs, and customer service that we offer. Please see "Why Climb With a Professional Guide" for more information on Success rates and safety and Why Climb With Alpine Ascents.
Our Everest expedition was perhaps best summed up by Finn Olaf-Jones, reporter for Discover.com:
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.
Climbing Skill Level: Climbers prepared to take on Everest should have completed at least a week long training course and have completed a series of high altitude climbs such as Denali, Aconcagua, Cho-Oyu and Vinson. We will review each climbers bio on an individual basis to help develop climbers interested in attempting Everest.
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack for multiple days serves as excellent preparation for this climb. Climbers must be able to carry an average of 30lbs or more and be physically and mentally prepared to deal with strenuous situations at high altitudes. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Comprehensive training information can be found here.
New to climbing and dreaming about Everest? - Contact our Director of Programs, Gordon Janow, (gjanow@AlpineAscents.com) about how to get started.
Alpine Ascents is deeply committed to maintaining ecosystems at home and around the world. With each expedition, trek and course, we not only attempt to leave the environment as we found it, but strive to assist the local population in protecting the land and people indigenous to that region. Alpine Ascents reaches for the highest ethical business practices at home and abroad. Each staff member is dedicated to environmentally sound alpine ascents.
At Alpine Ascents environmental stewardship remains one of our core values and we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices very seriously. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. On every one of our courses and climbs we teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principals and practices.
Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Our Wag Bag® program made a pioneering step in human waste management for the National Park System and Forest Service in the North Cascades. On Aconcagua, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our on-going maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.Return to Top of Page