Mount Everest

(29,035ft/8,850m) Nepal

2013 in Review: Recent Experience In Brief
  •  Superb summit success
  •  7 climbers follow with a summit of Lhotse
  •  First Qatari to summit Everest
  •  First Palestinian to summit Everest
  •  First Saudi woman to summit Everest
  •  100% success for famed Arabs with Altitude Team

2013 proved to be a great season for us with 100% success of climbers who reached high camp making the summit and over 80% of the climbers who joined our climb reaching the summit. We were also thrilled to have 2 guides, 3 climbers and 2 Sherpa reach the summit of Lhotse (both peaks reached within a 24 hour period). These percentages are very high when compared to other outfitters and we certainly encourage you to compare these statistics (using the same reference points) to other outfitters. Overall totals include 39 climbers on two teams (13 Climbers, 6 Guides, 20 Sherpa).

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    >>More

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

Everest Overview
With over 20 years of guiding experience on Everest, Alpine Ascents is in an elite and perhaps, lone category in our ability to present qualified climbers with a truly rewarding experience on Everest. As you read through our Everest web pages, you will find a wealth of information, rationale for decisions, and why after two decades, we stand behind the Alpine Ascents method more than ever. We can surmise by stating quality, safety and summit success are our three primary goals each and every time we launch an Everest expedition.

These three goals of quality (food, logistics and impeccable care from bc upwards), safety (based on team oriented models) and summit success (wealth of resources on summit day) form the cornerstone of our operation. We are proud to look at the many years of achieving these goals in supporting over 250 climbers to the summit of Everest.  Looking to 2014, we plan to continue our highly supported expeditions with extremely experienced climbing guides, Sherpa with years of climbing expertise and unparalleled base camp and ground support. A well-known article in Outside Magazine may give some insight into guided climbs on Everest: 2012 Outside Magazine Article on Everest Guiding

Alpine Ascents in 2014
As in the past, Alpine Ascents will offer a fully supported expedition. We do not offer Sherpa-only guided, hybrid, guide at base camp in radio contact or appropriate climber-to-guide ratio as this is simply not our style. We feel this limited support approach strays from the goals of providing the best and safest chance of climbers reaching the summit.

Our 2014 team will likely be similar to our 2013 team with guides such as Garrett Madison, Lakpa Rita Sherpa, Michael Horst, Ben Jones and Vernon Tejas at the helm. As always we will employ our famed Sherpa staff. Our Sherpa team is legendary throughout the climbing community and will be the mainstay of our summit support team. The Sherpa team will set the route and manage a quality base camp which is reknowned throughout the great tent city at the foot of the mountain. We look to bestow our traditions and expertise on every climber.

Recent Experience In Brief
2013 proved to be a great season for us with 100% success of climbers who reached high camp making the summit and over 80% of the climbers who joined our climb reaching the summit. We were also thrilled to have 2 guides, 3 climbers and 2 Sherpa reach the summit of Lhotse (both peaks reached within a 24 hour period). These percentages are very high when compared to other outfitters and we certainly encourage you to compare these statistics (using the same reference points) to other outfitters. Overall totals include 39 climbers on two teams (13 Climbers, 6 Guides, 20 Sherpa).

Guides Garrett Madison, Lakpa Rita Sherpa, Michael Horst, Ben Jones, Brien Sheedy and Vernon Tejas did a superb job with weather reports and picking an excellent summit day, all attributing to the success. Additionally, the Sherpa team was really on their game, not only assisting with climbers but fixing the routes, setting camps and maintaining the finest base camp in town.

One must be reminded that experience is only useful when used to make decisions and we encourage our guides to fully utilize their knowledge and expertise during the two month long expedition.  While the brief history of guided climbing recognizes a number of quality guides, we provide the framework for guides to operate at their best, giving support to their operations. We have seen strong guides lead poor expeditions when the integrity of logistics do not match the expertise of the guide. Finding the right style of leadership for your experience level is integral in choosing an Everest expedition.

2012 was another banner year for Alpine Ascents. Though a difficult season with tough summit conditions, Alpine Ascents was one of the few groups to have large scale summit success. We attribute much of the success to our experience which enabled us to choose a difficult but uncrowded summit day and utilize the expertise of our guides and Sherpa. By the numbers, Everest 2012 saw 14 climbers reaching the summit.

2011: Alpine Ascents is proud to have 100% success for all those who joined our expedition with a number of climbers reaching Lhotse shortly thereafter. This was the first time climbers reached the summit of two 8,000 meter peaks in 24 hours.

Everest 2010 had 100% success for those who reached high camp with similar success in years past. We are happy to provide details of 20+ years of expeditions.

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.

 Why Climb Everest With A Professional Guide? 
 Why Should You Climb Everest With Alpine Ascents? 
 Summit Day Recap - Putting our Resources into Action 

Logistics and Planning
We have learned that many logistical factors also effect the safety and success of an Everest Expediton. A few unique examples are:

  • 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 and 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.    >>More

Expected Experience and Conditioning

Experience Required For Expedition Members
We are looking for experienced climbers, for whom Everest is the next logical step in their climbing careers. Our team will be in top physical condition and ready to meet the extreme challenges Everest presents. It is important that your resume includes previous high altitude climbs and strong mountaineering skills. Climbs like Denali, Aconcagua, Cho-Oyu and Vinson are good prerequisites to attempt Everest.

It is important that a team member be able to work well with others and be willing to commit to a group effort which will last for several weeks. This team effort has proved to increase summit success and make for a more enjoyable climb.

You will be exposed to a completely different culture during the expedition and as a member it is your responsibility to treat the people and their environment with respect. This ability is as important as your climbing skills.

Physical Conditioning
In the interests of safety, success, and team compatibility, climbers must be in excellent physical condition. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack for multiple days is required. 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. 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.

Environmental Responsibility
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 also 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 climbing practices.

At Alpine Ascents, environmental stewardship remains one of our core values, and as such, we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices 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 both follow and teach the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Alpine Ascents works closely with Tenzing Tshering Sherpa, Supervisor at Everest Base Camp of SPCC (Sagamartha Pollution Control Committee), to ensure that all trash/waste from our expedition is removed from the mountain and base camp. We strive to leave Everest and all mountains we visit a cleaner place. In addition to removing all of our trash from Everest Base Camp, Camps I, II, III, and IV, Alpine Ascents introduced the 'Luggable Loo' toilet system used with our WAG bags for easy disposal and removal of human waste at our high camps. We hope this system or similar will catch on and become the norm

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 ongoing maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that, given the proper information, most people will do what they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant, and environmentally conscious mountaineers.

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