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.
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