"Vern did an outstanding job with our team. I learned a tremendous amount regarding mountaineering. It was one take away after another. He was well prepared for everything and left no stone unturned. The expedition went well. Logistics were relatively smooth, there were no major delays and we had a tremendous group. Far and away it was my favorite group and a truly memorable climb. I would recommend it to all!" Fred C.
Alpine Ascents had 99% climber success on Vinson this year! Congrats to the climbing teams!
The Alpine Ascents Difference on Vinson
Alpine Ascents is unique in our ability to provide expert mountain skills and ongoing training for future trips as an integral part of our Mt. Vinson program. While we highly recommend using a mountaineering outfitter to lead your Vinson climb (not a company that simply hires mountaineering guides), we feel that Alpine Ascents puts unequivocal skill and training into each Vinson expedition. Guides like famed Arctic climber Vern Tejas, Lakpa Rita Sherpa and Sam Hennesey are scheduled to lead our 2015/16 season.
During our Vinson program you can expect guiding of the utmost quality and 10-12 hours of training from our mountaineering experts. As a guide company we are committed to a high level of satisfaction as we look for climbers to join Alpine Ascents on adventures for years to come. Training includes items such as knots, pulley theory, snow anchors, z pulley systems, crevasse rescue, sled rigging, rope travel and tent technology. On day 3 of the climb we spend a couple of hours learning how to ascend and descend the fixed lines used on the following day.
Alpine Ascents on Vinson
Beginning our commercial expeditions in 1992 (yes, there were some commercial flights back then) Alpine Ascents, has led and cultivated climbing practices and partners. With nearly 100% success, we have developed logistics, climbing routes, camps and communication protocols that have help facilitate our high summit and safety record. While extra days on the mountain and satellite phones have become standard practice in the industry , our experience on Vinson is unsurpassed. Our ability to lead several trips per season puts us in position to adjust to changing conditions and to draw on resources that a one-guide, single expedition can't. We encourage you to ask questions of Alpine Ascents and other guide services before embarking on an expedition of this magnitude and expense.
Key Elements of our Climb and Success:
Experience: We have been guiding Vinson since 1990. Scheduled guides for 2015-2016 are Himalayan and Antarctic expert Vern Tejas, Lakpa Rita Sherpa and Sam Hennessey. We have likely put more climbers on Vinson than any other guide service. We are a 7 summit company, guiding great peaks around the world, not simply hiring guides to run a onetime expedition.
Long Term commitment: We are committed to our climbers beyond Vinson and look to support everyone in reaching the summit while providing training throughout the expedition.
Personnel: Experienced lead guides stationed on the continent allow for flexibility and an understanding of current mountain conditions. Alpine Ascents is known worldwide for the unparalleled quality of its guide staff. While many other outfitters are little more than a one-man show, our trips are led by professional mountaineers with great flexibility in guide staff, as well as full-time office support, logistics, and access and information for other great climbs around the world. Our guides are teachers willing to share their breadth of knowledge. We are a full service mountain guide company and hand-pick our guides for each expedition. Some outfitters on Mount Vinson just hire guides as seasonal employees, and are not mountaineering organizations.
Success: Typically we have 100% success in taking expeditions to the summit, with over 90% climbers summiting: 95% in 2014/2015, 96% success in 2013/14, 100% in 2011/12 and 2012/13 with 100% success on our Ski the Last Degree Team which reached the South Pole. In the 2010/11 and 2009/10 seasons, all had 100% expedition success. And 2008 was a stellar year, with three full teams and 100% success among 33 climbers (plus our fabulous guides). Since 1990, we have had over a 95% summit-success rate on our Mount Vinson expedition.
Office support: We offer 24-hour contact with our office and a staff that has worked with climbers in arctic environments for 20 years. We promise you a quick and honest response to your questions.
- Small climber-to-guide ratios of 5:1 or less
- Alpine Ascents staff member/guide assisting climbers in Punta Arenas
- Carefully composed menus based on more than 20 years of experience
- Ability to proactively deal with flight changes, and change flights while still in Antarctica
Mountain Caches: Alpine Ascents is one of the few outfitters allowed to cache gear at Vinson Base Camp, Low Camp and High Camp and thus we have a full set of cook wear, stoves, tents and climbing equipment. This greatly reduces the pack weight (now 40 lbs.) climbers need to carry.
Multiple Departures: We offer several departures each season, with guides stationed in the Antarctic, which allows us to adjust to changing mountain conditions.
Cybercasts: Alpine Ascents provides family and friends the opportunity to follow our climbs in real time. Using state-of-the art technology, we receive regular dispatches from the climbers and post them on our website. Not only do you feel the excitement of watching a team as it moves up the mountain, the archived cybercasts provide an excellent resource and learning tool when you research expeditions. Enjoy the show! We send along two Iridium phones with each expedition to facilitate communications.
Alpine Ascents has a full gear department ready to assist with your climbing questions and preparations.
We have a full-time gear staff and a retail store. All Alpine Ascents climbers receive a discount on each purchase in our gear store.