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
Alaska 12 Day Course – Beginner Climber Education Program
3-4 Scheduled Summit Attempts
Distinguished among climbing schools, the 12-Day Alaska Program is a progressive development, hands-on program where our goal is to educate climbers in mountaineering essentials, giving graduates a firm understanding of alpine climbing skills. Once skills are learned, we quickly apply our knowledge offering the chance of up to 4 summit attempts.
The curriculum covers the essentials of mountaineering including; glacier travel, self-arrest, navigation, route finding and snow skills in one of the finest alpine environments imaginable (full list of course objectives below). The course culminates with a summit attempt of one of the peaks in the area of the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, such as: Mt. Francis (10,450'), Kahiltna Dome (12,525'), Point Ferene (9,300'), Control Tower (8,670'), or Mt. Crosson (12,800').
In addition to the skill set listed below and the summit attempt, we look for this program to be a remote mountain experience; applying skills as we learn them with a keen eye on safety, personal maintenance , environmentally friendly campsite construction and Leave no Trace ethics.
This serves as a prerequisite for many of Alpine Ascents' intermediate level climbs, including Denali, and is a stepping stone for more technically difficult mountains.
Increasing technical knowledge/skills in all aspects of snow and alpine climbing including:
Developing educated, self-reliant climbers with the ability to evaluate subjective/objective hazards including:
Increasing technical knowledge/skills in all aspects of snow and alpine climbing through instruction and numerous climbs.
Developing educated, self-reliant climbers with the ability to evaluate subjective/objective hazards.
Our guiding team is comprised of world-renowned guides and full-time professional climbers. While some of these guides have historical climbing achievements synonymous with their names, others are well known for their guiding and teaching experience. A number of our guides have been recipients of coveted climbing awards and scholarships.
Our guides are an integral part of Alpine Ascents because they understand and share our climbing principles. These individuals are dedicated to sharing their excellence with others. Many of our guides have been with Alpine Ascents for over five years, with a handful of veterans working with us for most of their careers. The quality of our Guide Staff is the primary difference between us and our competitors.
The role of an Alpine Ascents guide is to impart knowledge, use calculated judgement and assist individual climber development. Our guides are experienced educators who evaluate their strengths by monitoring climbers' achievements. Thus we stress our acute ability to provide students and expedition members with personal attention, realizing the commitment to assist each climber in obtaining their goals.
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 Alaska Range is home to Denali (20,320') the highest mountain in North America. Denali has numerous vast glaciers that flow down to an altitude of 2000', creating over 18,000' of glaciated terrain and the highest relief from top to bottom of any mountain in the world. Surrounding Denali are hundreds of peaks, many of which are the most sought after climbs in the world. Most notably are the vertical rock walls and narrow corniced ridges of Mount Huntington and the endless ice routes of Mount Hunter. Our Alaska school is also a perfect destination for graduates of our North Cascades courses who wish to maintain their skill level and climb in this spectacular environment.
Climbers reach the Alaska Range via ski-equipped planes. En route to the glacier air strip we fly through the Alaska range scanning breathtaking views of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Instruction takes place on the glaciers surrounding these mountains and we complete our course by climbing one or two of the smaller but equally magnificent peaks in the area.Alaska Range Challenges
Control Tower (8,670') is one of the peaks that is climbed during the six-day course. It is a central landmark located behind camp on the South East Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. We ascend Control Tower from the North East. The route we climb is exciting; we traverse a narrow ridge then up a final steep section. This climb is a great stepping-stone in the Alaska Range.
Mt. Frances (10,450') is centrally located between Denali, Hunter and Foraker giving stunning 360 degree views from its summit. Our climb ascends the narrow East Ridge on snow and ice for approximately 2,000ft providing excellent climbing using all the skills we have learned during the course.
Mt. Crosson (12,880') presents a two-day climb in which we set high camp half-way up on the South East Ridge. This ridge is steep and continuous for over 5,000ft offering excellent climbing and a great challenge for the aspiring alpinist. This climb is truly a classic.
Kahiltna Dome (12,525'), another Alaska classic, offers excellent climbing up the three-mile long North East Ridge. The entire climb offers superb views of the West Buttress of Denali and Mount Foraker.
Point Ferene (9,300'), centrally located on the Kahiltna Glacier, is a satellite peak of the Kahiltna Dome. Ascending from the north, we use the same approach route as the climbers for Denali. The climb is a beautiful, moderate glacier climb.
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
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition is required. Prior experience carrying a heavy pack for multiple days serves as excellent preparation for this course; Climbers must be able to carry an average of 50-60lbs. 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.
We regularly organize private courses for individuals, corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these courses early as we are often able to cater these programs to group-specific desires. Please contact our office to further discuss the benefits of private courses.
Alpine Ascents International is an authorized concessionaire of Denali National Park.Return to Top of Page