Climbing Mt. McKinley with Alpine Ascents transformed a cold, logistically complicated climb into a rewarding, simple, and even socially rewarding experience. The food was plentiful and nourishing and the climbing schedule was demanding but sensible. These guys have been up the mountain long enough to dial in what works. Overall, if you want a good shot at climbing a tough mountain, go with Alpine Ascents.
Why Climb Denali with Alpine Ascents?
Much of our guiding reputation was forged on Denali and we are a longstanding provider on concessionaire of Denali National Park. We hand pick lead guides and assistants and since we operate a mountaineering school and concession on Mt. Rainier our guides are employees and not hired on a 1 time basis for Denali. We have an office and launch facility in Alaska providing both smooth logistics and well needed resources for getting climbers on and off the mountain.
Our 2016 season had 9 of 11 teams reach the summit and some of the best climber evaluations in our history. 2014 was marked by some difficult weather to start but we had some strong summit success as in past seasons - 8 of 12 teams reached the top of North America! 2013 saw 11 of 12 teams reach the summit.
Alpine Ascents carefully selects each Denali guiding team, aiming for the highest experience level possible. Our team of lead guides is composed of established climbers, instructors and regional experts. Guide bios can be found here.
We offer a 3:1 climber-to-guide ratio for both our nine- and six-climber teams.
9:3 for early/late season trips
Our early season/late season climbing teams are composed of nine climbers and three guides. We opt for a larger guiding team, as there can be far fewer climbers and guides on the mountain in the early season.
Responsibility of Team Members
Our climbers must prepare for the challenges of the ascent and the safety of their fellow team members. Every team member must have climbed with us in the past or have their climbing history evaluated by our guiding staff. Please see the screening section of the website. While there is always a level of trust when reviewing a bio, we work hard to have the strongest overall teams on the mountain. Many of our climber comments reflect being part of a team well suited for the challenge.
Alpine Ascents is "the premier way to experience Mt. McKinley with a guide service." Outside Magazine
Summit success and safety record
Alpine Ascents' Denali trips are renowned for their safety and their summit success. We encourage you to contact former climbers to discuss their experiences.
We have been a concessioner on Denali for 15 years, and our guides have been working on the mountain for over 20 years. We are one of five authorized Denali concessionaires (all other outfitters must act as subcontractor), and one of two companies with concessions on Rainier and Denali.
Communications and logistics
Each team is equipped with satellite phones, and we offer cybercasts for each team. Alpine maintains an office in Talkeetna. We have postings on our web site (cybercasts) noting team progress.
We offer as many as 14 trips per season, allowing teams to assist each other.
Competitively priced for 2016, as we charge the same price for six- and nine-member teams. All food is pre-planned and purchased in our Talkeetna office (airplane hangar) with great care to ensure that meals are of the highest quality.
Every effort is made to provide quality gear such as tents, as well as pre-planned menus. We provide all meals but do ask climbers to bring preferred snack foods as outlined in your confirmation package.
If you are interested in climbing Denali and need to review or hone your skills and/or physical conditioning, we offer a number of courses to help you prepare. Contact us with questions and feel free to speak with former expedition members.
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.
Alpine Ascents was selected by National Geographic for the film Life and Death on Denali featured on "National Geographic Ultimate Explorer."