Denali Preparation/Winter Mountaineering Course

Course Overview
Our Denali Prep, 6-Day, 8-Day, and 10-Day Courses all serve as the needed skill prerequisite for Denali. Most climbers attend a course and make 1-2 additional summit attempts before joining a Denali climb.

The Denali Prep/Winter Mountaineering course is specifically designed for those who want to embrace the challenges of climbing Denali and/or develop winter mountaineering skills in extreme conditions. It offers comprehensive training to prepare for the challenge of The Great One. We are fortunate to have the best training area in the lower 48 states to simulate the conditions found on Denali. Mt. Rainier (14,410 ft.) during the late winter early spring months provides similar conditions as those found on Denali.

Throughout this extremely rigorous course, we encounter numerous challenges (closely matching those found on Denali and other similar "big" mountains) in an effort to develop highly aware, knowledgeable and competent expedition climbers. Hands-on experience in all aspects of expedition climbing will be covered.

Note: Early spring conditions often present high avalanche conditions or inclement weather. In such cases, low traverses around the mountain will be undertaken instead of summit attempts. Often the overall experience is enhanced by experiencing and evaluating these conditions, rather than focusing on the summit as a goal. Generally, weather prevents summit attempts during early-season courses.

Course Objectives
Develop cold weather survival skills.

As conditions permit we look to cover all technical snow climbing skills necessary for winter mountaineering and climbing Denali.

Discuss climbing at high altitudes and proper acclimatization processes.

This course has been successfully used as a training ground for skilled adventurers, rangers, law enforcement, fire fighters, military, stunt people and many others who require climbing skills as part of their career.

PREREQUISITES - 60 Pound Pack Required

Climbing Skill Level
This course is designed for the beginner or intermediate climber who wishes to develop strong fundamental skills in all aspects of snow and glacier climbing. This course serves as a prerequisite for many of Alpine Ascents' intermediate-level climbs and is a stepping stone for more technically difficult mountains. Prior experience with backpacking and camping is recommended.

Physical Conditioning
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. Climbers must be able to carry an average of 60lbs or more and make 4,000 foot elevation gains. 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.

This is an extremely rigorous eight days and being in strong physical condition is mandatory. Please note, the guide retains the right, at any point, to determine whether a climber is sufficiently fit to continue the climb.

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 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 alpine ascents.

Environmental stewardship remains one of our core values, and 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 teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.

Our commitment to environmental stewardship can be seen on our programs around the world. Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. 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 and Mount Vinson, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information, most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment.

Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.

Private Groups
We regularly organize private climbs for individuals, corporate groups, families and friends. We encourage you to book these climbs early, to help us be better able to fit these climbs to group-specific desires. Contact us to further discuss the benefits of private courses.

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