Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Alpine Ascents International
The good tidings of the mountains have the power to transform us. To experience the technicolor hues of an alpine sunrise or to gaze into the blue depths of a crevasse is to walk away humbled and awestruck at the beauty of our public lands. For too long, these life-altering experiences have been out of reach for the many – particularly those of color who have historically had less access to the outdoors, whether it be from a lack of green spaces in urban neighborhoods to feeling unwelcome in typical outdoor recreation areas.
From our founding, environmental protection has been fundamental to our mission and the intersectionality of environmentalism and social justice can no longer be overlooked. A diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires respect for the wilderness and the unity to protect it. Cherishing and persevering our alpine environment for the enjoyment of all starts with welcoming everyone to our rope team and breaking down the barriers to access.
Inclusivity at Alpine Ascents International
At Alpine Ascents International, each of us contributes to fostering a culture of inclusion and acceptance that runs from our corporate office in Seattle to the rope team on the summit of Tahoma.
Continue to actively recruit and retain mountain guide and administrative staff from LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities.
Expand affinity programming to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities.
Provide opportunities for BIPOC climbers to gain mentorship / technical training for outdoor industry jobs such as mountain guiding.
Craft an attentive land acknowledgement statement for each domestic program and post prominently on the respective climb / course page.
Instruct our guide staff in the importance of land acknowledgement and best practices for delivering a land acknowledgement to our clientele.
Highlight at least one DEI topic in each issue of our internal newsletter.
Alpine Ascents International and the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge
By signing the pledge, Alpine Ascents International is committing to:
- Hire and support a diverse workforce and executive leadership.
- Present representative marking and advertising in our media.
- Engage and support broadly representative ambassador and athlete teams.
- Share our experiences with other leading companies.
By committing to The Pledge, we commit to establishing programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion. In recognition of the greater outdoor community within which we exist, we will help other companies in their own paths to inclusive representation, and make ourselves open to real conversations about the challenges we face together.
We believe the outdoor industry will reach its full potential when it represents everyone who goes outside, and works to reverse the erasure of Indigenous communities who are the original stewards of our land. By committing to The Pledge and advocating for diversity and inclusion within our workplaces, industries, and broader business community, we create an outdoor landscape that includes and empowers everyone.
2023 Unkitawa Fundraising Climb
As part of the Alpine Ascents commitment to equity and inclusion, we work to lift the voices of Native people upon whose ancestral homelands we now work and recreate. In this spirit, our annual fundraising climb for 2023 will support Unkitawa, an indigenous led organization centered on traditional practices to support communities through ceremony, art, and culture. The proceeds of the climb will go towards outdoor programs for indigenous youth, created to help foster connection and access to outdoor spaces. Unkitawa (uhn-kéy-tawa) is the Lakota word that embodies the concept of what belongs to each of us individually, equally belongs to all living things. It translates to “ours” “yours” “mine”, and signifies what is mine is equally yours, therefore we are equally responsible to care for each other. For the last 6 years, Unkitawa has brought traditional ceremonies to the people in King County, Washington, and various states.
2023 Climb Date: August 11 – 13, 2023
Climb Price: $3,200
- This climb will follow the standard 3 Day Muir programming on Mount Rainier.
- 100% of the profits will go to Unkitawa
- Learn about the indigenous history of the land, as well as native plants and their uses.
- Rachel Heaton, a culture educator from the Muckleshoot tribe, will join the trip and weave her deep knowledge on the land of Tahoma throughout the climb.
- Jeff Antonelis-Lapp, the author of Tahoma and Its People, will present on the natural and environmental history of Mount Rainier National Park at a private event for climb participants and guide staff hosted by Alpine Ascents.
- All climbers will receive a copy of Tahoma and its People in addition to the standard Alpine Ascents logo gift.
- Potential opportunities to forage edible plants based on flora encountered while on hike to Camp Muir.
- Suggested pre-trip reading educational resources to set perspective for the climb.
Each year, Alpine Ascents donates a climb to a local charity, where 100% of the amounts paid by the climbers goes directly to the organization.
2022 Climb of Mount Shuksan for Ukrainian Association of Washington State
2021 Climb of Mount Shuksan for Got Green
2020 Climb of Mount Shuksan for Facing Homelessness
2019 Climb of Mount Shuksan for Jubilee Women’s Center
2018 Climb of Mount Shuksan for Girls on Ice
2017 Climb of Mount Shuksan for New Horizons
2016 Climb of Mount Shuksan for SheJumps
2015 Climb of Eldorado Peak for KEXP
2014 Climb of Eldorado Peak for Roots
I enjoyed the expedition very much. It was well organized including all the details that make a trip smooth. The Gear Department is phenomenal! The attention to detail in preparation and on the expedition, is necessary and is a strength of the program.