Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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.

Goals

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

diversity, equity and inclusion
The Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge connects leading outdoor brands with inclusion advocates to advance representation for people of color across the industry. We’re focused on enhancing representation across staff and executive teams, media and marketing, and athletes/ambassadors. By building a relationship of support, empathy and understanding, versus external skepticism and internal stress, we’re moving the outdoor industry towards authentic inclusion.

Alpine Ascents International is proud to sign the pledge and partner with In Solidarity.

By signing the pledge, Alpine Ascents International is committing to:

  1. Hire and support a diverse workforce and executive leadership.
  2. Present representative marking and advertising in our media.
  3. Engage and support broadly representative ambassador and athlete teams.
  4. 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

diversity, equity and inclusion

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.

diversity, equity and inclusion

Climb Details

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.

diversity, equity and inclusion

Previous Donations

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

Our lead guide was quite literally the best guide on earth to lead the Emmons route. He has an incredible wealth of climbing knowledge on Rainier and beyond. I was in awe of his leadership and communication skills (and his climbing stories). The guides as a group were top notch and I learned a ton […]

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion BLOG

  • Find your people. Find your community.

    by Liane Lau Arriving to the Alpine Ascents Seattle Office at 0630 for gear check – made me question my life choices. To be an effective mountaineer, you should be a combination of a marathon runner, a weight-lifter, and a climber. I am none of those things. I don’t even particularly like those things. The […]

  • Plants of Washington and their Native Roots

    By Kate Keith-Simms Plants provide invaluable insight not only to the spaces they inhabit, but also to those who live upon the land. Since time immemorial, Native American communities have foraged, hunted, and thrived on the resources the land offers. This is a short pick of a few plants of Washington used by specific Native […]

  • Learning to Lead: Taking the Next Step with SheJumps AIARE 2

    by Alicia Mau As we made our way up the steep, northeast facing slope it became increasingly more difficult to sidehill. The wind scoured snow morphed into ice and my gloved fingers gripped my poles a bit tighter with every slip of my ski edge. We hoped switching to bootpacking would get us the rest […]

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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