Category: Blog

Guide Trip Report: Denali Traverse

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by Sam Hennessey Climbing in the Alaska Range in late spring sometimes feels like stepping into another world. The endless daylight, and the sheer contrast of Denali towering over the rest of the state gives it an atmosphere like no other. For the last decade, Michael Gardner and I have stared down from the upper […]

Epic Climbs That Might Not Be on Your Radar

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‘Twas the night before Rainier dates were released, when all through the land Many a climber was stirring, contemplating high altitude plans so grand Their crampons were placed in the gear bin with care In hopes to use them on Rainier in weather so fair My timer was set for the exact release time To […]

Dear Alpine Ascents: Backcountry Quilts

dear alpine ascents: backcountry quilts

Hey Alpine, I’m headed out to Washington in mid-September for a 6-day course (stoked) and I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about backcountry quilts.  Apparently all the cool-kid alpinists are using them.  Can I bring one on my course? Sincerely, Steve House in Training  Hi Steve House in Training, Thanks for reaching out […]

Denali: A Photo Essay

by Brooke Warren Denali “The High One” is the third highest of the seven summits, right behind Everest and Aconcagua, at 20,310 feet. It is an “ultra-prominent” peak with soaring vertical relief of 18,000 feet, greater even than Mount Everest (a mere 12,000′ of vertical relief) when measured from its 2,000-foot lowlands to its lofty […]

Top-10 Gear Misconceptions

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Misconceptions about climbing gear can leave you wandering in the woods. In this article, we’ll look at the top-10 most common gear-related misconceptions for those newer to mountaineering, and offer some quick comments in answer. This piece was originally published in 2017, but it’s proved so helpful that we pulled it from the archives and […]

Improving Body Composition for Mountaineering

improving body composition for mountaineering

by Maria Faires, RD The strength-to-weight ratio is an important key performance indicator for mountain climbing athletes. Have you ever tried to hike up a steep trail with a heavy backpack?  The more you carry, the harder the effort. Weight matters. A mountaineer’s performance will be enhanced by being as close to their ideal body […]

The Backcountry Luxuries

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by Trevor Husted  How to decide if the items you can’t live without should come along your next adventure Humans naturally seem to flee from the discomforts of life, mountain guides gravitate towards that light. It is as if there is some sort of element in a mountain guide that finds something bizarrely satiating in taking […]

Mount Baker (Komo Kulshan): A Skier’s Dream

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by Micah Sherman As we skinned our way up a snow covered forest road to the Heliotrope Ridge trailhead, we knew we were about to have a fun time on Mt. Baker, but we had no idea what a spectacular adventure we were in for. With heavy packs supported by fresh legs we made our […]

2021 Denali Team Name Competition!

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Headed to Denali this Spring? Start planning that team name! Every expedition cooks up a team name they use to identify themselves when they check in each day via sat phone for the Cybercast. Family members can follow along with the Cybercast from home as teams make their way up the mountain, marveling at clever […]

Denali Prep Course: Lessons Learned

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by Ciara Sampaio I went over the Denali Prep Gear List a million times and checked everything off.   I was ready to go!   Was I really ready to go?   Eventually, I just had to go.  Checking off the carabiners and gloves was the easy part.  I found assembling 8 days worth of food to be […]

Rainier Denali Preparation Course BLOG

  • Denali Prep Course: Lessons Learned

    by Ciara Sampaio I went over the Denali Prep Gear List a million times and checked everything off.   I was ready to go!   Was I really ready to go?   Eventually, I just had to go.  Checking off the carabiners and gloves was the easy part.  I found assembling 8 days worth of food to be […]

  • Creating Your Denali Prep Course Menu

    The signs are all there. Flakes are accumulating in the Cascades, the sun sets on Seattle at 4:18 PM, and egg nog lattes have made their inglorious return to Starbucks. Winter is coming! To kick off this most excellent of seasons, our first 8-Day Denali Prep Course is slated to snowshoe off into the very […]

  • Selecting Snowshoes for Expeditions

    If you are preparing to embark on a Denali Prep course or a Denali expedition with Alpine Ascents, you are also about to enter into the wonderful world of snowshoe travel. There are several reasons for our unilateral use of snowshoes over skis on these trips. First, the learning curve for snowshoeing is far less […]

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