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Why Climb with Us

Why Climb Denali with Alpine Ascents?

We had a wonderful, challenging, and ultimately extremely rewarding experience. I found the entire process including registration, gear rental, staging in Talkeetna, and of course the 19 days on the climb to be of the highest quality. Our guides were the best – literally I could not have chosen better people to assure a safe, enjoyable and successful Denali climb! – 2017 Denali Climber

This was my first time in the Alaska Range and it was outstanding. The guides were professional and demonstrated a lot of knowledge of the area. The food was excellent and the group gear was top notch. I also thought that the plan of ascent was well thought out and provided us the best chance at making the summit. – 2017 Denali Climber

Since the inception of our Denali program, Alpine Ascents has continued its industry leadership on Denali with extremely high summit success. Much of our success can be attributed to our outstanding guide staff and climbing teams. With strong praise from the National Park and media, and excellent working relationships with other guide services, we look forward to achieving equal success this year. We continually assist with rescues on the mountain. In fact, many of our guides have received “Denali Pro Pin” awards from Denali National Park in recognition of their high safety standards and selflessness in aiding others. As Alpine Ascents operates an intensive mountaineering school, we often get to know our climbers before they embark on such a climb as Denali.

Much of our guiding reputation was forged on Denali and we are a longstanding concessionaire of Denali National Park. We handpick 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 first-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.

Recent Success

Alpine Ascents has been running successful Denali expeditions for nearly 20 years. Denali saw some harsh weather early in the 2017 season, yet we were one of the few teams to see summit success. As the weather cleared, our success rates turned to expected levels with nearly all climbers of final three teams reaching the summit. In 2016, we saw a banner year in terms of overall climber success, with an 86% summit success rate. We attribute this to the quality of our guide staff, logistics, and climber training and screening. In 2015, we also saw outstanding success with nine of 11 teams reaching the summit. We look forward to having similar success in 2018 and — as always — we are happy to put you in touch with former climbers. We are committed to keeping up our high standards of food and logistics and look forward to the 2018 season.

Key Elements of our Climb and Success

Guides

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.

Climber-to-Guide Ratio

Our climber-to-guide ratio for this climb is nine climbers plus three guides for all departures.

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 Denali Screening page 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.

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.

Experience

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 website (Cybercasts) noting team progress.

Flexibility

We offer as many as 14 trips per season, allowing teams to assist each other.

Value

We are competitively priced for 2017. All meals are included (we ask you to bring some supplemental snack foods). Meals are preplanned and purchased in our Talkeetna office (airplane hangar) with great care to ensure that meals are of the highest quality.

Climber Care

Every effort is made to provide quality gear such as tents, as well as preplanned 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.

Everyone I dealt with: Gordon Janow, Ellen Cravens, Lacey Meadows, Matt Miller, Chris Thalman, Aaron Bailey. The WHOLE team is your strength! Everything was seamless, easy and completely enjoyable!

Photo: Brad Washburn
Gear Check in the Alpine Ascents Hangar
Loading the plane at the Talkeetna airport
View from the plane on the way to Base Camp
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
View of fixed lines from 17K
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Victor McNeil
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Photo: Steve Tambosso
Above Washburn's Thumb
Midnight on the summit ridge.
The Fireweed Inn

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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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