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Guides

Guides

Guides include legendary Polar guide Vern Tejas, who has successfully guided Vinson more than anyone. Joining Vern (based on group size), or leading trips as well, are guides extraordinaire Lakpa Rita Sherpa and Sam Hennessy.

Our guides are medically trained (avalanche certification and Wilderness First Responder or EMT-certified, and LNT-trained) and have experience guiding in the Antarctic and other extreme climbing environments. This quality of our guide staff has been the hallmark of our acknowledged expertise. We strive to educate climbers on each and every expedition, an area in which we can excel more than most outfitters. When we say “educate,” we mean safe, resourceful, successful, sensitive climbers with a real appreciation for wild places and the cultures that inhabit them. This is truly part of the Alpine Ascents difference.

Guide Staff

Ben Jones

Guide: International, Washington, Alaska

Lakpa Rita Sherpa

Guide: International, Washington, Alaska

Vern Tejas

Guide: International, Washington, Alaska

Strong program, strong guides. Vern is very charismatic and generally fun to have on an expedition. Vern did things in particular that set himself apart. Lakpa is extremely talented, he very much enabled many things through his boundless energy, work ethic, calmness, and mountain wisdom. And he grills one hell of a ‘pan de pasqua’ […]

Disembarking on the ice from our Illuyshin 76 private jet. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Moving to Base Camp from our Twin Otter landing strip. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Neighboring Mount Shinn from High Camp. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
High Camp. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Summit Ridge. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Vinson Summit. Lakpa Rita Sherpa becomes the first Sherpa to summit Mount Vinson, and the Seven Summits. Photo: Andy Tyson
Plenty of daylight. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Climbing towards summit ridge. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Ralaxing at Union Glacier Camp. Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska
Mount Vinson, Antarctica. Photo: Monika Witkowska

ALPINE ASCENTS BLOG

  • Single Wall Tents – Condensation Factories

    Most tent manufacturers these days offer a superlight, two pound (or less!) tent. These tents are simple to setup, occupy a very small footprint, and again – weigh in at about or under two pounds. When choosing a tent, it’s easy to focus on those factors and arrive at the conclusion that a single-walled shelter […]

  • Alpine Start Breakfast

    When summit morning arrives, it’s important to move efficiently through packing, preparation, and last but not least – breakfast! Mike Hawkins talks through a few of the foods we like to eat for quick fuel on alpine start mornings. Whether it’s midnight or 3:00am, these options are our go-to fast breakfasts.  

  • Guide Spotlight: Dawa Yangzum Sherpa

    While Alpine Ascents is fortunate to work with dozens of world-class guides and climbers, we are especially grateful to work with Dawa Yangzum Sherpa. Hailing from Nepal’s Rolwaling Himal, Dawa’s resume includes numerous 8000m ascents (Everest, Cho Oyu, K2), successful entries in high-altitude ultra-marathons, time spent as a climbing ranger on Mount Rainier, and instructorship […]

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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