Please take the time to read the entire Logistics section in full. If you have questions, feel free to call the Alpine Ascents office or email us.
Make sure you have submitted the following paperwork to Alpine Ascents.
⎕ Flight itinerary
⎕ Passport copy
As there are many unforeseen circumstances that may occur during or leading up to the trip, we strongly recommend trip insurance for your expedition.
A variety of trip insurance options are available through different providers. We recommend Comprehensive Trip Insurance for your protection.
There are two basic policies: ‘standard trip insurance’ which can cover injuries or illness, or a ‘cancel for any reason’ addon which covers a wider variety of situations. Note – this addon is considerably more expensive, and if paid out only covers 75% of the trip fee. Please note this is just a summation of the policies available.
Please see complete specific policy information for our recommended policies..
Climbers fly to Santiago, Chile where you overnight and continue to Balcemeda the following day.
Note that trip dates include travel time from your home country. A day-to-day itinerary can be found with your confirmation letter.
Flight reservations for your expedition should be made as soon as possible. Please forward a copy of your flight itinerary before final purchase so we can review departure and arrival dates.
Flying to Santiago, Chile
Arrival: Arrive in Santiago, Chile on Day 2 of your trip itinerary. You will spend this night at a hotel arranged by Alpine Ascents. You are responsible for your own transportation from the Santiago airport to the hotel. We can arrange this transport for you for a fee.
Departure: Depart Santiago in the evening of Day 18 of your itinerary or later.
Early Arrival/Late Departure: We are happy to accommodate other flights. For those arriving early or departing after the scheduled itinerary, we can make hotel and transport arrangements at an additional cost. Please contact our office in advance if you would like us to make additional reservations.
Missed Flights: If you miss your flight or if your flight is significantly delayed, please contact Gordon Janow by calling our Seattle office (206) 378-1927 and follow the prompt for 24-hour contact.
Flying to Patagonia
Patagonia flight departure: You will need to book the flight from Santiago to Balmaceda (BBA) on Day 3 of your itinerary.
Patagonia flight return: Please book the return flight from Balmaceda (BBA) to Santiago for Day 18 of your itinerary.
Visas & Passports
You must have a valid passport that does not expire for at least 6 months past the end date of your journey. If you are a US citizen, it is not necessary to acquire a visa before travel.
Climbers are responsible to determine and satisfy entry requirements for your passport/nationality. Alpine Ascents is happy to help in this process. US citizens can consult US State department website here: Chile International Travel Information
For climbers who prefer single room accommodations, these arrangements can be made for an additional fee. Be aware that private rooms are available at hotels during our trip, but not on the mountain.
For climbers choosing double room accommodations every effort will be made to pair you with another climber. A Single Room Supplement Fee will apply if a match cannot be made or there is a last minute cancellation. This will help keep our overall program pricing down since unlike other companies we do not charge more for smaller groups.
Luis Thayer Ojeda 383, Providencia
Phone: +56 22 480 3000
Please refer to your Gear List:
You are required to bring every item on this list as described, so be as precise as possible when packing. We are happy to work closely with you on finding the proper gear.
If you plan to rent gear, your rental form must be submitted at least a month prior to expedition start date. Please call our office or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.
If you’re confused by items and/or language on the Gear List, we encourage you to refer to our Gear Guide for explanations on layering systems, differences between boots, etc.
Below are articles written by veteran Alpine Ascents guides that you may find helpful in preparing and packing for your expedition.
People generally take too much “stuff” rather than too little. Study each item before you pack it. Eliminate redundant items, extra changes of clothing, and excessive “nice to have” luxuries. You will benefit from traveling light because of the costs of excess baggage and because of the frequent loading and unloading of bags. Remember to review your airline’s weight limits and pack accordingly. Traveling light may be your key to summit success. Take everything on the required equipment list and little else.
We are aware of the potential monotony of expedition food and Alpine Ascents makes every effort to make meals a positive part of the climb. We take great care in our meal preparation, understanding the importance staying healthy, fueling effectively, and enjoying your food. Whenever possible, we use fresh ingredients from local markets in our pre-planned meals. Alpine Ascents guides will sterilize all water and climbers will fill water bottles at breakfast and dinner.
Alpine Ascents will provide all meals during the climb, but on the upper mountain we ask climbers to bring their own supplemental lunch/snack food. If you love coffee, take heart, Starbuck’s VIA’s have become the new standard on mountaineering expeditions and are an excellent addition to your food supply. We ask climbers to bring these items so that you eat snacks you are comfortable with and not local Chilean equivalents.
Food you need to bring
You will need to bring items like the ones listed below. Each item should have at least 150 to 200 calories and weight approximately 1.5 to 2.5 oz. Mix and match. Pick your personal favorites.
- 6-8 Energy bars: ProBars, Luna Bars, Cliff Bars, Lara Bars, etc. You should pick your favorites and have some variety in them. Be mindful of their consistency at cold temperatures.
- 6-8 Energy gels/chews for summit day: Many climbers like using GU or other energy gels/chews on summit day. If you like these gels/chews (they can be very useful for quick energy) plan on bringing around 6 packets. Honey Stinger Stroopwafels, Clif Shot Bloks, ProBar Bolts, and similar are all good options.
- ~10 Energy drink mix packets (strongly recommended): These are small packets of drink mix that you put into your water bottle. They help replenish electrolytes and make it easier for climbers drink more fluids. Especially at altitude when you may not feel like drinking, these are a huge help. Using drink mix is strongly encouraged. Products like Nuun, Crystal light, Emergen-C, and Gatorade are all good options. You may also consider specialized endurance hydration mixes, like Tailwind, Skratch Labs, or Gu Roctane, though these are more expensive options. Choose packets that are very small, lightweight, add flavor, and contain electrolytes and other ingredients like vitamin C.
- 5-10 Candy bars or granola bars: Snickers, Milky Way, Almond joy, Nature Valley, etc. Pick ones you like and that will not get smashed in your backpack. Granola bars often do not have as many calories as an energy bar or candy bar. Look at the labels to make sure you are getting at least 150 to 200 calories per bar.
- 5 packages salty snack: Crackers, chips, corn nuts, cheez-its, etc.
- 1 box Wheat Thins or Triscuits
- 1/2 quart bag hard candy (Optional): We recommend bringing some wrapped pieces of your favorite hard sucking candy (e.g. Life Savers, Werther’s), which help keep your throat from drying out in the dry alpine environment. Ricola Lozenges can also be a good supplement.
Dietary substitutions: For climbers who do not eat cheese, dried meat, etc. that Alpine provides, you will need to bring more of the above snacks to supplement your lunch food.
We recommend using a combination of cash and credit cards for purchases in Chile. You will need to change US Dollars to Chilean Pesos, which you can do at the airport. Credit cards are accepted at many establishments but often charge a fee. We recommend bringing $200-300 in cash for extra expenses.
Alcoholic drinks and bottled drinks are not included in your meals. Please bring some extra cash if you plan on having drinks (not recommended during the expedition).
If you need to leave the expedition early, you are responsible for all incurred expenses (evacuation fees, transport, extra hotel nights, etc). A comprehensive trip insurance plan is recommended, which can cover these costs in the event that they occur.
Early departure fees can include:
• Helicopter, 4×4 or mule evacuation or departure
• Transport from trailhead to Puerto Guadal and onward to Balmaceda
• Extra hotel nights if back to Terra Luna before schedule
• Single room supplement if back to Terra Luna Lodge (Puerto Guadal) early and originally in shared room
Our guides make every effort to ensure your climb is safe, successful, and as enjoyable as possible. Guides are permitted to accept and greatly appreciate tips. It’s difficult to recommend a specific amount as we believe tips should be based on level and quality of services, as well as an amount that meets your budget. Please consider the information below to be a general recommendation.
Tips for Muleteers are generally $25-$50. A tip for your guide team is generally $500, or between $350-$750. This will be shared among all guides.
On the Mountain
Physiology Of Mountaineering
Dehydration, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude illness are all important health conditions to be aware of while climbing. Please read our overview of these physical factors:
You may want to consult your physician for advice on treatments for gastrointestinal upsets that you may encounter on your trip. In the past, climbers have relied on antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin. Your doctor may recommend medications such as Lomotil or Imodium to stop diarrhea, and Compazine to prevent nausea.
Leave No Trace
Alpine Ascents International practices Leave No Trace principles on all expeditions. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Before your climb, please become familiar with Leave No Trace:
As guides, we spend time teaching the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices. There is nothing more rewarding than working hard to get high into the mountains, reaching a pristine campsite, witnessing incredible views, and having the feeling that no one has been there before.
Conversely, there is nothing more disheartening than working hard to climb a mountain, reaching a site and encountering trash, food waste, and toilet paper. Please read the seven LNT principles, and call the office if you have any questions about what you can do to plan ahead.
Cerro San Lorenzo was an awesome expedition on so many levels. Can’t thank all of you enough for making this trip happen. It was evident from the beginning that a tremendous amount of thought and planning took place before we even arrived in Balmaceda.