Don Nguyen

    Don Nguyen

    Guide: Washington, Alaska, International

    Don is a first-generation American and was born in Oklahoma City’s Little Saigon. His parents were refugees of the Vietnam War. Growing up in a flat place with little woods or topography, Don was drawn West to the Colorado Rockies to study mountain guiding. Further travels brought Don to the PNW where he began his guiding career on Mt Rainer and Mt Shasta. The ubiquitous human journey and pilgrimage in the wilds has always been very important to Don and, it is his passion to be able to guide and work with people in the outdoors.

    Don loves mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, backpacking, hunting, and traveling with his partner Emily.

    Don was a contestant in 2015 on the Reality TV show “Naked and Afraid” in Namibia.

    Guide For:


    Significant Ascents

    Denali 2 summits
    Tahoma (Mt. Rainier) 30+ summits
    Koma Kulshan (Mt. Baker) 20+ summits
    Mt Shuksan two summits and a ski descent.
    Mt. Adams
    Mt. Hood 5 summits various routes 3 ski descents.
    Mt Shasta 3 summits
    Mt. Whitney
    The Grand Teton
    Gannet Peak
    Pico de Orizaba
    Many Colorado 14ers and ski descents.


    WFR/ CPR
    Avalanche Level 2
    Leave No Trace Trainer
    AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
    AMGA Alpine Guide Course
    AMGA Alpine Rock Course
    AMGA Ice Instructor Course
    AMGA Alpine Skills Course

    Everything I hoped for. Both of these guys are top notch guides. These guys consistently used every opportunity to teach us how to be better climbers. I was impressed how they would tutor us, but not treat us like children.

    Denali BLOG

    • Dear Alpine Ascents: Insulating Ice Axe Handles?

      Hey Alpine, I’m headed up to Denali this May (!!!!) and I heard that climbers insulate their ice axes? Interesting… What’s the rationale and how do I do it? Thanks in advance and see you in Talkeetna! Sincerely, Seeking Toasty Mitts Hi Toast Mitts, Thanks for reaching out and stoked you’re headed up to the […]

    • 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 […]

    • Expedition Mindset: Adaptable & Resilient

      In a previous post, Maddie mentioned adaptability. Due to the exceptionally unpredictable nature of the mountain environment, it’s worth a deeper dive into this trait and its cousin, resiliency. Best Chance of Summits To maximize our chances in the mountains, we try to control every controllable factor. Things like fitness, the right gear, route knowledge, […]

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