Don Wargowsky

    Don Wargowsky

    Guide: Washington, Alaska, International

    Don started climbing on the east coast over 20 years ago, and has been guiding for the last 12 years. He is proficient on technical routes on snow, rock, and ice, but spends most of his time guiding snowy routes on some of the world’s largest peaks. Don has first ascents on rock in Newfoundland, and he is one of only a handful of people who have climbed a floating iceberg. A memorable moment in Don’s career was when a stray dog joined Don’s expedition and summited Baruntse with the team, making her the first and only dog to have ever climbed a 7,000 meter peak. In 2021, Don lead an expedition to the summit of Mt. Everest.

    Don has a master’s degree in education. He enjoys teaching climbing and avalanche courses, and helping clients reach their goals. He has lead trips in 10 countries, but currently spends most of his time in Washington, Alaska, and Nepal. When he is not in the field, Don enjoys traveling with his wife and their rescue dog, rafting the world’s most challenging rivers, and renovating his home on the Olympic Peninsula.

    Take 5 with the Guide

    If you could only take one album on an expedition?
    Megalithic Symphony – AWOLNATION

    Favorite movie?
    Fight club

    If you could be stuck with anyone (past or present) at base camp for a week?
    my dog Maeve

    What was your first mountain?
    The graduation climb of the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh’s mountaineering school – Mount Washington in March of 2006

    Most people don’t know that…
    I am one of a dozen people who have climbed a floating iceberg

    Guide For:

    Aconcagua
    Denali

    Significant Ascents

    Mount Everest, Nepal (to 8000m without oxygen)
    Manaslu, Nepal (without oxygen)
    Baruntse, Nepal
    Ama Dablam, Nepal
    Mera Peak, Nepal
    Denali, USA (6 expeditions)
    Island Peak, Nepal (2 expeditions)
    Kala Patthar, Nepal
    Chukkung Ri, Nepal
    Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal
    Iztaccihuatl, Mexico
    La Malinche, Mexico (2 climbs)
    Mount Whitney, USA (3 climbs, 2 in winter)
    Mount Rainier, USA (40 climbs via 4 routes, 1 in winter)
    Mount Shasta, USA
    Mount Russel, USA (winter ascent)
    Grand Teton, USA (2 climbs via 2 routes)
    Mount Athabasca, Canada
    Mount Baker, USA (18 climbs via 2 routes)
    Glacier Peak, USA
    Mount Shuksan, USA (2 climbs)
    Mount Adams, USA (2 climbs)
    Mount Olympus, USA
    Half Dome, USA via Regular Northwest Face
    Lost Arrow Spire, USA via Lost Arrow Tip
    Mount Washington, USA (7 winter climbs via 5 routes)
    Katahdin, USA (2 winter climbs via 2 routes)
    Mount Colden, USA (2 winter climbs)
    Northern Patagonia, Chile
    First ascents on rock and Icebergs, Canada (2 expeditions)

    Certifications

    Wilderness First Responder/CPR
    Leave No Trace Trainer
    PCGI Single Pitch Guide
    AIARE Level 2
    AIARE Pro 1
    AIARE Instructor Training Course
    AIARE Course Leader Training

    Awards & Recognition

    2019 Denali Pro Pin
    2016 AAC Live Your Dream Grant
    2011 & 2017 ECP Mike Brown Expedition Grant

    I was seeking a life time experience on a major mountain and I got it.

    Denali BLOG

    • 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 […]

    • 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 […]

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