Paul Koubek

    Paul Koubek

    Senior Guide: Kilimanjaro, International, Alaska

    Paul’s a lifer – he joined Alpine Ascents in 2008 as a natural next step in a lifelong career. Paul started leading trips in the outdoors in 1995, working with adjudicated youth (“Hoods in the Woods”) in a wilderness therapy program in Utah. Since then, he has worked with the following companies: Outward Bound, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the National Outdoor Leadership School (265 field weeks, Mountaineering Program Supervisor), Yosemite Search And Rescue (Valley SAR siter with YOSAR), the Yosemite Mountaineering School, and the U.S. Antarctic Program (Lead Mountaineer). During his career, Paul has crossed the Campo de Hielo Norte (Northern Ice Field) in Patagonia, traversed more than 5000 miles across the Antarctic continent and speaks conversational German and Spanish. Paul is a National Instructor Team Member for the American Mountain Guide’s Association, where he instructs Rock courses and is an examiner in the Alpine discipline. He also serves as an elected member of the AMGA Board of Directors.


    Take 5 with the Guide

    If you could only take one album on an expedition?
    Head Hunters – Herbie Hancock

    If you could be stuck with anyone (past or present) at base camp for a week?
    Bill Murray

    What was your first mountain?
    Mt. Katahdin (the highest point in Maine) which I climbed as a five-year-old with my family

    In another life, I’d…
    be a helicopter pilot

    One piece of advice for aspiring mountaineers?
    Document all your activities – keep an accurate climbing log.

    Significant Ascents

    Cascades / Coast Ranges of Canada:

    • Rainier via: Kautz Glacier, Disappointment Cleaver, and Emmons Glacier (guiding)
    • Baker via: Easton Glacier, Squak Glacier, Coleman – Deming and North Ridge.
    • Hood via: Sunshine Route, Cooper Spur, Reid Glacier Headwall, West Crater Rim, and Standard Route
    • North Sister via Sunshine Couloir and Standard Route
    • Glacier Peak
    • Washington, Oregon Cascades
    • Adams via: South Spur, Adams Glacier
    • Dome Peak via: Dana Glacier, Chickamin Glacier
    • Slesse, NE Buttress
    • Forbidden, West Ridge, (guiding)
    • Sharkfin Tower (guiding)
    • Stuart via: North Ridge and West Ridge
    • Eldorado Peak (guiding)
    • Mt Shuksan via Fisher Chimneys, Sulfide Glacier, and NE Ridge (guiding)
    • NE Buttress of Johannesburg
    • Torment / Forbidden Traverse
    • 100+ days in Waddington Range of British Columbia, including ascents of: Mt. Jubilee, and Mt. Munday (guiding)
    • Ptarmigan Traverse (guiding)
    • Inspiration Traverse (guiding)
    • Picket Range Traverse with ascents of: Challenger, North Ridge of Fury and North Face of Terror


    • Grand Teton, Upper Exum Ridge
    • Edith Cavell, East Ridge
    • Wolf’s Head, East Ridge
    • South Howser Tower (Bugaboos) Beckey – Chouinard
    • Bugaboo Spire: NE Ridge

    Sierra Nevada:

    • 3rd Pillar of Dana
    • Rostrum
    • East Face and East Buttress of Mount Whitney (guiding)
    • Fishhook Arete of Mt. Russell (guiding)
    • East Buttress of Middle Cathedral (guiding)
    • NE Buttress of Higher Cathedral (guiding)
    • 1 Day Ascent: “Lurking Fear” El Cap
    • 1 Day Ascent: “Tangerine Trip” El Cap
    • 3 Day Ascent: “Nose” El Cap
    • 1 Day Ascent: “Nose” El Cap
    • 3 Day Ascent: “Zodiac” El Cap
    • 5 Day Ascent: “Mescalito” El Cap
    • 5 Hour Ascent: Washington Column: South Face
    • 5 Day Solo Ascent: Washington Column: Prow (winter conditions)
    • 3 Day Ascent: Washington Column: Re-Animator
    • 4 Ascents: West Face Leaning Tower, including 9 hour solo
    • Incredible Hulk via: Red Dihedral, Polish Route
    • Bear Creek Spire
    • Cathedral Peak (guiding, free solo)
    • Matthes Crest (many ascents including 1-Day linkup with Cathedral Peak)
    • Conness (West Ridge, North Ridge)
    • 1 Day Ascent: Temple Crag (Venusian Blind)


    • Denali, West Buttress (11 guiding, 1 as National Park Service volunteer ranger)
    • Francis, East Ridge (guiding)
    • Barrill, Japanese Couloir (guiding)
    • Dickey, West Ridge (guiding)


    • Matterhorn (solo, guiding)
    • Entreves Traverse
    • Dent de Geant
    • Ortler Ski Tour
    • Haute Route (ski tour)

    Central/South America:

    • Aconcogua, Vacas Valley Route (guiding)
    • Iztacchihuatl, Standard Route
    • Cotopaxi
    • Crossing of Northern Patagonian Icefield (Steffen Glacier – Colonia Glacier – guiding)


    • Kilimanjaro
    • Kenya (to within 150′ of summit)


    • Carstensz Pyramid
    • Multiple rock climbing trips to Thailand


    • Avalanche Level III
    • Leave No Trace Master Educator
    • Wilderness First Responder (trained as Wilderness EMT).
    • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
    • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
    • AMGA Certified Ski Guide
    • IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide

    Strengths > clearly a premium, first class adventure. As an experienced mountaineer, this was the most “luxurious” trip I’ve undertaken. Dining tents at lunch and dinner; camp set-up and take-down, etc. (this is stuff I usually expect to do myself!). Cuisine throughout was good and varied. I actually gained a few pounds on my return […]

    Mount Kilimanjaro BLOG

    • 2022 Kilimanjaro Webinar

      Are you planning on climbing to the roof of Africa this summer?  If so, check out the 2022 Kilimanjaro webinar that we hosted on May 25th.  Our Kilimanjaro Program Director, Eric Murphy, outlined our COVID-19 protocols, the Tanzanian VISA process, and gave a detailed overview of the trip and what to expect.  We wrapped up […]

    • Kilimanjaro COVID-19 Hunger Relief Update

      by Eric Murphy  Our ongoing and very successful ($37,000 +) Kilimanjaro Covid-19 Hunger Relief Fundraiser has just completed the 2nd food distributions for all 310 crew and staff. Members from our Tanzanian partner company Big Expeditions handled all aspects of whole purchase and transport of over 12,000 lbs of rice, corn and sugar. Arusha crew […]

    • Kilimanjaro: A Tribute to our Tanzanian Crew

      by Paul Koubek  As one of the western guides fortunate to work with the Alpine Ascents Kilimanjaro Program, when I was asked to write a blog post about any topic I wanted, the first thing that came to mind for me about my experience on Kilimanjaro was: the people! Every Alpine Ascents climb of Kilimanjaro […]

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