This was a fantastic trip and experience. My daughter and I found the overall effort to be professional, organized and very supportive. Not sure how it would be done better. Our guide did an excellent job. His experience was obvious in both terms of the climb and in managing the group. He kept a good balance between direction and motivation, ensuring that everyone had a good opportunity to summit. And he did it in supportive manner. He provided solid, understandable instruction. More importantly, he shared his experiences and helped everyone understand that the climb would be at times difficult and frustrating. And that is to be expected but to remain focused on the goal to be reached. That was consistent and positive message that proved very helpful. Good sense of humor. Empathetic while remaining focused on the overall group and the objectives. The reminders were helpful. I believe most people underestimate the difficulty of this climb. I was pretty fit physically for the effort but still found it a challenge. Nonetheless, I thought the materials conveyed the difficulties and requirements in a fair, comprehensive way. Alpine Ascents has a strong reputation; one of the reasons we selected your organization. Our experience confirmed and enhanced that reputation. We will always value the experience and will look for other trips. And if Eric is the leader, all the better. But no doubt his professionalism and attitude are very much part of the firm's culture.
I thoroughly enjoyed the expedition! From beginning to end, every question and detail was addressed to ensure our satisfaction and a successful summit attempt. Eric, our guide, was friendly, very knowledgeable and professional. The local guides and camp staff only added to the quality of the experience. One of the reasons I signed up for Kilimanjaro was to be knocked out of my comfort zone and this trip did not disappoint! Thank you!
Our 3-hour orientation and gear check on the first day set the tone for the rest of the expedition. Eric's approach was detailed & methodical. Expectations for each day's trek were clearly communicated the night before, as well as throughout the day. Eric made it a point to touch base with each of us to see how were doing. It was also clear from watching Eric's interaction with the local guides and porters that they enjoy working with him and that he has earned their respect.
I don't think there is one piece of that mountain that Eric doesn't know! Information was shared during breaks on the trek, at meals, or anytime any one of us asked a question. Preventing altitude sickness was a priority, and "self-care" steps were reviewed often. I got the sense there wasn't a situation Eric hasn't dealt with in all his years of guiding. It was very comforting!
I appreciated Eric's straightforward, no-nonsense approach. Communication from the home office was just the right amount and comprehensive. The email we received from Eric in early June with additional suggestions gave us plenty of time to get last minute items. No issues with the group equipment or tents. I was grateful to have latrines, especially when I had to get up at 3am, and fortunate to end up with a tent to myself! The food was varied and good!
Experienced guides - Eric, especially, and the local guides.
Information shared before expedition on email and verbally during the expedition.
The positive attitude & willingness to help demonstrated by the local guides, camp staff, etc.
Staying in the Arusha hotel pre and post expedition.
Cybercast updates for family & friends.
The Kili expedition is a well-oiled machine - details are anticipated and covered. As example: we arrived at Mweka gate with muddy boots, poles, etc. While we ate a buffet lunch(!), one of the staff washed all of our boots & equipment. That was not expected and greatly appreciated.
None, really. I could not be more delighted with my experience during the entire trip and would highly recommend AAI to anyone considering an expedition. You set the standard!
Climbing Kilimanjaro had been a personal dream for quite a while, so the realization of that dream on this trip was very special. When I read Ben's qualifications on the Alpine Ascents website, Ben was easy to talk to, and I think the entire team learned valuable and transferrable lessons for high-altitude climbing. From previous lower-altitude trips, I had a general sense of the importance of energy conservation, rest stepping, pressure breathing, etc., but thanks to this trip and Ben's mentoring, I'll hopefully carry those techniques forward with more skill on future climbing trips. Many friends and family followed along on the Apline Ascents Cybercast. This is an excellent expedition feature, and Ben did an excellent job with his recorded communications and pictures. I think the most concise statement of overall administrative effectiveness I can share is that I was able to participate with absolutely no surprises and arrived properly-equipped. I'm a big eater, and on other trips with other companies have left meals hungry, but not on this trip. Meals were delicious and well-suited for the nutritional requirements of our climb.
The overall trip was awesome. The staff from made me feel like a king. The food was delicious. The guides were awesome. Ellen was an awesome resource as preparing for the climb.
Amazing trip. Trip organized very well with no problems. Eric organized everything down to the last detail. Hotel was great, transportation was always arranged, few dinners in Arusha were fantastic and the climb/safari was great. He passed on a lot of helpful information on climbing and dealing with the high altitudes. Eric is a great communicator. The climbing team also did an amazing job. Overall, this was a great trip and very well organized. Strength is definitely Eric and the rest of the Tanzanian climbing team. The cook on the mountain was amazing. All exceeded expectations.
Arusha: Excellent accommodations, staff very friendly & helpful, food & services also excellent. Climb: Couldn't have been better. Organization, staff, logistics, food, accommodations, gear, route, and schedule were all excellent. Safari: Marvelous experience. Learned a lot. Accommodations were outstanding. Well organized. Overall: John Hauf is a very effective leader. He did an excellent job managing the many aspects of the overall expedition. Always present at key times, kept us well informed, seemed to have the respect of everyone involved. Climb: Great guide – set boundaries and expectations, but let us discover the adventure for ourselves, effectively taught needed skills, positive attitude, unobtrusively observed the team and quietly made suggestions and adjustments to maximize success and build confidence, by manner and style the type of person with whom I like to be, a quality person, support team and operations seemed to function very well. Safari: John (safari guide) very friendly, knowledgeable, organized, thoughtful, fun. Kept us well informed. Ellen is a gem. She was very helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, and responsive. Her follow-up was all we could have hoped for. She communicated effectively and quickly. She was able to handle last minute adjustments to our Arusha accommodations in the midst of the trip. Gordon, as always, was very helpful on questions that other people were not able to answer. The information is quite complete and well done. I found the statements about performance expectations particularly helpful as they provided a benchmark for my training outcomes. My experience was what I have come to appreciate about Alpine Ascents: friendly, helpful, efficient and professional. I received good advice on the gear I was considering and the gear was shipped right away. I was kept informed via timely e-mails along the way.
I absolutely enjoyed the expedition. It was first class all the way. I was very impressed with the meals and even the porta potties (they were a great surprise to me!) John was a fabulous leader, and couldn't have been more aware and reactive to all needs. He oversaw the rest of the great guides. The other guides always seemed to be in the right place whenever necessary. I was the slowest climber in our group and the support I received from the guides could not have been better, between their suggestions and encouragement.
I did enjoy the expedition very much. Everything was well-organized. Eric is a great guide. The team was amazing. The food too : ) Eric is an amazing guide. I learnt so much from him. He definitely helped me to reach the top. Also he took us for two wonderful dinners. Finally, Eric seemed to work a great network of Tanzanians. He treats them with respect, he can speak some Tanzanian with them. I really like that. The rest of the guides were awesome too, very helpful, friendly, informative. Eric very patiently described every single step, equipment, Tanzanian culture etc.. We could and we did ask lots of questions - he answered all of them. He calmed down all concerns. He was everywhere we needed him. I can see many strengths: i) trip management / planning - starting from hotels to team who took care of us, ii) definitely Eric and his team are the biggest strength of this trip, iii) the route - nice landscape plus helped me to adjust for high altitude, iv) additional activities - city tour, dinners. To sum up, I am very happy that we chose Alpine Ascents and I would very highly recommend your company and especially Eric for Kilimanjaro trip.
Great trip, Went just as noted on the website, Eric was in touch with us ahead of time, and kept us well prepped from start to finish. He catered very well to the needs of each individual. Guided and educated us daily as to expectations and how to handle the challenges. Was a great teacher. Likewise, our Chagga native guides were excellent, notably the lead guide Julius, was a willing educator of the mountain, and pretty much anything. Very much so. Truly felt his personal interest in our success. Really nice touch where Eric chose to host the welcome and the "congratulations" we did it dinner. Quite enjoyable, he made us feel very welcome. Great home office support, any time guidance was needed included Ellen, and Aaron for equipment. I felt very well outfitted for anything that might arise. - 2015 Climber.
The entire experience was amazing! From the initial conversations with the Alpine team in Seattle, through the actual summit experience, every question was answered and every detail addressed to ensure success on the mountain. The guides were wonderful! They were outgoing and extremely helpful – offering to assist in any way possible. Excellent equipment. The food was really good! Other climbing expeditions seemed to look on with envy. The program is wonderful! I would definitely climb with Alpine Ascents on another climb. The memories will be treasured! - 2014 Climber.
The expedition matched my high expectations. This is my third AA trip (Aconcagua-05; Denali-06) and I was pleased that your high standards have continued. I went on this trip with my 18 yr old daughter. We had a singularly memorable experience together and with the other team members. Eric was friendly, knowledgeable and engaged with the team. He was very much in sync with the Tanzanian guides and staff. He was a pleasure to spend time with and had a confident but friendly approach to his role. Eric is a well-seasoned mountaineer, but he seems to genuinely enjoy being on Kili and guiding there. That makes all the difference to the team members especially those of us who may have relatively more climbing experience than other climbers on the trip. Logistics were strong. The well-organized staff provided ample support. The expedition seems to be a well-oiled machine. - 2014 Climber.
Yes, I enjoyed it a lot. There were several "classy" touches in this trip that truly separated from similar trips I have taken with other companies. For example: this was my 2nd time climbing Mt. Kili. I used a very reputable company the 1st time, which is known to cater to high-end clients. I can tell you that this Kili trip was well above my previous one in every respect. I particularly liked the buffet lunch at the end of the trip; not necessarily because of the "eating" part of any meal, but rather because the entire Tanzanian staff (porters, guides, etc.) were invited to the buffet. Too often do companies offer everything to the clients while the local staff just sits there and watch us; it is a awkward feeling that I absolutely hate. Well done!
Well-above average and more than I was expecting. Ben was superb. His knowledge of mountain climbing, 1st aid, medical emergencies, equipment, etc., was amazing. I learned a lot about effective leadership skills from Ben, which definitely complements the leadership skills I think I have from my Air Force Academy training, and Air Force pilot military service. Ben Jones is/was the best guide I had to date. Incredible knowledgeable, very pleasant and patient, and great to be around. Is briefings were pertinent, organized, and comprehensive. In fact, I don't think the team actually asked for questions about the upcoming day because we knew it was coming. After each briefing there were very little to no questions because everything was clearly covered. I hate to use clichés, but Ben is a great asset to your company. I am a small business owner with 4 employees; Ben possesses all the qualities I look for in my working staff.
I have really have nothing to add to make this trip a better one. I have been adventure/mountain traveling for a while. I have use other companies, just as reputable; this is by far the best trip I had in a very long time. I am truly impressed. You have a customer/client for life. I guess it suffices to say that this year I have already registered for Rainier, Elbrus, Aconcagua. As soon as I get done with this review, I am registering for Island Peak.
Yes. It was great fun. The staff was great. Coming in to camps that we well placed to a welcoming group, hot water to clean up and snacks was very appreciated. The food was outstanding. The planning was great. Getting to stay at Kosovo rather than Barafu was very significant. When my friends and I started planning this trip, they initially discussed other providers. I said I would not go with anyone but Alpine Ascents. During the climb, one of my friends said she was glad I had said this. Now, after two trips Alpine Ascents, I am certain no other outfitter could match the quality of the experience. While it is most costly, the professionalism of the guides and all the great amenities are worth it.
Program was fantastic - food was plentiful and delicious, tents were of good quality, and everyone participating was helpful and caring. travel agent was fantastic & was able to make changes to our tickets at the last minute (and on a Sunday) when we needed to come home early. Our guide was extremely qualified and experienced, ran a tight ship, which was appreciated and necessary to get everyone successfully to the summit, provided much background/historical/cultural knowledge each step of the way, and was very amiable, open-minded, and approachable - highly recommend. - 2013 Climber
Yes. It was an incredible experience and extremely well executed from beginning to end. When we came across other groups both in camp and on the trail, we knew we had made the right decision to climb Kili with Alpine Ascents. Both our "Western" guide Ben and the African guides and porters really looked out for us and truly made our experience memorable. I will never forget our grueling climb to the summit in the cold and dark, made that much less so by the singing of our guides. Ben Jones is an excellent leader. He made us feel like an integral part of the team from Day 1. He obviously had the respect and admiration of all of the support staff, both the people we dealt with in Arusha as well as on the mountain. Ben's experience is impressive - and yet, he seems to enjoy each and every trip he leads and to really invest himself in making it a journey for each of us to remember and be proud of. He really stresses the importance of taking care of yourself first and foremost, and gives you the tools you need to succeed- whether reminding you (again) to pressure breathe or giving you a few words of encouragement when you need it most. Ben was extremely personable and approachable, no matter how big or small the question or concern. He kept us focused when we needed to be, but was also just fun to hang out with and talk to. He also had a great rapport with the African guides and porters, which made it all the more enjoyable for us and easier for us to also get to know them a bit as well. The Kili climb/safari is an excellent program and I would highly recommend it in particular, and Alpine Ascents in general. I would not change anything re the trip itself and will definitely be perusing your website to look for the next great adventure! - 2013 Climber
ABSOLUTLY INCREDIBLE!!! My wife and I had an amazing time I would use and recommend Alpine Ascents for any and all climbing! And look forward to and we are already planning our next adventure, not sure where and when, but we will keep in touch. Our Guide, Sarah - Absolutely one of the "BEST PEOPLE" we have ever met. She went far and above what we had expected and was always there for each and every possible thing we needed or wanted (well, within reason). And the best part, I feel we formed a lifetime friendship with a very special person. We would recommend her to anyone in the future. On Day 7 (final ascent) she was incredible. Somehow she appeared at every turn and would ask each and every one of us how we were and generally "got us to the top", this made the trip worth every dollar!
The Climb - It was 8 days that rivaled some of the best times I have ever had, and I have done some incredible things in my 50 years. Day 7 was as Sarh said, "Type 2 Fun" to the fullest! I have done and love to do very tough things, and bar none, the 7 ½ hours to the top were the toughest hours of my life! I hated and enjoyed every moment as we went up and now looking back, wouldn't trade for anything.
Safari - Looking back, the safari had at least as much, if not more on an impact on me personally than the trek! I loved every minute.. Our driver (Edwin) was superb and lead us through every mile with exceptional knowledge of the animals and the environment. The lodging was "beyond the call" and made the end of each day a complete experience.
The pre-adventure emails with check lists and other pertinent info: All info was superb and spot on! Now that I have gotten back and looked, all items we would need were covered! I closing, I thank you and all of the Alpine Ascents family for making this such and great vacation for me, my wife and the rest of the group!!! We really enjoyed ourselves and can't wait for our next adventure - 2013 Climber
Absolutely! Everything from general coordination and accommodations to small details like the flowers on the table in our dining tent was amazing. No detail was overlooked and if there were ever issues of any kind then they were handled by the guides because I was never aware of any concerns. Everything was top notch. All of the guides were wonderful and John especially embodies a leader in all ways - but was also a teacher and brought out those skills and qualities in all of us. Not only did the guides lead and teach by example, but John especially is a teacher by nature and helped us see how to problem solve any issues on our own. I feel I learned a lot from all of the guides - Swahili, backpacking and climbing skills, nutrition/hydration, dealing with altitude, and general information about the mountain, Tanzania, the culture, etc. by the end the entire crew felt like a big family. I still miss everyone! Everything was top of the line. I was amazed at the 5 course meals we had all day long - and a snack pack every day! All of it was wonderful. The guys in the gear department were SO helpful and patient! Not only did they get me all of the rental gear I needed in plenty of time but they also helped me pick out just the right items to purchase. I was glad to rent my gear prior to arrival in Tanzania as I think the people who waited and rented in Arusha had some difficulties. AA does so much so well that it would be difficult to list all of the strengths! Clearly everything is well organized and executed. Our group was the envy of the mountain! You have found some great guides and crew - so keep doing what you're doing! - 2013 Climber
I enjoyed this trip very much-everything went very smoothly. The details in the trip information-how much cash to bring and the gear list really helped. John's leadership style works very well for this trip. He encouraged some independent thinking and decision making while keeping us all operating within very safe boundaries and moving along toward the goals of the trip. The information he gave and the anecdotes he passed on were fantastic. The lead local guides (Safi and the other folks from BIG) were also super easy to talk to and full of amazing information. They really helped us stay motivated on summit day! Everything was excellent-better than expected! The food was incredible. Our cook (Hudson) needs to write a cook book. I'd buy one in a heartbeat. - 2013 Climber
I thoroughly enjoyed our expedition and was impressed with all phases of the trip from preparation, the climb, and follow up. The quality was higher than my expectations and I will definitely use Alpine Ascents again. Sarah was amazing from start to finish. She is a highly competent mountaineer, leader, and an absolute professional in everything she does. I would highly recommend her to anyone. She went above and beyond to organize all details and her leadership was the key to our entire team's successful summit of Kilimanjaro. I have great respect for Sarah's prior experience and for the method in which she shared her knowledge. She has great confidence in her ability with no ego about her achievements. This strength reassured the entire team in challenging moments and lead to a successful summit for all team members. Gordon and Ellen were amazingly responsive throughout our planning process. The rental shop was easy to deal with and provided quality gear. I was amazed by the high quality at every stage of the trip. The Arusha hotel had a great location and staff. The Sopa lodges were absolutely amazing. The camps were well prepared by the porters and staged perfectly. I was thoroughly impressed with the entire organization. Our trip was nearly 18 months in preparation for a private party of 15 people. We selected Alpine Ascents 9 months prior to the trip. All of the staff were amazingly helpful and responsive. Sarah Carpenter is an outstanding guide and her experience helped assure our entire team's success on the summit. I intend to use Alpine Ascents again in the future based on my positive experiences. - 2013 Climber
"I though the program (and my overall experience) was fantastic. I greatly appreciated the communication with office staff before the trip. The coordination upon arrival in Arusha was also excellent. And the actual 7-day climb exceeded my high expectations. Though it was one of the hardest physical challenges I've experienced, I enjoyed every day. Everything was extremely well-organized. I will always be grateful to Ben Jones, the Tanzanian guides, the Tanzanian porters and support staff, and my fellow climbers for an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. I truly found Ben to be a phenomenal leader. I consider him a natural leader who effectively managed 11 different personalities with confidence and humour. He was informative, supportive and encouraging and yet also set limits as needed (for example, when we often got ahead of ourselves with questions about the summit despite summit day being 3 days away!) It is clear that he enjoys his job and this translated into an enjoyable experience for all of the climbers. I don't doubt that Alpine Ascents has many excellent guides, but would actively seek out trips for which Ben is guiding in the future." Adrienne K.
"Logistics were well organized, everything fell into place and even the smallest details were looked after. Assigning an Alpine Ascents guide is an excellent idea for providing a good flow of communication (especially if there's a problem or issue). Ben Jones is an excellent guide and a veritable asset to Alpine Ascents. He communicates well, is extremely patient, informative and consistent throughout our week with him. Ben has an agreeable, positive and motivating attitude for his clients. He is upbeat, gives positive feedback to his clients and is obviously regarded with much respect and affection by the Tanzanian guides and porters. What I especially appreciated about Ben was his ability to find a strong positive in every single client, regardless of their alpine experience. I also really liked the Bob Marley and Michael Jackson playlists he provided as we trekked upwards on the trails. Ben is clearly talented, sympathetic to the cultural surroundings (he was actively learning Swahili on our trek) and responsive to clients' needs. He also has a wonderful attitude of gratitude which spilled over to both clients and supporting staff. My goal was to summit Kilimanjaro without stumbling too much along the way. More seriously, I made many new, quality friends on this adventure and arrived home safe and healthy.
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 to Canada!
My initial thought was that the cost of this trip was significantly higher than competiting companies and I wondered what the "value" was in a premium trip. I now know the value is about on-going safety of clients on the mountain, a high degree of luxury on the safari (especially needed after the mountain experience) and the fact that logistically, I had every assurance all details were looked after. I loved giving over decision making to Ben and the support team! So if you get pushback on pricing, I would talk about "the client's investment and the quality" in this adventure. That lower price doesn't necessarily give you the best quality experience. Loved the cybercasts > my family and friends were especially thrilled to hear our voices from across the planet, which instilled a degree of comfort and reassurance for those at home." - Margaret I.
"The expedition more than met my expectations. We were taken care of very well...food was excellent, guides were very professional, courteous, and caring. Agenda was very efficient and meaningful. I have stated to my friends and family that Alpine Ascents performed way beyond my expectations. (Our Guide Ben was) Excellent...very definitive in his decisions, had the ability to portray confidence and knowledge, and was able to keep the busy week organized and functioning as well as I have ever seen. ...could talk the Swahili language to some degree...seemed to have a positive personal relation with the key native guides, communicated well, was respected. Ben was extremely personable and caring. I simply cannot say enough good about Ben...you have a real class act with Ben and top notch guide.
We were a diverse group, coming from various places, having diverse backgrounds, and ranged from 29 to 69...and thanks to Ben and the guides, we all summited. What I felt was unique, and Ben contributed to this greatly, was that we all got along, looked out for one another, cared, and became friends forever. My goal was to summit, learn about the county, culture and people. All three were met. It was a most enjoyable and memorable trip. I never heard a complaint about another member...there was caring and concern and celebration when there was success.
I cannot think of one negative thing. Everything worked so well, the logistics had to be challenging, yet everything came off as if it were a piece of cake. Even the air travel was smooth, efficient, and well organized. Strengths? You have the best people available. Ben, the native guides...they simply had the extra knowledge and experience and ability that put them in a superior tier above anyone else. From High Camp (Kosovo), to the Summit, to the celebration dinner. I even felt where ever we journeyed, even the safaris, when we mentioned we were with Alpine Ascents...there was a sense of respect and no questions asked...we were taken care of. Also would like to mention your efforts to 'clean up the mountain'...i appreciated that you have a sense of stewardship. I just can't articulate well enough how appreciative and pleased I was with the trip." Mark A.
"I have to say, that I can only speak of Alpine Ascents, the Seattle office, Gordon Janow, Joe in equipment, Chris, Ellen Cravens and Eric Murphy in superlatives. From the first phone call with Chris, through the end of our trip, and followup, our experience with Alpine Ascents has been great, without reproach. At every step of the way, we felt that fine attention was given to our every need. Eric's skill is exceptional, along, with his willingness to share all aspects of his skill with us, and at the same time make us all feel good about our own skills. Eric always made it comfortable for us to ask questions (even when certain questions were asked over and over again). We can't say enough about Eric. Eric served as guide, parent, doctor, pharmacist, mentor etc. to all of us. He always showed a lot of patience and true care and concern every step of the way. Along with that, he made us all comfortable with sharing ANY concerns we had, no matter how, why or when. Along with the above, he always managed to keep us all with a good sense of humor. Eric has a very unique ability to keep us all focused on our goal, helping us to understand all our needs and at the same time, not letting any of us get to upset about anything. My dream of climbing Kili was met and far exceeded my expectations from growing not only from the experience, but from my fellow climbers and staff." Steve H.
"The program is top notch! The organization and the knowledgeable guide was without equal in my opinion. I could not ask for a better run program from beginning to end. Ben is absolutely great to get along with. I really cannot sing the praises of Ben enough. I have used guides in past and have enjoyed other guides but I do think Ben is in a class all his own. Strengths..guide with great judgment. It was a great call to head to the summit later than usual. Then we got the added bonus of a summit to ourselves. It is easy to get on the program with all the information provided on your website. You knew to get the visa, shots, gear to take, your office responded well to all my inquiries. Handing out the emails and trekker list before hand. The cybercast was a great bonus as the great booklet you send out. ..it is truly a well-oiled machine..." - Vaune S.
"The climb far exceeded any expectations I had. The entire program, from arrival at the airport to departure was run effortlessly and smoothly without any hitches making it extremely easy for me to just concentrate on the trekking aspects and nothing else to concern myself about as it was all taken care of. There was so much attention paid to detail that all my concerns and worries were immediately alleviated. The camping side of it was incredibly well run and organized by some truly amazing tanzanian staff members. The food was better than any I have had in luxury restaurants which was made all the more memorable and remarkable as I visited the kitchen tent and saw the surroundings the chefs were having to prepare food in! Quite incredible. I do believe that the high quality of the food and nutritional value played a big part in my successful summit.
Eric proved to be an extemely knowledgeable and informative guide, giving off a quiet and encouraging confidence that in turn made me feel very confident about my trekking and then summit attempt. I felt that no questions were off limits and Eric was able to answer all of them without any hesitation, due partly to expereience and due to what we felt was a genuine interest in what we were asking. He is a natural leader, he does it in a very natural and comfortable way, the way he interacts with the local guides is very heartening to see as he treats them as equals, yet respect is given by all around him. There was no doubt in anybody's mind as to who the leader was! However, it was done in a very unassuming way with people looking to him for guidance. I had the time of my life on the mountain, helped by a great group, fantastic local people and mostly by having Eric with us.
My main goal was to reach the summit which I did with relative ease, thanks in the way in which the program was run. Other goals were to familiarize myself with camping life, dealing with inclement weather patterns, interacting with a group of strangers and learning about the ways of the mountain. All these goals were met, again due to the strength of the program which was brilliantly run. ...I cannot identify any weaknesses. One of the strengths that came to mind was the superb acclimatization methods used, the self care that was drummed into us by Eric as well as the longer trail days and the advantage of using Kosovo camp for the last night. That coupled with nutritional food hugely contributed to a successful summit bid.
I used a UK based company for another climb I did locally, but found them to be lacking in detail and reassurance of what were probably deemed as irrelevant questions. I decided against using them for Kilimanjaro, instead opting for Alpine Ascents, best decision I ever made as I never felt that anything was too much to ask, as the office staff were also extremely helpful.
I wish I could think of something to suggest, but I do feel that this was a wonderful program run in a very professional manner and made it an unforgettable experience for me, truly a once in a lifetime trip and I cannot thank Alpine Ascents enough for such a memorable week!" - Sandy M.
"Program was the most well thought out and professional I have been on in over 30 years ! Guides skill level was A+ Really appreciated the careful layout of your information as well." - Rebecca
This program was incredibly well done on multiple levels. I can't imagine a better structured and functional program to Kilimanjaro. Every detail was amazingly worked out to perfection. The entire program went over in a seamless fashion without a single hitch, despite many many individual details that required constant management. It became very clear after just one day that this program was truly the pre-eminent program on the mountain!
Eric is truly a gifted, world class guide. It was clear from the first moment that Eric functioned as a very effective leader with both the group and the Tanzanian staff (porters, guides, etc.) He provided a source of authority, knowledge, support, and gave individual attention to climbers in need when the situations required. He did a fantastic job of managing multiple different activities at once and as a result, made the climb seem effortless from a logistics standpoint. It was a pleasure to see Eric so well integrated into the local culture and the local people. This provided an extra level of satisfaction with the climb that I assume cannot be found elsewhere. — Chuck M.
"Thanks for the most entirely amazing trip I have ever had! John Hauf was great, the porters were awesome and the other participants were some of the nicest people you could ever meet. I laughed all the way up and down. I can't wait for my next climb with you guys." Lenora
“The Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari were excellent in every respect. Alpine Ascents provided all necessary planning material to ensure we showed up for the trip well prepared and ready for the challenge. It was very clear the Alpine Ascents and their local guide staff have the Kilimanjaro deal down pat. Everything went extremely smoothly. It was a pleasure to participate in such a well planned and executed expedition.” Dave H.
“I was very pleased with every aspect of our trip through Alpine Ascents, from the original conversation about what was involved, to making the reservations, answering questions about gear etc, and to the actual trip itself…every detail was thought about and well tended to – very organized.” Barb A.
“In terms of strength, the program is very professionally run and the various people involved know what they’re doing. I was particularly impressed with the way the porter joyously welcomed us into camp with dance and song, after working so hard for us…their exuberance was quite touching.” Pamela S.
"My expectations were not just met, they were exceeded...in fact, they were exceeded time and time again! The level of organization for the entire trip was outstanding, from being met at the airport to the lodging in Arusha and safari, and especially the climb itself! Our porters and local guides were a pleasure to work with and they all made it very easy to be able to focus on the climb and the climb only. I felt completely spoiled on the mountain by our porter crew, who quickly, efficiently and always with a smile and hello went above and beyond to provide us with a great experience. We all noticed that the Alpine Ascents group was the most envied on the mountain, and with good cause. I simply cannot say enough positives about this experience. Alpine Ascents, you have outdone yourselves! I was paying very close attention to my acclimatization and altitude response above 15,000'. Thanks to the way this trip was laid out (lots of acclimatizing), I didn't have a single issue, and I felt absolutely great on the summit above 19,000'! The strengths could fill volumes, but the organization of the trip, the excellent porter crew and local guides, John Hauf's knowledge, expertise and friendly, affable manner, the accommodations in both Arusha and each night of the safari...everything fit together to make this an excellent experience and I will recommend anyone who asks to Alpine Ascents for the best Kilimanjaro experience they are likely to ever have! I have been working with Alpine Ascents for a few years now, and have gone on 4 trips (6-day course, Rainier, Mexico Volcanoes, Kilimanjaro) with you guys. I'll never use another company, It's Alpine Ascents all the way." Mike K.
"A 100% success! Alpine Ascents lived up to my expectations and beyond. Any bumps in the road were handled with smooth transitions and appropriate management." Patricia P.
"I have fabulous memories of this trip and expedition. It was even better than I thought it would be. The combination of the climb and the safari was superb! This was a wonderful, wonderful trip! The people were great and we formed a good team. Our guide John Hauf was fabulous! He is obviously very good at what he does. He took the time to make a personal connection with each member of the expedition. We all felt we were in good capable hands. My individual goals were definitely met and even surpassed. We especially appreciated the incredible attention to detail. The climb and the safari each present challenges. All of the logistics had been sorted out. This made it easy to participate in all of the opportunities that were offered. We were also able to feel relaxed about what we were doing. The level of professionalism demonstrated by the Leader, John, was exceptional and we certainly noticed his commitment to the safety and happiness of the guests. We have done lots of traveling, this trip worked out being better than I had imagined it would be at the outset. We were very satisfied. Thanks for all of your assistance in making this trip such a success!" Andrew A.
"Overall opinion of the expedition was excellent - first-rate service. The trip exceeded my expectations. I felt 100% safe going up the mountain with John., he is a natural born leader. He communicates well, is flexible, stays true to his word and has a very calming personality. He practices safety first and is incredibly responsible and respectful of the porters. Nice to see a guide that is so organized, always!! My individual goal was to meet new people, enjoy the journey, reach the summit and celebrate the wonders of nature with the wild animals. All things were accomplished in a very pleasurable way with no stress!! 100% professional, incredibly organized, attention to detail, guide strength, number of porters, reputation, commitment to the environment, guide-to-client ratio, optimal route selection, pre-trip information. Our trip to Kilimanjaro was by far the best we have taken. Material sent and website are excellent with a wealth of information. The office staff was always there to help." Maria A.
"I have strong feelings with regards to John Hauf's leadership skills. John has a highly developed sense of how and when to apply his leadership skills. I witnessed John consistently leading with integrity, openness and humility. John was able to negotiate and solve issues with direct, honest communication. I applaud his leadership skills and appreciated being able to learn from him. Without question, John's disposition, especially within the role of guide has made this client-to-guide experience for me to be one of the best. Having been on various climbs previously with different guides, I would say that the interaction with John has been the most connected for me.
My goals were two fold. First I wanted to be as successful as possible with the summit attempt which resulted in achieving the summit. Secondly I wanted to become more knowledgeable of the local culture by connecting with the individuals in and around the climbing area. This second goal was also met for me as the climbing support crew (guides, porters, etc) were engaging and informative. Additionally, the safari personnel were also very willing to engage about many local topics. Both of these successes leave me with the impression that due to Alpine Ascents' continued engagement in the Tanzanian area and working to a higher standard of excellence has left no question with the support groups what the objectives are. In short, Alpine Ascents has with the Kili expedition, set a level of excellence that is known throughout the Tanzanian climbing community.
As compared to other Alpine Ascents trips I have been on (Denali, Elbrus), this trip was on par with the level of service I have come to know Alpine Ascents by. As compared to other organizations, this trip was on the high end with regards to ease of use, services, options offered. Although I cannot compare the Kili price through Alpine Ascents with other organizations (I don't have that data), my belief is that Alpine Ascents trips, and in particular this trip to Kili was competitively priced. Alpine Ascents has developed a top of the line product and I would highly recommend Alpine Ascents to others seeking this type of experience." Tom C.
"It was outstanding in every respect. I really cannot think of anything that could be improved. I think John Hauf was a key strength - he made the whole thing work, but I also think the 1st class approach to accommodations, food, etc. was also important. I did not realize that your approach was different from the others in terms of guide, personal attention, support etc., so that was a pleasant surprise. While I don't have a lot of experience with other organizations, those that I do have, did not have the same professionalism and experience that John exhibited." Pete J.
"An outstanding experience that fulfilled all of my expectations and more. Yes it was a tough climb for a city bum like me but fun a the same time and the whole trip certainly encouraged me to get out and climb more mountains. Safari was also the best I have ever been on...The Ngorongoro Crater is truly a wonder! I summited, had a great time and got back down quickly and safely and we had a great time doing it. On safari we saw pretty much every animal we could have hoped for (Lion, black rhino, the elusive leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, giraffe etc etc). Everything ran like clockwork. On the mountain you really did feel that you were traveling first class (much to the envy of other people not traveling with Alpine Ascents)." -Stephen A.
"This was an extraordinary experience. From logistics to guiding, the expedition was very well planned and executed, exceeding all of my expectations. Great planning, great logistics, great people and all under the leadership of a great guide. This expedition is a great introduction to the world of climbing and the world of Alpine Ascents." Ciprian P.
"The expedition was incredible! It was extremely well-organized; we didn't have to worry about any logistics, just putting one foot in front of the other. I feel spoiled after no having to lift a finger while camping. The 7-day schedule made a huge difference every day but the summit was easy and enjoyable. The porters were great, the weather was great, the animals cooperated and the cultural experience was very educational. The expedition went almost too perfectly. I'm so used to organizing my own gear, food directions and transportation while going backpacking. Here all I had to do was get up and walk. It couldn't have been easier! This kind of attention make the trip a relaxing vacation. The route selection and local guides and porters were amazing as was the food. Everyone summited and had a great time together." Matthew D.
"Let's forget about the evaluation form and let me summarize this trip with one word: FANTASTIC!! This was a dream journey not to be forgotten for the rest of our lives. Everything worked great and I cannot think of one single thing that went wrong or was missing." Mike K.
"To paint the accomplishment in shades of black and white - of success or failure in reaching the summit - would be an oversimplification. These expeditions are as much a journey of self-discovery as much as a journey to reach a summit, where one comes face-to-face with one's own limitations both physical and in terms of inner spiritual resources. Overall, a very well-designed, well-planned program in every detail. I would unhesitatingly recommend this trip to anyone contemplating it. I was grateful that the diet took vegetarian needs into account. Comparing Alpine Ascents' offerings to those of other travel organizations prior to the trip demonstrated to my satisfaction that this program offered the best value in cost, length of trip and component features." -John S.
"As you already know, the trip was a great success, everyone in the party summited, and we all enjoyed the safari. A tremendous contribution to the success of the trip and to the enjoyment of it was made by your guide, Allen Carbert. Allen was always helpful to us and patient even in circumstances which would have infuriated me. His enthusiasm was infectious, and motivated us to succeed. For me, who found the summit day very hard, this was critical. He gave excellent guidance on acclimatization, and knew how to repeat the important points for it, such as the need to consume fluids, without this seeming tedious or repetitive. As well as being an excellent mountaineer and guide, Allen is also a very pleasant human being, whose companionship and lively conversation kept our spirits up. Having been on a trip with another organization where the guide, though knowledgeable, was quiet and introverted, I know what a difference this makes."-Peter Y.
"I had an absolute blast on Kili. Again, you guys amaze me at how organized and how much fun you make each trip. I'd love the opportunity to climb again with you."-Matt K.
"The expedition was incredible, logistically everything appeared to be flawless - My guides, always mindful of safety and acclimatization, made every step of the climb enjoyable, interesting and fun."-Billy B.
"Following my trip to Nepal with Alpine Ascents, this trip was what I think the typical Alpine Ascents trip offers; a well organized trip led by well-trained and knowledgeable individuals that offers the opportunity for each participant to "achieve their personal goals", meet new and interesting people and learn about a culture different from ours. The Lead African Guide and the other Africans were friendly and helpful. Bushbuck Safaris was a fine outfit and all of their personnel were most professional. You do have an extremely talented and understanding guide staff. The trip was well planned and executed. The guides' knowledge of the region, it's history and customs and their ability to pass this information along to the clients really helped to make this a very enjoyable experience. The office staff was most helpful. Emails were answered almost immediately, and when I called for information, it was provided during the call. This trip was another great adventure, and as usual, a good time was had by all."-Harris P.
"The entire two weeks came off without a hitch. Given the logistics of international travel we never waited for any part of the trip. Each day's climbing was enjoyable and well-planned. The safari could not have run more smoothly. Most of the group found the experience a defining moment in their lives." -Kevin D.
"An absolutely terrific adventure. Jam packed with new experiences and new friendships. Wonderful blend of climb and safari." -Don H.
"Kili was hands down the best trip of my life. It exceeded all expectations." -Larry C.
"This was my first trip with Alpine Ascents International, and it simply exceeded my wildest expectations. There are not enough superlatives to describe the leadership qualities of my guide. He was simply outstanding, and directly contributed to my reaching all of my personal goals on this trip, including the summit. Sorry, but I can't think of any suggestions for improvement. Simply, it was a first class operation the entire way, and I can't wait to go on another trip next year with Alpine Ascents. I've been on other trips with other mountain guides and this was by far the best, thanks largely to the professionalism, courtesy and friendliness of your staff." -Richard P.
"An outstanding climb, safari and experience. I can not imagine a better trip!! Detailed information about the mountain and safari was tremendous. Accommodations far exceeded my expectations. Food was great!" -Charles M.
"A phenomenal experience that I will always remember. An expedition that was effectively organized and garnered the resources that allowed an amateur trekker's wish to climb Kili to be fleshed into reality." -Steve S.
"The expedition was an outstanding combination of mountaineering, naturalism and social studies. I can't imagine a more alluring introduction to high-altitude expedition mountaineering." -John D.
"I enjoyed the expedition very much. The organization, the attention to detail was excellent. The acclimatization schedule was also very good. I loved the food and the overall friendly atmosphere. Overall excellent." -Rodrigo M.
"The expedition exceeded my expectations in every way. Accommodations and travel within Kenya and Tanzania were perfect. What made the trip so wonderful was the guides and fellow climbers. Alpine Ascents does a fabulous job in support - in answering questions and providing the right information. It was really the experience of my life and I will never forget it." -Suzy G.
"Our guide is a world class guide (and guy). His skill level is excellent and I can't say enough good things about him. His knowledge, strength and stamina is amazing." -Lynn S.
"Extremely well organized, the guides were very helpful and knowledgeable and Tobias our African guide was the best. A great trip!" -Judith T.
"Our guide did an excellent job on both Elbrus and Kilimanjaro. The local guides also displayed particular expertise. Our guide was a joy to climb with and I hope to do so again." -Paul L.
"Outstanding. I thought all parts of the climb and safari were just superb" -Rob M.
"Our guide was an excellent leader, diplomatic and patient. Overall the program was excellent and I'm very glad I chose Alpine Ascents." -Wally K.
"Out of all my travels, including Everest, this was the best! It was so well organized we never missed a beat. Thank you." -Bob H.