The Program was stellar. From arrival to gear check to the summit and back, we were led by experts who were truly interested in teaching us what we needed to know to become successful, safe and environmental conscious mountaineers. The itinerary was challenging but well though out. Guides were phenomenal and educational content was strong. -Greg E.
This is an incredible eight-day training course, culminating with a summit climb on Mount Rainier's Emmons Glacier. Not only do you train in one of the most ideal locations for snow, glacier and ice climbing, but you also attempt the highest volcano and glaciated peak in the continental United States. Our guides give you in-depth and comprehensive instruction and allow you to progress at your own rate. On summit day we have a 2:1 climber-to-guide ratio. Some of the topics covered: climbing equipment, route finding and navigation, glacier travel, climbing protection, crevasse rescue, and steep snow and ice climbing (if conditions permit). This is truly a one-of-a-kind course. We are allowed to offer only four departures per year, so sign up early! Climbers who successfully complete this course will be eligible to join our Denali expeditions and other high-altitude climbs around the world.
Climbing Skill Level
This course is designed for the beginner or intermediate climber who wishes to develop strong fundamental skills in all aspects of snow and glacier climbing. It serves as a prerequisite for many of Alpine Ascents' intermediate-level climbs and is a stepping stone for more technically difficult mountains. Prior experience with backpacking and camping is recommended. Climbing with a 60-pound pack is a requirement for this course.
- Increasing technical knowledge/skills in all aspects of snow and alpine climbing including:
- Glacier travel
- Rope/belay techniques
- Crevasse rescue
- Route finding
- Safe climbing
- Developing educated, self-reliant climbers with the ability to evaluate subjective/objective hazards including:
- Rock fall
- Glacier conditions
- Gear evaluations
- Critical decision-making
- Group experience
- White-out conditions
- Wilderness navigation
- Weather conditions
This was an extraordinary course, very well organized and executed. Guides were professional, knowledgeable and superb teachers. -Lisa
In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. Climbers must be able to carry an average of 60lbs or more and make 4,000 foot elevation gains. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs. Comprehensive training information can be found here.
Our guiding team is comprised of world-renowned guides and full-time professional climbers. While some of these guides have historical climbing achievements synonymous with their names, others are well known for their guiding and teaching experience. A number of our guides have been recipients of coveted climbing awards and scholarships.
Our guides are an integral part of Alpine Ascents because they understand and share our climbing principles. These individuals are dedicated to sharing their excellence with others. Many of our guides have been with Alpine Ascents for over five years, with a handful of veterans working with us for most of their careers. The quality of our Guide Staff is the primary difference between us and our competitors.
The role of an Alpine Ascents guide is to impart knowledge, use calculated judgement and assist individual climber development. Our guides are experienced educators who evaluate their strengths by monitoring climbers' achievements. Thus we stress our acute ability to provide students and expedition members with personal attention, realizing the commitment to assist each climber in obtaining their goals.
Guides were top notch and excellent immersion into mountaineering in a great setting. -Scott
Alpine Ascents is deeply committed to maintaining ecosystems at home and around the world. With each expedition, trek and course, we not only attempt to leave the environment as we found it, but strive to assist the local population in protecting the land and people indigenous to that region. Alpine Ascents reaches for the highest ethical business practices at home and abroad. Each staff member is dedicated to environmentally sound alpine ascents.
At Alpine Ascents environmental stewardship remains one of our core values and we take Leave No Trace ethics and practices very seriously. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. On every one of our courses and climbs we teach and follow the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principles and practices.
Over the years, with the assistance of our Sherpa teams, we have stepped up efforts to clean Mt. Everest. Our Wag Bag® program made a pioneering step in human waste management for the National Park System and Forest Service in the North Cascades. On Aconcagua, we pioneered a waste removal system on our climbs, utilizing the WAG Bag® system. And we continue our on-going maintenance and minimal impact plans wherever we guide. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Alpine Ascents is committed to developing safe, self-reliant and environmentally conscious mountaineers.
This is an extremely rigorous eight days and being in strong physical condition is mandatory. Please note, the guide retains the right, at any point, to determine whether a climber is sufficiently fit to continue the climb.