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Choosing an Alpine Ascents Course

Choosing a Course

Alpine Ascents offers a wide range of courses in an attempt to cater to each climber’s interests and personal desires. Many of the courses cover similar curriculum, but have nuances based on location, number of days and season. All programs (successfully completed) serve as a prerequisite for more advanced climbs such as Denali, Vinson, Aconcagua, Island Peak and Ecuador Volcanoes to name a few. Below please find a brief on each course each linked to the detailed web page

Cascades-Rainier 10 Day Mountaineering Course

Beginner/Advanced Beginner
Most comprehensive glacier course we offer in that those who successfully complete will have learned the gamut of basic skills and the chance to utilize those skills on two summit attempts. The second summit attempt is via the more technical Kautz glacier on Mt. Rainier. Join this course in excellent physical condition and walk away with a very strong skill set and excellent understanding of the rigors of climbing glaciated peaks. Along with the Eight Day and Denali Prep courses, this course is recommended for climbers preparing for Denali and similar peaks such as Antarctica’s Vinson. (This course is offered at a lower price than the Six Day and Kautz Climb done separately). Climbing Rainier allows one to summit a peak over 14,000 feet.

Cascades Rainier 9 Day Mountaineering Course

Beginner/Advanced Beginner
One of the most comprehensive glacier courses we offer in that those who successfully complete will have learned the gamut of basic skills and the chance to utilize those skills on two summit attempts. The second summit attempt is via the Camp Muir route on Mt. Rainier. Join this course in excellent physical condition and walk away with a very strong skill set and excellent understanding of the rigors of climbing glaciated peaks. Along with the 8 Day and Denali Prep courses, this course is recommended for climbers preparing for Denali and similar peaks such as Antarctica’s Vinson. Climbing Rainier allows one to summit a peak over 14,000 feet.

Rainier 8 Day Mountaineering Course

Beginner
This comprehensive course covers all aspects of glacier mountaineering with a chance to summit Mt. Rainier. This course takes place on the Emmons glacier (a lesser used route on Rainier) and may have a day of ice climbing, conditions permitting. Eight days of intensive training will give most students the skills needed to take on larger glaciated peaks such as Denali. This may be a better course for those who want the skills for Denali (or similar) and want the chance to summit Rainier, climb mid-season and learn skills in more favorable conditions than the Denali Prep course. (2:1 climber to guide on summit day). Climbing Rainier allows one to summit a peak over 14,000 feet.

Cascades 6 Day Mountaineering Course

Beginner
Our tried and true course for the last 20 years, as we tackle glacier skills and attempt a summit of such peaks and Mt. Baker (The Ice King!) Shuksan or Eldorado. This is a chance to climb in Washington’s great range, The North Cascades and gain knowledge of basic mountaineering skills. This has been our standard prerequisite for many climbs such as Ecuador, Elbrus, and technical routes on Rainier. Our Six Day course also serves as an adequate prerequisite for Denali though for some, the longer courses such as the Denali Prep, Eight Day and 10 Day Course may be more suitable given the extra teaching days. The Six Day is an excellent value. Recommended for those who do not have 8-10 days for a training course or who are confident about learning the glacier climbing skills in six days. (Also good preparation for Aconcagua)

Rainier Denali Preparation

Beginner/Advanced Beginner
This is a winter mountaineering course designed to introduce climbers to winter climbing and replicate conditions that one may find on cold weather climbs such as Denali. Skills covered include pulling sleds, building snow structures, snow shoeing and glacier skills such as self-arrest and crevasse rescue. This course is recommended to those who are looking for an early season course (offered February – May) or for those who have some basic climbing skills and want to add winter training. This is a superb training program that generally does not offer a summit attempt, but a chance to climb on Rainier in the winter/spring. This course is also opportune for climbers looking to take on Denali later in the same season.

Cascades 13 Day Mountaineering Course

Beginner
This course combines our Six Day Mountaineering Course with seven days of Alpine rock. We take three days to learn skills at a famed rock climbing area in Central Washington, then put the combined glacier and rock skills to the test on a mixed route climb (conditions to determine route). This course has a 3:1 climber to guide ratio and serves as a prerequisite. for many of our more advanced glacier climb climbs as well as Alpine Rock climbs such as the Matterhorn. This course is also excellent for those who plan to continue climbing in the vast North Cascades where mixed climbing routes are common.

Alaska 8 Day Mountaineering Course

Beginner
Our Eight Day Alaska offers a chance to learn climbing skills under the shadow of Alaska’s “Great one” Denali. This is also a very comprehensive course, covering all basic mountaineering skills (self arrest, crevasse rescue, advanced glacier skills) and offers the chance to climb two peaks in the Alaska Range. This course is generally less demanding then our Washington State course (Rainier and North Cascades) as it does not require a long approach hike. This may be less appealing for those looking to test their physical conditioning.

Alaska 12 Day Mountaineering Course

Beginner
This course if often coupled with our Eight Day Alaska Course, adding four days for another summit attempt. After traveling all the way to Alaska, this is a nice way to get some extra climbing in, utilizing your newly learned skills.

Alps 8 Day Course

Beginner
This comprehensive course covers all aspects of glacier mountaineering with a chance to climb in the Alps. This course is late season giving those a chance to complete a training course before the winter. We also look to this course to refresh and assess those climbers that have easier access to Europe.

Eight days of intensive training while carrying a heavy pack will give most students the skills needed to take on larger glaciated peaks such as Denali.

Rock Climbing for Mountaineers

Beginner
This course focuses on developing Alpine Rock skills and assessing terrain to be used in alpine rock or mixed route climbing.

3 Day Climb of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker

Beginner
These summit climbs are also training courses and serve as a prerequisite for such climbs as Elbrus, Island Peak and Ecuador and Mexico Volcanoes.

Intermediate Courses

These courses are designed for those who have mastered basic glacier climbing skills (usually a graduate of a beginner course) offering the chance to further develop skills with similarly skilled and fit climbers.

Training Courses for the Beginner Climber

Alaska 8 Day Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: For the beginner or intermediate climber – 40lb. pack
Location: Rainier

Alaska 12 Day Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: For the beginner or intermediate climber
Location: Alaska

Cascades 6 Day Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: For the beginner or intermediate climber
Location: Cascades

Cascades 13 Day Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Advanced Beginner
Prerequisites: Our most intensive course For the beginner or intermediate climber
Location: Cascades

Cascades-Rainier 10 Day Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: Our 6-Day Cascades Training Course followed by our 4-Day Kautz/Emmons Glacier Climb – 65lb. pack
Location: Cascades Rainier

Cascades-Rainier 9 Day Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: Our 6-Day Cascades Training Course followed by our 3-Day Muir Climb – 65lb. pack
Location: Cascades Rainier

Alps 8 Day

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: This comprehensive course covers all aspects of glacier mountaineering with a chance to climb in the Alps.
Location: European Alps

Cascades Rock Climbing Course

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: For the beginner or intermediate climber – Day pack
Location: Cascades

Rainier 8 Day Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: For the beginner or intermediate climber
Location: Rainier

Rainier Denali Preparation

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: For the beginner or intermediate climber
Location: Rainier

Training Courses for the Intermediate Climber

Alaska 8 Day Intermediate Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Open to those who have completed a week-long mountaineering course
Location: Alaska

Cascades 8 Day Intermediate Mountaineering Course

Experience Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Open to those who have completed a week-long mountaineering course
Location: Cascades

Distinct Summit Climbs to Serve All Levels of Climbers

Mount Rainier – 3 Day Muir Climb

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: Open to any physically fit enthusiastic novice, beginner or advanced beginner – 40lb. pack
Location: Rainier

Mount Baker

Experience Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: Open to any physically fit enthusiastic novice,
beginner or advanced beginner
Location: Baker

Mount Rainier – 4 Day Emmons Glacier Climb

Experience Level: Beginner w/Skills
Prerequisites: Open to advanced beginners. A prior glacier climb is required which entailed carrying a 65lb. pack. e.g:3 Day Mount Baker Climb, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Whitney
Location: Rainier

Mount Rainier – 4 Day Kautz Glacier Climb

Experience Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Open to those who performed well on the Emmons Glacier Climb or have completed a week-long Mountaineering Course
Location: Rainier

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The quality was significantly above what I expected and I absolutely feel ready for future climbs. The guides were amazing. Both were professional and safe on all occasions. I would trust my life in their hands. Both guides offered an exceptional amount knowledge and did a great job teaching to […]

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