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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

10 Day Rainier Baker 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, including ice climbing 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 8 Day, 9 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.

9 Day Rainier Baker 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, 10 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.

8 Day Rainier 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.

6 Day Baker Mountaineering Course

Beginner
Our tried and true course for the last 20 years, as we tackle glacier skills and attempt a summit of Mt. Baker (The Ice King!). 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 6 Day course also serves as an adequate prerequisite for Denali though for some, the longer courses such as the Denali Prep, 8 Day, 9 Day, and 10 Day Course may be more suitable given the extra teaching days. The 6 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 Course

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.

13 Day Baker Mountaineering Course

Beginner
This course combines our 6 Day Baker 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.

8 Day Alaska Mountaineering Course

Beginner
Our 8 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.

12 Day Alaska Mountaineering Course

Beginner
This course if often coupled with our 8 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.

8 Day Alps 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.

Cascades Rock Climbing

Beginner
The Cascades Rock Climbing course is appropriate for those with those with absolutely no rock climbing experience as well as seasoned gym climbers who want to break into the realm of outdoor climbing. The Cascades rock climbing course will start at the very foundations of rockcraft, belaying and climbing commands, and rapidly build upon those skills to culminate in a 3-pitch pitch climb and basic rock rescue. Students can expect short, casual approaches, and ample opportunity to rest between climbs.

Mount Rainier and Mount Baker 3 Day Climbs

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.

Alpine Rock Climbing Course

Intermediate
The Alpine Rock Climbing course is appropriate for 6 Day course graduates with a firm understanding of the basics of rock climbing including the ability to tie knots, belay and rappel safely—multi pitch climbing experience is preferred. While there is a day of review, the majority of the course is spent climbing 3 separate, full-day (8+ hours) alpine rock objectives. Students can expect strenuous approaches of 1.5-3 hours, long days, big exposure, and minimal opportunity to rest between pitches.

8 Day Cascades Intermediate Course

Intermediate
The 8 Day Intermediate Mountaineering course is an incredible opportunity to learn advanced alpine climbing topics in North Cascades. The focus of the course is climbing steep snow, ice, rock and mixed terrain, in addition to glacier travel. The wilderness of the North Cascades provides the ideal training ground due to the variety of terrain that is available. The goal of this course is that graduating students should be able to climb non-technical glaciated mountains with short sections of moderately technical terrain safely.

8 Day Alaska Intermediate Course

Intermediate
A favorite among both guides and students, the 8-Day Alaska Intermediate Mountaineering course is an incredible opportunity to learn advanced mountaineering skills in one of the great ranges of the world, the Alaska Range. The focus of this course is navigating big glaciers and ascending steep snow climbs in an expedition environment. The goal of this course is that graduating students should be able to climb non-technical glaciated mountains safely. It also provides an excellent advanced preparation for guided ascents of the Kautz Glacier on Mount Rainier, Denali, Mount Vinson, Cho Oyu. Our Alaska programs are unique in that we fly directly onto the Kahiltna Glacier and minimizes the approach into the mountains allowing the group to focus on skill development and ascending several different peaks in the area.

Training Courses for the Beginner Climber

8 Day Alaska Mountaineering Course

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

12 Day Alaska Mountaineering Course

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

6 Day Baker Mountaineering Course

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

13 Day Baker Mountaineering Course

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

10 Day Rainier Baker Mountaineering Course

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

9 Day Rainier Baker Mountaineering Course

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

8 Day Alps

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

8 Day Rainier 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

8 Day Alaska Intermediate Mountaineering Course

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

8 Day Cascades Intermediate Mountaineering Course

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

Alpine Rock Climbing Course

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

Mount Baker 3 Day

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 65 lb. pack like the Mount Baker 3 Day 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

Excellent.   Vern was the best and most experienced guide I have ever had on a mountaineering trip.

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