Our Denali climb was recommended by Lonely Planet, 2017.
Included in Outside Magazine’s “6 Iconic Hikes You Should Do Before You Die” 2017.
Our Alaskan Yak Tours were honored by Outside Magazine as Trip of The Year!
For most people, Everest is a once in a lifetime experience because of the costs, the time invested, etc. So if you’re considering giving it a shot — go with the best possible service provider. Alpine Ascents logistics, guides and Sherpa team are absolutely top notch.” – Alison Levine, Alpine Ascents Everest team, author of the New York Times bestseller ON THE EDGE, featured on 60 Minutes Sports
Alpine Ascents has been named one of “The Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. We are extremely proud to be named the highest rated Mountain Guide Service.
Alpine Ascents has been named one of “The Best Outfitters On The Planet” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. We are the only Mountaineering Company to receive a 100% Client Experience Rating.
“Meet the Best Teachers in the business.” Outside Magazine.
Alpine Ascents is “the premier way to experience Mt. McKinley with a guide service.” Outside Magazine
Our Kilimanjaro climb was highlighted in The Houston Chronicle.
In addition to the recent recognition in Travel & Leisure and National Geographic Adventure, our Kilimanjaro expedition was selected as “The Millennium Climb” by Men’s Journal and has been highlighted in the New York Times, MSNBC.com, Business Week and Blue Magazine.
Our Kilimanjaro Climb was named one of “The 25 Greatest Adventure Trips in the World. “And Chosen as One of the World’s Best Hikes by National Geographic Adventure Magazine
“I’d been to Nepal before, but traveling with Alpine Ascents was a different trip altogether. The trek logistics were flawlessly organized, from Kathmandu to Base Camp (even the layovers in Bangkok) so I could concentrate on enjoying the countryside. Traveling with experienced guides like Todd and Vern opens doors that are closed to most visitors. Not only do those guys know the way, they know most of the people along the way, and the result is a cultural experience unmatched by anything I’ve experienced before. It’s the way Himalayan travel should be.” – Peter Potterfield, Author of High Himalaya and Classic Hikes Of The World.
“Climbing Mt. McKinley with Alpine Ascents transformed a cold, logistically complicated climb into a rewarding, simple, and even socially rewarding experience. The food was plentiful and nourishing and the climbing schedule was demanding but sensible. These guys have been up the mountain long enough to dial in what works. Overall, if you want a good shot at climbing a tough mountain, go with Alpine Ascents.” -Joe Glickman, New York Times.
The Alpine Ascents Everest Climb & Everest Base Camp Trek were selected by The Travel Channel for its List of “99 Things to Do Before You Die”
“Finally, there are the much-quoted $65,000 slots, with a couple of high-profile outfitters. I’ve gotten to know one of them, Alpine Ascents, quite well here at base camp, and have to admit, if I could afford it, I’d probably go for it. Cynics would argue that I’m saying this because I’ve gobbled up so much of Alpine Ascent’s tea cake up here, but for a climber, to be able to climb with mountaineering legends like Vern Tejas or Willi Prittie is an experience akin to painting with Picasso or golfing with Palmer. In some cases, if you can afford it, 65 grand is not an overwhelming price to climb with the best. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think Alpine Ascents is serving tea.” Finn Olaf Jones – Discover.com
Alpine Ascents was selected by National Geographic for the film “Life and Death on Denali” featured on National Geographic Ultimate Explorer.
Our Elbrus Climb is Featured in In the Lonely Planet book, “Year of Adventures”
Our Aconcagua Expedition was featured in Men’s Journal.
Our India Tour was featured in National Geographic Adventure.
“Of all the great guide services on Kilimanjaro, Alpine Ascents might be the best. Its success rate is close to 90 percent, and though its treks are longer and pricier, they avoid the jam-packed Marangu Route.” – Outside Magazine
Our Mexico Volcanoes Expedition was featured in Men’s Journal.
In addition to being a primary media resource, Alpine Ascents and our Climbers and Guides have been featured in most major publications and media outlets including: CNN, MSNBC, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, Nightline, 20/20, The Travel Channel, Fox News, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Blue Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Outside Magazine, Climbing Magazine, Rock & Ice, Men’s Journal, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and hundreds of local news organizations and affiliates around the world.
Most Recent Climber Comments
I had a phenomenal time on this course. Writing that our guides were exceptional does not adequately convey how effective their leadership skills were. Throughout the week, we were both led and empowered to develop skills and find our ways of contributing to the group in productive ways. Moreover, during the crevasse rescue, both guides led a novice team to a successful outcome where all parties were grateful for their leadership.
I came away with skills I am already putting into practice (e.g. knots, ascending fixed lines, etc.) and plan on sharing with my other climbing partners. Our instructors’ appreciation and respect for the wilderness, as well as how to avoid undesirable outcomes, is also something I feel very confident I can pass along to others.
A letter we received from a Denali Prep climber
I took your Denali Prep class two years ago. I just wanted to let you know that it saved my life this past week. Many miles, and many vertical feet, after your class I found myself on the Fortuna glacier on South Georgia Island, near Antarctica, a thousand miles from anywhere. Three climbers (including myself) and a guide were checking out Shackleton’s crossing. The unthinkable happened, and I found myself tumbling backwards and then headfirst into a crevasse. I seemed to fall forever. When I finally stopped, wedged between two walls of ice with my feet thankfully below me and my crampons gingerly jammed into one side, I was about 20 feet down. I looked down and saw darkness.
But because of your class I was able to stay calm and coherent. I called up to my guide that I was ok, and that I needed a rope with a biner on it, as I couldn’t see my harness to reliably operate my biners. Because I knew exactly what she was doing up on top I was able to stay calm while she rigged a hauling system, and she had me out in a matter of minutes. The guide was amazed at how calm I was throughout.
It could have been a lot worse. Thankfully, the experiences I gained on Rainier prepared me for it and it turned out as best as could possibly be hoped for.
This course was top shelf. I absolutely feel ready to use the skill set taught.
As a surgeon, I have been exposed to many teachers. I can legitimately say these two guides are among the finest I’ve experienced. They did a really impressive job of beginning with basic concepts, and layering more complex principles and skills on top of one another in a logical fashion. They did it in a paced format, balancing the various experience, fitness levels, and mental fortitude of seven total strangers in the process – and in so doing, ensured everyone got across the goal line. The best indicator of their proficiency in teaching is the safely executed “final exam” crevasse fall in which the culmination of the week’s teaching was not just tested but required for the desired outcome.
Cerro San Lorenzo was an awesome expedition on so many levels. It was evident from the beginning that a tremendous amount of thought and planning took place before we even arrived in Balmaceda. I immediately felt the positive energy and excitement when meeting Paul, Breezy and Nataniel for the first time. It was very special that Paul had such deep ties and experience in Chilean Patagonia. I also appreciated that Alpine Ascents had Nataniel explore the mountain prior to our arrival to provide first hand knowledge of the route and conditions. It was clear from day one that Breezy was way more than a “client” with a tremendous skill set which played out as essentially having a third guide. I was the least experienced climber on the expedition, but loved having the opportunity to learn from everyone and challenge myself in a remote setting. I really admired Paul’s decision making process regarding the difficult weather conditions and felt entirely confident that he made safe and wise decisions throughout the entire trip. This was definitely a successful expedition in that we worked well as a group with terrific leadership and came home safely.
Paul is an outstanding leader for several reasons including his ability to observe each client individually to anticipate strengths and weaknesses. I was also impressed that he actively listened to what was important to each of us when making decisions as a team and facilitated transparent conversations about whether to move camp or stay put. Paul remained remarkably calm and collected in deteriorating conditions during our descent off the mountain which totally set the stage for us as clients.
Although Breezy was technically a “client” on the trip, she demonstrated strong leadership and teamwork skills. She picked up quickly that one of the clients would perform best if positioned directly behind a guide. Breezy also carried a tremendous amount of gear between camps, cooked delicious meals, and demonstrated how to build effective snow walls for wind protection. I was also very impressed with her helping clients put on crampons and puffy pants in 100 km/hr winds. Totally humble and fun to be around. Breezy will be an outstanding guide if she ever decides to go in that direction.
Nataniel was very kind and hardworking. Definitely appreciated the delicious meals he cooked, help with cleanup, snow melting etc.
Paul pulled out several maps and gave a terrific overview of the history/geography/culture of Cerro San Lorenzo and Chilean Patagonia. The gear check and refresher on setting up the North Face tents was also where we learned lots of pearls. Paul spent part of an afternoon teaching a very useful hands on crevasse rescue session. I was also impressed that Paul took the time to teach me basic rappelling technique even when conditions were less than ideal. I am fortunate in that Paul will be one of my guides this upcoming May in Alaska so he spent a lot of time and energy discussing gear, logistics, conditions on Denali etc. Breezy was particularly helpful on the first day we were on snow demonstrating appropriate glacier travel. She was very observant and gave helpful tips.
Paul, Breezy and Nataniel were all super tranquilo and easy to get along with. Lots of laughs. I felt totally comfortable. Terrific conditions of the tent, ropes etc. Definitely satisfied with the food. Impressed with the creative and delicious meals that Breezy, Paul and Nataniel put together. Felt like we had more than enough food.
Definitely believe that this is a trip many climbers would enjoy so I hope it becomes offered annually. Absolutely special because of the remote location and spectacular landscape. Great Denali Prep course. Totally possible I will join this climb again in the future! Can’t thank all of you enough for making this trip happen.
I very much enjoyed the expedition. The overall quality was excellent, particularly given that this was AAI’s first expedition to Cerro San Lorenzo. Everything from lodging to group gear to food to the itinerary were well planned and executed and the guides were adept at making changes as circumstances dictated. The experience was both fun and challenging.
Paul demonstrated exceptional leadership. In situations where there were several viable options with respect to moving up the mountain, he did an excellent job of communicating the pros and cons of each option and guiding the team to a consensus decision. He also did not hesitate to let the team know when there was only one safe option. He did an excellent job in balancing the desire to provide the team with a full experience and keeping us safe. As noted above, he was adept at making alternative arrangements when we left the mountain one day earlier than scheduled due to weather. He also did a very good job working with the local guide. And the extra added bonus was Paul’s wife, Breezy. Although a client and not a guide, she provided significant assistance in many respects, including helping the rest of us get on our crampons in high winds, cooking several delicious meals and cleaning up after meals, and building a bomber snow wall at our second camp. I was having difficulty downclimbing a rocky slope because my pack would throw me off balance and she kindly carried my pack down that pitch. And she was an absolute delight to spend time with. She definitely added significantly to the overall quality of the experience.
The guides did a great job of providing both formal instruction, for example practice using prussiks and setting up our tents, and in providing “on the go” guidance while we were climbing and also sharing information during our meals at the hut. This was my 6th AAI trip and I continue to learn useful information on the trips. One example that I learned and implemented on this trip was “happy socks” – keeping one pair for sleeping in the sleeping bag that is swapped with the hiking socks at night.
Paul and our local guide Nathaniel were a pleasure to be with. In addition to being very capable guides, they were interesting, kind and fun companions during our two weeks in Patagonia. Paul was especially helpful to me during the last part of our descent down the mountain, which was on rocks and scree that could be challenging. I was moving a bit more slowly than some in the group and Paul stayed back with me and chatted which very much helped take my mind off my tired legs! As noted before, Breezy was an added bonus – she had so many interesting stories to share and very much helped pass the time during the day we spent at out first camp to wait out high winds by visiting our tent.
The staff was very responsive when I had questions about gear. The course materials had a few inconsistencies, which is not unexpected with a new program and that were quickly fixed when brought to the attention of the office staff. The tents were easy to put up and held up well in some pretty windy conditions. The food was excellent and it was clear that the guides (and Breezy) put a lot of thought and effort into the menu planning.
The strengths were the quality of the guides, the beauty of the area, the warmth of the Chileans, my fantastic teammates, the food, and the challenges posed by the Patagonian weather and climbing the mountain without porters. I felt like I had a true alpine experience even without summiting. This climb would serve as an excellent prep for Denali given the need to carry loads and the interesting weather. The asado at the Soto Campo was another highlight – it was a truly magical night.
I enjoyed the expedition very much. It was well organized including all the details that make a trip smooth. The amount of hiking per day was set up for maximum success. Each guide brought a unique set of skills and experience to the team. All three guides worked very well together. I truly enjoyed their company during our time together. The Alpine Ascents team is amazing. I had many in depth conversations with multiple staff members who always gave me their undivided attention and seemed happy to answer my questions. The Gear Department is phenomenal! The attention to detail in preparation and on the expedition, is necessary and is a strength of the program.
Yes, it was an amazing experience. The guides were capable and sociable and the members of the team were well-prepared. The whole time I felt confident that things were moving forward according to plan and as a result I was able to enjoy my time spent on the mountain. Yes. Vern and Ben made effective decisions about weather considerations, when to move the team and locating the safest routes of travel. They struck the proper balance between maintaining good relations with the group and keeping us on schedule and focused on the important tasks at hand. They allowed us to be independent in terms of practicing our own survival skills but remained available for help if we needed it. I learned a lot from Vern and Ben by listening to their stories from years of mountaineering experience. They also made helpful suggestions in terms of gear and I appreciated their patience in regards to re-configuring some of my clothing on summit day. The correspondence, course materials and website were well-prepared and interactions with the administration and office staff were positive. Matt did an excellent job coordinating things in Punta Arenas in terms of our hotels and gear and he gets special marks for helping me with some initial flight problems I experienced that delayed my arrival in Chile. The food and cooking skills were top notch. The guides put a lot of effort into preparing quality meals and it was appreciated. All of the group gear and tents worked great. No areas of improvement, I had a great trip.
I had a fantastic time. Everything exceeded by expectations from the accommodations to the the food to the company. My guides, Dylan, John, and Julio were are good as they come! The climb was challenging and thrilling and I felt supported by my guides every step of the way. I walked away confident that I will do another big expedition in the near future. YES! I cannot say enough good things about Dylan, John, and Julio. Dylan was a phenomenal lead guide. He was patient, knowledgeable, funny, kind, and there to keep us in check from start to finish. Jon was the perfect second guide and Julio (my tent mate) honestly made my trip! The three of them where phenomenal! They. Were. Awesome. We learned so much from our guides, how to walk more efficiently, carry more efficiently, and overall how to actually enjoy the experience. 100% Yes. They had this ability to keep unlikely unity among our group. They made us laugh, walked us through the tough stuff, and saved the life of Patrick without hesitation or complaint. Alpine is so lucky to have such unreal staff. I had the best best time. Thank you so much!
Absolutely loved it. Great program, route, guides, team, etc. Highly, highly recommended! Provided clear direction for both near-term/present objectives and longer-term plans (i.e.
next moves up the mountain, scheduling summit day, etc.). Consistently took time to train and emphasize skills (e.g. rest step, pressure breathing, foot placement, pacing, etc.). Experience/knowledge ranged from climbing skills, to clothing, to campsite placement, to sleeping, etc. Very thorough. Would love to climb with them again! Very professional and personable guides who set clear examples and consistently encouraged the entire team.
I have to say the program is expertly crafted and put together to maximize climber success in the mountains. Each day seems carefully chosen in terms of accommodations and altitude to help acclimatization. All of the accommodations are absolutely beautiful! Jose Luis is an extremely great guy and an excellent guide. He was conservative, as a good mountain guide should be, and very knowledgeable and I really learned a lot. This trip has met and exceeded the high expectations that I hold Alpine Ascents to and I thank you guys for doing what you’re doing.