AAI’s strength is the experience leading years of successful expeditions on Denali—knowledge of the terrain and weather, logistics, local support networks, relationships with NPS and other guide services, the climber community, the ability to attract and retain quality guides, and vet and assemble high quality teams of climbers! You have it down, keep it going. Looking forward to other worldwide trips with AAI.
Excellent expedition! From start to finish, once again AAI had all the logistics and provisions well thought through and executed very well. Joe at the Talkeetna hanger was on top of every detail and handled it very well. All of the guides were ready and willing to make it happen—and that they did. Couldn’t be more pleased. What a beautiful mountain!
Climbing Denali with this Alpine Ascents team and guides has been the highlight of my mountaineering experience. This was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but our team had great chemistry and worked together towards the goal of everyone making the summit together. Best trip I’ve ever been on.
Everything I hoped for. Both of these guys are top-notch guides. They consistently used every opportunity to teach us how to be better climbers. I was impressed how they would tutor us, but not treat us like children. They expected us to be experienced climbers and demanded that we rise to the occasion. It was great. As always with Alpine, everything was first rate.
Mountaineering can be can be challenging and stressful at times. Despite this, they always managed to maintain their calm, friendly demeanor and made every situation better. I consider myself extremely blessed to have had each of them as my guides – I figuratively would not have changed a thing!
This was my first time in the Alaska Range and it was outstanding. The guides were professional and demonstrated a lot of knowledge of the area. The food was excellent and the group gear was top notch. I also thought that the plan of ascent was well thought out and provided us the best chance at making the summit.
We had a wonderful, challenging, and ultimately extremely rewarding experience. I found the entire process including registration, gear rental, staging in Talkeetna, and of course the 19 days on the climb to be of the highest quality. Our guides were the best – figuratively I could not have chosen better people to assure a safe, enjoyable and successful Denali climb!
Our Denali climb was recommended by Lonely Planet, 2017.
This expedition was extremely challenging, and it really put my physical and mental fitness to the test. At the same time, it was if not the most rewarding and memorable expedition I’ve been on so far. I enjoyed every single moment on the trip – the amount of planning, investment, and care was clearly evident in all aspects.
While the equipment and other necessities such as food were extremely important vehicles for success/ the overall experience on this expedition and definitely contributed to the overall quality, what really made this trip shine were the guides. I really think that you could have stuck me in a plastic tarp with a bag of stale animal crackers and I would still have rated this a high quality expedition with the same guides.
Off the bat, I want to say that all the guides demonstrated exceptional leadership and decision making skills, especially given the set of circumstances that happened with this particular group. They made it very clear that while their desires to get us to the summit were high, the safety of the climbers trumped everything else.
Prior to this trip, I have gone on climbs with different companies and I have to say that David, Pasang, and Aili were the hands down the best guides. They were all very personable and approachable, so I always felt comfortable asking them about anything, not matter how silly the question was. While having the opportunity to climb Denali itself was the crowning highlight of this trip, some of the most enjoyable times were just hanging out in the cook tent with the guides and having great conversation.
In regards to David, what can I say? I’ve had the privilege of having him as a guide on the Denali prep course earlier this year and he was the main reason why I decided to climb Denali with AAI. I call him my mountaineering sensei – not only is he extremely generous with sharing his knowledge and experience, he also teaches by example and was more than willing to show how things were done in action. If AAI started to offer trips down to the seventh circle of hell, I’d sign up if he was the lead guide on it.
A major strength of the program is definitely the personnel involved in it – the guides, office administration, and the supporting staff. The itinerary was also a strong point, it was well planned out and allowed for ample time to climb at a comfortable pace.
Personally it’s a little tricky to provide concise feedback on this particular trip, given that Denali is a little unique in comparison to other climbs that I’ve done. This sounds like a cop out, but I can’t think of any glaring weakness of the trip, other than elements outside of human control.
The quality of the guides and expedition were excellent, even extraordinary. The lead guide David Gottlieb along with Pasang went out of their way (literally) to assist a climber who had broken her leg by taking her all the way down the mountain to the airstrip for medical transport, and then the guides made their way back up to our 14k camp so as to continue with the expedition to allow summiting. Yes. I liked the particular emphasis on climber safety and all decisions were made with climber safety as first priority. They all were exceptionally experienced and were able to demonstrate effectively what skills were needed for the expedition. The quality and professionalism of the guides are the strongest aspect. No improvements that I can
think of really.
Yes. Reason I always use Alpine is because I know I am going to get a professional guide service that will place my safety above all else on the mountain. Top quality in every aspect. There was a very high focus on safety, correct technique and clothing at all times, and the guides constantly checked and observed the climbers through the climb. Really great guys. Easy going and friendly. Fun to climb with and knowledgably equipped with so many aspects of climbing and the terrain. Joe was great on the logistics side. Cannot recall a single issue I had with any aspect of the expedition. I have climbed with Alpine on a number of occasions and I really appreciate the attention to detail. Honestly on this trip I cannot think of a single area to improve on.