The Island Peak expedition was fantastic. The trek with the Base Camp group made the acclimatization portion social and fun.
1) Vern and Carole were great hosts. Their vast knowledge of the area and friendship with many of the locals made for a unique experience not offered by other companies.
2) Staying at Base Camp is something not many other operators can do and was an excellent feature along with the walk through the Khumbu glacier. (One of the reasons I chose this trip with Alpine Ascents)
3) Having Kami Rita Sherpa and Vern flanking the climbing team provided a feeling of safety as we had such experienced climbers with us.
4) Experiences beyond the trek and climbing
a) HRA in Pheriche
b) Lama Geshe
c) Medical Clinic in Khumjung
d) Monks prayer ceremony at Tengboche
e) Dinner with Tashi at Tengboche
Both Vern and Carole brought unique experiences to the trek. They both provided tips in group and one on one opportunities. Carole was more hands on during the trek while Vern often provided his tips in group setting at the beginning or end of the day. They complement each other very well in their styles. Their knowledge of the local culture and people was interesting and they were willing to share proactively as well as answer questions from the group. It is apparent that they have a great passion and love for the Nepali people and culture. They both made it fun to be on the trek and climb. We shared a lot of laughs.
1) Very experience guides with a knowledge of the area
2) Khumbu glacier walk and spending a night at base camp
3) Strong experienced climbing guides on the climb
1) At the moment I cannot think of any.