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6 Day Baker Mountaineering Course Testimonials

The course and the guides did an excellent job of expanding our comfort zones daily on the trip until we were able to perform maneuvers and cover terrain that none of us would have been willing to before the course.

August 2017 Climber

The course was fantastic. I was a total novice in cold weather camping and glacier climbing. I feel I learnt so much, from simple things like how to pack the backpack, wear crampons, to complex thing like using pickets and making pulleys. The course was very educational. Little things like how to glissade, keep yourself warm, set up camp are skills that I can take with me for winter camping in the Yosemite. I can definitely take the skills that I learnt with me on future climbs.

In summary, I absolutely loved the course and can’t wait to do more with Alpine Ascents! Yes, both Stephen and Brain were great leaders. Yes. Both demonstrated a lot of patience, repeating certain things multiple times. Being a novice I felt I asked a lot of questions and sometimes made the same errors. They were able to demonstrate and explain the reasoning behind why I should do something in a certain way. They never said, do this because this is the way it should be done, but they took the time to explain why it should be done in a particular way, and the safety portions as well. The gear dept was great.

I loved the program. So thank you for a wonderful experience! I highly recommend Alpine Ascents to all my friends!

July 2017 Climber

Yes, I enjoyed the course. I learned what I was expecting to learn and a bit more. Obviously there is a range of knowledge in the participants so we all get something different. The basics were very good. I liked the pairing of two different personalities for the guides as they can connect with different people in the team. some need more TLC, come need more stern guidance. it was great. I have had a great experience so far with my three trips. I find it informational and instructive, the gear list, availability and help from staff on gear check was great. Overall the strength in my experiences with you have been the guides, they are great and their spirit is always very positive.

May 2017 Climber

I loved this course. The quality of the instruction was absolutely fantastic and I learned a TON! I feel invigorated and ready to tackle more difficult objectives. The guides were top notch. Everyone in the group was eager to soak up as much knowledge from them as possible. All of the guides were great instructors. David Gottlieb has an unbelievable amount of experience and was able to pass that to us with his instruction and stories. A+. Mt Baker is beautiful and the guides strictly adhered to the “leave no trace” policy. I have nothing in the way of constructive criticism or suggested improvements. I got everything I was hoping for out of this course and look forward to climbing with Alpine Ascents in the future.

May 2017 Climber

Yes I enjoyed the course very much. I learned a lot of valuable skills, through-hands on practical activities. Yes I feel that I can use what I learned on future climbs. Yes the guides were incredible in how they dealt with situations. If someone was struggling they would break down the activity in question into further detail while also encouraging the individual. Stuart and Madhu made seemingly complicated or overwhelming tasks rather simple and understandable. They shared a lot of their own techniques as well as alternatives so as to best prepare us for future climbs. They always had interesting and hilarious stories to tell, and managed to always keep the group morale up. The overall wilderness experience was great. Once we passed the trail head there was virtually no trace of human activity asides from the occasional snowmobile passing by.

May 2017 Climber

I thoroughly enjoyed the class. Devin and Stephen did a great job of preparing us for every day of the expedition. With the weather changing almost every day, they made the necessary adjustments to the activities and updated the group in a very timely manner. This certainly helped us maximize the enjoyment of our experience. I was always given the opportunity and time to do all of the activities that everyone in the group had a chance to experience. As far as using the skills, never mind future climbs, I had the chance to try out most of them on this climb. Excellent course quality. Pretty much everything in the information that I was given prior to the trip was covered.

Devin and Stephen were both great at this. Leadership means serving others and developing them. Your guides worked closely with everyone to make sure that they were learning new skills or improving on them. They also would not let us fail. They motivated us in one way or another to try harder. There were also times when he was very direct in giving directions and at times this was necessary. Adult learners need to know why they are learning something and they need to see fairly immediate application to help them learn. When setting up a walk across a snow bridge at 9000 feet, in a snow storm, over a 200-foot crevasse, I don’t think there was much time to explain why I needed to follow his steps exactly. I did see the immediate application though. Stephen helped us in the same manner. They also did explain why we were doing things in an effective manner when safety was not such an immediate concern.

What can I say, I can hike up a pretty good grade in steep snow, I know how to self-arrest myself if I fall, I can tie an overhand knot as well as a few others. I know how to take care of myself in bad weather, I can repel, I can pack a backpack and I know that I hate dehydrated food. (I’ll learn to cook next time.)

Yeah, they kidded with us constantly, making jokes and being part of the group. I can’t say enough about how great they were to have with us. If I take another mountain trip, I want them to be my guides.

Awesome. Great scenery. Devin and Stephen gave us great insight into how the mountains, the glaciers and riverbeds formed. Devin and I had a discussion on the way down about how the lower trails were built using pack mules and volunteers. We learned about how the glaciers have receded. There should be more programs for younger people to learn somewhat in this manner. You can read all the books you want and watch all the shows, but nothing is like being there.

I rented most of the equipment through Alpine Ascents Gear Dept. and they did a great job. Things were pretty well organized at the beginning, but more important than that, the return process was well run and easy.

Your program’s strengths are the people training the material. They need to have a servant’s heart in which they sincerely want the people they are training to develop and succeed. Both Devin and Stephen demonstrated this many times over the six days. On the last night on Mt. Baker, Devin came by my tent to acknowledge the good job we did and to ask if I had something to eat. These type of actions mean things to people.


Excellent course with fantastic guides. As a novice, this course provided me with a lot of useful information and training that will help me summit Mt. Aconcagua with Alpine Ascents in December.

Guy B.

Yes.  The quality of instruction was phenomenal.  I came into the trip with high expectations based on Alpine Ascent’s reputation in the industry and I came away from the experience with a deep appreciation for the value provided by our guides as teachers.  I would recommend this course without hesitation.  I cannot say enough about the quality of instruction and how truly impressed I was with my guides and Alpine Ascents.

Brice K

My guides both displayed a great level of expertise and confidence in their mountaineering skills. Just watching them work/guide was beneficial to the learning experience. I could not have been happier with the course. Despite challenging weather, we had lots of time to learn new skills. We were able to be flexible with when and what we did to best take advantage of the situations we were presented with. Our guide showed great leadership skills both in his interactions with us, the climbers, and the other two guides. His passion for guiding and teaching was very apparent, as was the respect that everyone had for him. Our other guide was also a fantastic leader and I felt like we won the “guide lottery” having them both on our trip. Being proficient in something does not always mean you are also good at teaching these skills to someone else. Both our guides, were not only able to clearly and effectively teach us the how of new skills, but the when and why of putting them to use. This is my 2nd AA adventure, Rainier 3-day last year being the first and once again you guys were awesome. Everyone is super professional, organized and responsive creating a stress free environment leading up to the trip.

Saveria T.

Hands down, the best investment I could ever make. Every aspect of the course was professionally and thoroughly explained and practiced, making what we learned “feel” second-natured. It was reassuring to be able to take our training and utilize as much of it as possible on the day of summit, making what we learned really sink in and really be put into effect.

Our guides can’t be replaced; they shared so much valuable knowledge and experience towards the sport, making the 6 days extremely worthwhile. As a team, they presented everything in depth and detail, and really pushed to the students what skills and knowledge are most vital. I loved learning the technical aspects of it all, from reasons for certain gear selection, or why a certain path of the glacier was chosen. It made the experience feel like more than just being on a large, glaciated volcano.

We had one day of rain/sleet/snow that bummed us out for half the day, but even still our guides  came tent-to-tent to teach us new material. We practiced our knot and prusik tying, and learned an introduction to rappelling and belaying skills. Every other day of the trip was maximized to learn and practice as much information as possible. Techniques are easy to pickup, but also very difficult to master. I can’t wait to continue my education with another trip with Alpine Ascents.


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