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Rainier Denali Preparation Course Testimonials

I LOVED this course. I had almost no experience with winter mountaineering prior to this class, and now I feel proficient enough to try some more challenging mountains. I thought the course was very well considered – lots of information but it was all relevant, interesting and useful. Devin gave clear instructions and was patient with the entire team as we learned. He was able to take a step back and let us learn through experience but also was not shy about stepping in to help when needed. He made the course fun, but also kept us on our toes with a healthy dose of reality every now and then to emphasize the importance of being prepared in the mountains. I was never afraid to ask questions when I didn’t understand. Devin also set a high standard and high expectation of teamwork that set the tone for an awesome week with a group of people who really did have fun working as a team! Stephen was great about stepping in to explain things in more detail. He was very patient, especially with me as I struggled on the last push to camp Muir. He was always positive and encouraging, offering useful instruction on specific ways I could be improving. Together Stephen and Devin made a great team, leading by example they encouraged the whole group to cooperate together – and have fun together, of course! It was obvious that both Devin and Stephen had lots of experience and were very qualified to teach the course. I was glad that both had been to Denali before and were able to answer any and all burning questions we had about Denali in particular. I could tell that both Devin and Stephen enjoyed teaching, they were willing to answer questions and explained things well.

LOVE the website redesign! It’s so much easier to navigate than it used to be. I am very impressed with how responsive the entire Alpine Ascents staff has been – I’ve spoken with Gordon, Matt Miller and Chris Thalman via email with questions and all were very responsive and helpful. Being able to talk to the gear department is a major selling point too, I know I’ll get good advice when I call ya’ll! Overall this was a rewarding course to participate in – it was worth every penny! There was so much information packed into one week, if anything it would be beneficial to be a day or two longer.

I think the strengths of the course were that it was a part of Alpine Ascents, which is clearly an expert in the mountaineering field so it felt like a trustworthy source; the guides were experienced and knowledgeable and enjoyed teaching; crevasse rescue day – it was the chance to put together everything we’d learned and though intimidating and challenging, was very rewarding.

2017 Climber

The effort in travelling from Australia for the Denali Prep course was well worth it. I am now so much more reassured as to what to expect and demanded of me to ensure the best chances of summiting on Denali in a few months. I would totally recommend the prep course prior to Denali. Devon Bishop and Stephen Williams were very knowledgeable, capable and both made a great team. Devon’s instructional technique was very effective. During the presentation of new skills (ie crevasse rescue) he reinforced at every opportunity the necessary steps. The result was all clients could recall the process with ease when required to conduct the rescue themselves.

Both Devon and Stephen demonstrated an exceptional breadth of knowledge across all aspects of mountaineering. The guides were awesome, approachable, with a great sense of humour. As an international client, the entire process: from website information, course application, payment and communication was faultless. I am certainly reassured when considering future interactions with Alpine Ascents International. Mount Rainier was the perfect location for my Denali preparations. We had a mix of good and bad weather which allowed for validation of my gear. As an international client, I was completely at ease with my equipment requirements. My various inquiries with the gear department resulted in prompt and complete responses. My goals from the Denali Prep course were fully met. Refresh of basic mountaineering skills was beneficial, however the new practical skills of winter mountaineering, fixed lines, etc (Denali focus) will make my Denali expedition in a few months so much more enjoyable.

2017 Climber

The guides were highly competent and knowledgeable. They were upbeat, patient, and generous in the sharing of information. I am very impressed with Alpine Ascents, their course, and their personnel.

Gene P.

The Denali Prep course was my first trip to the Northwest.  More beautiful than I could have imagined.  Was a great opportunity to experience the weather extremes.  The curriculum was well-organized and well-taught.  I can see why it is a requirement prior to heading to Alaska.  As always the guides and the setting exceeded expectations.  Each time I go with you folks into the mountains, I always feel my safety and well-being are your utmost concern.  It allows me the freedom to concentrate on the individual task of getting to the top.  Your guides have always exercised firm but flexible control with the group despite sometimes widely varying personalities.

David F.

Absolutely Awesome. It inspired me to continue to pursue climbing and I am looking forward to the next opportunity I can arrange a trip. The guides were each capable of leading the entire group or providing additional instruction on an individual basis. My confidence in their skills and abilities never became a question. Each demonstrated the ability to lead the group and had significant experience with personal motivation and encouragement. They always stressed safety and teamwork. This was my first experience with snow. I feel fully confident that the training they provided would allow me to participate and succeed in an expedition. Having the opportunity to summit during the course is proof of the training they provided. I also benefited from their advice and experience with various equipment and gear which provided me knowledge and insight into what direction I need to go in preparation for future climbing. The best.phpect of the course is the practical application of the training. Reaching the summit was a definite highlight of the week and gave the group a real goal to pursue. Other strength was the exchange of information from the guides about real experiences on Denali.

Scott C.

It was great to know our guides had experiences around the world. They were good leaders and excellent teachers. Their enthusiasm for the sport was infectious. These guys were really enjoying themselves.

David D.

I can summarize the course in a sentence: It was a fantastic experience, with excellent leadership and a substantial body of mountaineering knowledge. I would recommend it to anyone who desires an intensive dose of mountaineering information.

James G.

I thought it was a great course focusing on Denali issues. It was a great experience and everything was well organized.

Garrett E.

Very well organized, very high quality. I was impressed by the food selections, which exceeded my expectations. Professionally run, excellent guide.

David A.


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Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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