This expedition was by far the best experience I’ve had while on a climb. Antarctica is a magical place, and Alpine Ascents delivered that each day we were there.
Mount Vinson Testimonials
High quality guiding and logistics across the board. I love AAI trips, you all run a first-class organization all the way around!
The Vinson expedition was top notch on all dimensions and met or exceeded my high expectations. My son Will and I enjoyed every minute. It was a memorable and moving experience on multiple fronts; one for a lifetime.
I enjoyed the Vinson expedition immensely. It was well organized, had excellent guides (that I was familiar with), and the food while on Vinson was great. Both of our guides worked well together to lead our team of nine. Their instructions were always very clear and direct, which made us all feel very safe. The food was excellent and varied. I especially liked the nights we had salmon and steak! I also like that AAI caches tents/cooking equipment – it definitely helps with the loads. I really didn’t see any weaknesses.
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.
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. 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 very much enjoyed the expedition. We enjoyed fantastic weather that made everything easy. I would say this trip was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Obviously, Vern is a wealth of experience and knowledge and historical context, given how long he has been in the business. Ben is also very, very good guide. Both exhibited strong leadership skills. They were diligent and granular in their approach, but at the same time explaining the context and ramification of decisions and routs. Very good.
Both of them have a strong ability to articulate how things should be done and why. They were always calm and clearly managed to focus on the main issues and skip the minor things that don’t matter. Their cooking was excellent as well 🙂
You can be proud of your services and staff.
Antarctica is basically another planet and so much has to go right to make this expedition a reality… weather, logistics, unforeseen circumstances. Aside from some late luggage, this expedition went flawlessly. Alpine Ascents has considered every single detail and executed the trip beautifully.
Strengths are the overall organization and availability of staff to answer all questions. I felt like this trip was well organized and which makes me very likely to choose Alpine Ascents for future expeditions. Also, Vern and Ben are obviously some of your best guides. I appreciated having them for this expedition. I’d be hard pressed to come up with any weaknesses.
The climb was spectacular. This was my fifth trip with AAI. They have been a very important part of my life and I am grateful to all involved in providing these experiences. For me, traveling with AAI eliminates many of my concerns about a climb and I can focus on what I need to do knowing that other variables are being well managed by very competent and experienced staff. Vinson was more exciting and gorgeous than I imagined.
Vern and Ben were fantastic and Vinson was one of the more memorable climbs I’ve been on.
I enjoyed it very much! Our guide Vern did an excellent job leading the trip, and in addition to safely guiding us up Mount Vinson made the efforts to take us on additional activities after the Vinson climb also – such as crevasse rescue training and scrambling up Mount Rossman.
Vern demonstrated excellent leadership skills. He gave clear expectations and instructions every day. Appreciate also being asked about my opinion on the plan for the day given weather and energy levels which Vern did often. Vern obviously knows the mountain very well and I always knew 100% that our team was in good hands. Vern is personable and easy to get along with. He is a wealth of knowledge, has many interesting stories, and also a great musician!
Strengths – Vern and his leadership and experience. Real food on the mountain. ALE and the camps were awesome. Also was happy with the extra time built into the schedule as I felt I had plenty of time around Union Glacier and in Punta Arenas for sightseeing after my trip. I will highly recommend Alpine Ascents and Vern / Paul to anyone looking for a guide! Thanks guys!