Excellent quality. Almost luxurious.
I must congratulate you on running a first-class operation, from top to bottom. When looking around for an Elbrus outfitter, I reviewed several companies, and your safety and summit success records spoke for themselves.
Words cannot express my sincere thanks for all 3 of our guides outstanding performance. They did an exceptional job mentoring, coaching, and teaching all of the students. They picked the perfect amount of difficulty and matched it to the climbers talent and ability for every objective. Their professionalism, dedication, and wisdom was above reproach and all the students soaked up every bit of knowledge they had to offer. This was by far the best course I have taken from Alpine. All of our objectives were difficult and our guides didn’t let anyone quit. By the end of the class I felt confident, strong and ready to take on bigger objectives.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I feel like I am ready to organize and lead an easy glacier climb after the course. Our instructors were very patient in demonstrating the various techniques and supervising practices. They also showed different variations to standard techniques, which were very helpful, as they allowed us to understand the underlying principle. This will allow us to improvise solutions in the field in the future.
I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the guides. We had a group of 8 people and it seemed the guides were able to tailor the course so each person came away an improved climber.
The guides covered all the topics provided in the course objectives. They introduced each topic, shared why they say it is an important skill, provided detailed instruction, and allowed students to practice if appropriate. They even added on little additions for me on the side beyond what they needed to do. They also shared personnel experiences, such as real-life crevasse rescue and detailed route finding, as well as examples of handling bad weather. The combination of detailed learning, but keeping things relatable and fun was definitely a good environment for learning.
No joke, this was a thoroughly planned and executed course. Very well organized, the opposite of a “gong show.” I will absolutely use the skills on future climbs and courses. Our guides curated a curriculum that cut the fat and emphasized the important skills.
After this course, I feel like I can be a better asset to future teams and I am more confident in my own skills. I am excited to have these skills in my quiver for future climbs. The mental strengthening, ability to problem solve, and thinking on my feet are all things that I can apply to my day-to-day personal and professional life as well.
Overall, an exceptional program. I really enjoyed visiting Bolivia and climbing in Bolivia. It was refreshing to feel like being part of the early phases of tourism there. I was really taken away by the gratitude, humility, generosity, and welcoming nature of our guides, camp staff. The group dinner with our guides and camp chef was especially special as their families were invited (wives and children) and they brought their family to join us for a nice last meal together. They also took turns thanking us for visiting their country and hoping that we will return.
The mountains we climbed were beautiful and not over-crowded. There were not a lot of tourists where we were, so I felt very privileged and fortunate. I felt like I had the mountains and trails all to myself and my group. The mountains were also challenging to climb, challenging enough to push me but not dangerous.
I HIGHLY recommend Bolivia to other climbers who want to or love to travel to South America, explore a country that is just starting their tourism industry, experience Bolivian culture, and climb some interesting and remote mountains.
Rachel is exceptional and impressive. Her climbing and guiding experience, leadership skills, knowledge and expertise of the mountains and Bolivian culture belies her age. She demonstrated incredible knowledge of the Bolivian ways, true mastery of the Spanish language, and has earned the respect from her guiding staff, camp staff, the local farmers/porters, as well as from her climber clients. She recognized and listened to each of our struggles, but was able to assess in a very logical manner in regards to balancing safety of the climbers with the challenge of pushing onward. Rachel is knowledgeable, confidant in her skills and the terrain, comfortable with her assistant guides and staff and also just fun to be around. She has a very pleasant, warm, fun and easy-going personality, but I still had no doubt that she took her role very seriously and was a true professional throughout the trip.
I thought the experience was fantastic. The most significant strength of the program is the lead guide – Rachael Molstad. In addition to being a great guide on the mountain her intimate knowledge of the local culture and Bolivia in general enriched the experience tremendously. The actual climbs are also a strength, both Pequeño Alpamayo and Chachacomani were interesting and challenging climbs.