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.
Absolutely enjoyed it! Rachel was patient, kind, very knowledgeable about all things Bolivia, and an excellent climber. It was obvious she put a lot of thought into planning this trip and giving clients the best experience possible. Her passion for both climbing and Bolivia were easy to see.
Everything I hoped for. Both of these guys are top-notch guides. They consistently used every opportunity to teach us how to be better climbers. I was impressed how they would tutor us, but not treat us like children. They expected us to be experienced climbers and demanded that we rise to the occasion. It was great. As always with Alpine, everything was first rate.
Mountaineering can be can be challenging and stressful at times. Despite this, they always managed to maintain their calm, friendly demeanor and made every situation better. I consider myself extremely blessed to have had each of them as my guides – I figuratively would not have changed a thing!
I loved this course. My goal was to become an asset on a rope team instead of a liability, and create a solid foundation of skills to build upon to continue my growth in mountaineering. I feel that I have achieved this. It was great we were able to summit both Baker and Rainier, but that was just icing on the cake. The training that I received is what I’m most grateful for.
Thoroughly enjoyed the course. Felt like it was top quality and really well done. Guides were extremely knowledgeable and conveyed the information in a clear and concise manner. I feel prepared to use the skills in future climbs with some practice on my part. Baker school component offered those of us who live at sea level a chance to get acclimated before doing Rainier. I think this was key to our success. Appreciate the guides pushing us early on and focusing on the basics of footwork and awareness so that became second nature. Improvement areas: none really.
This was my first time in the Alaska Range and it was outstanding. The guides were professional and demonstrated a lot of knowledge of the area. The food was excellent and the group gear was top notch. I also thought that the plan of ascent was well thought out and provided us the best chance at making the summit.