8 Day Alaska Mountaineering Course Testimonials

Both guides were effective teachers. They would explain, demonstrate, observe and then correct or suggest refinements. There was always another level of expertise available–and our guides were happy to go down any rabbit hole of knowledge they had (glacial features and route planning? check. One-handed munter and other knot variations? check. Names of each member of the Wu-Tang clan plus any alternative names? check and check.)

2019 Climber

I loved the course. It was very fun and interesting. I believe the skills I learned will definitively be useful in my next climbing trips. Our guides were very very good. They were patient and showed true leadership and passion. They were both very kind and fun people. They were patient and really transmitted their passion for mountains. It was inspiring to listen to them. Alaska was AMAZING! Exceeded my expectations. I believe Alpine ascents is a very professional and serious company. You are well organized and have great guides. We (my husband and I) have been with your company for two trips and already booked our third one.

2017 Climber

Course was phenomenally organized and executed. I felt that the lectures, experience, and hands on coaching made me a better, smarter, and safer climber. both guides had outstanding presence and led the group well. I was particularly impressed when one of the team members required an emergency evac – the guides maintained composure both with themselves and the group and quickly and efficiently got the team back to camp and organized the pickup. The guides were great at assessing each team member’s progression individually and altering 1:1 coaching to the appropriate level. This ensured each person was learning and not being left with the baseline curriculum. In addition, they passed on lot of the mental aspects of climbing (mountain sense, condition assessment, team psychology) which I really appreciated. Great organization overall. Shout out to Joe for magical logistics, especially on pick up day when everyone’s go bags magically showed up at the airstrip for pickup. The 8 day course builds a phenomenal foundation for those beginning their alpine careers.

I really enjoyed the course. The venue was spectacular. In particular, I found the rope handling and crevasse rescue skills useful. My snow camping skills were also improved during the course. I feel competent with all skills covered by the class. I would be ready to use them on future climbs. Both Lyra and Aili are excellent guides. They taught useful acronyms and other learning devices to help remember multi-step processes. They were careful to describe the reasoning behind each skill, and the benefits and consequences of doing things a certain way. They had many helpful (and sometimes hilarious) anecdotes on the application and misapplication of skills in the field. I enjoyed their teaching styles. I was impressed with how quickly staff responded to emails. I asked multiple questions about gear selection, and I appreciated the insightful responses I received.

May 2017 Climber

Yes, I learned a great deal in a course and am leaving it with a new sense of confidence. I am excited to apply my new knowledge and skills on unguided trips in the NW and guided climbs in South America. For the first time I feel like I am brave enough and self-reliant enough to strike out on my own – a big thank you for that! I especially enjoyed the crevasse rescue curriculum, knots instruction, glaciated terrain travel and navigation parts of the course. I also really liked cooking our own meals.

The guides demonstrated a very impressive set of leadership skills. They were very knowledgeable and patient when teaching skills. They were calm and collected when faced with challenging group dynamics (such as a group member having a leave early and another group member having fitness issues during summit day). I really appreciated how the guides addressed the needs of all members of the team – those that needed to drop out early as well as those that wanted to proceed.

The guides were very patient, very careful in explaining concepts that were very condition specific. I know we asked the same questions a million times, Paul and Aili never made me feel like this redundancy was a problem for them – although I am sure it was not their favorite part of the class. I appreciated that Aili pushed me to figure out things on my own – after I had to struggle with finding a solution to the crevasse rescue I felt like I got the concept more solidly than I would have had she simply told me what to do.

June 2017 Climber

Our guides were super knowledgeable and with abundant experience. What I found best and really making the experience outstanding were our guides genuine love for the mountain and alpine adventures. It is most inspiring and effective to learn from people who love what they do and teach – it was 100% the case here. Also super pleased with the guides’ very strategic and well-thought through approach in terms of teaching, very patient, and always endeavoring to deliver efficiently the huge amount of information, without overcomplicating or oversimplifying it. Also very much enjoyed the great respect that they showed for each and every team participant, supporting personal strengths and encouraging how to best work on development areas.

Elena T.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The quality was significantly above what I expected and I absolutely feel ready for future climbs. The guides were amazing. Both were professional and safe on all occasions. I would trust my life in their hands. Both guides offered an exceptional amount knowledge and did a great job teaching to the groups and individuals levels. The office staff was very helpful and easy to get a hold of. The website and all the information was very helpful!!

2016 climber

The program was fantastic. It complemented and advanced what I knew about mountaineering and helped me feel comfortable leading climbs on glaciated peaks. Both guides get a 10/10 in my book. The program itself was well conceived as it taught us established fundamentals of mountaineering but then allowed us to tailor the course material to our individual needs and interests

Sam L

My guide  had a deep inherent knowledge of the mountain that seemed to flow very naturally. She was a wealth of facts and knowledge shot-gunning her extensive climbing experience at us. The both of them though different seemed very proficient on the mountain.

Evan M.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I feel like I am ready to organize and lead an easy glacier climb after the course. The guides 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.

8 Day Alaska Mountaineering Course BLOG

  • Mountaineering Courses Webinar

    Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming Denali expedition or want to learn the essential skills to weekend warrior on glaciated peaks with friends, we have a full line-up of courses to help you achieve your mountain goals. In this webinar, alpine educator Brooke Warren outlined our various mountaineering courses – What’s the difference between the […]

  • Mountain Kitchen Confidential: Cooking on Alaska Range Courses and Beyond

    By Aili Farquhar As the bright sun pops over the shoulder of Mt. Hunter’s North Buttress the steam of our boiling breakfast water curls up into the frosty blue Alaska morning. Soon, the drone of bright DeHavilland Beavers and Otters bringing climbers into and out of the Alaska Range will fill the sky. For now, […]

  • Dear Alpine Ascents: Double-Wall vs. Single Wall Tents?

    Dear Alpine Ascents, I’m gearing up for an 8-Day Alaska Course and I see that you require double-wall four season tents. I found a single wall four-season tent that is supposed to be bomber (saw photos of it being used in the Himalaya) and it would save me 5 pounds. What gives?  Sincerely, Trying to […]

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