We take our climbers’ feedback very seriously, and always try to solicit commentary from people who have entrusted us to organize an expedition for them. Honest feedback helps us evolve and improve aspects of our business that might be lacking. We are proud that most commentary is very positive, but do not take it for granted, and will continue to work hard so that we earn such feedback. Here are some excerpts from climbers who have recently joined us in the mountains:
“I felt safe and “taken care of” the whole time. The food was off the charts. The technical instructions were easy to follow. The tents were spacious. The feelings imparted of “leave no trace” and respect the mountain were a theme which was appreciated and led to the type of mountain experience everyone benefits from. All the guides had a slightly twisted sense of humor! which we loved. I personally was encouraged the whole time. Just couldn’t have been better. Mountain Trip makes their home here, there simply is nobody else which has the resources on this mountain. Thanks Mountain Trip for the experience of a lifetime!”
-Lloyd Charton, Denali 2013
“I had a tremendous overall experience, and was greatly impressed by the organization of the trip, the skill and teamwork of the guides, and the excellent communication throughout the expedition.”
-Jonathan Sugarman, Denali 2013
“This sounds too good to be true – but what a great bunch! Far exceeded the skill and good cheer I have experienced with guides on other climbs”
-Lorne Adrain, Denali 2013
“The meals on the mountain were so good and we were very well fed. I did not lose weight! I had some food allergies but they handled well and prepared alternative tasty substitute. It makes me so happy and kept me healthy. I had some climbing experience but the guide showed and taught to everybody how to do ‘class’ in very fun way and we all learned what we need for the climbing during the trip. Our guides were not only good for the climbing skill but they took care of us very very well from in their heart and communicated well. It was a wonderful experience and they made my trip very special.”
-Yoko Arakawa, Denali 2013
“If you want to know you’re climbing with the best in the business, Mountain Trip is the choice. Their experience on Denali is remarkable. I witnessed guides from other companies, seeking out Mountain Trip guides for advice and guidance. Sometimes, with other expedition companies, I’ve been on an expedition with one outstanding guide, but to have three outstanding guides on one expedition was quite remarkable — it’s a testament to the quality and depth of Mountain Trip’s guide pool. Thanks again for providing excellent logistics and three fantastic guides to help on the Denali expedition. Joe is not only a great guide, but an awesome friend to have on an expedition. I must say that you’ve certainly surrounded yourself with an awesome group of guides (which, it should go without saying, includes your admin staff – i.e. Laura who’s awesome as well. It was my pleasure to actually get to meet her at 14k and 17k). All the best to you and the other Mountain Trip folks.”
-Greg Harris, Denali 2013
“Thank you for a great Denali trip. Even though we did not summit due to bad weather, we had good company (both clients and guides) and some beautiful views of Denali, Foraker and Hunter. Seba (Sebastian Grau) is as you say a super nice guy and a very sensible trustworthy leader. He was very transparent to the group in his decision-making. I would unreservedly recommend Mountain Trip to potential future clients.”
-Simon Morley, Denali 2013
“Summary- all fantastic- very safe- competent guides- Won’t have any hesitation recommending you for the right climbers. Feedback for you—-loved your energy…loved your attitude…loved your style. Don’t go changin’.”
-Mark George, Denali 2013
“From the first call to the office to the summit was a very seamless process. Todd, Laura and the guides all made you feel like family and nothing seemed like too much trouble. Very well organized.”
-John Oldring, Denali 2013
“The guides were all really helpful, together we turned into a family. They were always there for us, guiding and orientating, making sure we had safety and success. The mountain is very difficult, you need to have focus. I am so glad, I made it to the SUMMIT! THANK YOU SO MUCH!”
-Gilberto Thoen, Denali 2013
“Guides were most concerned with our safety, beyond that they all did a great job of organization, inspiring us to the next level, and the food was much better than I have encountered on any other trips of this nature. It would have been a near perfect trip if I had gotten the opportunity to summit. But the trip was the safest it could have been and I am much happier to have come home healthy without the summit than having summited and returned with frostbite or worse. Kudos to the guides for great decision-making.”
-Arthur Howard, Denali 2012
“I have been on so many expeditions and rarely I was living on the mountain enjoying the journey all the time. This time I did. It was fun! The team made every effort to be attentive and make it less lonely of a place. Safety, the quality of the guides, the attentive approach, and the great food all made this an incredible journey. Meals were better than anything I had on mountains before. I was expecting things like oatmeal for breakfast and was surprised by the Denali Breakfast, bagels and cream cheese. I was expecting mainly rice and pasta for dinner and was surprised with fried chicken and rice, tacos, pizza and even a Philly steak sandwich! Sean shines with his leadership skills, casually fun approach without misleading us on the seriousness of the matters involved and treating both his clients and assistants with integrity and respect.”
-Suzanne al Houby, Denali 2012
“From my very first mail to Todd, to looking back on the experience now, MT made me feel comfortable and part of the international climbing community. Denali is a breathtakingly beautiful place and I am privileged to had the opportunity to set foot on the High One – it is an experience that will always result in a quickened pulse and a heart filled with emotion and pride. “Summits are for the ego – mountaineering for the soul”
-Rose Gardner, Denali 2012
“My experience with Mountain Trip was very, very good. Everyone was so great and super helpful. I definitely was not expecting the food experience MT provided for breakfast and dinners. Somehow I seriously thought we were going to eat granola bars for the entire trip and I was prepared to do so. Thank you for not letting that happen. I could not have hoped for a better pair of guides for my first mountain expedition. Kim and Sebastian were an awesome pair of guides both as individuals and as a pair. They really took care of the team with their knowledge, experience, and personal attention to each member of the group. I already feel sorry for the next pair of guides I meet because I’ll be thinking of these guys.”
-Phil Sutton, Denali 2012
“The performance of your guides was outstanding. I have been in many serious situations in my life and witnessed leadership qualities both good and bad, your guides worked exceptionally under pressure and always kept a positive attitude, clearly communicating to each other and all of us throughout the ascent, summit, descent and the events on the lower glacier. Their organizational skills and scheduling proved great (Zach knows how to pick the days to rest, climb and summit!). They were humorous at times (Ben’s Irish jokes were great!), the concern for our health was always evident (they asked daily how we were feeling). All three have great culinary skills, they prepared some wonderful meals for us, Ben’s breakfasts, Zach’s Chili and Caitlin’s pizza were all awesome! What amazed me most about these three is they truly witnessed us all at our worst when we were dead tired and worn out from the hard day’s climb and dealing with the cold and altitude and it was at this time that they all shined and were at their BEST doing what they do! What a great adventure, Thank You All!”
-Ron Pichler, Denali 2011
“Extremely impressed with Jacob’s leadership, knowledge, experience and strength. I felt safe with him the entire time and would definitely go on another trip with him if there is an opportunity. I did not know what to expect for food before leaving but I was thoroughly impressed. The variety, quality and efficiency of the meals could not have ben better. My one favorite has to have been the Thanksgiving Dinner. We had it twice on the trip and loved it!”
–James Hasegawa, Denali 2011
“Our Denali West Buttress guides – Michael Burmeister, Adam Smith, Eric Gullickson – were assiduously well-prepared, group gear was top-notch and food was outstanding. Mountain Trip leads expeditions the way they should be led.”
-Chris Jentz, Denali 2011
“Out of the five different climbing companies that I’ve used in the past, Mountain Trip was by far the best. The guides were extremely attentive to each climber’s needs and physical abilities; they actually encouraged us to take our time so that we could enjoy the experience more fully.”
-Sue Large, Denali, 2008
“I have used many guide services through the years and I have to say that Mountain Trip was the best of them all. Great climbers do not always make great guides, but your people had the right combination of climbing skill and client-focus to make our trip a wonderful experience. Thank you and your organization for some great memories!”
-Jay Beaudoin, Denali-2006
“Of the various mountains I have climbed these have to be the best and most thoughtful guides. They were interested in seeing us achieve our ambition and not just there as hired help. The attention to detail and concern shown by the guides was second to none.”
-Conor Hogan, Denali 2007
“Dave (Staeheli) did a great job to give us the best chance for summit. He is so patient, so calm, when any other guides would have stressed out. I can’t believe we made summit after having gone through so many obstacles.”
-Lei Wang, Denali 2007
“Thank you, Todd… I want to tell you also how much I appreciate what you do for the climbers through your work at Mountain Trip. My son, Brandon Germer, will be on the June 14 trip. I’ll be watching the website just like any anxious mother would http://june142009denali.blogspot.com/ He has shared with me some of his conversations with you about the trip, and I just think highly of you and Mountain Trip. I’m grateful I’ll be able to track the team’s progress and the mountain weather through your website.”
Sincerely, ~Gretchen Germer
“Mountain Trip had all the “bells and whistles”, without the bells and whistles price. This was by far, my best mountain climbing experience. Very experienced guides who were always willing to listen to our concerns and take our opinions into consideration. Mountain Trip exceeded my expectations in every way. They made me feel like a family member or a very good friend instead of “just a client”. I had such a great experience, I am looking into making another Denali climb with them and hopefully Everest after that! Thanks MT.”
-David Rehm, Denali, 2009
“Thank you for the recent climb on Denali. The guides were great. Heidi goes far beyond what is expected of a guide. She kept us safe, and her first concern was always for the climbers. Durny has great experience and taught us well. Pablo had unlimited energy, was always happy, and helped whenever he could.”
-Larry Legault, Denali, 2007
“Let me start by saying that every interaction I have had with Mountain Trip has been a positive one. I guess there is not much else a company could ask for from their employees. After being on Denali and witnessing the approach of other guide organizations, I firmly believe that Mountain Trip was clearly the best choice for the Denali Vikings. (Thanks go to Caj and Pontus for their thorough selection research).
Kevin excelled as a lead guide. He obviously had a plan for the trip and executed that with conservative decision making depending on what the mountain would allow us. I think we all learned quickly that his decision making during the trip was “spot on” (as our British friends would say) even though it often seemed difficult to decide when to stay and when to go. Kevin also did a fine job of communicating what he expected of us, which greatly help us do our best meet those expectations.
Another insight to the strength of your organization was the on-mountain support that your guides provide for each other and their clients. When we pulled into both the 14,000′ and 17,000′ camps after strenuous climbing days, Chris Kerrick was there to provide water, help digging a mid, and whatever else we might need. Other guides and their groups also demonstrated a working together attitude. This included specifically Bill Billmeier, and PI (thank you Peter for the PBR at base camp). A number of times we were asked to help prepare a campsite or otherwise help a Mountain Trip group. It worked both ways.
Specifically, my positive perception of Mountain Trip started long before arrival in Alaska. Never having been on an expedition trip nearly as extensive as Denali I called Todd with many questions (some I might even characterize as stupid). I was always treated with respect, had my questions fully answered and felt like Todd had as much time to spend talking to me as it took to have me satisfied. I know other team members expressed the same experience. This greatly helped me prepare adequately for the trip.”
– Daryl Harmon, Denali, 2008
“Great experience and guides!”
-Andrew Murray, Denali, 2007
“After long phone calls we finally decided on using Mountain Trip from Ophir, Co, as our guides. The trip started in Anchorage May 18th and we touched down on the Kahiltna glacier at base camp May 19th. We reached High Camp May 31st. After a long wait for nice weather, The Swedish Team, Eva and Caj, together with our great friend Daryl Harmon, Enfield, Ct, and two of our excellent Mountain Trip guides, Joe and Ali, stood on top of Denali June 7th in the beautiful sun. Our lead guide, Kevin, and Pontus summited the day before, June 6th, the Swedish National Holiday, in a white out.
Our selection of guiding company turned out to be an excellent choice and we believe the best we could ever wish for. Our lead guide Kevin and his co-guide Joe did a really good job for us, and when Gerry had to turn back down from ABC, due to illness, Ali joined us from another Mountain Trip group.”
-Caj Svensson, Denali, 2008
“I was unprepared for the great service level that Mountain Trip provides. You should have seen the smiles on our faces when we understood that our expert mountain guides were also first rate expedition chefs! Talk about boosting morale.”
-Pontus Axelsson, Denali, 2008
“I just wanted to take the time and thank you for a phenomenal trip. Denali was one sweet journey and summit. It has truly inspired me, and blown me away. In particular I wanted to note that Ryan, Bill, and Dave were exemplary guides – not only individually, but how they worked as a team. Ryan made some excellent weather calls, and all 3 took care of our sorry asses all the way up and down the mountain.”
-Martin Horak, Denali 2005
“Mistral pants — you were right. I wore them all day every day and would have been unhappy without them.
Thanks again for all your help and mostly, for you and your company’s attitude. It was an absolute joy to not have to argue with guides about just giving me a fair chance at managing my issues, given that I’ve spent years learning to do that before thinking I could try taking on something like Denali. Dave (Staeheli) never pressured me about my pace with asthma and by the time we were up high, it was clear that despite how long summit day would be, a number of other people were also capable of reaching the top if we could just go slowly enough. We were lucky to have the weather to allow that, and I’m glad Dave didn’t stick to some time formula and recognized that.
It was an excellent trip with a wonderful group of people. Thanks again and be assured that I’ll recommend Mountain Trip without hesitation.”
-Teresa Gergen, Denali, 2009
“I’ll start by saying that the expedition was outstanding, and that I would be hard pressed, if at all capable, to come up with any complaints.
From day 1, the recommendation of the Earth B&B, which I normally am not a fan of, was a perfect place to situate, organize gear, talk with other climbers and relax for a very reasonable price prior to heading out to the mountain so A+ there.
The meeting with the climbers and the guides was relaxed informative and appropriate, and the t-shirts were a nice extra. I did mention to Kevin at some point on the hill that if you were looking for ideas that I thought that at the meeting if you wanted to bring some cord for the climbers and a quick review of some of the basic knots so that the climbers (most of whom I learned had done zero technical work before) might feel a little more comfortable getting on the glacier, might be a nice idea. That and a more detailed briefing on the food that we’d be eating so that people could mentally prepare and or make some last minute adjustments if necessary.
The drive to Talkeetna, the pre flight arrangements, and everything from Anchorage to base camp was without a hitch, and maintained the feeling of friendly, highly competent service, which in my opinion all helps tremendously when starting a big expedition.
From the time we landed on the glacier to rigging our sleds and packs to the first meal and setting camp the first night at base, it was obvious to me that the guiding team (and thankfully the climbing team) had an excellent rapport and that there was no reason to suspect any issues along the way. Of paramount importance, what had been said in Anchorage was held true from day one that the trip would focus on safety first than fun and obviously with the objective of summiting not to be lost or dismissed. As far back as my first conversation with Todd, I believe I mentioned that I wasn’t an adrenaline junky and was quite the opposite somewhat risk averse, but had no issues with plenty of work and hardship in obtaining my goals, I’m sure you’ve heard it before but one should be careful what they wish for! :).
The entire time on the mountain including days stormed in the food was plentiful (with a few light meals) and from a vegetarian stand point I cannot tell you how accommodating and helpful the entire guiding team were. I’ve been around the world with different groups doing all kinds of things, and I fully recognize mountaineering at posing the most difficult of cooking environments and the staff day in did a tremendous job of really not only being sensitive to my needs but seemingly, cheerfully and creatively working with me and amongst themselves to make certain that I wasn’t just stuffing “ramen” calories, but that I was eating well the entire time on the mountain. It’s not a small gesture, and certainly does not go unrecognized.
As far as feeling along the entire route that the guides were fully competent and that if anything were to go wrong we had the best chance of resolving the issue quickly and efficiently, I can say that I felt 100% confident,. I would add that having several Mountain Trip groups on the mountain at the same time added to some of that confidence, but as a standalone team I felt we could handle most any situation that we encountered.
The instruction on navigating the fixed line portion of the route was excellent, and allowed for our entire team to get up and down the line, with seemingly little to no issue. The constant advice on weather, temperature etc., I found to be invaluable in dressing, layering, and staying fit while on the mountain. There was proper time spent on making the toilet facility as “dignified” as possible, which always helps, and most importantly in my opinion there remained a confident positive attitude on the mountain by the entire mountain trip team about the expedition our goals and agendas throughout, which makes the entire experience far better.
After returning home, I can report that my mom thought the blog was excellent, and the daily updates were wonderful for her and the few family friends I had tracking our progress.
In summation, I never shopped Mountain Trip. I asked a friend who had done Denali he said it’s not a question, but to go straight to you. That was corroborated by a guide from a different company, so I felt comfortable with the decision from day 1. That being said, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the expedition. I thought the communication throughout was excellent, the pack list was spot on (even if I never use the puffy pants :)), the food was excellent and purposeful, and the only obstacles that were between the entire team and the summit were those that Mountain Trip could in no way avoid – that being weather, ailment and our own personal mental and physical preparation, which is the most I believe any alpinist can ask for in a guide service. I will have no qualms sharing the same endorsements to others that I received before signing on with your service. I thank you and the entire staff again for a great experience.”
-Micky Goldschmidt, Denali, 2009
“Hey Bill, I just wanted to say a massive thank you for an absolutely brilliant expedition to Denali with Mountain Trip. Although I did not book directly with you guys, I certainly should have done and will recommend others to do so because it was superbly well organized and well guided. We were so lucky with the weather and you said it was the best summit weather you had ever experienced which says a lot and that undoubtedly added to my enjoyment of the expedition. I said it in my feedback questionnaire but I just wanted to say something for all three of my guides, especially Heidi, who were absolutely awesome. Their cooking, enthusiasm and knowledge were infectious and hugely appreciated. Thanks very much.”
– Geordie Stewart, Denali, 2009