So You Want To Climb A Big Mountain?

An ascent of a big mountain like Denali or Aconcagua is a dream to a large extent. Our role as mountain guides is to help facilitate the fulfillment of that dream, but each climber on our team needs to put in the time and effort to prepare themselves. We firmly believe that to have the best chance for success in the mountains and to most fully enjoy your time in the hills, you should embark upon an apprenticeship of sorts that combines some amount of instruction with an accumulation of experiences, so that you arrive at the trailhead as prepared as possible for your climb.

Everyone comes to this process with differing backgrounds of experience in the mountains. Some aspiring Denali climbers have never winter camped, while others have decades of climbing experience. Big mountain climbing can be viewed as a sort of continuum, where you bring what experience you already have to a point of embarkation and build up your experiences to better prepare yourself for the next, harder, bigger, challenge.

Our courses are designed with that sort of continuum in mind. Our 7-day mountaineering courses are a great place for someone with relatively no experience in the mountains to start, and are equally applicable for someone with a solid resume of Colorado 14er ascents, but no glacier experience to add those skills to his or her repertoire. Our 12-day mountaineering courses are specifically oriented toward building upon the basics covered in our 7-day course and adding necessary components so that participants will leave the course ready to join a guided ascent of Denali. Climbers with solid backgrounds in rock and ice techniques might enjoy our Advanced Alpine Climbing Course, which helps climbers learn how to apply those skills in a big-mountain setting.

Lastly, our Pre-Trip Refreshers are designed to help Denali climbers brush up on some aspects of glacier travel that they may either lack or that have gotten rusty over the years.

We tailor each course to the experience levels of the participants and will work closely with you in the months preceding the course to help you get yourself and your kit ready. They are fun and there is nowhere like the Alaska Range to better prepare you for climbing big, cold mountains!


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