Adrian Ballinger

Adrian Ballinger is one of the USA’s premier high-altitude mountain guides, and the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certification (one of roughly 100 in the USA) and more than 10 summits of 8,000 meter peaks (12 total, including 6 summits of Mt. Everest). As founder and head guide of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for fifteen years and has led over 100 international climbing expeditions on 5 continents.

In 2011 he, along with 2 Sherpa partners, became the first people to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is also the first person to ski Manaslu, the 8th tallest mountain in the world, from its summit, and the first American to successfully ski two 8,000-meter peaks. These personal successes are combined with Adrian’s passion for guiding and teaching others. Adrian has led expeditions where more than 100 clients have successfully summited Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in world), Cho Oyu (6th tallest) and Manaslu (8th tallest).

Whether on skis, in rock shoes, or mountain boots, Adrian thrives on sharing the big mountains with friends and clients, and helping them to build their skills and experience to be successful on the world’s most beautiful mountains. In the coming seasons Adrian plans on continuing to enjoy big-mountain skiing, climbing, and guiding in the Himalaya, South America, Alaska, and of course closer to “home” in Squaw Valley, CA. Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Petzl, …

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Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent Update

Photo: Zeb Blais

Our Rapid Ascent Cho Oyu expedition team is back in advanced base camp (ABC) at 18,530’ / 5650m. Lead guide, Zeb Blais, reported this morning that they are feeling good after a few rotations but they are ready for some rest days before the final push. Zeb said they got in some more skiing yesterday before arriving in ABC. The skiing and snow conditions are variable with a little bit of everything. He said there has also been a variety of weather as well, including some wind, new snow, and more precipitation coming in the next couple days.

Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington have been in contact with Zeb and they are currently en route to Cho Oyu where they will meet up at ABC. They are all quite happy that there is a weather window in the forecast! Make sure to follow along on their expeditions via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat for even more updates and photos!


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Cho Oyu Expedition Updates

Our Rapid Ascent Cho Oyu expedition team is still feeling strong and currently enjoying a good night sleep at C1 (20,600’ / 6280m). Tomorrow they will continue on to C2 (23,290′ / 7100m) and cache skis, sleep one more night at C1, and then back down to advanced base camp (18,530’ / 5650m) the next day. We look forward to further updates and more photos when they reach ABC again.

On this morning’s check-in, Zeb reported that he and Brooks are feeling strong, have good appetites with no headaches or nausea. He said the weather has been a bit challenging but it looks like a weather window is coming. The snowpack is a little interesting with multiple crust/ facet combos, but Zeb feels pretty good about it after some digging. They avoided the steeper rollovers on yesterday’s ski and enjoyed some great turns coming down from the ice cliff.


In other news, we have another team headed to Cho Oyu… tomorrow! Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington are packed up and ready to depart for their two week climbing expedition on Cho Oyu. In case you haven’t heard these two are attempting to climb the sixth tallest mountain in the world in just two weeks, doorstep to doorstep, which is obviously both very exciting and challenging. They have have been preparing extensively for this endeavor at home. Check out their story here. Adrian and Emily depart for the mountain this Wednesday!


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Everest Reflections

This thoughtful blog was written by guide Zeb Blais two days after their successful summit of Mt Everest. Enjoy the report. 

The last few days have been full of triumphs and tragedies on ‪#‎MountEverest‬. Lots of summits by climbers, guides and ‪#‎Sherpa‬ with and without oxygen. Lots of deaths and injuries.

Trudi and Bryan heading down from high camp after the summit. Photo: Zeb Blais

The triumphs have come through hard work, perseverance, patience and good decision making. I’m proud to say our @alpenglowexpeditions team made it, 100%, without frostbite, major altitude sickness or injury.

Solid preparation helped us overcome unexpected obstacles. The biggest of which was the failure of two, brand new, top of the line oxygen regulators above 28,000′ in total darkness on our summit push.

One of the failed regs was mine. When it happened I felt like a deep sea diver with a severed air line. I knew the seconds mattered. I was not acclimatized to breath 28,500′ air for long. I scrambled to get my pack off and dig out our team’s second spare mask and regulator. @chadpeele helped me get the mask on and set the flow.

The experience really set the tone of the climb for me- we had swam into the deep waters of the ocean and swimming back was entirely up to us. We had prepared well, bringing two extra regulators on a climb where cutting ounces matters, and it paid off.

Summit celebration in the early morning light. …

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#EverestNoFilter Summit Day

At 10pm local time the #EverestNoFilter team of Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards along with Palden Sherpa set out for the summit of Mt Everest from high camp on the North Side. Adrian and Cory are attempting the climb without supplemental oxygen. Palden will be climbing with the aid of supplemental oxygen.

See below for live updates:


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Everest North Side 2016 – Update for May 16

Everest North Side Update May 16

If you’ve been following along via social media you have likely seen that both teams have been enjoying very stable weather with all team members acclimatizing well. Daily updates can be found by following along on Snapchat – usernames @EverestNoFilter & @AlpenglowExped. Our guides also take amazing photos and upload every few days on Instagram. Follow them at @ZebBlais and @ChadPeele.

#RapidAscent Team resting in ABC

Alpenglow’s Rapid Ascent team of Bryan and Trudi led by all star Chad Peele and supported by powerhouse Zeb Blais have completed their final acclimatization cycle and are now resting at 21,000’ (6,400m) advanced base camp.

21,000′ Advanced Base Camp – North Side of Everest Photo: Zeb Blais

Last week the team spent two nights on the North Col at 23,000’ (7,000m) to get a taste of the thin air and to continue their acclimatization routine. During one of those days the team climbed a few hundred meters higher to further push their body’s ability to acclimatize before heading back to camp for the evening.

As Bryan put it in a post to Facebook “The route up to camp 2 (7500-7800m) is deceptively long and grueling. The bonus is that you get to stare at the summit, to the right, the entire time.” From the North Col they moved back to Advanced Base Camp to let their bodies strengthen

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Everest North Side 2016 – Update for May 4

Let me start this blog off with a little public service announcement for all the climbing fans out there. If you have a smartphone, do yourself a favor and download Snapchat and create an account. You don’t have to do anything but follow EverestNoFilter and AlpenglowExped. This unique social media platform allows you to check in with our teams everyday, getting an intimate and unfiltered view of climbing life on the big E!

Ok, now on to the update…

Advance Base Camp on the North Side of Everest. 21,000′.

Everest Rapid Ascent Team

Our Rapid Ascent team of Brian and Trudi led by all star guide Chad Peele have started to settle in to Advanced Base Camp at 21,000’ (6,400m) as of yesterday. Chad has reported that the team is in high spirits and feeling good. Alpenglow’s ABC on Everest is comfortable with large tents to hang around in and get some rest before moving higher. ABC is where the team will spend most of their time during the remainder of the expedition.

Yaks moving gear up to Advanced Base Camp. Check out those penitentes in the background!

The next few days will be spent resting and planning their strategy to move higher on the mountain. The two factors the team will use to devise their plan of attack will be weather and their own physical condition. On the weather front the winds are forecast to gain

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Everest No Filter & Rapid Ascent

The 2016 Everest season is literally around the corner. We wanted to take some time from our hectic office life and update you on what’s been happening.


Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards have set their sights high this season and are looking to climb the North Side of Everest without the help of supplementary oxygen. Less than 3% of climbers who have attempted the tallest peak in the world have done so without oxygen and Adrian and Cory will be looking to add their names to this elite list.

To prepare their bodies for the thin air of Everest, Adrian & Cory have been putting in hard hours of training while sleeping in hypoxic tents every night to pre-acclimatize before arriving in base camp.

You can watch the story unfold by following Adrian & Cory on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Adrian: Instagram – Snapchat (search Adrianjb) – FacebookTwitter

Cory: InstagramFacebookTwitter

Everest North Side Rapid Ascent

In addition to Adrian and Corey’s goal of climbing without oxygen, we’ve got two climbers joining our #RapidAscent expedition. Brian and Trudi have both been to Everest in previous seasons however both of their attempts were thwarted by mother nature. This is a big year for everyone on Everest so we’ll be watching and posting updates on their

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