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Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent™

5 days in Ecuador / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person

$3,550.00
  • Next Available: Feb 12, 2020 - Feb 16, 2020
    Sell out risk: High
  • Upcoming: Jun 24, 2020 - Jun 28, 2020
  • Nov 25, 2020 - Nov 29, 2020

About this trip

Climb a 19,000' mountain in just five days! On this trip, you will be able to fly from home and be on a high altitude glacier within 2 days. You'll arrive back at home in just five short days. Our highly experienced Ecuadorian guides lead the expedition and will ensure your safety on the mountain while providing climbers with an interactive and authentic cultural Andean experience. The views from the summit are nothing short of breathtaking.

Overview

  • skill level

    Introductory

  • Duration

    5 days

This expedition combines our popular mountaineering school with Alpenglow’s Rapid Ascent™ system, resulting in the ultimate long-weekend climbing trip. At Alpenglow, we strive to make the mountains accessible to everyone. Until recently, it has never been possible to safely climb to over 19,000 feet in less than a week. This has deterred busy climbers from attempting to ascend high altitude peaks. Alpenglow solves this problem with the use of innovative Hypoxico pre-acclimatization tents.

Climbers utilize these tents at home for four weeks prior to an expedition, resulting in acclimatization that rivals what you would experience on a mountain. This pre-acclimatization system is the same used by all of our Everest teams dating back to 2012. The system has shortened their climbs by 50% and increased measures of safety and success. Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent™ also draws on geographical logistics perfected over decades of leading expeditions in Ecuador. This makes for an unprecedented mountaineering experience designed for the busiest of climbers.

Cotopaxi is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes, topping out at 19,347 feet (5,897 meters). It’s heavily glaciated, remote, and yet easily accessible to climbers. It serves as the ideal peak to learn and practice skills essential for high altitude climbing — in the time span of a long weekend.

Climbers meet in Ecuador’s capital of Quito. After a night of settling in and getting acquainted, we will travel to a luxurious refuge located in Cotopaxi National Park. The lodge features delectable food and a stunning mountain backdrop. Here we will develop and practice techniques necessary for the summit push. We will spend the afternoon of our arrival and the morning of the next day learning and practicing mountaineering skills. These include crampon and ice axe techniques, roped team travel, snow and ice anchor placement, and crevasse rescue. This training is essential for establishing your competence as a team member on Cotopaxi and future expeditions.

Upon completion of our skills day, we will be ready to climb. A midnight start ensures plenty of time to complete the journey. We will set out in small roped teams, each led by an Alpenglow guide. The terrain will vary from rugged hiking trails to moderately crevassed glaciers. Eventually we will reach the final, steep summit headwall. Enjoy the sensational views from the top, encompassing many of the surrounding volcanoes, miles of rolling hills, and the active crater of Cotopaxi itself. Once we’re finished, we will embark on a quick descent back to Quito, in time for a celebration dinner with the team before flying home.

Our Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent™ climbs are guided by one or more of Alpenglow’s AMGA certified lead guides. AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certification is the most prestigious in the world, attained only by the most experienced and dedicated guides. We combine our guides’ experience with the local expertise of our close friend and expert Ecuadorian logistics operator, Jaime Avila. Jaime is one of Ecuador’s most respected guides, and also guides with us in Nepal, Peru, Bolivia, and Alaska. Our small team size and low ratio of climbers to guides (2:1) ensures you’re healthy and strong enough to enjoy every aspect of your experience.

Alpenglow’s combination of pre-acclimatization at home with the best guiding and in- country logistics has revolutionized Himalayan expeditions. The same system has reduced expedition lengths on peaks like the Seven Summits by 30-50%. On this Ecuadorian expedition, we use the same pre-acclimatization, quality of logistics, and guiding team. We work with you not only on the mountain, but also throughout your pre-acclimatization and preparation process. Our goal is to ensure each climber is healthy, strong, and prepared for their summit climb of Cotopaxi. Join us for a few days and leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. We cannot stress this enough -- fitness is the most important aspect of high altitude climbing. To develop the necessary level of fitness needed to climb big mountains, you must adapt a challenging, consistent exercise regime months in advance. We recommend a structured training program at a gym or with a personal trainer. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

  • Altitude Experience

    Rapid Ascent™ expeditions require a minimum altitude experience of 16,400ft/5000m. If you do not have this experience we recommend joining us on one of our traditional expeditions to gain the necessary experience required for Rapid Ascent™.

  • Technical Experience

    No technical climbing experience required.

    • Day 1 — Arrival

      Arrive into Quito (9,500 feet/2,896 meters) in the evening. Our guides will pick you up and bring you to our hotel, a local family-run place close to excellent restaurants and the tourist center of the city.

    • Day 2 — Drive to Tombaxi

      After a big breakfast, we drive to Tambopaxi, at about 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) in Cotopaxi National Park. From the dining room of this beautiful lodge, we have a perfect view of our entire route on Cotopaxi. In the afternoon we practice a full gamut of big mountain skills including rope team travel and crevasse rescue. We also prepare all of our equipment for the climb.

    • Day 3 — Skills day on the Glacier

      We wake early to hike about an hour to the toe of the glacier on Cotopaxi. We spend the morning practicing glacier travel skills, most importantly self-arrest with an ice axe and efficient climbing techniques in crampons. We descend back to Tambopaxi for lunch, rest, and to prep for our summit attempt.

    • Day 4 — Summit Day

      Summit Day! We wake at around midnight, have a hot drink and perhaps a snack, and then begin our climb. The route takes us across scree to the glacier, and then winds up through progressively steeper slopes and heavily crevassed areas. By dawn, we should be below the final headwall, 800 vertical feet (250 meters) of the steepest climbing on the mountain. In daylight, we work our way up this slope until we are standing on the edge of Cotopaxi’s crater, with stunning views in every direction. After a few photos, we descend back to the refuge, and then continue our descent all the way to our hotel and a well-deserved celebration in Quito.

    • Day 5 — Head Home

      Depart Quito for home. Flights generally leave early in the morning and arrive home in the afternoon.

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Hat

        Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding. Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

        $25.00 Add to cart
      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Patagonia Beanie Hat

        Read more
      • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

        A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.

        Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

        $20.00 Add to cart
      • Balaclava

        We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours. Recommended: Patagonia Balaclava

        Read more
      • Sunglasses

        Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies). Recommended: Revoi Guide II

        Read more
      • Goggles

        These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired. Recommended: Smith I/O

        Read more
      • Hands and Feet

      • Lightweight Gloves

        All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

        Read more
      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

        Read more
      • Heavyweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitude and are need to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired. Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Glove

        Read more
      • Liner Socks (optional)

        A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON. Recommended: Ice Breaker Hike Liner Crew

        Read more
      • Hiking Socks

        Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in- town. NO COTTON. Recommended: Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks

        Read more
      • Warm Socks

        A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. NO COTTON. Recommended: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

        Read more
      • Hiking Shoes

        These light to mid-weight shoes are for every day use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow. Recommended: La Sportiva Bushido Hiking Shoes

        Read more
      • Mountaineering Boots (5,000m-6,000m)

        Should be warm single or double boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8th of an inch when walking. Recommended: La Sportiva G5 Boots

        Read more
      • Waterproof Gaiters

        GORE-TEX® or Schoeller® calf- high gaiters, insulated supergaiters recommended. *Gaiters not needed if your pants and/or boots have built-in gaiters. Recommended: Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters (required if your boots do not have integrated gaiters)

        Read more
      • Upper Body Apparel

      • Lightweight Top

        Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

        Read more
      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution IR 1/4 Zip

        Read more
      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

        Read more
      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

        Read more
      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

        Read more
      • Soft Shell Jacket

        While this item isn’t required, we know that those who don’t have one wish they did! More breathable than Gore-tex, these jackets block wind and light precipitation. A windshirt is an option for this layer. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Sandstone

        Read more
      • Down Parka (6-8k Peaks)

        A puffy jacket with a hood that will keep you warm during the coldest of conditions. The higher the quality down, the better (800-fill is best). However, be sure the jacket is still lightweight. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Peak XV Down Jacket

        Read more
      • Expedition Equipment

      • Duffle Bags

        2 Duffle Bags - At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big - between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don't recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It's common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel

        Read more
      • Day Pack

        Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters). Recommended: Eddie Bauer Bacon 2.0 Pack

        Read more
      • Climbing Pack

        Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alpine Sisu 50L Pack or Black Diamond Mission 50 Pack

        Read more
      • Hydration System (optional)

        Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube

        Read more
      • Headlamp

        L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp. Recommended: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

        Read more
      • Trekking Pole(s)

        Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended: Black Diamond Trail Explorer 3 Trekking Poles

        Read more
      • 1L Nalgene (2)

        Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles. Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth

        Read more
      • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

        Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene

        Read more
      • Technical Equipment

      • General Mountaineering Axe

        One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. Recommended: Petzl Summit

        Read more
      • Mountaineering Crampons

        Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail. Crampons are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

        Read more
      • Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

        Read more
      • Harness

        Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. Recommended: Petzl Altitude *Harnesses are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

        Read more
      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

        Read more
      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine. Recommended: Petzl Spirit

        Read more
      • Prusik Cord

        20’ of 6mm. This will be used to make prusiks. This cord should be uncut and not kevlar. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

        Read more
      • Belay Device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes. Recommended: Petzl Reverso

        Read more
      • Miscellaneous Items

      • Miscellaneous Items

        Underlined items are required.

        - Passport (with visa, if necessary)

        - 2 luggage locks (TSA compliant)

        - Non-cotton underwear

        - Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace

        - Heavy duty garbage bags (at least 4)

        - Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear

        - Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher)

        - Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher)

        - Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications)

        - Toiletries 

        - 3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels) 

        - Hand Warmers

        Read more
      • In Town Items

        - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000.

        - Ear Plugs

        - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment

        - Language Phrase Book

        - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries.

        - Compact Binoculars

        - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

        Read more
      • Optional Items

        - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000. - Travel wallet pouch (waist or neck) - Leatherman/ Swiss Army Knife (Recommended: Leatherman Juice C2) - Zip lock bags (large size, for organizing small items and waterproofing) - Pee Funnel (optional for women) One popular model is the Freshette. - Ear Plugs - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment - Language Phrase Book - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries. - Compact Binoculars - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

        Read more
      • Packing Note

        For your international flights we recommend that you pack all of your equipment in your two duffle bags. Do not simply pack your backpack (since its straps can be damaged by baggage handling machines). It is important to lock these bags for their trip. Depending on airport, you may be able to put your travel locks on after they have been searched. If not, lock the bag with zip ties. If the TSA cuts off the zip tie to search your bag, they will replace it. You will still need travel locks to lock your bags in the hotel and in Basecamp. Generally, you will take one duffle to Basecamp, and leave one in the hotel with your belongings for town.

        Read more
    • Would you consider doing a custom expedition on Cotopaxi?

      We always consider customs. Custom trips make up more than 50% of our groups.

    • What is the longest day I can expect?

      Your longest, most difficult day will be summit day on Cotopaxi. We wake very early in the morning, using headlamps and warm layers. Climbing steadily through the night, we find ourselves high in the peak when the sun rises. After gaining the summit, we descend all the way back to base camp. You can expect between 12 and 15 hours of steady movement.

    • What is Rapid Ascent™?

      Rapid Ascent™ is a unique program developed by Alpenglow Expeditions that combines the relatively new application of hypoxic training with precise logistics and small team sizes to greatly increase the chances of success while reducing the overall time spent away from home on an international expedition.

      Click here to learn more about Rapid Ascent™.

    • What do I need to do to confirm my reservation?

      When an expedition is more than 90 days out, we require a 20% deposit to guarantee your reservation. Within 90 days we require full payment.

    • Do I really need to purchase Travel and Rescue insurance?

      We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance, and we require rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance .

Chad Peele

Chad Peele has been guiding for over 15 years and works full time as a mountain guide. Based out of Ridgway Colorado, Chad spends his winters instructing and guiding on some of the best ice terrain the U.S. has to offer. Outside of Colorado he has traveled and guided extensively throughout North and South America with several trips to the Himalayas including multiple summits of both Everest and Ama Dablam. When not in the Mountains Chad does clothing and equipment design for Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent outdoor line.

Chad is an AMGA Rock & Alpine guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Esteban “Topo” Mena

Topo’s formal name is Esteban Mena, but he goes by his nickname. Esteban Topo Mena is 28 years old and began his guiding career at 19, when he climbed Aconcagua’s South Face and became the youngest person to accomplish this difficult climb. Topo began guiding in Ecuador and Peru. In 2012, Topo summited Manaslu and in 2013, he summited Everest – both without using supplementary oxygen. Topo again summited Everest in 2016 while supporting his wonderful partner Carla as she successfully summited without supplemental oxygen. In 2018 Topo summited both Cho Oyu and Everest with clients in under 30 days. An incredible achievement that only the best guides in the word could attempt. He also has climbed challenging new routes in Kyrgyzstan and China and one of his climbs (Kyzyl Asker) has been nominated for the Piolet d’Or (as part of an Ecuadorian team).

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Jaime Avila

Jaime is Alpenglow Expeditions’ senior lead guide. A native Ecuadorian, Jaime has been guiding and climbing throughout South America and the world for twenty years. He has successfully led groups on challenging routes like the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam (Nepal), the Shield Route of Huascaran (Peru), the Polish Direct on Aconcagua (Argentina), and El Altar (Ecuador). We have been guiding, climbing, and traveling with Jaime since 1998 and the feedback from members is always the same: there is no better teammate. Whether climbing a tough ice route, humping a huge pack, or stuck in a storm, Jaime will keep you laughing, learning, and glad to be in the mountains. He is an ASEGUIM / IFMGA certified mountain guide.

 

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

What others are saying about this trip

Expedition Inquiry Form

  • Have questions about this trip?

    Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent™

  • Accredited American Mountain Guide Association - AMGA
  • IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • Forest Service
ALL PROGRAMS DIRECTED BY ADRIAN BALLINGER AND LOGAN TALBOTT, AMGA/IFMGA MOUNTAIN GUIDES
© 2020 Alpenglow Expeditions. All rights reserved.

Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent™

Climb a 19,000' mountain in just five days! On this trip, you will be able to fly from home and be on a high altitude glacier within 2 days. You'll arrive back at home in just five short days. Our highly experienced Ecuadorian guides lead the expedition and will ensure your safety on the mountain while providing climbers with an interactive and authentic cultural Andean experience. The views from the summit are nothing short of breathtaking.

    Headwear and Eyewear

  • Hat

    Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding. Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

  • Beanie

    A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Patagonia Beanie Hat

  • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

    A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.

    Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

  • Balaclava

    We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours. Recommended: Patagonia Balaclava

  • Sunglasses

    Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies). Recommended: Revoi Guide II

  • Goggles

    These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired. Recommended: Smith I/O

    Hands and Feet

  • Lightweight Gloves

    All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

  • Midweight Gloves

    These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

  • Heavyweight Gloves

    These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitude and are need to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired. Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Glove

  • Liner Socks (optional)

    A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON. Recommended: Ice Breaker Hike Liner Crew

  • Hiking Socks

    Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in- town. NO COTTON. Recommended: Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks

  • Warm Socks

    A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. NO COTTON. Recommended: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

  • Hiking Shoes

    These light to mid-weight shoes are for every day use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow. Recommended: La Sportiva Bushido Hiking Shoes

  • Mountaineering Boots (5,000m-6,000m)

    Should be warm single or double boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8th of an inch when walking. Recommended: La Sportiva G5 Boots

  • Waterproof Gaiters

    GORE-TEX® or Schoeller® calf- high gaiters, insulated supergaiters recommended. *Gaiters not needed if your pants and/or boots have built-in gaiters. Recommended: Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters (required if your boots do not have integrated gaiters)

    Upper Body Apparel

  • Lightweight Top

    Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

  • Long Sleeve Base Layer

    A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution IR 1/4 Zip

  • Warm Layer

    A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

  • Synthetic Top

    A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

  • Hard Shell Jacket

    A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

  • Soft Shell Jacket

    While this item isn’t required, we know that those who don’t have one wish they did! More breathable than Gore-tex, these jackets block wind and light precipitation. A windshirt is an option for this layer. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Sandstone

  • Down Parka (6-8k Peaks)

    A puffy jacket with a hood that will keep you warm during the coldest of conditions. The higher the quality down, the better (800-fill is best). However, be sure the jacket is still lightweight. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Peak XV Down Jacket

    Lower Body Apparel

  • Base Layer Bottoms

    Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry Merino Hybrid Baselayer Pants

  • Soft Shell Pants

    You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose Schoeller® or a soft-shell equivalent. Breathable + water-resistant. These pants should have an ankle zip so they will accommodate your mountain boot. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Alpine

  • Hard Shell Pants

    Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended: Black Diamond Sharp End Pants

  • Insulated Pants (optional)

    Full-length side zippers are recommended, for throwing on top of all of your layers. This layer is required. Recommended: Black Diamond Stance Belay Pants

    Expedition Equipment

  • Duffle Bags

    2 Duffle Bags - At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big - between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don't recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It's common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel

  • Day Pack

    Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters). Recommended: Eddie Bauer Bacon 2.0 Pack

  • Climbing Pack

    Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alpine Sisu 50L Pack or Black Diamond Mission 50 Pack

  • Hydration System (optional)

    Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube

  • Headlamp

    L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp. Recommended: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

  • Trekking Pole(s)

    Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended: Black Diamond Trail Explorer 3 Trekking Poles

  • 1L Nalgene (2)

    Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles. Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth

  • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

    Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene

    Technical Equipment

  • General Mountaineering Axe

    One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. Recommended: Petzl Summit

  • Mountaineering Crampons

    Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail. Crampons are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

  • Helmet

    Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

  • Harness

    Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. Recommended: Petzl Altitude *Harnesses are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

  • Locking Carabiner (2)

    Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

  • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

    Lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine. Recommended: Petzl Spirit

  • Prusik Cord

    20’ of 6mm. This will be used to make prusiks. This cord should be uncut and not kevlar. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

  • Belay Device

    Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes. Recommended: Petzl Reverso

    Miscellaneous Items

  • Miscellaneous Items

    Underlined items are required.

    - Passport (with visa, if necessary)

    - 2 luggage locks (TSA compliant)

    - Non-cotton underwear

    - Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace

    - Heavy duty garbage bags (at least 4)

    - Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear

    - Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher)

    - Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher)

    - Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications)

    - Toiletries 

    - 3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels) 

    - Hand Warmers

  • In Town Items

    - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000.

    - Ear Plugs

    - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment

    - Language Phrase Book

    - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries.

    - Compact Binoculars

    - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

  • Optional Items

    - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000. - Travel wallet pouch (waist or neck) - Leatherman/ Swiss Army Knife (Recommended: Leatherman Juice C2) - Zip lock bags (large size, for organizing small items and waterproofing) - Pee Funnel (optional for women) One popular model is the Freshette. - Ear Plugs - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment - Language Phrase Book - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries. - Compact Binoculars - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

  • Packing Note

    For your international flights we recommend that you pack all of your equipment in your two duffle bags. Do not simply pack your backpack (since its straps can be damaged by baggage handling machines). It is important to lock these bags for their trip. Depending on airport, you may be able to put your travel locks on after they have been searched. If not, lock the bag with zip ties. If the TSA cuts off the zip tie to search your bag, they will replace it. You will still need travel locks to lock your bags in the hotel and in Basecamp. Generally, you will take one duffle to Basecamp, and leave one in the hotel with your belongings for town.