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Mount Everest North Side Rapid Ascent™ Expedition

35 Days in Tibet / (Skill level: Advanced)

Price per person

$85,000.00
  • Next Available: Apr 27, 2020 - May 31, 2020

About this trip

Summit the world's tallest peak from the North Side - without the crowds or the risk of the South Side and Khumbu Icefall. Experience the unique culture, environment, and people of Tibet. Climb Everest in half of the time of traditional expeditions, with the North Side's most professional team and best logistics.

Overview

  • skill level

    Advanced

  • Duration

    35 Days

Alpenglow Expeditions’ Rapid Ascent™ climbs are an entirely new way to approach big-mountain expeditions. After 15 years of guiding expeditions all over the world, including more than a dozen 8,000-meter peak expeditions, we have refined and distilled the acclimatization and climbing process to maximize safety, health, success, and enjoyment. Please contact us to discuss exactly what these shorter climbs entail.

Highlights:

  • Summit the world’s tallest peak from the North Side – without the crowds or the risk of the South Side and Khumbu Icefall
  • Experience the unique culture, environment and people of Tibet
  • Climb Everest in half the time of traditional expeditions using Alpenglow’s unique Rapid Ascent™ approach, with the North Side’s most professional team and best logistics and infrastructure

Climb the North Side of Mount Everest

Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world (29,035 feet/8,850 meters), is an incredible challenge and experience. Alpenglow’s unique format and extensive experience gives us the ability to achieve the highest levels of both safety and success. Since 2015, we have moved our operations to the North Side of Mt. Everest. With increasing stability in Tibet being contrasted by increasing instability in Nepal, the significantly safer and less crowded route from the North Side is an obvious choice for our teams. Our team’s strengths cater well to the increased remoteness of the North Side. Our Sherpa, guides, and support staff are unanimous that responsible climbing teams must avoid the increasingly unpredictable icefall and politics found on Everest’s South Side. Many members of our team (including Sherpa, cooks, doctor, and guides) have worked extensively on the North Side and make our team one of the most experienced to offer climbs from Tibet.

Small Groups, Experienced Sherpa

Alpenglow offers an exceptional level of competency, safety, and comfort to Everest expeditions. Our team will be limited to 9 members, with certified guides and the best Sherpa and cooks available (staff we have been working with for more than a decade). Our small group size allows us to adapt to changing conditions and weather far more easily than many commercial teams, which have become so large over the last five years that they have become difficult to manage. Our member to Sherpa (2:3) and member to guide ratios (4:1), the comforts of our Base Camp, our fresh and nutritious food, and our use of maximum oxygen are details that add up to a far more enjoyable experience and successful climb.

Minimized Down Time

Historically, we have seen that over 30% of climbers on other teams head home long before attempting their summit push on Mt. Everest. This is generally for 3 reasons, all tied to the amount of time teams take “acclimatizing” on the mountain: the multiple trips up and down the mountain during acclimatization cause the climber to reassess the risk and go home, the climber’s weight loss, chronic sickness and progressive weakening at altitude cause them to call off the trip, or a family or work issue at home takes priority. Our goal with a 35-day Rapid Ascent™ itinerary is to keep all the necessary acclimatization, training, and mountain preparation, while minimizing the unnecessary waiting and down time of traditional expeditions. Use of the best technology available (including weather forecasting, efficient oxygen systems, and pre- acclimatization in hypoxic tents) and our team’s experience (and their early arrival and late departure to pre-set and clean the mountain’s camps and ropes), allows our team to minimize their time approaching Advanced Base Camp, while maximizing their chances of success.

Best in Class Guides and Logistics

Alpenglow Expeditions’ logistics, guiding, Base Camp staff, food, and equipment are of the absolute highest level possible. As with all of Alpenglow’s 8,000-meter peak expeditions, Everest is organized and led by IFMGA guide, Adrian Ballinger. Adrian is one of the most recognized guides in the Himalaya, with an impeccable safety record and twelve 8,000 meter peak summits, all while guiding or rope-fixing for guided teams. Adrian has extensive experience organizing complicated logistics for large Himalayan teams (including 6 years as lead guide for one of the Himalaya’s largest companies), as well as countless hours on the mountain rope-fixing with Sherpa, guiding members, and assisting and organizing rescues.

Approached with Respect

While many downplay the difficulty and hazards of climbing Mount Everest, Alpenglow maintains a deep respect for the nature of this mountain and you will never find us underestimating its potential dangers. We require a significant amount of experience from each of our members to ensure that you will feel comfortable on the peak, both with your own skills and of those of your teammates.

Preparation

  • Altitude Experience

    Climbers must have substantial climbing experience to join our Everest Expedition. Climbers must have climbed at least one 8,000 meter peak prior to joining us on an open enrollment. Climbers must be able to climb technical terrain with an alpine pack on their back. Climbers should also be comfortable with camp craft in high- altitude camps and be able to perform at a high level for multiple days in a row at altitude.

  • Technical Experience

    Must be able to climb moderate rock, ice, and snow terrain, often with an alpine pack on your back. You should be comfortable with camp craft in high-altitude camps, and able to perform at a high level for multiple days in a row at altitude. Prior ascents of multiple 6000 - 7000 meter peaks is strongly recommended.

  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude climbing, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed on big peaks. We highly recommend a structured training regime with a gym or personal trainer to assist you in preparing for climbing at altitude. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

    • Day 0 — Arrive Chengdu

      Climbers fly into Chengdu, China, arriving by the evening. Team members must stay overnight in Chengdu in order to pick up their paperwork that allows travel in Tibet. Alpenglow arranges for these documents to be sent to the hotel of choice. This is considered a travel day and is not part of the Alpenglow program.

    • Day 1 — Fly Chengdu to Lhasa

      Fly by plane to Lhasa (12,000 feet/3,650 meters). These flights are usually in the morning, getting climbers to Lhasa mid-day. From the airport it is an hour drive into Lhasa, where we have a bit of time to walk around the old city, and enjoy a traditional Tibetan dinner.

    • Day 2 — Visit the Potala Palace and Jokhang Monastary, drive to Shigatse (12,500 feet/3,800 meters).

      The Potala Palace, former home of the Dalai Lama, and ancient Jokhang Monastary, are two of Tibet’s most important cultural sites, and imperative to beginning to understand this unique place. After a morning exploring with our local guide, we drive a few hours along the now paved road to Everest, stopping for the night in Shigatse, and our simple but clean hotel.

    • Day 3 — Drive Shigatse to Everest Base Camp (17,000 feet/5,200 meters).

      We continue along the Tibetan Plateau until we begin to see views of Everest. From there we leave the main road and follow the valley to the Rongbuk Monastery. After exploring the monastery and lunch, we continue driving into our base camp, where we settle in.

    • Day 4 — Rest in Everest Base Camp.

      Our camp offers excellent food, comfortable tents, and important amenities (heated dining tents, electricity, etc.). We allow our bodies to continue their acclimatization, and spend the day organizing equipment and logistics.

    • Day 5 — Rest in Everest Base Camp.

      Today we do an acclimatization hike above camp, returning in time for lunch and rest before tomorrow’s move.

    • Day 6 - 10 — Acclimatization at Everest Base Camp (17,000 feet/5,200 meters)

      Our acclimatization day are spent hiking, resting, eating and getting used to life on the mountain. We split the move to Advanced Base Camp in two, today moving 6 miles to Interim Camp. While this camp is simple, we still ensure comfortable sleeping, dining, and excellent food. The location is incredible, surrounded by penitentes (ice towers).

    • Day 11 — Move to Interim Camp (19,000 feet/5,800 meters)

      Today we move 6 miles to Interim Camp. The location is incredible, surrounded by penitentes (ice towers).

    • Day 12 — Interim Camp (19,000 feet/5,800 meters) to Advanced Base Camp (21,300 feet/6,400 meters).

      Six miles of hiking along the moraine and glacier bring us to Advanced Base Camp, our home on the side of the East Rongbuk Glacier. This camp, our main one for the duration of the expedition, is established with as much comfort as possible to balance life in the harsh environment.

    • Day 13-14 — Acclimatize in Advanced Base Camp (21,300 feet/6,400 meters).

      Our bodies need time to acclimatize to over 21,000 feet. We utilize the days re- visiting required fixed rope and climbing skills, taking short acclimatization hikes, and eating and resting in our impressive camp.

    • Day 15 — Advanced Base Camp (21,300 feet/6,400 meters) to North Col Camp (23,000 feet/7,000 meters).

      A 4-6 hour climb takes us from the edge of the East Rongbuk Glacier up progressively steepening snow slopes. The 2,000 foot climb is an excellent time to focus on crampon efficiency and fixed rope technique, and arriving at the North Col is hard-earned.

    • Day 16 — Rest North Col Camp (23,000 feet/7,000 meters).

      Again, a day of rest aids our body in acclimatization.

    • Day 17 — Rest North Col Camp (23,000 feet/7,000 meters).

      We take an acclimatization climb part way along the wide snow ridge towards Camp 2, descending back to North Col Camp for the night.

    • Day 18 — Descend from North Col Camp (23,000 feet/7,000 meters) to Advanced Base Camp (21,300 feet/6,400 meters).

      We descend quickly via rappels and arm-wrapping back to our camp on the side of the glacier. Our bodies will need rest, but now feel strong and able to recover at Advanced Base Camp.

    • Day 19-24 — Descend to Base Camp Rest (17,000 feet/5,200 meters)

      At the minimum we take 5 days of rest in BC before considering a summit push. We descend all the way to Base Camp to make the most of our recovery time before our summit push.

    • Day 24-31 — Summit Window.

      When weather, conditions and health allow, we make our summit push. We return to North Col Camp. From North Col we utilize supplementary oxygen to continue to Camp 2 (24,750 feet/7,500 meters), Camp 3 (25,600 feet/7,900 meters), Camp 4 (27,400 feet/8,300 meters) and on to the summit (29,029 feet/8,848 meters). The climbing above North Col varies, with mostly easy snow and rock ledge walking punctuated by short steeper steps, including the First, Second and Third Steps on the way to the summit. After topping out, we descend as far as possible – North Col Camp or Advanced Base Camp.

    • Day 32 — Descend to Base Camp Rest (17,000 feet/5,200 meters)

      We say goodbye to our mountain staff and hike the 12 miles back to Everest BC. We celebrate with fine alcohol and delicious food. An expedition we'll never forget.

    • Day 33 — Drive Base Camp to Shigatse

      We load our personal gear and selves into jeeps for the ride to the town of Shigatse. A long day of travel takes us across the Tibetan Plateau to our simple but clean hotel in Shigatse.

    • Day 34 — Drive Shigatse to Lhasa

      If our travel went smoothly this is a day for souvenir shopping, or palace viewing. Some team members might be able to fly home this evening, the rest of the team will depart the next day.

    • Day 35 — Depart For Home

      *Please note the above schedule is only one possible scenario. A mountain like Everest requires flexibility, and every year our climb is different.

      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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
      • 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

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      • 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

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      • Hands and Feet

      • Liner Gloves

        These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation. Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight WoolTech Gloves

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • Big Mountain Mittens

        These mittens should be warm and worn over either a liner glove or windstopper glove. Down mittens are not required. You should choose a pair that allows you to still operate locking carabiners. Recommended: Black Diamond Absolute Mitt

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      • 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

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      • Hiking Socks

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

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      • 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

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      • Heated Socks

        These are optional, but highly recommended. Bring 2 sets of batteries. Hotronics boot heaters are another option instead of heated socks, but socks are preferred by our guides. Recommended: Sidas PRO-S v2 Heat Set

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      • 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

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      • Base Camp Boots

        These snow boots are good for wearing around camp and should be comfortable when you slip into them after spending significant time in your mountain boots. Recommended: Sorel Caribou Boots

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      • Mountaineering Boots (8,000m)

        Fully insulated, double boots with an integrated gaiter. These boots are essential for 8000 meter peaks. Recommended: La Sportiva Olympus Mons Cube

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      • 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

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      • Down Booties (optional)

        You’ll love having a warm, comfortable shoe to slip into when tent-bound. Recommended: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • Down Suit

        We HIGHLY recommend an 8000m insulated suit rather than separate top and bottom. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Peak XV 2.0

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      • Lower Body Apparel

      • Quick Dry Shorts

        Throw these on under other layers for when the sun begins to beat, or you have a sudden urge to jump in a glacial lake. Lightweight, durable and comfortable. NO COTTON. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Short

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      • 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

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      • Expedition-weight Bottoms

        Fitted, light-weight and quick drying. The mid-weight will be a base- layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Bring multiple changes of layers. Recommended: Patagonia R1 Pant

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      • 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

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      • 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

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      • Insulated Pants

        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

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      • Expedition Equipment

      • Day Pack

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

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      • 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

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      • Hydration System (optional)

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

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      • 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

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      • Inflatable Sleeping Pad

        72 inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad. Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm

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      • Sleeping Bag (-30°)

        Rated to -30º F to -40º F. Choose an 800+ Fill Premium Goose Down bag. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG. Many climbers also like a silk liner. Granite Gear Compression Sack is desired.

        Recommended: Eddie Bauer Kara Koram with Compression Sack

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      • 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

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      • 1L Nalgene (2)

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

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      • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

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

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      • Plastic Bowl, Mug and Spoon

        A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You'll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon. Recommended Kit: MSR 2 Person Mess Kit

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      • Lighters

        2 BIC Lighters

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      • Technical Equipment

      • 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

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      • 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.

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      • 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

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      • General Mountaineering Axe

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

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      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

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      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

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

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      • Belay Device

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

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      • Prusik Cord

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

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      • Ascender

        Should have large opening for gloved hands, and an easy thumb trigger. Recommended: Petzl Ascension

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      • Avalanche Transceiver

        A digital transceiver that is simple to use or that you are extremely comfortable using. Recommended: Black Diamond Recon BT Avalanche Beacon

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      • Miscellaneous Items

      • Miscellaneous Items

        - 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

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      • 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)

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      • 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)

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      • 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.

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    • I see that Alpenglow climbs on the North side of the mountain. Why is that?

      For 2015 and beyond, we have moved our operations to the North Side of Everest. With increasing stability in Tibet being contrasted by increasing instability in Nepal, the significantly safer and less crowded route from the North Side is an obvious choice for our teams. Our team’s strengths cater well to the increased remoteness of the North Side. Our Sherpa, guides, and support staff are unanimous that responsible climbing teams must avoid the increasingly unpredictable icefall and politics found on Everest’s South Side. Many members of our team (including Sherpa, cooks, doctor, and guides) have worked extensively on the North Side and make our team one of the most experienced to offer climbs from Tibet.

    • What sort of experience is needed for Everest?

      In order to join our Everest expedition, climbers must have experience on an 8000 meter peak. Many climbers gain this experience by joining our expedition to Cho Oyu. Climbers must have solid ice and snow climbing experience, including the use of ice axe, crampons and fixed rope systems.

    • I really want to climb Mt. Everest, but I don’t have a lot of climbing experience. What do you recommend?

      Climbing Everest is a lifelong goal for many people. Often, an ascent of this peak is the crowning achievement of a climber’s high altitude career. Alpenglow Expeditions has very strict requirements to become a team member on one of our Everest expeditions, and it takes time to gain the necessary skills and experience. This is a multi year project for many people, starting with basic climbing instruction at one of our multi day climbing schools. Afterwards, larger and more complex mountains are attempted, culminating in an expedition to an 8000m peak, which is usually Cho Oyu. After all of this, a climber is now ready to be a team member on an attempt to climb Mt. Everest.

    • What is your guide to climber ratio?

      1:4 maximum guide to climber ratio. All guides are IFMGA qualified or aspirants working towards finishing their certification. This is the lowest member to guide ratio in the Himalaya.

    • What is your Sherpa to climber ratio?

      3:2 Sherpa to climber ratio. Having 3 Sherpa per 2 climbers ensures we have the strength necessary to carry loads, set camps, and assist climbers. All of our Sherpa on Everest have worked with us on many expeditions.

    • Do you have an Expedition Doctor?

      Expedition doctor, Monica Piris, has been on fourteen 8,000-meter peak expeditions. While Dr. Piris does not travel with our team to Everest, she is in 24 communication with our expedition leaders. Dr. Piris also works with each member on his or her pre-acclimatization program.

    • Where do you get your weather forecasts?

      Swiss weather forecasts. Having a quality forecast for Mount Everest maximizes both our safety and our summit success.

    • What level of fitness is required?

      Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude climbing, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed on big peaks. We highly recommend a structured training regime with a gym or personal trainer to assist you in preparing for climbing at altitude. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

    • How much oxygen per climber do you take?

      9 bottles of oxygen per climber. This allows us to use high-flow oxygen sleeping at Camps 2, 3 and 4, and to climb on a higher flow than other expeditions (2L from North Col-C2, and 4L from C2-C3, C3-C4, and C4-Summit-North Col), maximizing safety and success. Our Sherpa also climb and sleep on oxygen, which means they have more strength to focus on you and your ascent.

    • What kind of food will you have?

      Imported and local foods of the highest quality, combined with a Western-trained cook staff. Alpenglow has the best food on the mountain, ensuring your strength and health throughout the expedition.

    • Is WiFi available?

      Unlimited WIFI Internet in Base Camp, Interim Camp, Advanced Base Camp, and North Col Camp. We understand the modern need for technology, and this allows you to stay in touch with home and office via email, text message, and phone at no additional expense.

    • Is the Pre-acclimatization equipment included in the price?

      Pre-acclimatization using Hypoxico Altitude Training Systems. An eight-week rental is included in the expedition price, and use of the system (or equivalent pre- acclimatization) is a requirement for joining our Rapid Ascent™ expeditions.

    • Do I really need to purchase trip 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 .

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 150 in the USA) and more than a fifteen summits of 8,000 meter peaks (17 total, including 8 summits of Mt. Everest, 1 without supplemental oxygen, as well as an ascent of K2 without supplemental oxygen). As founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for over twenty years and has led over 130 international climbing expeditions on 6 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 successfully led more than 100 clients to the summits of 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, Europe, and of course closer to home in Squaw Valley, CA. Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Blizzard, Tecnica, Hiball Energy, and Favre Leuba.

Learn more about Adrian at adrianballinger.com

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

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

Carla Perez

Carla has been on the pursuit of her climbing dreams for most of her life, she started climbing as a teenager and her love to the mountains took her to the french Alps, where she studied geology and got a masters degree on geochemistry. In 2007 she decided to become a full time climber, which also put her the path of becoming a mountain guide. Carla has trained with and is pursuing UIAGM/IFMGA certification with the ASEGUIM (the Ecuadorian mountain guides association).

In 2016 she became the sixth women in history to climb Everest without oxygen (first latin american), she also climbed Cho Oyu and Manaslu without oxygen, her resumee includes the South Face of Aconcagua and various 7000m peaks in central Asia among many other climb in south america.
In 2008 she did a biking trip from Ecuador to Argentina and had the opportunity to understand and learn more about her home: the Andes.

Today she splits her time between speaking about her climbing experiences all around the world, chasing new missions with her parter “Topo” and guiding big mountains.

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM

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    Mount Everest North Side Rapid Ascent™ Expedition

  • 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.

Mount Everest North Side Rapid Ascent™ Expedition

Summit the world's tallest peak from the North Side - without the crowds or the risk of the South Side and Khumbu Icefall. Experience the unique culture, environment, and people of Tibet. Climb Everest in half of the time of traditional expeditions, with the North Side's most professional team and best logistics.

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Liner Gloves

    These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation. Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight WoolTech Gloves

  • 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

  • Big Mountain Mittens

    These mittens should be warm and worn over either a liner glove or windstopper glove. Down mittens are not required. You should choose a pair that allows you to still operate locking carabiners. Recommended: Black Diamond Absolute Mitt

  • 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

  • Heated Socks

    These are optional, but highly recommended. Bring 2 sets of batteries. Hotronics boot heaters are another option instead of heated socks, but socks are preferred by our guides. Recommended: Sidas PRO-S v2 Heat Set

  • 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

  • Base Camp Boots

    These snow boots are good for wearing around camp and should be comfortable when you slip into them after spending significant time in your mountain boots. Recommended: Sorel Caribou Boots

  • Mountaineering Boots (8,000m)

    Fully insulated, double boots with an integrated gaiter. These boots are essential for 8000 meter peaks. Recommended: La Sportiva Olympus Mons Cube

  • 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

  • Down Booties (optional)

    You’ll love having a warm, comfortable shoe to slip into when tent-bound. Recommended: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Down Suit

    We HIGHLY recommend an 8000m insulated suit rather than separate top and bottom. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Peak XV 2.0

    Lower Body Apparel

  • Quick Dry Shorts

    Throw these on under other layers for when the sun begins to beat, or you have a sudden urge to jump in a glacial lake. Lightweight, durable and comfortable. NO COTTON. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Short

  • 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

  • Expedition-weight Bottoms

    Fitted, light-weight and quick drying. The mid-weight will be a base- layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Bring multiple changes of layers. Recommended: Patagonia R1 Pant

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Inflatable Sleeping Pad

    72 inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad. Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm

  • Sleeping Bag (-30°)

    Rated to -30º F to -40º F. Choose an 800+ Fill Premium Goose Down bag. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG. Many climbers also like a silk liner. Granite Gear Compression Sack is desired.

    Recommended: Eddie Bauer Kara Koram with Compression Sack

  • 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

  • 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

  • Plastic Bowl, Mug and Spoon

    A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You'll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon. Recommended Kit: MSR 2 Person Mess Kit

  • Lighters

    2 BIC Lighters

    Technical Equipment

  • 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.

  • 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

  • General Mountaineering Axe

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

  • 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

  • Belay Device

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

  • Prusik Cord

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

  • Ascender

    Should have large opening for gloved hands, and an easy thumb trigger. Recommended: Petzl Ascension

  • Avalanche Transceiver

    A digital transceiver that is simple to use or that you are extremely comfortable using. Recommended: Black Diamond Recon BT Avalanche Beacon

    Miscellaneous Items

  • Miscellaneous Items

    - 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.