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…

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Top 10 Reasons We Love Climbing in Ecuador

Climbing in Ecuador has a lot to offer. We haven’t found the same combination of factors in any other high altitude climbing locations around the world. If you’ve climbed Rainier, Baker, or Shasta in the United States, look no further for your next climbing objective. From world-class climbing guides to unparalleled access to the mountains, and excellent cultural experiences, climbing in Ecuador is hands down our favorite place to test ourselves against high altitude.


1. First Love

Ecuador is the first trip our founder and CEO, Adrian Ballinger went to altitude on (1994) and the first high…

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Top 5 Things Alpenglow Expeditions Does Differently on Mt Everest

Approaching the summit from the northside of Everest

We’ve always done things a bit differently than most other guide services, and it all starts with Adrian Ballinger’s visionary Rapid Ascent™ approach to pre-acclimatizing for mountains across the world. Read on to see how our Mount Everest Rapid Ascent Expedition is different than other international mountain guide services.


1 . Rapid Ascent™ Approach

While nearly all other mountain guide services continue to approach mountains the same way as has been done for decades, Adrian Ballinger knew there was another way. His main goal was to reduce the…

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Summit Success for the Ama Dablam Rapid Ascent™ Team!


Summit: Monday, November 4

At 8am local time on Monday, November 4, guide Topo Mena called us via satellite phone from the summit of Ama Dablam to announce “CUMBRE!!” Temps were brutally cold but the team had good stable climbing conditions and outstanding clear views from the summit at 22,349’ (6,812m).


Pre-Summit: A tough battle up to C1 and C2.5

On Sunday our team reached Camp 1 then headed up to camp 2.5 high up on the Mushroom Ridge. Everyone climbed hard, but illness prevented some of our…

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What’s in Adrian’s Closet?


“Frostbite is Failure” Interview with Adrian Ballinger: A run-through of every climbing shoe and mountain boot in his arsenal.

Mountain guides may be the most shoe-obsessed people on the planet. From rock shoes to 8,000m boots, every shoe has an ultra-specific purpose. In this interview, Adrian walks us through his favorite La Sportiva footwear for each climbing discipline. Have you ever wanted to take a peek inside Adrian’s closet? This is your chance!

Tahoe Via Ferrata TX4 Approach Shoe

“There are two reasons I really like this shoe for the 

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Rapid Ascent™

Rapid Ascent™ by Alpenglow Expeditions

First developed by Adrian Ballinger, Rapid Ascent™ is a unique approach to climbing big mountains across the world. This innovative program combines the relatively new application of hypoxic training with precise logistics and small team sizes to reduce the overall time spent away from home, while greatly increasing the chance of success on your international climbing expedition.

On average, Rapid Ascent™ expeditions reduce the time of traditional expeditions by 30% – 50%.  A traditional expedition that might take 3 or 4 weeks time can now be done in 2 weeks, allowing busy climbers to…

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Everest Lightning Ascent in 14 Days

The Everest Lightning Ascent: Two Weeks to the Top and Back with Alpenglow Expeditions – words by Roxanne Vogel

Moving up from base camp on the north side of Mt Everest

Testing Rapid Ascent

When I nervously called Adrian Ballinger in the autumn of 2017, I had no idea I’d eventually be working with his company, Alpenglow Expeditions, on the first ever 14-day summit of Mount Everest. Long before the whirlwind trip that occurred in May of this year, I had reached out to him about a different rapid ascent, a climb of the world’s highest volcano—

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Interview: Adrian Ballinger Talks Rapid Ascent

As soon as Adrian returned from his successful #K2no02 mission, we caught up with him for an interview. We asked him all about pre-acclimatizing with Hypoxico and how the Rapid Ascent program plays into his climbing career.


Q: How does pre-acclimatization with Hypoxico work?

Adrian: “The Hypoxico system allows us to pre-acclimatize at home which is an essential part of our Rapid Ascent and Lightning Ascent systems for climbing big mountains faster than we used to be able to.

Essentially you’re in a tent and the system takes oxygen out of the air and replaces…

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