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Stories: International

Mountain adventures create the best stories, and we want to share some of ours with you. Dive into Alpenglow Stories to stay up to date on expeditions in the field, read blogs, and get tips and tricks from guides.

two backcountry skiers in Japan tour uphill on a vast white slope with the mountains spread behind them

From Tahoe to Hokkaido: Why Japan is the Next Step for Local Backcountry Skiers

For skiers seasoned on the slopes of Lake Tahoe and beyond in the United States, Japan presents an alluring challenge and a fresh powder paradise, making it an ideal destination for those looking to elevate their skiing from local to international levels. Here’s why American backcountry skiers should consider Japan for their next big adventure:
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A snowy forest in the foreground with a snowy mountain in the background during a guided Japan ski trip with Alpenglow Expeditions.

Why is the Skiing in Japan So Good?

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is celebrated for offering some of the best skiing conditions in the world. The secret lies primarily in its snow quality and snowpack, which are ideal for both avid skiers and those new to the sport. For over 100 years, skiing has been quietly growing in Japan until becoming what it is today: a central hub for powderhounds and backcountry athletes.
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a black and white photo of four Japanese women in the early days of skiing in Japan

A Brief History of Skiing in Japan

Hokkaido’s skiing history is deeply intertwined with the Ainu culture and the subsequent influence of foreign techniques from Europe and Russia. This narrative, however, stretches beyond simple adaptation, evolving into a tale of technological advancements and cultural exchange.
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Two skiers take a selfie next to their skin track in a field of white snow in Japan beneath a big blue sky during a guided Japan ski trip with Alpenglow Expeditions.

New Expedition: Japan Backcountry Ski Adventure

Sending it on a skiing adventure in Japan is a dream come true for any backcountry skiing enthusiast. Our eight-day expedition in Hokkaido promises not just exceptional skiing but also a deep dive into the vibrant local culture and stunning landscapes.
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Two climbers in front of yellow living tents look up at the North Side of Mt. Everest beyond a shadowy hill.

Mt. Everest North Side 2024 Update: The Team Has Arrived in Advanced Base Camp

As our 2024 Mount Everest North Side Rapid Ascent Expedition begins, we’ll be posting a series of blogs throughout the climb with updates straight from the mountainside. 
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The sun shining on the North Face of Mt. Everest.

Everest Season Kicks Off with New Rules, Big Crowds, and Poop Bags

The number of climbing permits issued by Nepal is down from 2023 as some expeditions have headed to China. But there’s bound to be drama on the world’s highest peak as climbers adjust to new regulations governing pollution and safety.
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A climber stands on a mountain path with Cho Oyu in the background.

Cho Oyu or Manaslu For Your First 8000er?: Why Cho Oyu is the Safer Bet

When considering safety margins on the largest high-altitude climbs in the world, many climbers look towards Cho Oyu and Manaslu as two relatively “safe” 8000-meter peaks. However, Alpenglow Expeditions chooses only to guide Cho Oyu, because we view it as an objectively much safer option compared to Manaslu. Here’s why:
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Ama Dablam on a partly cloudy day.

Is Ama Dablam Your Next Step?

In the heart of the Everest region of Nepal is Ama Dablam, one of the Khumbu’s most iconic peaks. Its name translates to “Mother’s Necklace,” named after the large hanging serac adjacent to the Southwest Ridge. But beyond its aesthetic allure, to climb Ama Dablam is a challenging undertaking. For those who are looking for a more technical challenge and an all-encompassing Himalayan experience, it presents an enticing question: Is Ama Dablam the next step for you?
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Two climbers sit in the snow beneath the summit of Cho Oyu.

How Technical is Cho Oyu?

Climbing Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world at 26,906′/8,201m, presents a unique blend of adventure and technical skill, making it a perfect first 8000m peak experience. Aspiring mountaineers often wonder about the difficulty level and technical requirements of Cho Oyu. Let’s delve into the intricacies of tackling Cho Oyu’s formidable terrain.
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A climber stands with his back facing to the camera with Cho Oyu, the sixth tallest mountain in the world, in the background.

The Practical Path: Climb Cho Oyu Before Everest

For ambitious mountaineers eyeing the world’s tallest peaks, the decision to tackle Everest is a monumental one. At Alpenglow Expeditions, we require that our Everest team members have prior experience on at least one 8,000-meter peak before joining an Everest expedition, and we almost always recommend Cho Oyu as a stepping stone. Here’s why climbing Cho Oyu first makes practical sense.
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