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Safety and Preparedness is #1 in the Mountains

Safety and Health

Safety is Alpenglow’s #1 priority on expeditions, after all, you must be healthy to successfully climb mountains. Health and preparedness to handle any illness, injury, or issue maximizes safety during our expeditions and comes into play both before, during, and after trips.

In the months before our expeditions, Alpenglow carefully works with our climbers to discuss any concerns or conditions they have. During our trips, preparedness is key and we are proactive versus reactive when it comes to safety. Alpenglow has a pristine safety record and a number of factors keep us going strong,

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More Than Beautiful: Ama Dablam

In two days, Alpenglow leaves for Nepal to begin our expedition on Ama Dablam. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful peaks in the Himalaya, Ama Dablam stands alone in the Solu Khumbu (Everest) valley, towering over the Sherpa villages of Thyangboche and Pangboche. “It is my favorite single mountain that I guide every year” expressed Alpenglow founder Adrian Ballinger, during a recent chat about the beauty, skill, and calculated risk Ama Dablam presents to its climbers.

Frequently compared to the Matterhorn, Ama Dablam is often hailed as one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.…

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Psicobloc, Sherpa, and the North Side of Everest

 

On Friday night, Alpenglow Expeditions helped to host a benefit for the Khumbu Climbing Center at the Psicobloc climbing competition held in Park City, Utah. The Psicobloc Masters Series attracts the strongest climbers in the world and this year’s competition raised money for the Khumbu Climbing Center. The “KCC” trains Sherpa and high altitude workers in Nepal, readying them for the serious work of climbing the world’s tallest peaks. The KCC is an essential organization to the climbing community, and is supported by financial donation and the donated time of athletes, guides, and other mountain professionals that teach its…

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How Does Altitude Affect Us in the Big Mountains?

 

This past spring, I went backcountry skiing in the Eastern Sierra. After camping at 7,000 feet in Travertine Hot Springs, we began our hike at 10,000 feet in Virginia lakes with the goal of summiting and skiing Black Mountain (11,797 feet / 3,596 meters). As a Tahoe resident, I live and work daily at 6,200 feet above sea level so the thought of altitude did not cross my mind when I began hiking up Black Mountain that day…and kept hiking…and stopped to catch my breath…and got bit woozy and had to sit down. Things got slower. The beautiful view…

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Why I Cancelled Alpenglow’s 2014 Everest Expedition

View the published version of this blog post in Outside Magazine

It’s been three weeks since the tragedy of April 18, when 16 Sherpa were killed while working on Everest. Many stories have been written, a documentary has been produced, rumors from the season continue to fly, and I have spent a large part of every day discussing, brainstorming, and processing the accident that took the lives of climbers we knew and cared for.

The awful side of this accident is clear and must not be forgotten—16 climbers lost their lives, and their families are without their husbands/fathers/primary…

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Everest Expedition Cancelled

Apologies for the silence over the last few days. We have been working hard to come to terms with the events of the past week here in the Khumbu; sad and complex events which have led us to make the decision to cancel our Everest Expedition this spring. 

Adrian has been in base camp for 24 hours and after meeting with our Sherpa and getting a grasp on the situation in situ, he was able to make the decision with little room for doubt. 

Our Sherpa are grieving the loss of their friends. They are a tight-knit community with family…

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Words on 2014 Everest Tragedy

In the aftermath of the April 18, 2014 avalanche on Everest, thoughts of the families of the lost and injured Sherpa will strongly stay in our hearts.

The Alpenglow 2014 team left home for Nepal this weekend, with heavy hearts, but also with a strong resolve to help in any way we can. While our Sherpa team is safe and accounted for, there are other families who are suffering – not only the tragic loss of family members – but the fear of not being able to support themselves after the loss of their loved one.

We believe the Sherpa…

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Nepal *Raises* Permit Fees to Climb Mt. Everest

Lots of confusion seems to have occurred from Nepal’s announcement that fees to climb Everest are changing. In fact, many maninstream news outlets have gotten in on the story, and in this case, gotten it wrong. With headlines like “Nepal Slashes Mountaineering Fees for Everest” (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/nepal-slashes-mountaineering-fees-everest-22511494), social media is rampant today with people commenting on how this will lead to bigger crowds and countless problems on the mountain this spring.

While the mountain certainly has many issues, and in my opinion is in desperate need of oversight, either by climbers, ethical operators, an operator’s association, or the Nepali and Chines…

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Avalanche Education and the Big Mountains

On Cho Oyu last month I helped with the rescue of two badly injured Sherpa caught in an avalanche fixing rope between Camps 1 and  2. Last week three Sherpa were killed by an avalanche while rope-fixing on the relatively easy 7000-meter peak, Himlung, in Nepal. And this past summer I assisted in the body recovery of two Peruvian high altitude workers killed in an avalanche on Alpamayo while rope-fixing.

These are the latest in a series of accidents and near misses involving high altitude workers while rope-fixing on heavily guided peaks. Of course there has always been a history of accidents,…

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