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Stories: Rapid Ascent

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.

California climbers train for Mt. Everest from the comfort of their own beds

Ballinger is also pioneering a technique he calls “rapid ascent,” which cuts the duration of the expedition roughly in half: from about two months to about one. That suits his clients, who usually have more spare money than time. And it buys Ballinger more time to spend at home with his wife and newborn son.
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A view of the summit of Aconcagua, the tallest peak in South America.

Climbing Aconcagua: Changes Adrian Ballinger Has Seen Over the Years

Alpenglow owner and founder Adrian Ballinger started guiding and climbing Aconcagua in the late 1990s, around the same time that high-altitude mountaineering saw a massive surge in popularity around the world. However, regulations, ethics, and best practices in the mountaineering world failed to keep pace with the growth of the sport.
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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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Clients climbing up the ridge to Camp 3 on a guided Ama Dablam Expedition

Climbing Ama Dablam: Alpenglow’s Old Reliable

As one of the most distinct and recognizable peaks of the Khumbu region, Ama Dablam has time and again proved to be our favorite and most consistent climb in Nepal. At Alpenglow Expeditions, our Ama Dablam Rapid Ascent expedition is where every piece of our mission and vision comes together: consistency, efficiency, and unparalleled adventure. 
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Prayer flags on a Cho Oyu Expedition with tents in the background during a guided expedition with Alpenglow Expeditions.

Setting the Stage for Everest: Cho Oyu, 1952

In the storied world of Himalayan mountaineering, the 1952 British Expedition on Cho Oyu stands as a testament to the grit, determination, and pioneering spirit of the climbers of that era. Led by renowned mountaineer Eric Shipton, the expedition aimed to reach the summit of Cho Oyu, the sixth-highest peak in the world, located on the Nepal-Tibet border.
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Route Overview: Climbing Peak Lenin

Peak Lenin, standing at 23,406’/7,134m, offers climbers the chance to test their skills on a truly big mountain landscape in a unique and remote range of the world. Along the climbing route, strategically positioned camps offer essential rest and acclimatization points for those venturing to the summit.
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Tents at Camp 1 on Everest's North Side during an expedition with Alpenglow Expeditions.

Everest North Side: A Climbers’ Guide

After four years of COVID closures, the north side of Everest is finally open this season to foreign expeditions. Among the limited number of teams granted a climbing permit is Alpenglow Expeditions, led by American climber and skier Adrian Ballinger, who couldn’t be happier to be back on what he considers the safest side of Everest by far.
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China reopens Mount Everest access to foreigners

China reopens Mount Everest access to foreigners

For the first time since the pandemic, China is allowing foreign climbers to access Mount Everest via Tibet. Adrian Ballinger, who has summited Everest eight times, is one of the Western guides who prefers the Tibet route to the top of the world’s tallest mountain (from the north), as opposed to the more well-known Nepal route (from the south). This year, he will lead a group of climbers through his company, Alpenglow Expeditions.
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