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Our Favorite Moments from the ’22 Tahoe Via Season

Written by Robert Kyte

In just five seasons, the Tahoe Via Ferrata has become a staple on the list of must-do summer activities in the Lake Tahoe area. We’re proud to share that we’ve had another momentous season of climbing on the beloved Tram Face here at Palisades Tahoe! (And it’s not over yet — the Via season will extend into the fall). Nonetheless, we’re here to revel in the stoke and share some of our favorite moments from the Summer ‘22 season on the Tahoe Via Ferrata:


An Array of Star Clients

This year, we had the pleasure to guide the one and only Rick Sylvester, a Tahoe local known for his ski-BASE jump as a stuntman for the 1976 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. In the film’s opening scene, Sylvester doubled as 007,donning skis and a Union Jack parachute while launching off the 7,000-ft. face of Mt. Asgard near the Arctic Circle. Sylvester was accompanied on the Via by his son and his friend,  Alpenglow veteran guide and local legend Glen Poulsen.

In August, Alpenglow founder and CEO Adrian Ballinger guided Deirdre Wolownick– educator, musician, marathoner, and mother to climber and Free Solo star Alex Honnold – not to mention the oldest woman to scale El Capitan at 66. Moreover, Wolownick is currently on the precipice of releasing a documentary about her incredible life and accomplishments, titled Climbing Into Life. Watch the trailer here!

Additionally, this June, a new record was set for the oldest person to ever climb the Tahoe Via! James Sherburn, at 87 years old, absolutely crushed it up there alongside his family, celebrating his birthday with a bang.


Inaugural Alpenglow Kids Rock Climbing Camp

This summer, Alpenglow piloted a new Kids Rock Climbing Camp aimed at providing an opportunity for kids to learn how to recreate safely, garner an appreciation for the outdoors, and even step outside of their comfort zone under the supervision of Alpenglow’s all-star guides.

The kids spent 5 days outdoors, between laps on the Tahoe Via, learning about local flora and fauna, practicing essential climbing knots, and honing their rock climbing skills on Donner Summit. After a successful first summer, Alpenglow is ecstatic to continue developing our Kids Camp programs for next season and inspiring the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts in Lake Tahoe.


Broken Arrow Skyrace: Iron Face Challenge

For the first time ever, the famed Broken Arrow Skyrace included a portion on the Tahoe Via Ferrata, requiring seasoned trail runners to don helmets and harness for a section of the six-mile Iron Face Challenge. Alpenglow’s founder Adrian Ballinger took third place in this unique new event, completing the six miles and 2,000 ft. of elevation gain in just 1 hour and 11 minutes.


Via Guides Go International

We were ecstatic to send guides Mike Pond, Sam Kieckhefer, Tim Mincey and Isaac Laredo abroad on three distinct and exciting international expeditions this season! All four started as local California and Tahoe Via Ferrata guides for us here at Alpenglow, and still regularly guide the Tahoe Via now.

– Guides Mike Pond and Isaac Laredo spent time in the Bolivian Andes guiding three unique and challenging technical peaks: Pequeño Alpamayo, Huayna Potosí, and Illimani. We are so proud of their growth and dedication in pursuit of their high-mountain aspirations.

– Tim Mincey headed down to Ecuador this June to guide our Ecuador Climbing School, where climbers learn the essential skills for high altitude mountaineering while attempting three intermediate peaks – Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo.

– Sam Kieckhefer recently made his way to the Southern Hemisphere to guide our Chile Backcountry Ski Adventure. Touring on Andean volcanoes is the perfect next step for backcountry skiers and snowboarders looking to up the adventure level.


Come Climb the Via!

For information on our 2, 3, and 4 Hour Tahoe Via Tours, or any of our other expeditions, check out our website. For any questions call our office at 877-873-5376 or send us an email We hope to climb with you soon!