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Road to Everest: Intermediate Peaks

Intermediate peaks are a critical component on the Road to Everest. Once a climber has completed the preceding components of taking intro courses and climbing intro peaks, they are ready to consider mountains in the 6000m plus range with increased technical difficulty. The increased difficulty starts with longer approaches, more complex routes, and increased altitude challenges. Intermediate peaks will test climbers both in camp craft and glacier travel, but also in the ability for their body to safely acclimatize.

 

Tests of Planning, Endurance, and Motivation

Walking along a ridge on Huayna Potosi

As a general rule…

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Backcountry Skiing in Chile with Sydney Duncan

 

Sydney Duncan spends her winters in Tahoe as a ski guide, AIARE Avalanche Course instructor, and Squaw Valley ski patroller. In summer, she migrates north, alpine guiding on Shasta, Rainer, and Baker. This September, she’s gearing up to co-guide a backcountry ski trip to Chile, an adventurous backcountry ski destination that is off the beaten path.

Our newest ski expedition to the volcanic peaks of southern Chile is a great way for intermediate/advanced backcountry skiers to expand on the backcountry skills and experiences they’ve built in their home mountains. In the following interview, Syd gives us the…

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Let the Countdown to Everest Season Begin!

 

It’s time to talk about Everest

On paper, an expedition to the north side of Everest comprises of just 35 days on the Alpenglow Expeditions climbing calendar. That said, the reality for our team is that it’s actually a year-round endeavor. Preparations begin as soon as the last tent is removed from the mountain in the early summer. It takes half a year of logistics planning before boots can even set foot on the flanks of the mountain. Plus, every month of the year we’re training and climbing with clients on peaks across the world while they…

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How to pick Crampons?

 

While the use for crampons is all the same, not all crampons are created equally.

Some are made from aluminum, others from steel. Some have 8 points, others 14. In general, crampon selection can be best determined based on the terrain that you’re climbing. What we choose for walking on snow while ski mountaineering will be much different than when we head out to climb vertical waterfall ice. Below are some of our favorite activities, and the crampons we choose for each. Most crampons come with different attachment styles, which are dictated by the boots they’ll adhere…

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Aconcagua 2020 – Polish Direct Route Update

In our last post, we talked about the team of Justin and Topo on their Aconcagua Rapid Ascent™, taking on the Polish Direct Route. Here’s an update on their progress.

 

Saturday, February 1

The guys had a final good night of rest in base camp, and in the morning they finalized all packing and sent a few loads of camp gear up the mountains with porters.  The first reports of challenging weather were beginning to trickle in and Topo was seeing a forecast that included a big wind event on the horizon. The plan at this point…

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Aconcagua 2020 – Climbing the Polish Glacier Direct Route

Normally, Alpenglow Expeditions Rapid Ascent™ teams climb the “360 route” on Aconcagua. The 360 route begins in Plaza de Argentina and ascends a less traveled route up the mountain, allowing our teams to move quickly by avoiding the crowds of the more popular Plaza de Mulas side of the peak. After attaining the summit, these teams descend the opposite side of the mountain ending their climb in Plaza de Mulas.

 

Climbing the Polish Glacier Direct Route on Aconcagua

In January of 2020 though, we have a single climber in a 1:1 guide ratio led by Esteban “Topo”…

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Backcountry Education: What’s the next step?

 

Advanced Resort Skiers/Beginner Backcountry Skiers & Riders

 

Step Zero: Advanced Ski/Riding Skills

Be able to ski black diamond runs and off-piste at the ski resort. You don’t have to jump off cliffs or anything, but you do need to be able to maneuver around complex unmarked obstacles in the backcountry. Don’t start thinking about heading into the backcountry until you are an advanced skier or rider.

 

Step 1: Try Backcountry Skiing or Riding for the First Time

– Intro to

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Ojos del Salado 2020 – Expedition Recap

Topo Mena led a team of Rapid Ascent™ climbers on Ojos del Salado this season. Below is a full expedition recap.

 

January 17 – Team arrives in Santiago

Most of the team arrived on time and in good spirits on Friday, January 17. They spent the day having a hearty lunch in downtown before taking a cable car to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for some sightseeing. The final client arrived that evening and with that, the team was complete and ready to head to the mountains.
 …

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10 Next Steps after your AIARE 1 Avalanche Course

Words by Tim Mincey

So you just finished an AIARE 1 course. Congrats! Nice work taking a huge step in your avalanche education, and making yourself a much more valuable touring partner and member of the backcountry community. Maybe you’re feeling a little bit intimidated by the awesome power of avalanches, but hopefully, you’re mostly feeling empowered to step into the backcountry with the knowledge and tools to identify avalanche terrain and make good decisions with your partners, however conservative those decisions might be.

 …

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5 Reasons to Climb Aconcagua with Alpenglow Expeditions

You’ve gotten a taste of high altitude in Ecuador, Peru or Bolivia – and now you’re probably thinking about your next step in the high peaks of the world. Whether you’re on The Road to Everest or just looking to test yourself at higher altitudes, climbing Aconcagua is the perfect next step after you’ve conquered peaks in the 5000m – 6000m range.

A Rapid Ascent™ team leaving base camp on Aconcagua

 

1.     Your First 7000 Meter Peak

You have been to 6000 meters, and you felt great. Now you’re ready to test yourself at…

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Sam Kieckhefer’s First Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent™

On November 26 Alpenglow Operations Manager Sam Kieckhefer departed for Quito, Ecuador to join his first Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent™ Expedition. After becoming a member of the Alpenglow staff last spring, Sam has been working on international logistics for nearly a year. Cotopaxi would be Sam’s first opportunity to experience first-hand one of the expeditions that he has been a part of organizing. Furthermore, Sam is an aspiring ski guide, and Cotopaxi would be an elevation highpoint for him.

Sam’s expedition, led by Jaimie Avila, summited Cotopaxi on November 29th at 7am. After he returned from his trip…

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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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