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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?

 

Whether it’s your first year in the skin track or your fifth, now is the time to plan to get backcountry educated! We get a lot of questions from backcountry travelers wondering what the next step is, so we created this basic road map. From whichever stage you are starting from, use this reference to figure out how to progress your personal backcountry education.

 

Advanced Resort Skiers/Beginner Backcountry Skiers & Riders

 

Step Zero: Advanced Ski/Riding Skills

Be able to ski black diamond runs and…

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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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Top 10 Preseason Backcountry Reminders

Bring it on Old Man Winter!

If you’ve been watching the weather in Tahoe, you probably know that we have yet to receive our first significant snowfall of the 2019-20 winter. While we’re jealous of folks in Montana, Utah, Wyoming and others who have already made their first turns of the season, we also know that winter will come. For now, we’re more than satisfied with pre-season AIARE 1 pricing (until it snows!) and preparing our legs for ski season by riding Tahoe’s world-class mountain bike trails or heading to…

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Top 5 Things Alpenglow Expeditions Does Differently on Mt Everest

Approaching the summit from the northside of Everest

We’ve always done things a bit differently than most other guide services, and it all starts with Adrian Ballinger’s visionary Rapid Ascent™ approach to pre-acclimatizing for mountains across the world. Read on to see how our Mount Everest Rapid Ascent Expedition is different than other international mountain guide services.

 

1 . Rapid Ascent™ Approach

While nearly all other mountain guide services continue to approach mountains the same way as has been done for decades, Adrian Ballinger knew there was another way. His main goal was to reduce the…

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Summit Success for the Ama Dablam Rapid Ascent™ Team!

 

Summit: Monday, November 4

At 8am local time on Monday, November 4, guide Topo Mena called us via satellite phone from the summit of Ama Dablam to announce “CUMBRE!!” Temps were brutally cold but the team had good stable climbing conditions and outstanding clear views from the summit at 22,349’ (6,812m).

 

Pre-Summit: A tough battle up to C1 and C2.5

On Sunday our team reached Camp 1 then headed up to camp 2.5 high up on the Mushroom Ridge. Everyone climbed hard, but illness prevented some of our…

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Alpenglow Backcountry Gear Guide

 

Backcountry skiing and riding may be all about going light, but that doesn’t mean it’s “gear-lite.” You’ll need a lot of specialized equipment to have a safe and successful day in the mountains. Here at Alpenglow, we field a ton of questions from people purchasing new backcountry gear and from people buying their first backcountry setup. If you’re in the market for something, our team has compiled a list of some of our favorites for men, women, splitboarders, and skiers. Here are the basics that you’ll need for a day out-of-bounds.

 

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