What’s in Adrian’s Closet?


“Frostbite is Failure” Interview with Adrian Ballinger: A run-through of every climbing shoe and mountain boot in his arsenal.

Mountain guides may be the most shoe-obsessed people on the planet. From rock shoes to 8,000m boots, every shoe has an ultra-specific purpose. In this interview, Adrian walks us through his favorite La Sportiva footwear for each climbing discipline. Have you ever wanted to take a peek inside Adrian’s closet? This is your chance!

Tahoe Via Ferrata TX4 Approach Shoe

“There are two reasons I really like this shoe for the 

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Everest Lightning Ascent in 14 Days

The Everest Lightning Ascent: Two Weeks to the Top and Back with Alpenglow Expeditions – words by Roxanne Vogel

Moving up from base camp on the north side of Mt Everest

Testing Rapid Ascent

When I nervously called Adrian Ballinger in the autumn of 2017, I had no idea I’d eventually be working with his company, Alpenglow Expeditions, on the first ever 14-day summit of Mount Everest. Long before the whirlwind trip that occurred in May of this year, I had reached out to him about a different rapid ascent, a climb of the world’s highest volcano—

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What’s Great About the “End of Summer” in Tahoe?

It’s that peculiar time in Tahoe past Labor Day when everyone seems to be worried about the “end of summer.” There’s a frenzy to squeeze in one more beach day at Donner Lake or one more mountain bike ride on the Flume Trail. But here at Alpenglow, we’re kind of wondering what everyone is getting so worked up about. After all, autumn is tied with spring and summer as our second favorite season (of course, winter is our first love!) September and October are prime for a good time: the Tahoe crowds dwindle, temps are pleasant, and…

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How do Tahoe Via Ferrata Guides Manage Inherent Risk?

Tahoe Via Ferrata Guide Will Sperry

“Is this safe?”

As guides, we are often asked the question, “Is this safe?” And, if we were to give you the short answer, it would be “NOPE!” because pretty much everything fun is at least a little dangerous.

Entering into any mountainous environment involves inherent risk. Acknowledging that fact, here’s what we do at the Tahoe Via Ferrata to manage danger as effectively as possible. In the following interview with guide Will Sperry, we list out some of the hazards that you may

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We are Proud to be an Accredited American Mountain Guides Business

Alpenglow Expeditions is an accredited American Mountain Guides business. In the following interview, Alpenglow’s Lead Guide and Operations Director Logan Talbott breaks down what that means and why it’s important.


Logan, to start us off, can you give us an overview of what the AMGA is and what the organization does?

“The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(3) educational non‐profit that is dedicated to supporting the American mountain guiding and climbing instructor community. The AMGA is the only training and certification organization in the United States for all disciplines of mountain guiding (rock climbing, alpine climbing and…

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Interview: Adrian Ballinger Talks Rapid Ascent

As soon as Adrian returned from his successful #K2no02 mission, we caught up with him for an interview. We asked him all about pre-acclimatizing with Hypoxico and how the Rapid Ascent program plays into his climbing career.


Q: How does pre-acclimatization with Hypoxico work?

Adrian: “The Hypoxico system allows us to pre-acclimatize at home which is an essential part of our Rapid Ascent and Lightning Ascent systems for climbing big mountains faster than we used to be able to.

Essentially you’re in a tent and the system takes oxygen out of the air and replaces…

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Our Favorite Alpine Climbs in the High Sierra

The High Sierra, also called the “East Side,” is a gem of California. A jagged mountainous wonderland, it’s a favorite playground for alpinists, rock climbers, backcountry skiers, and hot spring enthusiasts.

Right now, it’s prime season for alpine climbing in the High Sierra! Alpenglow guide Tim Mincey has spent A TON of time in the region this spring and summer. Between guiding, exploring, and playing in these mountains, Tim has come to know the region intimately. We caught up with him for a quick interview and asked him what his favorite alpine climbs of the High Sierra are.…

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Kilimanjaro Summit Success

Successful Summit for Kilimanjaro Team

Our Kilimanjaro team had a successful summit of Kilimanjaro on Saturday, July 13. But before we get to summit day, let’s pick up where we left off.


Kibo Hut – 15,500’/4724m

Hiking towards Kibo Hut on Kilimanjaro

Leaving Mawenzi Tarn camp at 13,000’/3962m the team walked across the saddle towards the alpine desert eco zone. Guide Will Sperry reported that walking across the saddle and moving from one eco zone to another was a breathtaking moment for the team. At the Kibo Hut, the team felt good after a few folks recovered…

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Climb Kilimanjaro with Guide Will Sperry

Alpenglow is back climbing in Africa once again and we’re headed up Kilimajaro! Tahoe guide Will Sperry is co-guiding alongside our Kilimanjaro mountain guides. Here’s everything that has happened in Tanzania so far during our July 2019 Expedition.

Kilimanjaro Summit

Friday, July 5: Will Sperry: “Made it to Tanzania… with both bags! Picked up at the airport by Florent. Headed to the Arusha Villa”

The hike near Arusha National Park


Hiking with Leonard, a local naturalist, near Arusha National Park

Sunday, July 7:

“Went for a great hike with Leonard, a local naturalist today.…

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Cho Oyu 2019

Alpenglow’s next Himalayan expedition will take us to the 6th highest peak in the world, Cho Oyu. We’ve put together a full team this upcoming season, all of them ready to take on the 26,906’/8188m mountain in our Rapid Ascent style. The 2019 team will be led by Topo Mena, with Chad Peele as the second guide. Topo is currently on K2 with Adrian and Carla in a support role. Chad spends his summers in Colorado leading clients in the San Juan mountains.

Sun kisses Cho Oyu

Starting July 28, the team will begin pre-acclimatizing with…

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Lovers Leap with Jarad Stiles

Jarad Stiles is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. He has been guiding rock climbing in Tahoe and Joshua Tree for the past decade.

It’s prime climbing season in Tahoe so we asked AMGA Certified Rock Guide Jarad Stiles all about the climbing at Lovers Leap. Jarad has been guiding rock climbing in Tahoe and Joshua Tree for the past decade. He frequents Yosemite and has made multiple accents of El Cap, Half Dome, The Leaning Tower, and Washington Column (in a day). When it comes to climbing, Jarad is an all-around pro in the mountains and the perfect person…

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Guide Interview: Ray Hughes on Alpamayo

We caught up with IFMGA guide/professional nomad Ray Hughes right before he heads out to climb Alpamayo! Today, Ray leaves our world headquarters in Squaw Valley and departs for Lima, Peru. He will be guiding 1:1 on a private expedition. We asked him a couple questions about the upcoming trip, check it out:

Q: Hey Ray, can you give us a quick rundown of the climb? What is your route? 

Ray: It’s a 2-day trek up the Santa Cruz Valley from Cashapampa to our base camp at 14,000ft. We then shuttle a load to

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