Skiing The Ring of Fire with Emily Harrington

Cotopaxi’s summit with the steaming caldera below.

We caught up with Emily Harrington for a quick chat in Quito right before she headed into the mountains for a Ring of Fire Ski Expedition. Both she and Adrian are in Ecuador this season to complete two different objectives. Adrain will be guiding a Cotopaxi Rapid Ascent team while Emily will be skiing and climbing Cotopaxi with Michelle Parker and crew. We’re wishing the team good climbing conditions this season. They have encountered some rough storms during previous attempts!


Q: First off, can you tell us about your objective

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AIARE Avalanche Education with Ben Weaver

Ski season is nearly upon us so it’s time to start thinking about dialing in your backcountry skills again. We caught up with AIARE instructor Ben Weaver and asked him a couple of questions about this season’s avalanche training program at Alpenglow Expeditions.

Can you start by introducing yourself? What’s your background? What drew you to teaching AIARE courses?

I am ski guide and avalanche course instructor at Alpenglow Expeditions.  I am in my third season at Alpenglow and loving it.  I was a professional ski patroller at Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon for 5 years. 

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Ama Dablam & Everest Base Camp Trek Update

Lunch spot across River in Phakding

We’re back to the Himalaya this week with two separate teams accomplishing different objectives in the Khumbu Valley. Our guides are joined by a team of trekkers heading to Everest Base Camp and another team setting their sights on Ama Dablam.

Touch down in Lukla with fabulous weather!

Team moving around a Moni Stone

Everest Base Camp Trek
This isn’t just any EBC trek. The team connects with our Ama climbing team in Kathmandu and tags along with the working climbing team until the…

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The Inside Scoop on Via Ferrata with Braden Mayfield

Photo: Philip Luedtke

Opening week of Via Ferrata was a total whirlwind and energy is running high at our home base in Squaw Valley. We had a big turnout of locals and visitors alike, with everyone from young kids to grandparents out scrambling on the rocks. We caught up with guide Braden Mayfield in between guiding sessions and asked him a couple of questions about his experience so far.

First off, can you give us a brief rundown of what a via ferrata is?  

A via ferrata is a mountain climbing route that has been modified with…

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IFMGA Certification with Ray Hughes

We had a chance to go climbing with guide Ray Hughes in Red Rocks this week. Ray is preparing for his final AMGA rock guide exam and trying not to get burnt to a crisp in the desert heat. 

If you haven’t had a chance to see Red Rocks for yourself, let us tell you, the climbing is SWEET! The red sandstone cliffs offer plenty of moderate multipitch routes and some tough sport climbing as well.

 Now, onto the interview. 

Q: Ray, can you give us a rundown of what you’re up to? Can…

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Skiing Pow with Dave Nettle

An interview with Dave Nettle: Where to ski in Tahoe

We caught up with legendary ski/rock guide Dave Nettle in between a climbing trip in the Bugaboos and hosting a gondola evacuation training at the Oakland Zoo.


Q: Hey Dave, what’s one of your favorite places in Lake Tahoe to ski guide?

Dave: For me the Silver Peak – Pole Creek area is definitely a personal favorite.

Q: What’s the terrain like?

Dave: The terrain has many exposures, slope angles and forested or open bowl choices to pick from… I can

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The Road to Cho Base Camp

Some creative fun with “CHO OYU” photos

The Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent Team has arrived in Base Camp!

After enjoying a traditional Tibetan lunch and some hot tea, the team headed out for an acclimatization hike up to 5,350m/17,552’. Guide @estebantopomena reports that everyone is feeling good and fired up to keep climbing. Tomorrow the team will organize gear and then head out for another acclimatization hike in the afternoon. The team has been traveling for the past 3 days. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened so far:

Traveling to

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Cho Oyu: An Interview with Topo Mena

Cho Oyu, the 6th tallest mountain in the world at 26,906′ /8201m

Here we come Himalaya!

Things are heating up at Alpenglow Expeditions as we make our final preparations for our Cho Oyu Rapid Ascent Expedition, which begins next week. Just hours before guide Topo Mena boarded his flight for Tibet, we had a chance to catch up with him at our office in Squaw Valley, California. We got the full scoop on the upcoming expedition, check it out below.

First, a quick bio on Topo: …

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Three Summits in Bolivia


We love starting off a post with “CUMBRE!!!” The team has achieved the third successful summit of their trip!

Two days ago the team moved from base camp at elevation 4,230m up to the “Condor’s Nest” (high camp) at 5,550m. Yesterday morning, long before sunrise, the team departed high camp for their big push to the summit. They traveled across broad snow slopes, navigated crevasse fields, and traversed across the final, classic, knife-edged summit ridge to stand at 6,438m- the highest mountain in the…

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Day 2 in the Cordillera Huayhuash with Eddie Bauer

Adrian Ballinger sent in this report from day 2 in the Cordillera Huayhuash with the Eddie Bauer team.

“Another 15 miles plus our first 16,000 foot pass. Amazing views of the east faces of Yerupaja, Siula Grande, Jarishanka and Trapecio. Now we’ve circled around from the east side of the range to the south, and we are camped off the normal route at 15,300 feet right below the amazing south face of Trapecio.”

Here’s a photo essay from day 2. All photos submitted by Adrian Ballinger:

Reflection in Lake Carhuacocha

Sunrise over Carhuacocha Lake …

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Eddie Bauer in the Cordillera Huayhuash

Team of Eddie Bauer athletes is trekking in the Huayhuash scouting some ski lines…

When Eddie Bauer calls and says “hey Adrian, let’s take a team on a beautiful trek… no skiing, no climbing, just a beautiful trek” you say yes. We’ve got a team of 3 athletes (Adrian Ballinger, Drew Tabke and Lysey Dyer) out on the circuit hiking their brains out at high altitude taking in the sights and sounds of this beautiful part of the world.

Yesterday they were on trail for 7 hours and 45 minutes, all above 13,000′ / 3962m including 2 passes over 15,000′…

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Update from Bolivia

Pico Austria & Glacier School

With the team so deep in the mountains, we get satellite text updates every day. Unfortunately for us here at home we don’t get to see many pictures yet. Those will come once they return from the mountains and we’ll be sure to post them to our blog and social channels.

On Friday, August 3 the team climbed Pico Austria. Standing at 17,438′ / 5315m this “little” peak is nothing to shake a stick at. It’s higher than any peaks here in the contiguous U.S. by nearly 3,000′ / 1000m! Our team however uses it…

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