Ojos del Salado Rapid Ascent™

9 Days in Chile / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person

$7995
  • Next Available: Jan 15, 2021 - Jan 23, 2021

About this trip

Climb the world's highest volcano in just 9 days! Enjoy intimate knowledge of the Andes Mountains, while being lead by Alpenglow mountain guide, Esteban "Topo" Mena, who gives climbers an interactive and authentic experience with Andean culture.

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate

  • Duration

    9 Days

This expedition is a combination of climbing one of the highest peaks in South America with Alpenglow’s Rapid Ascent™ program to create the ideal 9 day climbing trip. It has never before been possible to safely and comfortably climb to over 22,000 feet in less 2 weeks. This has meant that many busy climbers did not have the time to attempt a high altitude peak. We completely changed that by utilizing Hypoxico‘s altitude training tents at home for 4-weeks prior to the expedition, along with unparalleled logistics in Chile perfected over decades of leading expeditions to the greater ranges of the world. This pre-acclimatization program is the same one used by all of our Everest teams since 2012, successfully shortening their climb by 50%, and increasing our safety and success.

The “Eyes of Salt”

Ojos del Salado the highest active volcano in the world, and towers over the altiplano at a breathtaking 22,615 ft. (6,893m). It’s also the second highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, falling just short of nearby Aconcagua’s by just 200 ft. Ojos del Salado is situated on the border of Chile and Argentina and the name means “Eyes of Salt” and describes the round, salt lagoons that are found on the side of the volcano. These lagoons are home to flamingos who fish for algae and krill in the salt waters. One of them, Laguna Verde, which sits at 14,400 ft. (4,400m) above sea level, is actually a thermal spring fed by the volcanic activity in the area. The crater lake at the top of the Ojos del Salado mountain has an elevation of 20,960 feet (6,390m) making it  the highest lake in the world. At 22,615 ft. (6,893m), the volcano feels remote but remains easily accessible. Other peaks of similar size in Alaska and the Himalaya require weeks just to reach a basecamp but the Alpenglow climbers arrive safely and summit all in just 9 days.

The Expedition Begins at Home

The expedition to Ojos del Salado begins with an at-home routine of pre-acclimatizing for 28 days prior to day 1 of the expedition itinerary. By utilizing Hypoxico tents and following a carefully outlined schedule, you’ll be slowly increasing your oxygen efficiency at approximated altitudes up to 16,490’/5025m. Alpenglow Expeditions handles the shipping and receiving of the tent unit. All you have to do is set it up in your home and follow the prescribed schedule that we’ve created for you. For a bit of insight into how the tent works, check out this video about Rapid Ascent™ pre-acclimatization with the Hypoxico tent.

Let the Climbing Begin

Climbers meet in Chile’s capital of Santiago. After a night to settle in and meet the team, we move to a refuge high at Santa Rosa Lake. This camp provides stunning views of Ojos del Salado while we practice skills and further acclimatize. We spend the next few days moving up higher on the mountain while practicing mountaineering skills.

At this point, we are ready to climb. We wake around midnight and climb in small rope teams, each led by an Alpenglow guide. The terrain varies from hiking on trails, to small glaciers, to a final steep summit ridge. The views from the summit are stunning, encompassing many of the altiplano as well as the active crater of Ojos itself. After enjoying the summit, our descent and arrival back to Santiago is quick, in time for a celebration dinner with the team before catching flights home. If time allows, we will build in extra excursions such as – stopping by neighboring beaches to relax, while viewing penguins, and sand dunes.

Guide Ratio and Best in Class Logistics

Our Ojos del Salado Rapid Ascent™ climbs are guided by one or more of Alpenglow’s AMGA/IFMGA certified lead guides. This certification is the highest possible training available to guides, and only the most experienced and dedicated attain it. Our small team size and low ratio of climbers to guides (4:1) ensures that you stay healthy and strong, and are able to enjoy each component of your experience. This combined with our fantastic in-country logistics creates a one-of-a-kind experience for you.

Rapid Ascent™ Pre-Acclimatization

Alpenglow’s combination of pre-acclimatization at home, with the leading standards in certified guides, and in-country logistics has revolutionized Himalayan expeditions. The same system has reduced expedition length on peaks like the major peaks of the world by 30-50%. On this Chilean expedition, we utilize the same pre-acclimatization, quality of logistics, and guiding team. We work with you not only on the mountain, but also throughout your pre-acclimatization and preparation. Our goal is for each climber to be healthy, strong, and prepared for their summit climb of Ojos del Salado. Join Us.

Preparation

  • Altitude Experience

    It is required that climbers have prior experience at altitudes of 18,000' / 5500 meters. Alpenglow has many options to get you there. Ecuador, Peru, Kilimanjaro and Elbrus in Russia are great opportunities.

  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude climbing, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed on big peaks. We highly recommend a structured training regime with a gym or personal trainer to assist you in preparing for climbing at altitude. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

    • Day 1 — Fly to Santiago

      Leave your home for Chile, arriving into Santiago (1,870 feet/570 meters) in the evening. Our guides will pick you up and bring you to our hotel.

    • Day 2 — Transport to Santa Rosa Lake

      After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will fly to Copiapó. From Copiapó we will drive (5 hrs) to Santa Rosa Lake. From here we have the option for a scenice hike near the lake or a visit to the salt flats and flamingo sightseeing. Overnight in campsite (3600m) After touring for half the day, we spend the afternoon preparing for our climb of Ojos del Salado, practicing fixed line techniques, and organizing gear.

    • Day 3 — Overnight at Laguna Verde

      From our campsite in Santa Rosa, we will take a 2 hr Jeep ride to Laguna Verde (2hrs). Overnight in campsite (4200m) Climb Mulas Muertas in the afternoon (8 to 10hrs roundtrip to 5760m).

    • Day 4 — Rest day at Basecamp

      Today we drive (2 hrs) to basecamp and spend the at 5100m to continue practicing our skills and letting our bodies further acclimatize before our summit push the next day. We spend the afternoon resting, hydrating, eating, and getting to bed early for the summit of Ojos del Salado

    • Day 5 — Summit Day

      Summit day (6893m, 12hs roundtrip). After a midnight wake-up call, we begin our climb scrambling a rock ridge to the upper glacier. From there moderate slopes lead to another steep headwall. Often icy, this slope will require all of our climbing techniques to make it to the top. From the summit, we descend to Basecamp for a celebratory evening.

    • Day 6 — Extra Weather Day

      Extra weather day

    • Day 7 — Extra Weather Day

      Extra weather day

    • Day 8 — Transfer to Copiapó

      Transfer to Copiapó - Today we sleep in, eventually waking to the the smell of fresh coffee. When we are ready, we return to Copiapó for dinner, and we will fly back to Santiago taking our flights scheduled at 10pm. We spend the night in a hotel in Santiago.

    • Day 9 — Last Day

      Today, we pack up and say our farewells.

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Hat

        Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding. Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

        $25.00
      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Beanie

      • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

        A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy. Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

      • Balaclava

        We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours. Recommended: Patagonia Balaclava

      • Sunglasses

        Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies). Recommended: Revoi Guide II

      • Goggles

        These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired. Recommended: Smith I/O

      • Hands and Feet

      • Lightweight Gloves

        All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

      • Liner Gloves

        These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation. Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight WoolTech Gloves

      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

      • Big Mountain Mittens

        These mittens should be warm and worn over either a liner glove or windstopper glove. Down mittens are not required. You should choose a pair that allows you to still operate locking carabiners. Recommended: Black Diamond Absolute Mitt

      • Liner Socks (optional)

        A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON. Recommended: Ice Breaker Hike Liner Crew

      • Hiking Socks

        Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in- town. NO COTTON. Recommended: Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks

      • Warm Socks

        A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. NO COTTON. Recommended: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

      • Hiking Shoes

        These light to mid-weight shoes are for every day use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow. Recommended: La Sportiva Bushido Hiking Shoes

      • Mountaineering Boots (6,000m - 7,000m)

        Should be double boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8th of an inch when walking. Recommended: La Sportiva G2SM Boots

      • Down Booties (optional)

        You’ll love having a warm, comfortable shoe to slip into when tent-bound. Recommended: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties

      • Waterproof Gaiters

        GORE-TEX® or Schoeller® calf- high gaiters, insulated supergaiters recommended. *Gaiters not needed if your pants and/or boots have built-in gaiters. Recommended: Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters (required if your boots do not have integrated gaiters)

      • Upper Body Apparel

      • Lightweight Top

        Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution IR 1/4 Zip

      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

      • Soft Shell Jacket

        While this item isn’t required, we know that those who don’t have one wish they did! More breathable than Gore-tex, these jackets block wind and light precipitation. A windshirt is an option for this layer. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Sandstone

      • Down Parka (6-8k Peaks)

        A puffy jacket with a hood that will keep you warm during the coldest of conditions. The higher the quality down, the better (800-fill is best). However, be sure the jacket is still lightweight. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Peak XV Down Jacket

      • Lower Body Apparel

      • Quick Dry Shorts

        Throw these on under other layers for when the sun begins to beat, or you have a sudden urge to jump in a glacial lake. Lightweight, durable and comfortable. NO COTTON. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Short

      • Base Layer Bottoms

        Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry Merino Hybrid Baselayer Pants

      • Soft Shell Pants

        You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose Schoeller® or a soft-shell equivalent. Breathable + water-resistant. These pants should have an ankle zip so they will accommodate your mountain boot. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Alpine

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended: Black Diamond Sharp End Pants

      • Insulated Pants

        Full-length side zippers are recommended, for throwing on top of all of your layers. This layer is required. Recommended: Black Diamond Stance Belay Pants

      • Expedition Equipment

      • Duffle Bags

        2 Duffle Bags - At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big - between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don't recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It's common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel

      • Sleeping Bag (-20°)

        Rated to -20º F. Choose an 800+ Fill Premium Goose Down bag. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG. Granite Gear Compression Sack is desired. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Kara Koram with Compression Sack

      • Inflatable Sleeping Pad

        72 inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad. Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm

      • Day Pack

        Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters). Recommended: Eddie Bauer Bacon 2.0 Pack

      • Climbing Pack

        Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alpine Sisu 50L Pack or Black Diamond Mission 50 Pack

      • Hydration System (optional)

        Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube

      • Headlamp

        L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp. Recommended: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

      • Trekking Pole(s)

        Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended: Black Diamond Trail Explorer 3 Trekking Poles

      • 1L Nalgene (2)

        Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles. Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth

      • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

        Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene

      • Plastic Bowl, Mug and Spoon

        A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You'll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon. Recommended Kit: MSR 2 Person Mess Kit

      • Coffee

        While Alpenglow provides hot drink options every morning, it can be nice to have your own on hand any time you need a boost. With hot water always readily available, having instant coffee packets can give you the energy you need after a long day in the mountains! Recommended: Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee

      • Technical Equipment

      • General Mountaineering Axe

        One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. Recommended: Petzl Summit

      • Mountaineering Crampons

        Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail. Crampons are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

      • Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

      • Harness

        Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. Recommended: Petzl Altitude *Harnesses are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine. Recommended: Petzl Spirit

      • Accessory Cord

        25’ of 6mm nylon accessory cord. This will be used to make prusiks and cordalettes. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

      • Belay Device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes. Recommended: Petzl Reverso

      • Miscellaneous Items

      • Miscellaneous Items

        -Passport (with visa, if necessary

        -2 luggage locks (TSA compliant)

        -Non-cotton underwear

        -Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace

        -Heavy duty garbage bags (at least 4)

        -Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear

        -Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher)

        -Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher)

        -Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications)

        -Toiletries

        -3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels)

        -Hand Warmers

      • In Town Items

        - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000.

        - Ear Plugs

        - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment

        - Language Phrase Book

        - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries.

        - Compact Binoculars

        - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

      • Optional Items

        - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000.

        - Travel wallet pouch (waist or neck)

        - Leatherman/ Swiss Army Knife (Recommended: Leatherman Juice C2)

        - Zip lock bags (large size, for organizing small items and waterproofing)

        - Pee Funnel (optional for women) One popular model is the Freshette.

        - Ear Plugs

        - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment

        - Language Phrase Book

        - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries.

        - Compact Binoculars

        - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

      • Packing Note

        For your international flights we recommend that you pack all of your equipment in your two duffle bags. Do not simply pack your backpack (since its straps can be damaged by baggage handling machines). It is important to lock these bags for their trip. Depending on airport, you may be able to put your travel locks on after they have been searched. If not, lock the bag with zip ties. If the TSA cuts off the zip tie to search your bag, they will replace it. You will still need travel locks to lock your bags in the hotel and in Basecamp. Generally, you will take one duffle to Basecamp, and leave one in the hotel with your belongings for town.

    • Would you consider doing a custom expedition on Ojos?

      We always consider customs. Custom trips make up more than 50% of our groups.

    • What is the longest day I can expect?

      Your longest, most difficult day will be summit day on Ojos del Salado. We wake very early in the morning, using headlamps and warm layers. Climbing steadily through the night, we find ourselves high in the peak when the sun rises. After gaining the summit, we descend all the way back to base camp. You can expect between 8 and 10 hours of steady movement.

    • What is Rapid Ascent™?

      Rapid Ascent™ is a unique program developed by Alpenglow Expeditions that combines the relatively new application of hypoxic training with precise logistics and small team sizes to greatly increase the chances of success while reducing the overall time spent away from home on an international expedition. Click here to learn more.

    • What do I need to do to confirm my reservation?

      When an expedition is more than 90 days out, we require a 20% deposit to guarantee your reservation. Within 90 days we require full payment.

    • What happens if we don't use the extra weather days?

      If the team is able to summit early, the guides will be able to take you to local tourist destinations such as Bahia Inglesa – a cozy beach town where you can eat traditional Chilean food, watch penguins, and hike along sand dunes.

    • Is it safe?

      While no outdoor adventure can be completely free of risk without losing the essence of the activity, hiring a professional guide is a fantastic way to manage and mitigate this risk. Activities like skiing and climbing have what we call “inherent risk”, which can be defined as a risk that cannot be completely mitigated by a professional. That is part of playing in the mountains, we encourage you to reach out to the office if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

    • Do I really need to purchase trip and rescue insurance?

      We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance, and we require rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance .

Esteban “Topo” Mena

Topo’s formal name is Esteban Mena, but he goes by his nickname. Esteban Topo Mena is 28 years old and began his guiding career at 19, when he climbed Aconcagua’s South Face and became the youngest person to accomplish this difficult climb. Topo began guiding in Ecuador and Peru. In 2012, Topo summited Manaslu and in 2013, he summited Everest – both without using supplementary oxygen. Topo again summited Everest in 2016 while supporting his wonderful partner Carla as she successfully summited without supplemental oxygen. In 2018 Topo summited both Cho Oyu and Everest with clients in under 30 days. An incredible achievement that only the best guides in the word could attempt. He also has climbed challenging new routes in Kyrgyzstan and China and one of his climbs (Kyzyl Asker) has been nominated for the Piolet d’Or (as part of an Ecuadorian team).

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Gaspar Navarrete

Gaspar hails from Ecuador, and has been guiding for over 18 years, and climbing since he was 12. He has extensive experience in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Patagonia, Aconcagua, the Himalaya, the Cascades, the Alps and the Pyrenees. Gaspar has established new routes in both Ecuador and Bolivia. As an active instructor with the Ecuadorian School for Mountain Guides, he has trained in Ecuador, Bolivia and France. He is a Wilderness First Responder, and has spent a great deal of time working at high altitude.

Gaspar joined one of Quito’s oldest climbing clubs at a young age, which gave him the opportunity to mentor under very experienced climbers. He considers the Andes, including Patagonia, his home, and he love to share his enthusiasm for the mountains, the Andean traditions, food and culture with his guests.

Gaspar is an ASEGUIM/IFMGA mountain guide

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Adrian Ballinger

Adrian Ballinger is one of the USA’s premier high-altitude mountain guides, and the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certification (one of roughly 150 in the USA) and more than a fifteen summits of 8,000 meter peaks (17 total, including 8 summits of Mt. Everest, 1 without supplemental oxygen, as well as an ascent of K2 without supplemental oxygen). As founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for over twenty years and has led over 130 international climbing expeditions on 6 continents.

In 2011 he, along with 2 Sherpa partners, became the first people to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is also the first person to ski Manaslu (the 8th tallest mountain in the world) from its summit, and the first American to successfully ski two 8,000-meter peaks. These personal successes are combined with Adrian’s passion for guiding and teaching others. Adrian has successfully led more than 100 clients to the summits of Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in world), Cho Oyu (6th tallest) and Manaslu (8th tallest).

Whether on skis, in rock shoes, or mountain boots, Adrian thrives on sharing the big mountains with friends and clients, and helping them to build their skills and experience to be successful on the world’s most beautiful mountains. In the coming seasons, Adrian plans on continuing to enjoy big-mountain skiing, climbing, and guiding in the Himalaya, South America, Europe, and of course closer to home in Squaw Valley, CA. Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Blizzard, Tecnica, Hiball Energy, and Favre Leuba.

Learn more about Adrian at adrianballinger.com

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Jaime Avila

Jaime is Alpenglow Expeditions’ senior lead guide. A native Ecuadorian, Jaime has been guiding and climbing throughout South America and the world for twenty years. He has successfully led groups on challenging routes like the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam (Nepal), the Shield Route of Huascaran (Peru), the Polish Direct on Aconcagua (Argentina), and El Altar (Ecuador). We have been guiding, climbing, and traveling with Jaime since 1998 and the feedback from members is always the same: there is no better teammate. Whether climbing a tough ice route, humping a huge pack, or stuck in a storm, Jaime will keep you laughing, learning, and glad to be in the mountains. He is an ASEGUIM / IFMGA certified mountain guide.

 

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Monica Piris

Monica has been working as the doctor on expeditions to extreme altitude since 2007. She has been on more than 15 expeditions to some of the world’s highest peaks including Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Manaslu where her work has ranged from monitoring team members’ health throughout the expedition, treating locals and visitors for common illnesses, to treating frostbite and potentially fatal altitude related illnesses and offering diagnostic and therapeutic advice over the radio for unwell climbers being rescued above 8000m.

Over the years Monica has gained a huge amount of experience in this highly specialized field of medicine and she has embraced the challenges of providing the best possible health care in a hostile environment with pragmatism and skill. Combining the reality of the practical limitations imposed by the mountains with the provision of gold standard medical care is demanding but undoubtedly where Monica has made her niche.

Monica trained and worked her early years as a hospital doctor in Edinburgh and New Zealand. When not on expedition, Monica now divides her time between the UK- where she works part time in Emergency Medicine, her home life in Spain and personal climbing and skiing in Europe and beyond.

Guide Certifications
  • Physician

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    Ojos del Salado Rapid Ascent™

Ojos del Salado Rapid Ascent™

Climb the world's highest volcano in just 9 days! Enjoy intimate knowledge of the Andes Mountains, while being lead by Alpenglow mountain guide, Esteban "Topo" Mena, who gives climbers an interactive and authentic experience with Andean culture.