Peak Lenin Rapid Ascent Expedition

18 Days in Kyrgyzstan / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person

  • Next Available: Aug 06, 2023 - Aug 23, 2023
  • Upcoming: Aug 04, 2024 - Aug 21, 2024

About this trip

Located in the Pamir Mountains of Kyrgyzstan, Peak Lenin towers at 23,400’, 7,134m. Our Peak Lenin Rapid Ascent expedition is the prep for 8,000m expeditions.


  • skill level


  • Duration

    18 Days

Alpenglow Expeditions Rapid Ascent™ climbs are an entirely new way to approach big-mountain expeditions. After 15 years of guiding expeditions all over the world, including dozens 8,000-meter peak expeditions, we have refined and distilled the acclimatization and climbing process to maximize safety, health, success, and enjoyment.


The perfect 8,000m Prep Expedition

Reaching the 7,000m mark is an important step in a mountaineers preparation to reach 8,000m, and this climb offers everything one could want in a 7,000m climb. Multiple camps, glacial climbing, an acclimatization rotation, and fun climbing at high altitude. Peak Lenin itself is a stunning peak that rises high above the valley floor, rewarding climbers with not only stunning views, but also the experience necessary to take the next steps in their climbing careers if their eyes are set on 8,000m peaks. 

Expedition Leader – Esteban “Topo” Mena

The Lenin Peak Rapid Ascent Expedition is organized and led by IFMGA Guide, Esteban “Topo” Mena. Topo is an extremely talented high-altitude mountain guide, having made ten 8,000m summits. He has summited Everest four times, once without supplemental oxygen, and in 2019 he summited K2 alongside Alpenglow Expeditions Founder Adrian Ballinger and fellow Alpenglow guide Carla Perez. He has also made several successful summits of Peak Lenin and knows the mountain and terrain well.

The Alpenglow Difference

Rapid Ascent™ Strategy

First developed by Adrian Ballinger, Rapid Ascent™ is a unique approach to climbing big mountains across the world. This innovative program combines hypoxic training at home with precise logistics and small team sizes to reduce the overall time spent away from home, all while greatly increasing the chance of success on your international climbing expedition. By pre-acclimatizing for 4 weeks at home, we’re able to reduce the overall expedition time to 18 days.

1:3 maximum guide to climber ratio

All guides are IFMGA qualified or aspirants working towards finishing their certification. We guarantee our guides are the best in the business, drawing upon years spent guiding in the mountains to give you the best and safest experience possible.

Expedition doctor on call 

Dr. Monica Piris, has been on fourteen 8,000-meter peak expeditions. She is in daily communication with our teams during the entirety of the expedition and is available for client consultation at any time.

High-quality food 

Imported and local foods of the highest quality, combined with a Western-trained cook staff; Alpenglow has the best food on the mountain, ensuring your strength and health throughout the expedition.

Route Description

The expedition starts in Bishkek, where we’ll meet the team and check all our gear before catching a quick flight to Osh and starting our drive across the Pamir Highway the next morning. This stunning drive will give us incredible views of the Alay Valley with the Zaalay Range of the Pamirs rising ahead of us. We’ll arrive to the Edelweiss Glade and Peak Lenin’s Base Camp (11,800’, 3,600m) after 5-6 hours. Thanks to our pre-acclimatization we’ll move to Advanced Base Camp the very next day, heading over Puteshestvennikov Pass to reach ABC at, 14,400’ 4,400m. After a day spent resting and acclimatizing in ABC, we’ll start our first acclimatization rotation.

Leaving early in the morning well trek along the Lenin Glacier to the base of the North Face before traversing a steep slope to the plateau known as the “Frying Pan”. Camp 1 is found at the far end of the plateau at 17,400’, 5,300m. The next day we’ll continue on up a 30 degree snow slope before making the traverse to the summit of Razdelnaya Peak (20,340’, 6,200m) and Camp 2. This will be the high point for our acclimatization we’ll turn around and descend to C1. We’ll finish the descent to ABC early the next morning, leaving the afternoon to rest and recover. Having finished our acclimatization rotation, we’ll spend a the next  day resting in ABC before we make our summit push. After our bodies have recovered and the psych as been built up, we’ll begin our summit bid on Peak Lenin.

Another early morning will see us return over now familiar ground as we push up towards C1. From C1, we’ll continue up the snow slope to the summit of Razdelnava Peak once more, this time stopping in C2 (20,300’, 6,200m). Tomorrow we’ll push into unexplored terrain as we work towards Camp 3. This easy 650’ day will set us up for success on our summit bit tomorrow.  

An early alpine start will see our team leave Camp 3 on our final day of climbing and our bid for the summit.  We’ll follow a steep ice ridge for about a 700’ before reaching a mellow plateau and the bit of climbing that will see us to the summit. At 23,400’, 7,134m we’ll be greeting with spectacular views of the Pamirs as the expanse of the valley is laid out below. After a short celebration we’ll start our descent back down to C1. From there another day of descending will see us return to ABC. One last trekking day will have us back to Base Camp, where we’ll then say our goodbyes to the Pamir mountains and hit the road back to Osh. A short flight to Bishkek will mark the end our expedition and we’ll say our goodbyes.


  • Technical Experience

    Team members must have attempted at least one 6,000m peak or similar. We recommend having experience on several glaciated peaks at altitudes above 5,000m. Team members must be comfortable and confident moving on glaciated terrain. Prior winter camping experience is highly recommended.

  • Altitude Experience

    Alpenglow requires that climbers have prior experience at altitudes of 18,000’/5,500 meters. We offer many great options for gaining this experience, including opportunities in Ecuador, Peru, Kilimanjaro, and Elbrus in Russia.

  • Fitness

    Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. We cannot stress this enough -- fitness is the most important aspect of high altitude climbing. To develop the necessary level of fitness needed to climb big mountains, you must adapt a challenging, consistent exercise regime months in advance. We recommend a structured training program at a gym or with a personal trainer. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

    • Day 1 — Arrive in Bishkek

      After arriving in Bishkek, our team will meet you at the airport and transport you to our hotel. We’ll get some much needed rest and start to get over our jet lag.

    • Day 2 — Travel to Base Camp

      We’ll start our morning with a short flight from Bishkek to Osh. From there, we’ll drive across the Pamir Highway to BC. The drive will see us cross the Taldyk Mountain Pass, where the Alay Valley will open up before us. The towering peaks fo the Zaalay Range of the Pamirs will loom in the distance a grow ever closer as we make our way to Base Camp. After our stunning drive, we’ll reach the Peak Lenin Base Camp on the Edelweiss Glade, resting at (11,800’, 3,600m).

    • Day 3 — Trek to Advanced Base Camp

      Today we’ll head out from base camp and make our way to Advanced Base Camp. The trek will see us climb over the Puteshestvinnikov Pass (4,200m) and descend to the moraine of the Lenin Glacier. We’ll follow the glacier the rest of the way to Advanced Base Camp at 14,400’, 4,400m.

    • Day 4 — Rest/Acclimatize

      After a long day of trekking yesterday, we’ll spend the day resting and acclimatizing in ABC.

    • Day 5 — Climb to Camp 1

      Today we’ll start our acclimatization rotation bright and early, leaving ABC for the gradual snow slopes on the Lenin Glacier until we reach the foot of the North Face of Peak Lenin. From here we’ll make a traverse across a steep slope that is often covered in deep snow, working towards a plateau that is known as the “Frying Pan”. We’ll cross the plateau and reach Camp 1 at 17,400’, 5,300m.

    • Day 6 — Touch C2

      Leaving C1 behind, we’ll start making our way up the 25-30 degree snow slope before traversing towards the summit of Razdelnay Peak, a sub-peak of Lenin that will be the high point of our acclimatization rotation. At 20,300’, 6,200m and the top of Razdelnay Peak, we’ll have also arrived at Camp 2. We’ll stick to the age old tactic of “climb high, sleep low” and descend from there back to ABC.

    • Day 7 — Advanced Base Camp Day

      We’ll spend the day resting and recovering at Advanced Base Camp and get psyched for the next round of climbing!

    • Day 8 — Climb to C1

      Having allowed our bodies to recover from our acclimatization rotation, we’ll start our summit bid by re- climbing the gradual snow slopes of the Lenin Glacier before making our way across the Frying Pan to C1. We’ll make quicker work of this terrain having seen it before and being well acclimatized.

    • Day 9 — Climb to C2

      Today will see us cover familiar ground once again as we climb the steeper snow slope to the top of Razdelnaya Peak and C2. Tomorrow we’ll take off into new terrain once again as we make a short move to Camp 3 at 21,000’.

    • Day 10 — Climb to C3

      Today we’ll have a short and easy day moving from C2 to C3, as we climb 650’ and just over a mile to reach the high camp of the mountain. This short and easy day will best set us up for success on our summit bid the following morning. We’ll get some much needed rest and prepare for our summit bid the next morning.

    • Day 11 — Summit Bid

      An early morning will see us start our bid for the summit of Lenin Peak. Traversing across the plateau that C3 rests on, we’ll continue up the ridge. From here, it becomes more steep as we follow the “knife” ridge for nearly 1,000’ before reaching a large snow plateau. After crossing this plateau, we’ll rejoin the ridge to the summit of Peak Lenin, 23,400’, 7,134m. At the summit we’ll be met with spectacular views of the Pamirs, reaching across to Mustagh Ata and Kongur in China and to the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram of Pakistan.

      We’ll have a quick celebration on the summit, fist bump the small statue of Lenin that sits atop the peak, and then start our descent back down to C3. It will be a big day, taking us 8-9 hours total.

    • Day 12 — C1 to ABC

      After a successful summit of Peak Lenin, today we’ll make the descent back down to Advanced Base Camp.

    • Day 13 — Descend to BC

      Today we’ll finish our descent off Peak Lenin and make our way to back up and over Puteshestvinnikov Pass to Base Camp.

    • Days 14-15 — Extra Days

      We use these days as extra days in case of weather.

    • Day 16 — Drive to Osh

      Today we’ll leave base camp and make our way back to the city of Osh where a warm shower and a clean bed awaits.

    • Day 17 — Fly from Rsh to Bishkek

      Today we’ll take a short flight from Osh to Bishkek, making the end of the expedition. From Bishkek, you’ll depart for home.

    • Day 18 — Fly Home

      We all say goodbye to our friends and depart for home!

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Blue AEX 5-Panel

        The perfect hat for warm days on the move. This hat is a lightweight construction and provides ample ventilation to keep your head cool and your face shaded. Leather patch on the front with our classic Alpenglow Expeditions logo. Simple and stylish. Our summer guide's favorite piece of headwear!

      • 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 Slouch Beanie

      • Alpenglow Buff - Nat Geo Topo Gold

        There is no adventure that wouldn’t benefit from having a buff either on your face or stuffed in a pocket. These breathable buffs feature a topo of the Nat Geo Bowl ridgeline in Tahoe National Forest. From top to bottom: Granite Peak, Nat Geo Bowl, Needle Peak, Three Coyotes, and Lyon Peak. Available in blue, purple, gold, and white. Our guides wear these nearly every day when out ski touring or climbing to protect their face from the cold, wind and sun. Adrian Ballinger even brings a few with him to Everest every year to protect his face from the high altitude elements.

      • 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: Julbo Shield

      • 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 MAG

      • Hands and Feet

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • Heated Socks

        These are optional, but highly recommended. Bring 2 sets of batteries. Hotronics boot heaters are another option instead of heated socks, but socks are preferred by our guides. Recommended: Sidas Sock Set V2 Uni S-1200

      • 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 TX Guide

      • 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 G2 Evo Boots

      • Down Booties (optional)

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

      • 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 Midweight FreeDry® Merino Hybrid Baselayer 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • Down Parka (6-8,000 Meter 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

      • Expedition-weight Bottoms

        Fitted, light-weight and quick drying. The mid-weight will be a base- layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Bring multiple changes of layers. Recommended:Eddie Bauer Heavyweight Grid Fleece 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 Pants

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended:Eddie Bauer BC Duraweave Alpine 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

      • 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: 50-60L

        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

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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 Revolt 350

      • Trekking Pole(s)

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

      • Two 1L Nalgene Bottles

        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

      • Lighters

        2 BIC Lighters

      • 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

      • Thermos

        A fully insulated thermos is recommended for warm drinks that help with comfort, hydration, and safety on cold days in the mountains.   Recommended: Thermos STAINLESS KING™ DRINK BOTTLE 24OZ

      • Technical Equipment

      • 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 (for our introductory climbing courses) 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. *Harnesses are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Altitude

      • 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 available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

      • General Mountaineering Axe

        One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. *Ice axes are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Summit

      • 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

      • Belay Device

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

      • Accessory Cord

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

      • 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
        • Face Mask
        • Hand Sanitizer
        • Knife
        • Steripen

      • 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)

      • 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)

    • What is your cancellation policy?

    • What sort of Experience is needed for Peak Lenin?

      You should be a competent climber on snow and be familiar with climbing in rope teams. You should be comfortable with camp craft in high-altitude camps and be able to perform at a high level for multiple days in a row at altitude. Team members should have experience on several 5,000-6,000m climbs prior to joining this expedition.

    • 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.

    • Do I really need to purchase Rescue Insurance and Travel Insurance?

      We require Rescue Insurance on all of our international expeditions. Rescue insurance will help cover costs in the event that you need to be rescued off the mountain (Ex: Helicopter/medical evacuation). Travel Insurance (which we strongly recommend) can cover issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance, like illness. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance.

      If you do choose Global Rescue, be sure to select the High Altitude Evacuation Add-On that is needed for insurance coverage above 15,000 ft.

    • Are Covid vaccinations required?

      Yes. Our leadership has made the decision to require all participants to be vaccinated for international travel. This is a safety measure that we have made to not only protect our clients, but also to protect our guide team and the local people in which we interact with during our expeditions. We want to do our utmost to mitigate the risk of Covid disrupting our expeditions, and having our teams vaccinated has become an important part of our risk management system with international travel. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or issues regarding this decision, we’d be happy to hop on a call and discuss this further.

    • 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.

    • What all is included and excluded?

      he cost of your trip includes your land costs (excluding in-town meals). This includes:

      • Double occupancy lodging while in town, according to itinerary.
      • Meals on the mountain
      • Group camping and climbing equipment
      • Base camp and mountain infrastructure
      • Scheduled transportation while in the countries we are visiting
      • Certified guides
      • Covid testing arrangements for re-entry into home country (does not include cost of test)

      The cost of your trip does not include:

      • Flights to/from the city where the expedition begins
      • Additional nights in hotel outside of the itinerary, this includes but is not limited to extra hotel nights due to an early summit bid and early departure from the mountain.
      • Airport taxes
      • Visas
      • In-town meals
      • Immunizations
      • Tips for guides or local staff
      • Travel, rescue, or any other type of insurance
      • Hospitalization or evacuation costs
      • Single supplement room charges
      • Excess baggage charges
      • Alcohol
      • Antigen/PCR Covid test cost
      • Other personal expenses
      • Airport transportation for early arrival/late departures outside of scheduled itinerary
      • The costs of delays or changes to itinerary that are beyond the control of Alpenglow Expeditions or its agents are not included.

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
  • 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
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Carla Perez

Carla has been on the pursuit of her climbing dreams for most of her life, she started climbing as a teenager and her love to the mountains took her to the french Alps, where she studied geology and got a masters degree on geochemistry. In 2007 she decided to become a full time climber, which also put her the path of becoming a mountain guide. Carla has trained with and is pursuing UIAGM/IFMGA certification with the ASEGUIM (the Ecuadorian mountain guides association).

Carla has made multiple successful summits of Everest, including an ascent without the use of supplemental oxygen in 2016. She was the sixth women in history to accomplish this feat and the first Latin American woman to do so. She was also the first woman from the Americas to summit K2 without supplemental oxygen in 2019, and was the first woman to summit Everest and K2 in the same year..

In 2008 she did a biking trip from Ecuador to Argentina and had the opportunity to understand and learn more about her home: the Andes.

Today she splits her time between speaking about her climbing experiences all around the world, chasing new missions with her parter “Topo” and guiding big mountains.

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    Peak Lenin Rapid Ascent Expedition

Peak Lenin Rapid Ascent Expedition

Located in the Pamir Mountains of Kyrgyzstan, Peak Lenin towers at 23,400’, 7,134m. Our Peak Lenin Rapid Ascent expedition is the prep for 8,000m expeditions.