Common Questions

Do I have enough experience for this trip?

Prior roped climbing, cramponing, and ice axe skills are required. It is recommended that participants have either climbed/ trekked at altitude (over 15,000 feet) It is imperative that you are in excellent physical shape. We are happy to detail training programs as needed to get you ready for this expedition.

I’m looking at climbing an 8000 meter peak someday. Will this help me get there?

Training will give you the necessary altitude experience to attempt the bigger mountains in the world, such as Mt. Cho Oyu in the Himalaya. While there are many other skills needed to be a strong candidate for an 8000 meter peak, having the required altitude experience is often one of the harder things to come by.

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.

What is the longest day I can expect?

Your longest, most difficult day will be summit day. 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 12 and 15 hours of steady movement.

Do you rent gear?

For international expeditions, we recommend and find that most climbers already own personal climbing gear. If needed, Alpenglow can provide harness, helmet and crampons, reservations required. We do not provide boots, however; so you must have your own double boots. Please see the equipment list for more information.

What level of fitness is required?

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.

How big are the groups on our mountaineering/climbing ascents & courses?

As a general rule: the more technically advanced/ higher climb grade – the lower the guide to client ratio. All professional mountain guides working for Alpenglow are certified guides by AMGA and/or IFMGA. See more about our guides here <<linke to guide page>>

Does your expedition cost cover park permits?

The permit fee is usually included in the trip cost.

How heavy is my pack for a mountaineering trip?

Most of our mountaineering ascents & courses are based from a hut or camp. Most days there is only need for lunch, snacks, water, camera, jacket & tools. When relocating or walking out, you will need to carry 30-45lbs which includes personal gear and some food. For most mountaineering trips we recommend a 50-60 litre capacity pack with gear loops for ice-axe & crampons. Resist the temptation to fill that space to capacity. Light is right. Your endurance and performance over a long trip can be severly affected if you are carrying “too much stuff”. Your guide will be checking the contents of your pack before you leave for your trip.

How long do the trips last?

Anything from 1 to 40 days. We can offer our guiding services for just a day of climbing or hiking right through to a multi-week mountaineering or hiking expedition. We have a range of local Tahoe trips, but also offer an array of multi-day International Expeditions in the Andes, the Himalaya, and many other ranges.

I am traveling on my own. Can I still book as a single?

Yes, many of our trips do require a minimum # of participants to operate a trip but we will do our best to match you with a group. If you are traveling on your own, try to organize your itinerary to match up with the dates scheduled for the course or trip listed on our website. If you can’t join a trip on our scheduled dates: then you have two options: Book a private 1:1 trip for any dates you wish or we can book you as a single and we will try to match others to your dates. If we cannot find at least one other person for the dates you want before the start date we will give you a full refund or offer you an alternative trip 1:1 for a fewer number of days.

What do we eat? I have a special diet, is this OK?

Where possible, we provide fresh vegetables and real coffee. However, there will always be limitations when cooking in an alpine or wilderness environment. Meals like salads are limited or not possible to provide. Some trips/ courses are not recommended for people with very restrictive or complex dietary requirements. If you do have a restrictive eating regime we ask that you disclose this to us at the time of booking and we may ask you to provide us with an advance copy of what you would typically eat on a wilderness trip.If you are joining a scheduled group that doesn’t have food requirements, we may ask you to shop & pay for some of your preferred dietary requirements. You will also be required to carry this food and your guide may ask you to assist in the preparation of any separate meals required for you individually.

What equipment do I need for a trip?

At the end of every trip description on our website, we provide detailed information about the equipment required for the trip. Typically this includes a checklist which you can use to “tick off” your gear. For our climbing and skiing trips we have 2 categories of equipment:
Mandatory items – this is equipment you must have with you. You can either purchase or rent them depending on the item.
Optional – these are items which you can choose to bring or leave behind.

What time of year do your mountaineering trips run?

Year round depending on the objective.

Where do we meet?

For international expeditions, you’ll meet your guide in the arrivals hall of the airport. From there you’ll be transferred to your hotel for the evening.

Will they have cellular service in the country or on the mountain?

Depending on your cellular carrier you can purchase an international plan or sim cards on arrival. On the mountain your guide will carry a satellite phone which will be charged per message/per minute.

Do you accept non-US based clients for your trips?

Yes!

What If’s

Do I really need to purchase trip and rescue insurance?

We strongly recommend purchasing both types of insurance. 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 purchasing Travel Guard and Global Rescue. You can find links to both of these insurance companies by heading over to our Partners page.

What if I don’t fit in with the group ability or otherwise?

This tends to be one of the major concerns of clients going on group trips. However, it is very rarely a problem. Due to our small group size we largely avoid compatibility issues. However, almost all of the trips we are offer are physically demanding. It is very important that you are realistic in the self-assessment of your skills and experience. If you are not familiar with the NZ mountain and wilderness environment it is hard for you to judge how you will go. However, our all our guides are widely travelled and can give a good assessment before you join a trip. If you are joining a group, flexibility is an important personal quality. Tiredness from lack of fitness or sleeping in an unfamiliar environment can take its toll over a long trip. But it is important to remember that while you might be the fastest, you might be the weakest at tying into your harness, crossing a river or making turns in deep powder snow. Inevitably every person on a group trip will have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. An upbeat personality go a long way in the mountains. If you are really concerned about your compatibility with others and you have not done many group trips then we are happy to offer private options on request.

What if someone is injured?

Obviously every situation is different. But in the case of a serious accident the guide will notify our base and a rescue will be started.

What if the weather is bad for our trip? Do I have to pay?

If the weather remains adverse and prevents the trip from operating as originally planned, you have the opportunity to carry out sub alpine adventure and skill development activities. The trip fee applies and any trip costs not used will not be refunded. Weather conditions in the mountains are variable and can change at a days notice.

What happens if I get altitude sickness?

Depending on the severity the guide will determine whether it can be treated best through hydration/drugs or through descending the mountain. If this is not sufficient, our guides have 24 hour access to our high altitude doctor via satellite phone for consultation.

Accommodation

Where do we stay when we are on the trip?

Depending on the trip we use a mixture of camping, mountain huts, and hotels.

Where is a good place stay before and after the trip?

If you arrive before the start of the itinerary, we can help arrange lodging in the same hotel your teammates will be staying at. If you decide to stay after our itinerary ends, we can recommend some comfortable lodging for you to take a look at.

Transport and Travel Information

Can I leave my extra bags and valuables with you while we are in the hills?

Yes! We’ll usually leave behind any non essential items in a locked and secure location to be retrieved when we return from the mountains.

How do I book a trip? How do I know if the dates I want are available?

You can book directly through our website. Provided that we have minimum numbers we will run all trips listed on our website. If you have dates that don’t match our scheduled dates or you want to check whether a particular trip or course is running – please contact us. We cannot confirm your place on any trip until we receive your payment of the deposit. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the start of your trip. All bookings are subject to the our company Terms & Conditions relating to cancellation & liability issues. Please make sure your read our Terms & Conditions carefully before booking your trip with us as you will be asked to confirm that you have read and agreed to them before your booking is finalized with us.

How do I pay?

Credit Card/Check/wire transfer are all acceptable forms of payment.

How much do trips cost?

See each individual trip descriptions for any trip or courses. All prices are in US Dollars.

What happens after I pay my deposit?

Your deposit confirms your trip. We then respond by emailing you a booking confirmation. Your trip balance is due 90 days before your trip commences. We will contact you to arrange final payment. Approximately 2 weeks before we are due to meet you we contact you again to give final trip details. This email will also prompt you for any outstanding paperwork and ask you for a copy of your equipment list, your travel information, and other relevant information.

What is included in the price?

Generally the price includes your qualified and friendly guide, all meals and snacks on the mountain, accommodation while on the trip, hut fees, communications with Alpenglow, porter fees and transport while in country. Most technical equipment is included but transport costs like vehicle, helicopter and/or air plane costs are not always included and vary with individual trips. See each individual trip description to see what is included or excluded from the price.

How much spending money should I bring with me?

Trip dependent, bring crisp USD bills for local currency exchange at the airport. A recommended amount of cash will be included in your pre-trip welcome email which you will receive 2 weeks prior to your expedition.

How much do I tip my guide?

Tips are never required but always appreciated. Tips are trip dependent usually 5-10% of what you paid for the trip

When I arrive in country, how do I get to the hotel?

Our guides will either be there to pick you up or will arrange a trusted driver to meet you.

How do visas work for this expedition?

Most countries have visas available on arrival for US citizens. The outliers are Russia and China in which we have to apply for visas well in advance. Contact the office for more information or help in the process.

What kind of vaccinations do I need to get for this expedition?

Country dependent, see the CDC’s travel website here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list