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Everest, the Best and Worst

Everest, in all its intensity and boredom, to me often feels like a stimulant-enhanced version of “normal” life at home. This heightened intensity of emotional and physical existence is not necessarily a good thing, but I am sure this is why many of us return year after year. It is an addictive way to exist.

The last 24 hours here on Everest has been an example of this intensity, in its best and worst forms. It all began yesterday at 2:30 am. I woke to a perfect night for climbing – cold, clear weather, a big enough moon…

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Kathmandu: A Home Away From Home

After having led more than 30 expeditions and treks in Nepal over the past 15 years, I think I can finally claim Nepal as my second home. It’s not all the equipment I store here that makes it a home (although I do have 30 or so duffle bags and blue barrels of gear stashed in my friend’s houses here in Kathmandu and in the Khumbu). Nor is it my familiarity with the streets, markets, and alleyways that make up the maze of a city that is Kathmandu. Nepal is a home to me because of the friends and family…

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Full Interview with Alan Arnette

Alpenglow’s owner and lead guide, Adrian Ballinger, recently did an interview with Alan Arnette discussing Alpenglow’s spring plans on Everest and Lhotse, and our innovative rapid-ascent climbs. Here is the full interview:

Did you change your client experience requirements based on your 45 day program?

No. We hold to the same high standards (perhaps the highest in the industry) for both our traditional and express climbs. This includes a previous 8,000 meter peak expedition as well as at least 5 peaks over 19,000 feet, 30 days in crampons, a minimum of 3 days of steep ice climbing, 3 days…

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The Road to Everest, Part 2

Last week I wrote about what you should expect from your Mt. Everest guide service. Today’s blog is about you and what you can do to be ready to join an Everest expedition. Of course, there are many different ways to acquire the experience necessary, but when a climber has little or no experience and comes to me with a serious goal of summiting Mt. Everest, the following list would be my recommended path to success. It can be done over a couple of years, or for someone with the time and financial ability, in a little more than a…

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The Road to Everest, Part 1

December is the time of year when we finalize our Mt. Everest team for next spring. Many of my discussions with climbers at this time of year focus around whether they are “ready” for Mt. Everest. These conversations are really important. As well as the risks involved in climbing Everest, the cost and time commitment are huge considerations. Once you take into account all the common add-ons that most Everest guiding companies charge, along with equipment and travel, climbers are considering spending $70,000-$150,000 dollars, as well as taking up to 2 1/2 months away from their day-to-day lives. Climbers shouldn’t…

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Wrapping up the 2012 Himalayan Season

Sitting poolside at the Kathmandu Hyatt in November…. this is the time and place each year that the Alpenglow guides and staff wrap-up and debrief the Himalayan season. At least it is where we begin our defrosting! Then it’s off to Thailand for our “annual meeting”. This autumn season in Nepal has been one of my most memorable since I began climbing in Nepal in 1997. And, as often happens with memorable seasons, it has had both highs and lows. The dark side is well known already – on Manaslu, a mountain I have guided and summited four times, one…

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Heather Geluk’s Ama Dablam Summit Push – Summary

Camp 1 on Ama Dablam is perched high up on a rocky ridge offering just enough of a view of the route to the summit to conjure a range of emotions fluctuating on a sliding scale between excitement and sense of “what the hell have I gotten myself into…??”

Whilst it isn’t the most comfortable camping spot in the world, the fact that the sun crests over the mountain and hits the tents at 6.15 AM is a huge bonus particularly when everything seems to freeze solidly overnight and getting out of the deep, dark depths of a sleeping bag…

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First Summits of Alpenglow’s 2012 Ama Season!

Monica checked in with the following great news!

The first crew summitted this morning (Fri, 26 Oct.) between 0738 and 0847 Nepal time. Heather, Valdis, Sergey and Chad from C2.7 and Adrian from C1. Dorji, Da Nuru and Palden went with them.

Everything went really well and the great conditions meant that they all had fast times from camp to summit. Now they are well below high camp on their way down and I expect to see some, if not all of them in base camp this evening. Adrian will stay with Ephi at camp 1.

0738- Adrian Ballinger, Sergey…

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Ama Dablam Base Camp

I am happy to report that the entire Ama Dablam Expedition team is together again. The main part of the group arrived yesterday after a fun 7 day trek through the Khumbu Valley. The trek finished with a challenging day climbing 5550 meter/18,200 foot Chukkung Ri. Chukkung Ri is one of my favorite viewpoints in the Himalaya. It has stunning views of countless big peaks, and sits immediately below the imposing South Face of Lhotse, one of the biggest alpine walls in the world. The climb is also a good test for the group after mostly easy days trekking. We…

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Everest and Lhotse Expeditions 2013!

Many people have been waiting to hear from Alpenglow about our spring plans on Everest and Lhotse. First, thank you for considering us for your Himalayan climbing plans. After fifteen years in Nepal running successful expeditions on the lesser peaks (9x Ama Dablam, 1x Pumori, 7x Island Peak, 9x Lobuche Peak, and many others) along with five years as Himalayan Experience’s lead guide (4x Everest, 4x Manaslu, 1x Lhotse, 1x Cho Oyu), I am extremely excited to be running our own teams on Everest and Lhotse. 

As many of you know, this autumn we are running a small team on…

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