Alpine Climbing

Guided Alpine Climbing Overview

Summer Alpine Objectives, and Winter Mountaineering Classics

We conduct the majority of our alpine climbing and mountaineering courses and trips in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.  The San Juans typically enjoy the best mountain weather in the United States, allowing us to concentrate on skill acquisition and climbing, not on miserable weather.  The opportunities for alpine climbing and mountaineering in the Winter, Spring, and Summer are varied and we have offer a great selection of courses and classic climbs for people of all ages and ability levels.

From our headquarters in both Ouray and Durango we have access to 14 mountains over 14,000 feet and hundreds in the 13,000 foot range.  These attributes make the San Juans a fantastic training ground to learn the basics of alpine mountaineering, and to beef up your skills for longer and more technical climbing expeditions throughout the world.

The Weminuche, Lizard Head, & Sneffels Range Wilderness Areas

Climber on Jagged Mountain

At over 500,000 acres, the Weminuche is Colorado’s largest designated wilderness area. It offers some of the best scenery, backpacking, and alpine climbing in the Western US. The area is dominated by two major sub-ranges: The Needle Mountains and the Grenadier Range. The Needle Mountains are home to the popular Chicago Basin and the 14′ers Windom, Eolus, and Sunlight Peaks. The Grenadier Range is home to Vestal, Arrow, and Storm King Peaks among others. Together they offer amazing alpine climbing and the perfect venue to hone your backcountry skill.

Other Program Venues

Our other domestic Alpine Climbing program Venues include Washington’s Mt. Rainier and North Cascades National Park, and Alaska’s Denali National Park.

2014/15 Winter Mountaineering Offerings

Courses & Private Guiding

The NE Ridge of Engineer Mtn

We offer both an Introduction to Winter Mountaineering and Expedition Climbing, as well as the popular Denali/Alaska Prep Course for those who are gearing up for an expedition in the great white north. Our courses are designed to help you attain a solid background in cold weather mountaineering and expedition climbing for other trips and expeditions throughout the world. The San Juans provide the perfect terrain for skill acquisition.

  1. Introduction to Winter Mountaineering & Expedition Climbing
    Learn the fundamentals of cold weather mountaineering and expedition climbing and prepare yourself for future mountaineering endeavors.  Excellent preparation for Mt. Rainier, Ecuador’s Volcanoes, and other similar high altitude mountaineering expeditions.
  2. Alaska / Denali Preparation Course
    If you are headed to Alaska to climb Mt. McKinley / Denali in the future and have already completed an Intro or Basic Level Mountaineering Course / Seminar then this is the program for you.  Thorough preparation for the rigors of a Denali Expedition.
  3. Private / Custom Mountain Guiding
    If the dates of our regularly scheduled programs to not fit your schedule or you would like to have us organize a custom itinerary for you that covers specific or targeted skills then private guiding is a great choice.  Whether you are looking for 1:1 attention from one of our experienced professional guides, or would like to arrange a trip for a small group, we will work with you to ensure that you achieve the specific goals you’ve set for yourself regarding your training and skill acquisition.

Spring/Summer Alpine Climbing Programs

Courses & Private Guiding

San Juan Summits
  1. Introduction to Alpine Climbing
    Learn the fundamentals of Alpine Climbing – from gear selection and use, to route finding and navigation, to climbing techniques and technical systems – this is the perfect course to introduce skills that must be mastered before undertaking future alpine climbing trips an any major mountain range.
  2. Fast & Light Alpinism Seminar
    Designed as a “next step” for aspiring alpinists and mountaineers, this seminar will cover topics associated with moving fast in the mountains to accomplish longer and harder objectives safely, and with impeccable style.
  3. Alpine Leadership Course
    A comprehensive course for those who would like to immerse themselves in the alpine and learn all that it takes to put together a successful alpine climbing trip to other major mountain ranges, from the Sierras and Tetons to the North Cascades.
  4. Private Alpine Guiding
    If the dates of our regularly scheduled programs to not fit your schedule or you would like to have us organize a custom itinerary for you that covers specific or targeted skills then private guiding is a great choice.  Whether you are looking for 1:1 attention from one of our experienced professional guides, or would like to arrange a trip for a small group, we will work with you to ensure that you achieve the specific goals you’ve set for yourself regarding your training and skill acquisition.

San Juan Classic Climbs

Chicago Basin, Vestal Peak, Jagged Mountain and more!

On the summit of Jagged Mountain
  1. Chicago Basin 14′ers
    Climb Windom, Sunlight, and Eolus Peaks in one 3 day trip.
  2. Mount Wilson / El Diente
    Climb the classic traverse and summit two of Colorado’s most sought after and iconic 14′ers.
  3. Mt. Sneffels
    Many climbing options exist on the most recognizable 14′er in the San Juans.  From the Lavender Col Route to the Snake Couloir, there is a route for all ability levels to reach the top of this 14′er.
  4. Vestal Peak via the Wham Ridge
    Climb the most classic alpine route in Colorado on Vestal Peak.  A sought after climb on this Centennial 13′er.
  5. Jagged Mountain
    The most remote and challenging Centennial 13′er climb in Colorado takes us to No Name Basin and the North Face Route.
  6. Dallas Peak
    Another of Colorado’s Centennial Peaks that presents technical climbing challenges to reach the summit.
  7. Other San Juan / CO 13′ers
    Options include the Covington Route on Arrow Peak, Knife Point, Monitor Peak, and Lizard Head
  8. Private Alpine Guiding
    Schedule your own custom trip and itinerary that conforms to your dates and the peaks you want to climb.  From 1:1 guiding to groups of 12 – we do it all.

 

Destination Alpine Guiding

Trips, Expeditions, & Private Guiding

Climbers on Mt. Rainier
  1. Mount Rainier via the Kautz Glacier Route
    Climb the Kautz Glacier route with a small group – 4 climbers and 2 guides maximum.  With exclusively AMGA Certified Guides.
  2. Alaska Climbing / Mountaineering
    Options include the Ham n’ Eggs on the Mooses Tooth and Denali’s West Rib, to Mt. Bona in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park.
  3. North Cascades National Park
    We offer opportunities to climb with us in Washington’s North Cascades.  Options include Mt. Shuksan and alpine climbs in Boston Basin.
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