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Ruth Gorge Expedition Update

Gary and Matthew are doing excellent in the Ruth Gorge. Yesterday (4/28) they climb the West Ridge of Mt. Dickey. Today (4/29) they had a skills training day around base camp. They are potentially looking towards a climb of Mt. Barille soon. We will keep you posted as we get word. Glad they are having a wonderful time in the Alaska Range.

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Ruth Gorge Expedition Update

Moose’s Tooth Expedition Success

Andrés, Wolf and Victor had an incredible climb of Ham n’ Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth. The team flew back to Talkeetna this afternoon (4/28).  Way to go guys! Time relax and celebrate! We are so happy for you. Recap of the trip to come with photos once Andrés is finished with his season in Alaska.

 

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Moose’s Tooth Expedition Success

Alaska Expeditions Update 4/28/15

Both trips in the Alaska Range are doing great.

Andrés and team climbed Ham n’ Eggs on the Moose’s Tooth yesterday to the col. We received a spot message from them late last night from camp. That is wonderful news. We will report once we hear from them via sat phone. Congratulations team! Stayed tuned for a trip report once the expedition is finished.

Gary and Matthew are doing well in the Ruth Gorge. They had a skills day yesterday and will likely attempt to climb Mt. Dickey today. We will keep you posted with news from them as we hear it.

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Alaska Expeditions Update 4/28/15

Moose’s Tooth Expedition

Andrés, Victor & Wolf are doing well in the Root Canal. They had a good day checking out the route. The team will launch to climb Ham n’ Eggs late tonight/early morning tomorrow (4/27). Wishing them the best in their journey.

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Moose’s Tooth Expedition

Alaska Expedition to Ruth Gorge

Our second expedition in Alaska kicked off today. Lead Guid Gary Falk and partner Matthew flew into the Great Gorge, the Ruth Gorge. They are settled in at camp. Tomorrow (4/27) they will recon 747 pass on Mt. Dickey in hope to climb Mt. Dickey the following day. Stay tuned for expedition updates. All the best to Gary and Matthew on their Alaskan adventure.

Base camp below Mount Dickey

Base camp below Mount Dickey

Gary Falk

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Alaska Expedition to Ruth Gorge

Alaska Expedition Underway!

Our team lead by Andrés Marín arrived in Talkeetna, Alaska yesterday (4/24). They did the final pack today and flew onto the Root Canal Glacier near the Mooses’s Tooth formation. Andrés called this evening and informed us that they are settled into camp. Tomorrow (4/26) they will poke around and have a look at conditions on Ham n’ Eggs and Shaken Not Stirred. We will keep you posted as we get word from them on their climbing plan. We wish Andrés, Wolf and Victor a safe and fun adventure!ham-n-eggs

Lead Guide SJMG  AMGA Certified Alpine & Rock Guide

Lead Guide SJMG
AMGA Certified Alpine & Rock Guide

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Alaska Expedition Underway!

Alpamayo, Peru: A Journey in Discovering the Inca Culture

Join us this summer as we return to Alpamayo, Peru, with San Juan Mountain Guide, Andres Marin! Long considered one of the world’s most beautiful mountains, Alpamayo remains one of mountaineering’s most coveted summits. Situated in the “Himalayas of South America,” the Cordillera Blanca is much more accessible than its Asian counterpart, yet there are scores of peaks over 19,000 feet and 6000 meters.  This expedition takes advantage of the rich Peruvian culture and the magnificent alpine terrain to climb the French Direct on the Southwest Face of Alpamayo.

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Besides the incredible journey to summit Alpamayo, there is a cultural perspective of this trip that will give you a deeper understanding of the indigenous Inca culture in Northern Peru. The Incas are popularly known for Machu Picchu near Cuzco but on our trip, you will have the first hand experience of the Inca Culture within the Cordillera Blanca Mountain range as they survived in mountainous conditions among peak up to 18,000 feet tall and higher! Below, Andres Marin talk about the culture. Check out Andres’s other Q&A on why you should join our trip as well!

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What is your favorite dish in the Alpamayo region?

That is a tough question. Up in the mountains a lot of quinoa and quinoa dishes with potatoes but my favorite would be called Cachamanta (pictured to right).

What makes the Inca people so special?

Everything about the Incas is special. The way they live their lives is so simple. They use techniques that their ancestors have developed for farming and they base a lot of their daily living of cycles- cycle of the moon, cycles of the seasons and so on. They are simple and so strong. For example, Inca children must walk very far to catch the bus to school and even up to 65+ year old guy may be able to hike for many hours without a problem.

What has the Inca culture taught you in your past trips?

The importance of genuinely living simple and off the land. They call people who are dependent on techonology and materialistic resources, the “Little Brothers” and “Little Sisters” because dependency on these things makes life more dynamic. These people simply depend on the earth to provide for them.

What is one interesting fact about Peru and the Alpamayo course that many don’t know?

How the Incas use the coca leaves, the coffee cream, for band aids, cavities, digestions, everything.

What is one of your best memories of your past the Alpamayo expedition?IMG_2862

Last year, I climbed the mountain with a client and we ended up having to summit the mountain before sunrise. We took a nap at the summit and seeing the sunrise from there was amazing. I have seen many sunrises in many parts in the world and this sunrise was the best. Seeing the Andes range in first light it was pretty unique. Another best memory is seeing people succeed in their own personal objectives – a huge reason I love guiding! Seeing people be psyched about their own personal goals whether or not the mountain is summited is very special.

What is one word or phrase (in Spanish or Inca language) you should learn for the trip?

Gracias – Thank you goes along ways for the porter and the people of the region. In Quechua, thank you is pronounced paylla (Pai-ya). Another word that the porters like to use is Wayki (Wai-ki) which means friend or partner.IMG_2886


IMG_2968Andres grew up in Ibague, Colombia. His passion for guiding has allowed him to guide in all types of terrains, such as rock, alpine, skiing and high altitude. In 2011 he and his partner received the Mugs Stump Exploratory Grant to go and climb new peaks in the Southern part of Kyrgyzstan on the Kyrgy Chinese border. They were the first American expedition on the range and established two alpine-style first ascents. During the 2011/2012 ice and mixed climbing competition season, Andres stood on the podium in every competition ranking him as a world class mixed and ice climbing competitor. Andres is an AMGA certified Rock Guide as well as an AMGA certified Alpine Guide – meaning you are in good hands.

  “I like to apply to my life something that a great person toll me long time ago: BE SAFE, BE HAPPY, TRY HARD AND BE KIND.” – Andres Marin-
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Alpamayo, Peru: A Journey in Discovering the Inca Culture

The Alaska Range – Moose’s Tooth Expedition: Rugged. Vast. Magical.

IMG_1837This is the climb you’ve been training for.  We climb the classic Ham and Eggs Coulouir (V, 5.6, AI4) to the summit of one of the most sought after peaks in the Alaska Range – The Moose’s Tooth. The couloir was first climbed by Jon Krakauer, Thomas Davies, and Nate Zinsser in July of 1975.  It took over 20 years for the route to see another ascent, but since that time it’s status as an alpine classic has been cemented.  18 pitches and 2900 feet of climbing take you to the summit of the Moose’s Tooth and some of the best views in the range of Denali, Foraker, Hunter, and Huntington.  This is a one of a kind trip in a stunning location!

This year, seasoned SJMG Andres Marin will be leading our Alaska Expedition. We have interviewed Andres with a series of questions so that you can learn more about this expedition and the guide himself, see below and feel free to learn more about our upcoming expedition!


How many years have you been guiding the AK trip?

AM: Last year was my first time on the moose-tooth route, classic Ham and Eggs Coulouir (V, 5.6, AI4) but I have been guiding in Alaska range for 8 years now.

Why is the AK region so intriguing for both clients and guides alike?

AM: The Alaska region is home to the biggest mountain range in North America – with big mountains and big terrain, Alaska is the place to be. It is the 3rd biggest mountain range in the world! It is an iconic place to be as alot of historic North American mountain climbing has happened there. The spring time is the best weather for Alaska with long days ranging up to 22+ hours! Denali is a sight to see – even if people have no interest in climbing Denali, it is an incredible peak to see in person.

Describe the AK expedition with 3 words.ham-n-eggs-3

AM: Rugged. Vast. Magical.

How do the mountain people of Alaska differ from those in Colorado?

AM: Some of the Mountain people from Alaska tend to say they are not part of US- as it is so different from its sister states. They are pretty tough people, in rural areas – some are as tough as it gets. In Alaska, half the year is straight up darkness and a chunk of the year is 23 hours of daylight. Those people are very self-sustained because of the remote parts of Alaska. For example, some must Dehydrator or vacuum seal their food. They hunt, fish, or harvest their own food and authentically live off the land. The people outside of the city must depend on things such as snowmobiles or airplanes to be mobile. I like to think of them as crafty people.

Are there any local or cultural traditions in that part of Alaska?

AM: There are a lot of Native Americans such as the Alaskan Athabaskan in this part of Northern Alaska. They have their own type of lifestyle, language, and traditions that they depend on.

What skill-set would a client need for the AK trip?

AM: We would recommend a higher level of fitness and some experience ice-climbing WI4/M4. Being Alaska, the terrain and the Moose Tooth in particular, require experience with this ice-climbing specific expedition.

What is particularly interesting about this route?

AM: The Moose Tooth’s Ham and Eggs is a great Introduction for alpine climbing, technical alpine terrain in the mountains. It is a huge route! It is 3,000 feet of technical terrain and the altitude isn’t overbearing as the mountain is 10,000 feet in all.

How do the conditions differ from those in Southwest Colorado?

ham-n-eggs-1AM: Colder temperatures, experience more like alpine ice. The snow turns into ice there, which doesn’t happen here in Colorado with our 300 days of sunshine. It is a pretty cool experience climbing in this “ice-snow” as it is more faceted. For ice-climbing, this hard pack snow climbs just like ice but it is easy to penetrate. These great couloirs are more obtainable because the snow provides more options.

What is one of your best memories in one of your past AK trips?

AM: Just getting to Alaska in itself is memorable! Instead of flying over the mountains you are flying through them. The sunrises and sunsets are different as it is so northern that it will set in the west and few hours later rise in the east. It is unlike anything else.

What is one reason you recommend the Alaska Expedition?

AM: 10 day round trip means it’s a quick trip. Some people don’t have the time off work or life so the Alaska Expedition allows them to do a big climb within a week. Alaska is the shortest expedition trip for one of the biggest climbs in one of the vastest Mountain ranges in the world.


Alaska Expedition Guide, Andres Marin

IMG_0896Andres grew up in Ibague, Colombia. His passion for guiding has allowed him to guide in all types of terrains, such as rock, alpine, skiing and high altitude. In 2011 he and his partner received the Mugs Stump Exploratory Grant to go and climb new peaks in the Southern part of Kyrgyzstan on the Kyrgy Chinese border. They were the first American expedition on the range and established two alpine-style first ascents. During the 2011/2012 ice and mixed climbing competition season, Andres stood on the podium in every competition ranking him as a world class mixed and ice climbing competitor. Andres is a AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide with continuous experience.

Have more questions? Always feel free to reach out to our Office here.

 

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The Alaska Range – Moose’s Tooth Expedition: Rugged. Vast. Magical.

Meet Your Guide For The Alpamayo Expedition (19,511 ft): Andres Marin

IMG_2968Andres grew up in Ibague, Colombia. His passion for guiding has allowed him to guide in all types of terrains, such as rock, alpine, skiing and high altitude. In 2011 he and his partner received the Mugs Stump Exploratory Grant to go and climb new peaks in the Southern part of Kyrgyzstan on the Kyrgy Chinese border. They were the first American expedition on the range and established two alpine-style first ascents. During the 2011/2012 ice and mixed climbing competition season, Andres stood on the podium in every competition ranking him as a world class mixed and ice climbing competitor. Andres is an AMGA certified Rock Guide as well as an AMGA certified Alpine Guide – meaning you are in good hands.

“I like to apply to my life something that a great person toll me long time ago: BE SAFE, BE HAPPY, TRY HARD AND BE KIND.” – Andres Marin-

1.       How many years have you been guiding Alpamayo?

a.      2 years leading the Alpamayo Expedition with San Juan Mountain Guides but 4th year doing the Alpamayo Expedition.

2.     Why Alpamayo? Why do you go?

a.      It is the beautiful mountain and considered one of the 7 wonders. Also the experience of the burros and porters is exceptional. The climb itself is 19,500+ feet and offers a section of pure ice-climbing, swinging two tools all the way to the summit – for me, it’s the whole package as an expedition.

3.     What are three reasons words to describe the Alpamayo expedition?IMG_2886

a.      Challenge, technical, fun.

4.     What skill-set/experience would a client need for the Alpamayo Trip?

a.      General fitness, some ice climbing experience up to WI3 would be good but isn’t required. The technical experience is further in the trip which allows us to have a couple of days to review the climb and our systems and fully prepare for the summit.

5.     What pre-expedition training should clients be doing?

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Artesonraju is a beautiful pyramid mountain which you may recognize from the Paramount Pictures movie logo.

a.      We understand that people have their normal jobs and life so if they are able to, some good cardio-vascular training with some weights up to 50 lbs is helpful. Calves are a huge part of it, I personally train calves because even though I do this a lot, calves always seem to a major muscle used for this expedition in regards to the trek to base-camp, etc.  Above all, being positive and enjoying the learning experience is the best training you can do. Remembering it is the journey not the summit is essential for a great trip.

6.   Why is Alpamayo expedition a premiere choice when considering all the different expeditions options of South America and across the globe?

a.      It will expose you to altitude of course and expose you to technical terrain besides walking. The beauty of the mountain itself and seeing it in person is different than any other expedition. From Alpamayo you can see Artesonejeau, the peak used in the Paramount Picture logo!

7. What is one of your best memories of your past the Alpamayo expedition?

a.      Last year, I climbed the mountain with a client and we ended up having to summit the mountain before sunrise. We took a nap at the summit and seeing the sunrise from there was amazing. I have seen many sunrises in many parts in the world and this sunrise was the best. Seeing the Andes range in first light it was pretty unique. Another best memory is seeing people succeed in their own personal objectives – a huge reason I love guiding! Seeing people be psyched about their own personal goals whether or not the mountain summit is reached, this is very special.alpamayo.home.slider.2015

A Bit About The Alpamayo Expedition: Long considered one of the world’s most beautiful mountains, Alpamayo remains one of mountaineering’s most coveted summits. Situated in the “Himalayas of South America,” the Cordillera Blanca is much more accessible than its Asian counterpart, yet there are scores of peaks over 19,000 feet and 6000 meters.  This expedition takes advantage of the rich Peruvian culture and the magnificent alpine terrain to climb the French Direct on the Southwest Face of Alpamayo.

Learn more about the Alpamayo Expedition

Wanna chat? Just contact us with any questions!

Toll Free:
Fax: 866.548.1157
Email: info@mtnguide.net

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Meet Your Guide For The Alpamayo Expedition (19,511 ft): Andres Marin

The Perfect Pair: Pants for Ladies in the Back-Country

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For most outdoor women, it is considered the Cinderella Story when we finally find the technical apparel that offers functionality without sacrificing the women’s fit that’s been a long-time mystery for the Outdoor Industry. I can confidently say that Outdoor Research has finally nailed it with the Trailbreaker Pants for Women. I have been a huge fan of Outdoor Research when it comes to it’s technical hiking apparel but had never tried the winter-specific product such as the Trailbreaker Pants – I was impressed with all the features they seamlessly included and how they kept Women’s Fit at the top of the list.

Features I Dig:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnkle Zipper – As a Splitboarder, snowboard boots are great for comfort but can be concerning when it comes to choosing pants. In past experience, the lower leg and ankle section of Pants can  be too baggy or too tight, neither tailored for the back-country Splitboarder who needs just the right amount of each for comfortable and efficient skinning. The moment I zipped in my boots, it felt as if Outdoor Research had thought of us “larger boot” back-country enthusiast, as the Ankle Zipper and the stretchable fabric creates a small but perfect detail for those who need it.

Avalanche Beacon Pocket –  Proof that innovation can flourish in something as simple as a pair of pants. The Avalanche Beacon pocket is a feature I use every time I go out. It provides an efficient way to carry my beacon without dealing with my top layers and the typical beacon chest straps that seem to be a distraction when adjusting layers in the ever-changing temperatures of the San Juan Mountains. In conjunction with the Beacon Key Clip, the pocket zipper is tucked away close to your belt loops to provide insurance that Beacon will neither detach or be exposed.

Anti-Mud Magic – Probably not a real term but it’s the truth! This season has been a warm one for the San Juans’ and sadly, there has been lots of debris and mud out there – whether it’s walking back to the car after skiing in-bounds or brushing by trees in the La Plata Mountain Range, the Trailbreaker has proven to trump all with it’s ability to deflect the mud and grime – even after weeks of use!

Fit For Women:

True to Size: One of the most common problems for ladies is the variations of sizing charts for multiple clothing brands. For those of us that dread “trying on” clothes and changing rooms but fear the guessing game of online FullSizeRender.jpgshopping – I can honestly say that the Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Pants provides a solution when it comes to true sizing. Although we all come in different shapes and sizes, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Medium Trailbreaker fit perfectly! At 5’10” – most of my length being in the legs, it was great to finally have a pair of pants that fit my length without having to upgrade to size Large due to longer limbs.

Cut for Women: I have never had a better fitting pair of ski pants. Personally, The Trailbreaker Series offered me an option that I have been denied for many years; Pants that offered a feminine fit that weren’t too tight nor baggy, a true diamond in the rough. In order to achieve this, there are different  fabrics cuts and angles along the pants resulting in one cohesive product that provides fit perfection.

Overall:

Knowing Outdoor Research and having used OR gear before, I knew that the Trailbreaker Series would be innovative and functional but the overall fit is what was a welcoming surprise. With the development of Women Outdoor Apparel, it’s refreshing to find the brand that you know will provide the results you want so that you may enjoy your Winter Pursuits and look good doing so. :)

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The Perfect Pair: Pants for Ladies in the Back-Country

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