Scrambling on low angled terrain of a low technical nature, on snow or rock. Ropes may occasionally be used. Climbers do not need previous experience but do need an ability to move over rough ground.
Short steep sections that will require a rope. Basic snow/ice/rock climbing. We recommend that climbers are familiar with ice axe and crampon techniques and/or basic rock climbing techniques although this can often be taught during the trip.
Steep terrain that requires moderate level climbing skills on snow/ice/rock. Emphasis on good cramponing skills. Will need experience with rope techniques including rappelling/abseiling and snow camping techniques.
Extensive steep terrain. Climber to be capable of following multi pitch climbs and have rope management skills, belay techniques, climbing calls, rappelling/abseiling skills and alpine bivouac and snow camping techniques.
Extreme terrain. Climber will have extensive experience on rock or ice and a complete understanding of anchors and protection techniques and a high degree of comfort following longer difficult sections of ice and/or rock in alpine gear with a pack.
A level of fitness sufficient to carry a light pack (10kg/22lb) and be capable of moving for several hours at a stretch with short stops every hour. Training would include regular walking on hills and gym work to develop strength: light running, swimming and biking.
Defined as one who exercises regularly although not necessarily to a really high level, capable of carrying a pack weighing 18kg/40lb for several hours. Regular cardiovascular exercise (3-4 times a week gym/bike/stairs) and include pack carrying on rough ground once a week.
A high standard of fitness. Capable of climbing with a heavy pack (25kg/55lb) for extended periods in mountain conditions. High level of training specific to climbing that would include heavy pack carrying over rough terrain and other preparation such as regular gym/pool/bike training.
Excellent level of fitness from participants who would have an ongoing commitment to training and maintaining fitness specific to climbing. Expect long days in extreme conditions. Preparation would include heavy pack carrying, specific conditioning through rock and/or ice climbing and habitual cardio vascular exercise.
2,000 to 3,000m
This is a scenic, action packed six to ten-day program that provides complete training in all the skills of snow and ice climbing used in alpine and expedition mountaineering.
While developing a solid and complete set of alpine climbing skills, you will also learn glacier travel and crevasse rescue techniques, gain experience with expedition procedures, and apply methods for route finding and hazard assessment.
In the April and May programs we use skis for ease of movement on the glacier, and anyone with basic ski skills will feel at home on this easy terrain. At the end of May and in June, we use snowshoes. At the end of the program, you should be technically qualified to make intermediate level ascents in any of the world’s glaciated ranges and to join us on a Denali expedition.
This course includes substantial practice climbing, spectacular scenery, the chance to make the top of beautiful summits and a lot of fun. We hope you will join us!
This course is operated in North America as part of the Adventure Consultants / American Alpine Institute alliance:
The American Alpine Institute has over thirty years of guiding experience on Denali and they have used their experience to tailor a programme that will help prepare you for the challenges of climbing North America's highest peak.
"I would recommend this course for anyone preparing for a Denali expedition...For Denali hopefuls like me, whether or not one holds an extensive climbing resume, the prep course is invaluable. The course lets you and the guides know whether or not you are even ready for Denali. All and all, amazing folks and an amazing mountain! I certainly cannot wait for Denali in June."