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Katahdin Winter Ascents

Looking for the next step beyond Mount Washington? A weekend winter ascent of Katahdin is a great choice. It’s remote location and arctic environment make this one of the most rewarding winter alpine ascents in New England. Our climb begins with a half day ski into the base of the mountain to a winter camp where basic winter camping skills and relevant mountaineering skills are taught and reviewed. We start the climb early the next morning and return in time to ski back to trailhead. This trip is physically demanding but requires no previous winter climbing or camping experience.

  Katahdin Introduction to Mountaineering 5-day This trip is a great stepping stone in your worldwide climbing endeavors. The remote location and arctic environment of Katahdin make this one of the most rewarding winter alpine ascents in New England. Reaching the summit of Katahdin at any time of year is an accomplishment but in the winter it holds just a little more magic and a lot less people. With some of the most unique and rugged terrain on the east coast, this trip focuses on learning about backcountry winter camping and mountaineering, orienteering and route planning, and terrain awareness, and then applying these new skills to attempt the summit of the highest point in Maine. This trip is physically demanding but requires no previous winter climbing or camping experience.   Winter Expedition Preparation and Planning Trip – 4 day minimum Do you have aspirations to climb in the greater alpine ranges of the world? There is no better training ground than a few winter days on Katahdin or the Presidential’s to prepare you for peaks such as Rainier, Denali, or Aconcagua. This is a physically demanding, intensive week long course covering the many aspects of expeditioning and winter mountaineering. These include equipment and food preparation; sled and ski set up; winter camping skills including preparing tents and snow shelters, stove repair, snow kitchens, and tips and tricks for sleeping warm; snow and ice climbing skills; self rescue skills; navigation and route finding using maps, compasses and altimeters; avalanche assessment and rescue skills and many more. Reservations for winter climbing on Katahdin should be made as soon as possible in the fall in order to obtain space and meet park permit guidelines. A minimum of four days is usually required. Call for details.
Katahdin Custom Winter Trips – 4 day minimum Alpine climbing, steep ice climbing, avalanche skills, backcountry skiing? Katahdin is New England’s most remote alpine peak and offers a flavor of mountaineering adventure equivalent to an Alaskan peak. Let us design a trip to meet your needs. Reservations for winter climbing on Katahdin should be made at least 21 days in advance in order to obtain space and meet park permit guidelines. A minimum of four days is usually required to reach the South Basin to access the climbs.
Mt. Washington 3-Day Mountaineering Intensive Course Do you have plans to hike, ski or backpack in mountainous terrain? This course is based on Mount Washington and takes you off the trail and into the above treeline world of steep slopes, snow and exposure. This course introduces many of basic mountaineering skills required to travel in more exposed mountainous terrain with minimal equipment such as route selection, clothing and dress, difficult navigation using altimeters, compass and maps, use of crampons and ice axe, avalanche transceiver use, and fundamental rope skills like traditional belaying and rappelling with minimalist approach (ie. no harnesses or fancy belay devices) Excellent for those seeking summertime mountaineering ascents of larger western peaks that are just shy of full-on technical climbing. Day 1 is spent learning fundamental skills in one of several local areas doing short ascents to practice, and heading back into town afterwards to warm up and recouperate. Day 2 we’ll head into the hills, building on our fundamental skill set and introducing new topics such as navigation and avalanche awareness. The night is spent on Mt. Washington in either lean-to or cabin. Day 3 attempts one of several routes towards the top, excersing all the skills you’ve learnt to make a summit bid. Of course the content of this course is highly dependant upon environmental conditions. For example, if there is not a suitable snowpack, we will focus more heavily upon travel over technical rock terrain. This course requires that you have a reasonable degree of fitness and that you are comfortable travelling in rough terrain. Includes two meals and one night camping fees.
Mount Washington Winter Ascent Ever wanted to stand on top of New England in the winter? A day on Mount Washington can range from clear, windless skies, and balmy, thirty degrees temperatures to temperatures well below zero, hurricane force winds and visibility so poor that you wonder where your nose is. This is when a guide is really handy. Our trip starts from Pinkham Notch and heads up toward Tuckerman Ravine. Depending upon conditions, your personal skills and the size of the group we will climb either the steep, wooded ridge of Lion’s Head or take an even more direct line up one of the easier snow gullies in Tuckerman Ravine to the Alpine Garden. Now well above treeline, we will aim for the 6288′ summit of Mount Washington. This trip is physically demanding but requires no previous winter climbing experience.  
Ecuador Volcanoes Mountaineering Expeditions and Glacier School
See link for complete schedule and descriptions Ecuador’s “Avenue of the Volcanos” provides one of the best introductions to high altitude mountaineering in the world. Several mountains rise to over 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) and offer exciting mountaineering challenges to both beginning and experienced climbers. The accessibility, ease of travel, stable weather and friendly people make it the perfect place to expand your mountaineering experience. Our trips focus on climbing and learning important high altitude mountaineering skills. Ecuador is a beautiful and diverse land that is home to friendly people and colorful culture. Ecuador is home to an amazing natural diversity that includes the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon rain forest and the cloud forest. Our trip is designed to make the most of mountaineering opportunities while exploring the land and people of Ecuador. 3 Day Presidential Range Winter Traverse A most challenging and rewarding three day expedition across the arctic-like summits of the Presidential Range. A winter traverse of the Presidential Range can be one of the most difficult mountaineering adventures on the East Coast. The Presidentials are located right in the bullseye of colliding weather patterns potentially making for some of the worst and least predictable weather on the planet for such an elevation. Hiring a professional alpine guide is a good way to increase your odds of a successful traverse. On the traverse, climbers will be required to travel approximately 4-6 miles a day with heavy packs (50 lbs. or more) over a wide range of snow, rock and ice terrain. With similar conditions and difficulties, this is an ideal trip for those contemplating a climb of Denali in Alaska. Good physical condition, previous winter hiking and camping experience and familiarity with basic use of crampons & ice axe are a must. Our trip typically begins in the northern Presidential range and travels south towards the summit of Mt. Washington. Included in the cost is all food during the trip, tents, stoves, fuel, sleeping bags, boots, crampons and ice axe.
Customized Winter Mountaineering Courses and Expedition Planning Programs Guided Ascents Put together the right combination of information to suit you personal goals. Whether it be technical fundamentals, minimalist strategies, avalanche skills, winter camping, navigation, snow and ice anchors, ski mountaineering, rock or ice technique, guided climbs, personal feedback, etc., we want to work with you to develop the skills you desire for the things you want to do in the mountains. Available in 1, 2 or 3 or more day lengths. Locations: Mount Washington region, Sunday River – Grafton Notch, Smuggler’s Notch, Acadia region
1 Day Introduction to Snow and Ice Anchors and Belays  Imagine trying to build reliable anchors in a medium that typically exists within 40º F of its melting point. This course is for the person already familiar with basic winter climbing skills. It provides a detailed overview of the universal anchoring and belaying principles and looks at how they are applied in the snow and ice realm. Learn and practice the use of stance and position, pickets, “deadman,” slot and T-anchors, stacking, bollards, and Abakalov ice threads to provide anchors in the everchanging snow and ice medium. Practice various belays and rappels that will increase the security of a climbing team and learn how to make the critical decision about whether to rope up or not on snow. While not essential, familiarity with rock climbing protection is helpful. Combine with our Glacier Travel Skills and Crevasse Rescue for a well rounded glacier travel skill base. Locations: Mount Washington Valley, Sunday River – Grafton Notch, Acadia National Park and Camden.
1 Day Glacier Travel Skills and Crevasse Rescue Skills A practical skills course providing you with the rope skills essential to travelling on glaciated terrain. Sorry, we can’t provide the actual glaciers to teach navigation unless you want to travel but we can create situations appropriate for learning related rope skills. This course addresses roped travel techniques, rope coiling and carrying, use of pre set friction hitches, self arrest, anchor building, load transfers, ascending / descending fixed lines, dealing with packs and sleds, lowering methods, and mechanical advantage hauling systems ranging from 2:1 to 10:1. It will also address strategies for protecting other team members and how methods can change in crevasse rescue depending upon which person on the rope team is in trouble. Available by private arrangement. Locations: Mount Washington Valley, Sunday River – Grafton Notch, Acadia National Park, and Camden. Combine with our Snow and Ice Anchors and Belaying for a well rounded glacier travel skill base.
The How To’s of Winter Camping Fun and success in the winter environment or high mountains is often dependant upon your ability to camp well. This course is an introduction to the skills essential to winter camping. You can always read about them but there is nothing quite as good as doing it. Prior to your trip, we will provide you with detailed information about preparing yourself and your equipment for a weekend in the snow. The first morning will be spent fine tuning equipment and evaluating the pros/cons of each piece of gear carefully before loading it into your pack. In the early afternoon, we will ski, hike, or snowshoe into a remote area to camp. The remainder of the day and the next morning will focus on learning how to anchor a tent for windy winter conditions, how to build functional snow kitchens, and the many subtleties of keeping yourself healthy and happy in an often arctic environment such as efficiently melting snow, drying your gear, sleeping warm, cooking, keeping water from freezing, etc.  
Classic 3 Day Winter Mountaineering and Camping Course A three-day two-night course for those with no experience that focuses on efficiently climbing moderate snow and ice terrain along with lightweight and low impact winter camping skills. It also provides a solid first step for those interested in climbing the greater mountain ranges of the world. Day one begins in the valley learning ice and snow climbing skills. Day two further refines snow climbing and rope skills then delve into route planning, navigation, and alpine travel skills along with an introduction to avalanche awareness and transceiver use. Each evening is spent preparing a hearty meal, learning essential winter camping skills, planning the next day’s activities and spinning climber tales. Wake up early on day three ready for a moderately technical summit climb of Mount Washington or other nearby peaks. Fee includes 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners. Available by private arrangement. Locations: Mount Washington Valley, Sunday River – Grafton Notch  
Mountain Safety Seminar A course unique to Acadia Mountain Guides combining mountaineering skills and wilderness medicine. A completely field based course, our Mountain Safety Seminar integrates wilderness first aid skills with mountaineering and avalanche skills. Schedule as many days as you like. Instructed by Jon Tierney. Jon is an IFMGA Mountain Guide, AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Instructor and flight paramedic who specializes in alpine rescue.