Alpine climbing is the most complex of all the types of climbing/guiding. Rock climbing, ice climbing, snow climbing, glacier skills, avalanche skills, backcountry navigation, altitude management – a mix of these skills are necessary to venture into any given alpine terrain. As a result, alpine climbing is often the most rewarding of all the types of adventure, though rarely the most comfortable and immediately fun!

Alpine climbing is what we call "Type II Fun" – it is a lot of hard work with great views - The fun and sense of accomplishment sets in when you get back home safely, get a hot shower, and eat a satisfying meal. Alpine climbing can take so many forms - here are a few examples:

  • Summitting a Colorado 14er via 4th class rock scrambling and a pitch or two of rock or ice climbing, having left the trailhead at 4am and getting back at 5pm; or
  • Cramponing up a 30 degree slope of hard snow on a Cascade Volcano during a 3-day trip; or
  • A 20-day expedition to the Andies, Alaska, or the Himalaya.


RMNP is an alpine climbing Mecca! There are rock routes, ice routes, snow routes, and a mixture of all of it – for every level of climber. The Park is a training ground for larger and more remote objectives around the world.

Approach time: 1 - 3.5+ Hours


Longs Peak is in RMNP and is one of the most “awesome” alpine climbing venues in the world. There are well over 100 routes to choose from. When climbing Longs, expect long days and early starts. At over 14,000ft, Longs has a weather culture of its own, and early starts mitigate getting caught in summer lightening storms. The Diamond on Longs Peak offers stellar granite crack climbing at 13,000ft. The Kiener’s Route is an all-time classic moderate on snow, ice, and rock.

Approach time: 3+ Hours


Try these:

  • Martha’s Couloir,
  • Alexander’s Chimney,
  • Dead Elk Couloir,
  • Hallett’s Chimney,
  • Kiener’s Route,
  • North Face of Longs,
  • Blitzen Ridge,
  • E. Face of Notchtop

Approach time: 1 - 4 hours


Try these:

  • Dragontail Couloir,
  • Taylor Glacier,
  • Andrews Glacier,
  • Hourglass Couloir,
  • Ptarmigan Fingers,
  • Ptarmigan Glacier
  • Notchtop Couloir,
  • Lambs Slide to Notch Couloir
  • The Loft

Approach time: 1-3 hours


Climb these alpine walls:

  • The Diamond,
  • Chasm View Wall,
  • Hallett’s Peak,
  • Spearhead,
  • Arrowhead, 
  • The Saber,
  • Sharkstooth,
  • Petit Grepon,
  • Cathedral Wall,
  • Cosmos,
  • Notchtop

Approach time: 1.5 - 4 hours


Like RMNP, Grand Teton National Park is an alpine climbing Mecca. The Grand Teton stands out the most, but there are many, many other options as well. From five-pitch rock climbs to multi-day climbs, the Tetons have it all. Stay in the pre-equipped Corbett alpine hut on the Grand Teton and save yourself the need to carry a tent, sleeping bag, pad, stove, pots, ropes, helmets, and other things – how nice to carry a small daypack for a 2-4 day backcountry climbing trip!

Approach time: 1.5 - 6 Hours


The Cascades of Washington, Oregon, and California offer glaciated mountaineering as well as alpine rock and ice climbing. Climb Mt. Rainier, Baker, Adams, Glacier Peak, Liberty Bell, Hood, Jefferson, Shasta, and many more. There is nowhere else in the lower 48 states that you can find such massive glaciers to practice your skills for the larger climbs of Ecuador, Argentina, and the Alps.


Consider extended climbing and backcountry ski/ride trips to:

  • European Alps (France, Switzerland, Italy)
  • The Verdon Gorge, France
  • Arco, Italy
  • Kalymnos, Greece
  • Patagonia (Argentina and Chile)
  • El Potrero Chico and the Volcanoes of Mexico
  • The glaciated high peaks of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and more...