Alpine Adventures - Mountain Adventures In The Adirondacks Since 1985 - Instruction & Guiding For Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Mountaineering And Backcountry Skiing
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Rock Mastery Method
Rock Courses-Level 1
Introduction To The Vertical World
A Week On The Rock - Level 1
Rock Courses - Level 2
Gaining Altitude
More Altitude
A Week On The Rock - Level 2
Efficient Rope Handling
Rock Courses - Level 3
Anchoring Methods
A Week On The Rock - Level 3
The Sharp End
Technique Intensives
Hard Rock
Advanced Leading
Advanced Leader's Week
Double Rope Techniques
Essentials Of Self-Rescue
Advanced Self-Rescue
High Angle Rescue
Essentials Of Aid
Advanced Aid
Big Wall Basics
A Week On The Wall
Top Rope Instructor Training
Guiding Skills
Rock Guiding
Rock Equipment

Guided Rock Climbing

Guiding is not instruction! Although we hope you learn something every time you go to the mountains (we do), guided climbing is less about learning and more about doing.

Our approach to guided rock climbing typically takes one of three directions. It can serve to increase your chances for successfully completing a particular climb, or climbs; it can allow you to accumulate the mileage needed to solidify skills and confidence; or it can be just for fun! Whatever direction it takes, guided climbing will help you make the most of your climbing time.

The best guide/client relationships are built upon familiarity and experience. The resulting dynamics closely resemble a partnership, although the guide remains your “ace in the hole”, as you enjoy the mountains together. With this approach, a talented guide can expose you to more climbing, tailored to your preferences, than you could otherwise expect to enjoy.

In keeping with our commitment to personal attention and individualized experiences, our guided rock climbing takes place with a maximum of two clients per guide – often, we climb with a single client. Unencumbered by concern for disparities in ability or personality, this ideal setting assures the experience focuses on your preferences and makes the most of your abilities.

Your climbing time is precious – make the most of it!

Basic skills are essential for big adventures

Exposed traverse

Requisite Skills & Familiarity
We believe all rock climbers need certain basic skills before they can be guided effectively on traditional climbs. These essential skills are the ones found in our Following Skills Evaluation. Accordingly, successful completion of this important milestone is a prerequisite for all of our guided rock climbing.

If you have limited climbing experience, instruction will be necessary for you to complete our Following Skills Evaluation. If you are already an experienced rock climber, our Efficient Rope-Handling course provides a fast-track to introduce you to our methods while, at the same time, allowing you to enjoy classic Adirondack climbs.

After climbing with us for a couple of days you will have a clear picture of our expectations and we will have a clear picture of your abilities. Only after a guide and client get to know one another does it make sense for them to plan and undertake demanding objectives. All technical climbing requires you to literally place your life in the hands of your partner. Doing so without direct knowledge of that person's attitudes and abilities is foolish, no matter what their experience or credentials might include. This is as true for the guide as it is for the client.

Once you are comfortable with us, and we are knowledgeable about you and your abilities, we can build a guide/client relationship based upon familiarity and experience. Together, we can then establish realistic objectives that provide challenge and satisfaction, specific to your interests and abilities.

Guided Climbing In The Adirondacks
The Adirondack Mountains offer a vast rock climbing resource and we have amassed a large collection of adventures for all ability levels. This list continues to grow and we welcome the challenge of creating an adventure just for you.

We instruct and guide on more than thirty major roadside cliffs inside the Adirondack Park. We also guide on more than twice that number of minor and remote climbs. From 10 foot “boulder problems” to 1,000 foot “big walls”, the Adirondack Mountains boast a wide variety of climbing for all ability levels. Long, delicate friction climbs; steep and exposed face climbs; and a veritable plethora of crack climbs provide an almost inexhaustible resource. You can choose the type of climbing you like best and, with our vast selection, there will always be something new to climb.

In addition to roadside climbs, offering quick and easy access, you can pick from a collection of more remote rock climbs. We’ll go fast and light on these day-long outings that combine hikes of up to ten miles with classic, multi-pitch rock climbs. Excellent fitness, solid rope-handling skills, and proven climbing ability are essential for these wilderness adventures. Some remote objectives can be, or must be, arranged on an overnight basis.

You will not find specific routes listed, or described, in this web site. We believe that featuring specific climbs promotes overcrowding, which is contrary to Our Values. Nearly all of the photos found in this web site were taken during our programs and they should serve to give you a general idea of the resources we have to offer. For the specifics, you will need to contact us directly. Then, we can discuss climbing routes tailored to your interests and abilities.

Cost & Booking

Pushing limits

Smearing skills required

Ridiculous exposure

Early season, no crowds yet

Guided Climbing Trips Worldwide
Although Alpine Adventures is based in the Adirondacks, our guiding perspective extends around the world. Over the past quarter-century we have accumulated vast experience running small, personalized trips to destinations in North America, South America, Europe, and Australasia.

All of our trips are privately arranged, sometimes for two clients, often for one, but always for individuals we already know well. Each trip is custom-crafted for the unique abilities and interests of the participant(s). These personalized adventures can open the door to climbing objectives that might otherwise be impossible.

To avoid the pitfalls common to many commercial trips, and to make the most of your valuable climbing time, we adhere to the following principles.

Our Trip-Planning Principles

Proven Technical Skills
Without direct knowledge of a client’s technical skills it is irresponsible to undertake any but the most pedestrian objectives. We believe a trip’s objectives should be designed around your abilities, not adjusted to accommodate them after the fact. Because of this belief, we only arrange trips for clients with proven skills. Successful completion of our Following Skills Evaluation is a bare minimum. Most clients have skills well beyond this minimum and our knowledge of these skills allows us to plan appropriate challenges.

Compatible Personalities
Some of the most engaging reading to be found in expedition accounts pertains to personality clashes. While it makes for colorful reading, and it may even encourage character-building, suffering with incompatible personalities, especially strong ones, does not make for fond vacation memories. And it is largely avoidable.

Almost all of our trips are arranged for individuals, where the only personality issues are between client and guide; or climbing partners, who are already comfortable with one another. This eliminates most compatibility issues right from the start. On the rare occasion when we bring two unfamiliar people together for a trip, we only do so if we believe their personalities, skills and risk-tolerance are very compatible.

Appropriate Destinations & Seasons
An appropriate destination is one that offers objectives compatible with your abilities and interests. The best destinations will leverage your strengths, more than challenge your weaknesses. If you are inclined towards long, moderate crack climbs, it would not be very fruitful to devote an entire trip to a climbing area that features short, desperate face climbs. We will make sure you and your destination are well suited for each other before arranging a trip.

Visiting the right place is the first step, but being there at the right time is equally important. Sometimes, peak season is a poor time to visit a destination because of crowding. In most cases, crowded climbs present a bigger obstacle than weather so a visit during “shoulder seasons” often makes more sense. Sometimes it’s better not to go at all than to go at the wrong time. We will make sure the timing fits the destination.

Multiple Objectives
We rarely conduct single-objective trips. Trips aimed at a single objective become pass/fail experiences; you either succeed or you don’t. After investing large amounts of time, energy and money, there is tremendous pressure on clients and guides to succeed. This pressure can influence judgment and encourage otherwise unjustifiable risk-taking.

When a trip includes multiple objectives, failure with one can be offset by success with others. If a climb can’t be completed due to weather, or other obstacles, it becomes a set-back rather than a complete failure. When there are other successes, often failures serve mostly to remind participants that uncertainty and demanding climbing objectives go hand-in-hand.

Flexible Itineraries
One of the most important aspects of our trips is that they are rarely constrained by fixed itineraries. Long before departing, with your input, we assemble a “hit list” of appropriate routes – more than we could possibly complete during the trip. This list provides a framework for the possibilities.

Once we arrive in the area where we plan to climb, the itinerary adjusts to account for weather, energy levels and the other factors that invariably present themselves. This type of flexible itinerary demands considerable logistical acumen, and thorough advance planning, but it allows us to maximize the quantity and quality of your climbing.

Trips Are Journeys, Not Destinations
The purpose of a climbing trip (well, our trips anyway) is to have fun! Climbers are often very goal-oriented people but, taken to extremes, this attitude can turn otherwise enjoyable experiences into forced marches. We are convinced that goals are essential for a successful trip (wait until you see one of our "hit lists"), but we are equally convinced that their importance is derived, not so much from reaching them, but from the journeys required to reach them. Our trips focus more on the journey than the destination.

A Trip Is More Than Just Climbing
Climbing objectives always form the nucleus for each of our trips, but we don’t stop there. Accommodations can vary from well-appointed inns and motels to mountain huts; mountain campsites; and even bivouacs on ledges. Likewise, meals can range from an energy bar, half-way up a climb, to a sumptuous feast in a fine restaurant. Often a cool dip, or a hot soak, after a strenuous day is very welcome and sometimes cultural, historical or other aspects of a place are simply not-to-be-missed. By maintaining flexibility, and assembling these options according to your preferences and mood, we can enhance your enjoyment of the trip beyond just the climbing.

Alpine lunch break

Contemplating dinner

Soaking sore muscles after a hard day of cranking

Moving quickly on alpine rock

To Learn More About Trips
Because of the personalized nature of our trips, they are neither listed nor described in this web site. If you are interested in arranging a trip, the best approach is to contact us by telephone so we can discuss the particulars.

A Few Suggestions
Before investing in any guided rock climbing trip you should ask yourself if you have carefully considered all of the issues we address above. If your plans don’t address these issues you may find your trip includes some unpleasant surprises.

In most cases a climbing trip will work far better with a guide who knows you well – even if local guides might know the destination better. A talented guide can often operate nearly as efficiently on unfamiliar terrain as at home, and a responsible guide will always do whatever research is feasible to enhance a trip’s success potential.

Sometimes bringing your own guide does not make sense. When a trip’s primary purpose is not climbing, and you have just a day or two to climb, when your guide can not accommodate your schedule, or when you may not have a chance to make the trip later, it may make sense to change your expectations, hire a local guide, and go anyway.

Comparing Guides, Guide Services & Climbing Schools
When we started Alpine Adventures, the mountain guiding industry consisted of a small handful of devoted professionals. Over the years, the industry has grown enormously and you will find a wide variety of companies offering an even wider variety of services. To help you make an informed decision when purchasing mountain guiding services, we have prepared a list of concerns you might wish to consider at Comparing Guides, Guide Services & Climbing Schools.

Many factors will enter into an informed decision, including a company’s experience, qualifications, prices, availability, and the level of services offered. It is essential that you clearly understand what is available, your own needs, and what is being offered before you can assess the value of any program. Keep in mind that there is no single credential that will guarantee you a quality experience – be especially wary of anyone who claims to have one.

Last rays of sunshine

Preparing to get out of bed — cautiously!

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~ Mountain Adventures In the Adirondacks Since 1985 ~

Alpine Adventures, Inc.
10873 NYS Route 9N, P.O. Box 179
Keene, New York 12942 USA

(518) 576-9881

Copyright © 2004-2015 Alpine Adventures, Inc.