Alpine Mentorship Program

Many members of PATC-MS have ambitions to do alpine ascents in the US or abroad. Planning and setting out on your first such trip is intimidating. There is not only the climbing to worry about but all of the associated logistics. Getting to the mountain with the right amount of stuff, but not too much, can be complicated. The skill set needed in climbing, camping, and logistics varies widely. Different areas have different demands. The Sierra Nevadas in California are very environmentally friendly mountains, but the popular areas are really popular and require permitting. Just getting permission to go in can be complicated. Most Alaska areas are flown into, how do you manage that? Do you know about protecting your car in the Bugaboos from animals that like to gnaw on engine hoses? Many members do know these things and have have been through it. Some are willing to provide advice and mentorship in organizing your trip to an alpine objective. There are many objectives that require little more than basic mountaineering skills, solid fitness, and a bit of organization.

The Alpine Mentorship Program exists to make planning your trip less intimidating – and hopefully more successful. A number of members have identified themselves as knowledgeable in popular alpine areas, some with decades of experience there. They will consult with PATC-MS members who want to plan a trip to these areas in regards to:

  • Route selection and permitting. What routes are suitable for a first trip. The administrative issues in getting permitted to climb (if necessary).
  • Travel logistics. Getting to the area. Roadheads, access trails, camping, supplies.
  • Equipment. Appropriate individual and group equipment lists. Assessing needs by season. Realistic preparation for very cold conditions.
  • Skills and training. Essential individual and team skills for various routes. Practice areas and methods. Fitness requirements and training approaches. Acclimatization approaches.

How to use this program

If you want to plan a trip to an alpine objective, review the list for people who have volunteered and who have expertise in the relevant areas. Contact a club officer for their contact information. Some may be willing to do field training in appropriate skills, or recommend where you can do for such training. Note that talking to a mentor before applying for an expedition grant might be a good idea, and might help you build a better proposal, not to mention raising your odds for success.

Mentor List

Neil Arsenault

Dacks Winter, White Mountains (New Hampshire) Winter, Katahdin (Maine), Wind River Range, Bugaboos

Simon Carr

Sierra Nevadas, Tetons, Wind River Range, Dacks Winter, White Mountains Winter, Canadian Rockies, Bugaboos

Robert Graver

Dacks Winter, White Mountains Winter, Alaska Denali, Other Alaska, Tetons

Corey Hilz

Cascades, White Mountains Winter

Bill Kessinger

Cascades, White Mountains Winter

Mark Maier

Sierra Nevada (CA), Cascades

Stephanie Stefanski

Cayambe (Ecuador), Rainier, Mt. Whitney (summer), Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Alpamayo high camp, Cotopaxi base camp