Alpenglow Expeditions: Back to Business

Words by Madeline Stranzl  

As local businesses start to open up after several months of shutdown, people are searching for summer plans. Many are looking to visit national parks and mountain towns where they can get outside. Both of these hot spots are going to be highly visited and many of these towns have developed cautious precautions to keep those mountain towns and their people safe. Families and adventure-seekers are looking for ways to spend their time this summer outdoors and are searching for guided expeditions. Many mountain and river guide companies are re-opening after a quiet couple of months when they shut their doors and halted summer expeditions.

Alpenglow Expeditions

Alpenglow Expeditions, a skiing, mountaineering, and rock-climbing guiding company based out of Tahoe, has announced that they are re-opening their local guided rock climbing, mountain climbing, and backcountry expeditions in the Tahoe National Forest. While safety is their top priority for their clients and their guides, Alpenglow Expeditions and many other local guiding companies are stoked to be back in business after temporary shutdowns. Alpenglow is one of several local outfitters and guide companies that have re-opened locally for the summer. Alpenglow and other guiding services have made the conscious effort to create a set of COVID-19 modifications to ensure safe and healthy outdoor adventures for their clients. At this time, Alpenglow is only allowing private trips where only people of the same party will be attending the trip. This minimizes the risk of having people from around the country gather to go on these localized expeditions. Guides are professionals at mitigating risks, so they are ready to mitigate this health risk for the betterment of their clients. People are ready to get bet out there and to develop their outdoor skills. Adventurers and people looking to get back outside are stoked and looking for ways to recreate safely.

In Alpenglow’s Expeditions’ re-opening press release, CEO Adrian Ballinger said, “We’re confident that the responsible measures we’re taking will protect our staff and climbers alike and won’t take anything away from the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment that we all get from exploring these scenic mountains.” Alpenglow and other guiding services are just ready to get back outside to continue to do what they love for their clients. Several outfitters are taking safety precautions to mitigate health risks. These precautions include: staggered check-ins, mandatory use of gloves and facemasks, an expedition group limit of four-guests per guide, social distancing protocols, and on-location hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer bottles. Guests, guides, and staff will have to pass a mandatory health screening test before embarking on any adventure. Alpenglow and other guiding companies are doing what they can to ensure safety during COVID-19 for their clients while still maintaining their mission to provide unique and personalized expeditions.

During the past couple of months, guide services are looking on how to re-open and plan for a summer full of local adventures. The Tahoe National Forest and the community of Tahoe have been extremely impressed and supportive of Alpenglow’s reopening plans. On May 26th, Alpenglow just got the okay to reopen the Via Ferrata at Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley Resort where many popular climbing routes are held and where many of their local climbing expeditions take place. There was a lot of support from the Tahoe community and its clients through several purchases of Alpenglow gift cards. There is a new stream of clients coming in from the Bay Area and from other local places. Alpenglow, along with other guiding companies, are committed to the safety of their clients and guides. People seeking for outdoor adventures this summer have been impressed wither their plans to keep them safe and happy during their localized expeditions.

The Future of Guiding

The future of guiding expeditions during these times includes staying local. Alpenglow and other outfitters are running their programs at a local level and are cancelling all summer international trips. There is so much uncertainty with international travel at this time, so staying local is what these companies will adhere to for the summer and until future notice. At this time, many of us who like to get outside are appreciating and spending more time locally and discovering new spots to explore right out of our backyards. This is the future of guiding and Alpenglow Expeditions, along with other guiding services, are making the best of utilizing local trips and adventures right in their backyards.

“The future of guiding and outdoor education is going to look a lot different.” says Alpenglow Director of Sales and Marketing, Sean Kristl. Guiding services and companies will move to virtual coursework. Sean added, “I think that’s one of the biggest changes that we’ll see in the future for guiding. Digital learning on demand will be necessary for our clients. We have plans to do that, we haven’t released anything yet because we’ve been really hyper focused on actually opening. But in the next couple weeks we’re actually going to start digging in and probably writing scripts and films videos.” The main educational tools that mountaineering and guiding services are looking to shift to online course work includes avalanche classroom instruction, rock climbing safety instruction, and any other outdoor skills that are able to be taught, explained, and demonstrated through an online platform. However, most of these courses need the in-person teaching and ability to actually perform hands on skills like using a beacon or practicing the placement of trad gear. Avalanche courses might look different and other outdoor education courses will utilize these digital learning tools.

Everyone is ready to get outside after months at home. Alpenglow Expeditions and other outfitters are stoked to be back in business and are ready for a local summer full of adventures right in their backyard. If you’re looking to book your next summer adventure, head to to browse their special California adventures.

Outdoor education and guiding will continue despite the crisis through several safety precautions. Every outdoor business is looking to give their clients a fun adventure out of the house that is safe for all parties involved. The future of guiding and outdoor education may look different including increased private trips and digital educational tools, but the outdoors is still readily available for the public to use responsibly and safely. Everyone is eager to get out and explore new places, advance their outdoor skills, and get moving after a long time at home while also adjusting to the new reality that we all live in.