Difficulty levels

Adventures are created, not packaged

Our programs are designed for novice and veteran climbers, skiers, backcountry adventurers, and paddlers who are interested in developing safe and more efficient techniques for travel.  Peak Expeditions’s programs include structured learning environments and backcountry venues appropriate for and of interest to our clients.

The difficulty levels outlined here, as well as our trip descriptions, are meant to be suggestions, not itineraries.  All our expeditions are unique and everyone who contracts with us determines his/her own experience.

Your trip will be your own invention!


The novice climber aspires to develop the basic skills for safe, efficient travel in the mountains.  He/she has strong three season backpacking and wilderness living skills, as well as solid physical conditioning.  Prior experience with rope work, crampons, and ice ax is helpful but not necessary.  All skills required for safe ascension of the mountain will be taught during the trip.


The experienced climber has completed our 6 day Basic Alpine Training Camp or equivalent.  He/she has four season camping skills, prior experience over 14,000 feet elevation, and experience with ice ax and crampon use, roped team travel, and an awareness of mountain hazards.  The experienced climber is looking for advancement in technical skills and difficulty on a variety of mountain terrain.  The experienced climber is generally self-sufficient and very well conditioned.


The advanced climber has solid, multi-day mountaineering experience completed during varied seasons and years.  He/she is self-sufficient in mountain living and travel skills and is proficient in self and partner rescue and anchor systems.  Advanced climbers are interested in partners who can help increase their chance of success on difficult or new mountain routes.  If leadership is of interest to these climbers, they may lend support to less experienced expedition members.

Participant Responsibility

Mountain travel and backcountry related activities, such as paddling, climbing and skiing, contain risks and hazards which can never be eliminated because of the inherent nature of the environments in which they take place. While a professional guide/school can help minimize the risks by providing clients with the skills and knowledge necessary for safe participation, this is no guarantee of total safety. Along with the decision to participate, each person must accept responsibility for accidents which could result in personal injury or even death. Peak Expeditions operates on a Challenge by Choice policy. At all times participants determine their own level of risk/participation even under circumstances in the mountains where few choices may exist.

Participant Equipment

A detailed equipment list will be provided for our more demanding programs and expeditions. Peak Expeditions will provide, or has available for rent, technical gear such as helmets, harnesses, climbing shoes and boots, ice axes, crampons, boats, PFD’s, paddles, etc. We will provide all group safety equipment including medical kit and rescue gear. Peak Expeditions can recommend a local specialty shop to help you prepare for your adventure. For our international expeditions, Peak Expeditions will extend wholesale priced equipment to our clients. We do not want equipment to be a limiting factor in the success or safety of our adventures. Please inquire.