Chance Of A Lifetime: Expert Climbers Seek Young Protégés

Young climbers, this is your ticket to the big time and a chance to learn from renowned climbers like Josh Wharton, Vince Anderson and Steve House.

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If you are a serious climber under age 30, this could be the chance of a lifetime. The Alpine Mentors program is seeking applicants to take part in a two-year mentorship program that teaches “proficient young climbers.” Those selected for the program will receive training from the best in the business.

The first Alpine Mentors group recently wrapped up its two-year mentorship program. The capstone adventure was a four-week expedition to a mountain called Brahmasar 4 in the Indian Himalayas.

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Want to be in the next graduating class? A new group will be invited to climb with some of the world’s most accomplished and experienced climbers and alpinists over the course of two years.

The mentors help the group organize trips that advance their climbing skills with an eye toward competence on technical routes in the high mountains. Along the way Alpine Mentors connects them with experts from each area they visit.

“Alpine Mentors is a way for mentors to interact with younger, not as experienced, climbers. Those of us who dedicated our lives to climbing mountains learned much. This is where we can share that knowledge,” said mentor Steve House.

Mentorship can play a critical role in the development of a safe and prosperous career for a young climber. This quote from Yvon Chouinard, the founder and owner of Patagonia, speaks volumes.

“I was a 20 year old California rock climber when I fell in with Fred Beckey. We spent a season together in the Canadian Rockies where I learned about how to move safely in the high mountains. It was a mentorship that I still value to this day and am the proof in that we are both still alive!”

Applications are accepted now through midnight on December 1, 2015. The online form can be found at

Mentee’s Benefits

  • No tuition fee.
  • Free alpine climbing mentoring from some of the world’s leading alpinists.
  • Free training counseling.
  • Patagonia clothing & equipment.
  • GRIVEL ice climbing gear.
  • ASOLO boots.
  • Mountain Safety Research (MSR) equipment.
  • Pro-purchase privileges with Liberty Mountain and other sponsors.
  • Group emergency communication devices/plans provided.

Applicants’ Pre-requisites

  • Be capable and comfortable leading trad 5.10, WI 4, and M6.
  • Have previous alpine climbing experience.
  • Be aged 19 to 29 as of March 1, 2016.
  • Live within one-day-driving distance to Ouray County/ Colorado.


Alpine Mentors longterm partner and title sponsor Polartec as well as Patagonia, Grivel, MSR, Liberty Mountain, Asolo and La Sportiva provide necessary financial support to the nonprofit and gear to the young climbers. The industry partners and AM’s strong roots in the climbing community make an all-volunteer program possible.

Past Mentorship Trips

AM maintains a blog from each mentoring trip. Details on trips can be found here – Alpine Climbing Blog.

“The outdoor industry talks a lot about getting youth into the outdoors. Alpine Mentors’ tangible approach of providing mentorship to a new generation of climbers is the kind of direct action that Polartec is proud to get behind.” – Gary Smith, CEO at Polartec.

Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy is the Editorial Director of GearJunkie, and 5+ other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about hunting, fishing, trail running, camping, skiing, and more for 15+ years.

Prior to GearJunkie, he was the chief photographer for the Virgin Islands Daily News and former Editor In Chief for GearJunkie. Based in Denver, Colorado, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.