Mountain Madness


Mountain Madness
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Mountain Madness
Manufacturer Guide Service
Page By ibndalight
Page Type Jan 26, 2007 / Jan 26, 2007
Object ID 2201
Hits 9179

Client Care

Mountain Madness recognizes that our clients are the ones that allow us to keep doing what we love, professionally. Because of that, your business is important to us and we want to ensure that every aspect of your Mountain Madness experience is an enjoyable one. Not only does Mountain Madness have experts in the regions that our client's travel, but we also have a US contact who is here to answer all of your questions. Long before a client's trip departs, Mountain Madness' in-office Area Specialists are preparing for their arrival. All of the logistics for a smooth trip, down to the smallest of details, have been checked, double-checked and confirmed. Whether its equipment questions, training suggestions, recommendations for trip extensions or assistance with travel plans, our Area Specialists' expertise lies in knowing the activities and regions we explore.

World Class Guides and Staff

We believe that our incredible guides and staff are the foundation of our programs. All of our guides are highly skilled professionals who have been selected based on their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgment, patient and supportive teaching styles and great personalities. At a minimum, all of our guides hold current Wilderness First Responder certification and are proficient in technical rescue and evacuation skills. Our guides are dedicated to the world of alpinism, many having first ascents and successful summits on major peaks in the Cascades all the way to Mount Everest. In addition to their impressive personal achievements in the field, Mountain Madness guides bring a wealth of natural history, cultural anthropology and linguistic knowledge for their group's enlightenment. All of our guides and staff surpass the needs of our clientele and make their trip enjoyable beyond expectations. We celebrate the relationships with our overseas operators that are built on camaraderie and trust. In short, we provide the most experienced and dedicated guides, high altitude Sherpas, reliable porters and staff for all of our trips.

American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Accreditation

Mountain Madness is one of few companies with accreditation status. The American Mountain Guides Association accreditation program was developed for guiding programs, schools and services to ensure the highest quality service available. The accreditation program is a voluntary means of quality assurance and peer evaluation focusing on international standards for guided climbing, mountaineering, and skiing. Accreditation examines such things as operating guidelines, access, permits, insurance, employment and business practices, and guide training. It constitutes a general business review. Accreditation provides a consistent and meaningful standard by which to judge the reliability and professionalism of a climbing service. It advises the general public and land managers that a program utilizes guides who are certified and that all guides in the program have received formal training appropriate to the terrain they guide.

The AMGA accreditation program relies on experienced based guides trained, supervised, and mentored by AMGA certified guides. The accreditation program was developed by professional guides and climbing instructors who are leaders in the outdoor industry. The Accreditation Committee oversees the program and is made up of AMGA certified guides in the Rock, Alpine, and Ski disciplines

Certification in specific disciplines by the AMGA is the international standard for individual guides. The AMGA is the Untied States only organization to offer a comprehensive training and certification program for mountain guides that is recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA). The accreditation program promotes certification within accredited programs through mentoring, training, supervision, and financial support for the individual guide seeking certification.



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packet - Jan 26, 2007 3:27 pm - Voted 4/5

Decent guides
I haven't gone on a trip with Mountain Madness, but I was climbing in Peru alongside a Mountain Madness team and talked to a bunch of their clients. From what I've seen, they tend to feed you pretty decently, and the guides are safe. The clients I talked to were all happy with their services and didn't have anything bad to say.

They do tend to be a bit on the pricey side though, but not bad for any of the international guide services out there. This isn't anything bad about MM themselves, but the type of climber they attract (at least on the one I saw) doesn't seem to be the type I want to be around. So, I don't plan on going on any of their trips anytime soon. But, you'll get back safe if you do hire them.

radson - Apr 17, 2007 4:16 pm - Hasn't voted

As above I havent climbed with them but climbed alongside them on Mustagh Ata. Packet succinctly states all my impressions of Mountain Madness.

kili0601 - Apr 23, 2007 3:38 pm - Hasn't voted

Love the Madness
I’ve taken four trips with Mountain Madness, two domestic courses in the Cascades and two South America trips. All four trips were a huge success, even if a summit wasn’t reached (due to weather, of course) I learned a ton and walked away with an incredible experience. All of their guides that I have met are, to me, top notch climbers and very cool people as well. Trips were very well organized and the staff at the main office are very helpful. These guys rock! I’m already signed up for another trip for this summer!

TorstenW - Jul 7, 2007 2:22 pm - Voted 5/5

Fun Group...
I went to Everest base camp this past April with Mountain Madness and had a great time. I liked the guides, staff, and the paying members. What a variety! Cute girls too. It seems that they will go out of their way to accomodate those less fortunate as much as possible. Remember, not all of us can be first-class mountaineers...

grabbs146 - Mar 19, 2009 2:26 pm - Voted 4/5

good time
I've used them in South America. I looked around at other guide companies and their price was the best. The trip was well planned

DAS - Nov 9, 2009 2:29 pm - Voted 4/5

Positive Experience
Recently completed an 8-day intro to Alpine course - overall a very enjoyable and educational experience. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and (at least one was) enthusiastic about sharing knowledge with the students. The food was excellent. The guides did a great job of teaching to different individual levels of experience and of being appropriately motivational and supportive. Also, there was significant opportunity for student input into the course curriculum and sequence.

On the negative side, the Scarpa Inverno boots I rented absolutely trashed my ankles. A doctor's visit a day after I returned confirmed an infection that resulted from the rubbing of the boots against my inner ankles. My only advice is to rent or buy boots prior to the trip to ensure that you have a great fit. I would not want a person's first Alpine climbing experience to be marred by dealing with such pain. Additionally, we always seemed to be in a rush. It is understandable that a group is often difficult to control / manage, but I think people would have responded a little better to being clearer about time targets up-front (i.e., "we're leaving camp no later than 8am tomorrow").

I would definitely recommend this course and MM in general for anyone in search of basic Alpine climbing instruction.

Amy Huang - Jul 12, 2018 5:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Aconcagua and Elbrus climbs
I was an actual client of Mountain Madness for their Aconcagua trip in 2017-2018 Dec.-Jan and recently for Mt Elbrus June-July 2018. I have summited 107 mountains in my career, most between 10,000-14,000 ft and Mt Kilimanjaro at 19, 341 ft and Mt Meru at 14,977 ft (not thru Mountain Madness). Thru Mountain Madness, I reached 21,945’ at the Aconcagua cave though the summit was 22,800’ + and it was a nice day, and 18,145 ft on Mt Elbrus although th summit was about 18,500’ +. In my Mt Elbrus climb, in the beginning there were 35-40 mile per hour winds and whiteout conditions. My other team mates (2 others) were allowed to summit but I wasn’t despite that I was 400’ below the summit according to my earthmate at the time my team mates were at the summit. My first guide led them up without a backward glance of waiting for me, and the guide that was with me was yelling at me for being “slower” than the rest of the group despite that it was 8:30 am and turn-around times are usually noon or 1pm after the summit. During both of my trips, I wanted to continue, but my guides wanted to hurry up and down the mountain because it seemed they had “been there, done that” and they didn’t take into account that as a client, I’m not as acclimated as them and that this was my first time and I paid a total of $10,000 + for both of these trips combined. Believe me, after the first trip I did not want to continue with them, but I thought I was stuck that I made a $700 deposit for Elbrus before going on the Aconcagua trip.

In Aconcagua, I paid an extra $3,000 for a porter to carry my stuff and he radioed my guide who abandoned me with the rest of the group as I had to take a bathroom and clothing layer break outside our normal break time. The porter obviously didn’t want to continue going at my pace to the summit even though we had 800ft more to go, and it was only 1 pm and the rest of the group reached the summit at 4pm and my Elbrus guide didn’t want to stay at high altitude longer than 5 hours, even though I found out in another company, an overweight lady was accompanied by her guide for 12 hours to the summit on a nice day.

I felt ripped off but also my Elbrus guide spoke down to me and the Russian guide that accompanied us didn’t even wait for me or acknowledge me much and expected a tip. Since I didn’t give him one, he didn’t bother to at least shake my hand or say goodbye at the end of our 2 week trip that we spent time together for 2 weeks.

With my main Elbrus guide I had to inform the Mountain Madness administrator that I would not tolerate being mistreated as it would just add more detail to my review.

Please avoid this company if you don’t want to race with mountain goats up s mountain and if you want a good experience for yourself as they only care about pleasing the majority. Plus I felt like I was there for my guide’s pleasure and if I asked for help she would say “I shouldn’t expect her to do everything for me” even if I was too sick to carry 3 of my bags at the same time.

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