Climbing Vinson with Mike and the Team was a dream, I cannot thank you guys enough for allowing me to be part of such an adventure. My favorite part was everything between arriving in Punta Arenas and leaving it again. Everything in between was just great.
I travelled a lot in my life and participated in many climbing teams but the Vinson trip was the most organized trip I ever participated. Mike and Rob are great leaders and climbers and they became friends while being on the ice.
But not just the time in Chile and Antarctica was great, the collaboration in getting everything organized before with you and your team was a pleasure....thanks a lot!
Superb experience from start to finish with CTSS and I can't speak highly enough of their team. I climbed with a great group, the organisation and logistics throughout the trip was first class, the people I met were awesome, and the food was unbelievable throughout! Definitely the trip of a lifetime and am already starting to think about my next CTSS adventure.
My expectations were exceeded because I felt CTSS put together a strong international guiding team, with a safety-first mindset, complimented by local experts that are very familiar with the mountains. I felt my Lead Guide listened extremely intently to any questions or concerns that arose and answered in great detail. Current gear to bring in my backpack was my biggest concern, but his quick answers to questions keep me feeling confident and organized the entire trip.
Pre-trip questions from the back office were always answered rapidly and I felt supported with all the information CTSS provided pre-expedition, which was the perfect crutch to lean on to ensure all required items were in hand prior to trip and I was ready to go.
Aside from the climbing, I wanted to ensure that I was able to experience as much of the Ecuadorean culture as possible while on this trip and my expectation was completely exceeded with the restaurants and places we stayed in an already perfect itinerary. Thank you CTSS for a perfect trip of a lifetime!!
The Australian Alpine Academy + Kosciuszko Climb expedition was the ideal course and location to learn the basics of alpine mountaineering. The course enabled mountaineering beginners to learn a range of skills and techniques in the snow, from snowshoeing and establishing base camp to ice climbing and ice axe arrest, all in the relatively low-risk yet incredibly diverse alpine environment of Kosciuszko National Park. I have hiked Mount Kosciuszko numerous times in the warmer months of the year when there is no snow cover, however the addition of the winter Kosciuszko summit on this course is such an incredible opportunity that almost no other operators are offering and it is definitely a highlight of the course. It is properly challenging yet a very rewarding achievement that provides you with a whole new perspective of how stunningly rugged and wild Kosciuszko and the Main Range can be, particularly compared to the leisurely conditions of the warmer months.
The quality of training was very high, and the guides' passion and enthusiasm for mountaineering, for safety and for building team camaraderie added so much beyond just the physical aspects of the trip. Even when the conditions were terrible, the guides spun it into a positive for the group in that we had the opportunity to experience such a diverse range of possible scenarios in the mountains and learn how to cope in each of them. I couldn't have been more impressed with the caliber of guides on this trip.
Overall the trip has well and truly exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend it for anyone wishing to build their knowledge and familiarity of alpine mountaineering for bigger international mountain expeditions in the future, and to also gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the incredible landscape and conditions of the Kosciuszko National Pass.
Caroline at CTSS was able to coordinate a last minute expedition in Ecuador. This contained both a glacier course, which I needed for an upcoming expedition, as well as a summit of Cotopaxi and nearby mountains. My guide was Edgar, one of the most talented and genuine guides I have worked with during my seven years of mountaineering. The structure of the program, responsiveness of CTSS, high quality guide as well as success in each area of the trip was all top notch. The summit was challenging due to recent weather and wind conditions, but having a guide like Edgar made it fun, encouraging and incorporated a variety of techniques with the changing landscapes to vary the muscles used and remain relatively fresh and motivated during our 7-8 hour summit push. Would highly recommend both CTSS and Edgar who have continued to refine my skills and confidence as I leave to do other summits in the coming months.
Climbing the Seven Summits (CTSS)/TAGnepal provided world-class expertise and logistical support for a second year in a row in connection with my attempt to become the oldest American to summit Manaslu, including solving a multitude of issues that kept me on the mountain until COVID struck, forcing me to end my effort scant days before a deadly avalanche ended further team efforts to summit.
More specifically, CTSS/TAGnepal initially timely sourced and replaced all my high altitude gear and the prescription medication needed to keep me not just functional but alive that had been in a duffel bag that was "lost" in transit and only "found" 9 days later, after I was on the mountain. My transit to the mountain, which had been delayed by weather and other factors, was "magically" fixed when quick-thinking TAGnepal and CTSS climbing staff members utilized personal connections to arrange helicopter flights otherwise unavailable for a variety of reasons - at any price. Finally, the prescription medication needed regardless of whether I would've stayed on the mountain or not was acquired and hand-carried, then hand-delivered to me at Basecamp after a single phone call, the failure to have done so instantly ending my trip and potentially endangering my life.
CTSS'S/TAGnepal's support did not end once I contracted COVID on the mountain, ending my summit bid. I was personally accompanied at every step of my evacuation and had subsequently personally arranged for me all necessary medical care when I arrived in Kathmandu and thereafter. My convalescence was continuously monitored multiple times daily until I was finally able to be released for travel, at which point all necessary arrangements for my seamless transit home occurred, being checked and rechecked beforehand to ensure no glitches and no "issues" anywhere along the way.
I can say without any reservation that CTSS/TAGnepal not only saved my trip and the potential of summiting at least 6 different times before COVID finally ended it but that they potentially saved my life by getting me prescription medication that, if not supplied in a timely manner (which it was), wouldn't have just ended my trip but left me optionless at a time when no possibility of helicopter evacuation existed.
You can pay a company for services but you can't pay people to do what CTSS/TAGnepal did for me.
Thank you my friends. In my book, I owe you my life and that is a debt I can never repay.
I just finished the Australian Alpine Academy- Intro to Mountaineering course. What a brilliant experience it was! We had Rob as our guide who was very knowledgeable, organised and fun to be around. The other guides assisting were fantastic too. The course itself was comprehensive with a good mix of theory and practice. Our group experienced everything from blue skies to snow storms, so it a great training ground for future expeditions. Really impressed with CTSS and I hope to join them on a future trip. Thanks CTSS Team!
Summiting a peak has always been a bucket-list thing for me. When I first decided to do it and reached out to CTSS, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The team were quickly responsive, informative and supportive from the very beginning.
The expedition itself was amazing, and extremely well run. Everything went smoothly and the safari afterwards ticked off a bucket list item, I didn’t know existed.
The feeling when I reached the summit was incredible and I couldn’t have done it without the CTSS team, both in the office and on the ground.
I’m already planning my next adventure with CTSS and now have added Everest 2024 to my bucket list.
Thank you Mike and Caroline.
Robert was such an amazing guide and genuinely kind person, his passion for the mountains and helping people achieve their goals is incredibly inspiring to watch. He has taught me not only about how to climb mountains but also how to push people beyond what they thought was possible in a very positive environment.
What a difference a year makes for weather and pandemics! But the one thing that stayed consistent and true is Climbing The Seven Summits (CTSS). I returned this year for another shot at Everest (last year we were unable to go for summit bid due to covid infecting most of the climbing sherpa support on the mountain) and there is no other company I would choose other than CTSS. The caliber of guide, the attention to fine details, the accommodations, the CHEF and upper mountain cooks, the level of safety and backups plans prepared, the pre/post trip care, and on and on… ranks far above any company I’ve climbed with over my career. The camp is clean, stunning and always in a prime spot. Brining on an international chef this year made a huge difference to me, who has food allergies to work around! My Executive dome tent was SOOOOO worth it and allowed me more space for gear, warmth and rest! And my FAVORITE tiny comfort… the CTSS espresso machine and an actual barista serving it up!!
It also means something when world renowned guides remain with CTSS year after year. High retention rates shows you a company is doing something right by their employees. That’s important to me. So, this “mountaineering company” becomes more than just getting you to the top of a hill and back down, it becomes life long friendships and a family.
Last year, making it to camp 3 before the trip needed was also such an amazing benefit. I went into this year knowing what to expect, way more relaxed (which helps you sleep) and fully prepared (with the help of the CTSS thorough gear list and trip prep). Thanks to my AMAZING guide, climbing sherpa and CTSS, I was able to summit on May 12 this year. It was a long time coming for this climbing family and what a sweet celebration we all had! I will finish my 7th summit this fall WITH CTSS!! And then we’ll see what other fun we can get ourselves into! So many places to explore! And I know the quality and experience I will receive staying with CTSS!
I am transformed forever! If you want a life-changing, positive experience with guides who have heart and tons of experience for your personalized journey to the summit, CTSS and its local team are the Mount Kilimanjaro choice. Ethical business practices that build up guide/porter team families and the local economy, made me feel happy to be their clients in even more ways. Do it now!
Climbing Vinson Massif with CTSS was a great adventure and expedition with CTSS. This is my 4th of the seven summits and this trip was ran very well. Mike and Caroline did a great job and helped me through some COVID paper work issues at the beginning of the trip. Having been on several mountain expeditions, what impressed me the most was the guiding team and mountain food/cooking. Mike, Tendi, and Tommy all did a great job in taking care of me and the other clients from the time we arrived in Chile until we all arrived back home safety (after everyone summited). We all enjoy very delicious hot meals everyday in our group dome tent. Overall this was a great adventure trip with a great team and I would highly recommend CTSS for your next high altitude trip. I am looking forward to planning my next trip.
I climbed Mount Vinson in Antarctica with CTSS. Their leadership was outstanding. Not only did they help me in any possible way during my months of preparation with tips and all necessary paperwork, they continued showing and executing their professionalism on the mountain as well. The food was excellent and added to the mood of the team. They really made the effort, over and over again, to include the team in decision making and made sure everyone got the attention they needed during a big climb like this. Absolutely fabulous. I highly recommend CTSS.
So i just came back from Aconcagua with CTSS, and they made sure to take all the hassle away from our team to make sure we could focus on the climb. It's only when i got there that i started to realize how big of logistics this was. It's not just having our group, and then they give guides, and off we go ! It way more than that..
Everything went flawlessly (from our perspective at least, i'm sure the guides had to jump thru hoops to make it look simple for us) but from the Hotel, the bus schedules, the mules, the INCREDIBLE food we had on the mountain, the organizing with AMG.. we could tell we were dealing with a professional company, because we could see there was so much going on behind the scenes, and yet everything went flawlessly, we never missed anything, and the guides were on top of it all, 100% of the time ! Looking forward to my next trip with CTSS !
Incredible experience all the way, from trek in, Basecamp, to summit and back. We were well-supported at every point. The crew was well-trained, and guides were very experienced. The lead guides worked well with Mike as a team, and placed climbers’ interest and safety first. Very well-executed. 👍
I was lucky enough to be on the Everest team in 2021. Although Covid caused some changes to the plan, the CTSS team did everything they could to make sure we had a life changing expedition. The base camp services where by far the best on the mountain and I honestly believe they have the best sherpas as well. Special shout out to Mike who was amazingly helpful, and to Caroline back in the office for everything they did. I will be back for 2022 and can't wait to use CTSS for all my climbing moving forward!
I climbed with CTSS's team under the leadership of Josh in Feb 2020. From the start CTSS was a cut above. Better hotel accommodations, excellent logistics and a smooth, organized program. CTSS managed the climb very thoroughly from start to finish and had solid solutions for when weather didn't quite go our way. Taking the 360 route wasn't my first choice, but after completing it I agree, it's definitely better than climbing through the Normal route! Much more scenic and better climbing too. All that and the coffee was great every morning, I can't recommend it enough!
This was a challenging year for anyone climbing Everest, due to the Delta Covid Variant impacting all expeditions. The true measure of a company, and a person, is how they conduct themselves in the worst of times. I could not ask for a more professional, caring and engaged company and team than CTSS. The guides, staff, accommodations, skills and overall experience was of the highest caliber.
I was one of the people not able to summit, due to Covid impacting our team. CTSS did everything in their power to look at all options, but at the end of the day, made decisions with integrity and 100% care for clients and staff. I am so blown away with this experience, I am going to climb Vinson with them AND RETURN NEXT YEAR to finish Everest! After seeing all the other outfitters (many of them i know), I cannot imagine going with any other company.
Was a really unique way to do an Everest Base Camp trek alongside an Everest summit team. I thought it would be intimidating and I wouldn't be a bit of an outlier as I was just a trekker but it couldn't be further from the truth. CTSS's camp, guides and professionalism were second to none. I felt honoured to be part of their team.
Guides were professional but had to work hard to move a large (10 people + 2 guides) group considering clients being overloaded with inappropriate heavy inadequate gear and food. 1. Group pressured to reduce personal gear weights yet packs were overloaded with group gear, primarily food for December 2020 and 2021 expeditions. Significant amount of condiments (mustard, sirracha etc) hauled to high camp will be of no use because it will be frozen. 2. Needed more and better stoves as 4+ hours per day was dedicated to melt snow for the group size. And only one person could melt at a time. Coleman car camp stove hauled to Camp 1 barely got the job done (wrong equipment for the job). Thank goodness the weather was nice! MSR stoves at high camp were old and needed cleaning with bad plungers. 3. Food when it was provided (breakfast in the afternoon and dinner after midnight) was mostly inedible due to type of meals and poor stoves. 4. Car camp tent at base camp and camp 1 was inadequate equipment not to mention embarrassing plus cold, slick inside. 5. Fixed line travel was inefficient due to too heavy of packs (some members carried 75-85 lb packs) and too long between breaks.
CTSS and their logistics partner TAG Nepal put on an amazing expedition, all the way from the insulated basecamp tents to the calibre of the climbing Sherpas to the high end oxygen systems. Basecamp was extremely comfortable with padded dining chairs, carpet, and heating, thick mattresses in the personal tents, and then there was the huge chillout tent known as the Big House. For those with extra Dollars an upgrade to exec level tents was possible bringing the comfort level up another notch. Intermediate camp 2 facilities also provided that little bit of comfort, with an insulated dining tent, decent food and a great placement high up in the Western Cwm. The higher camps were as expected, the Sherpas making sure that we wanted for nothing. Accurate weather forecasting ensured we eventually made the summit and as usual the highly qualified Sherpa team were faultless throughout. In my case, requiring a helicopter evac, the guiding team did everything necessary to get me off the mountain and on to Kathmandu for treatment. Wouldn't hesitate to climb with Mike Hamill and CTSS in the future.
I climbed Cayambe and Cotopaxi in Nov 2018 with CTSS. Not my first climb with Mike Hamill as guide but my first climb with his company. Right from the start Mike was available to answer any and all of my questions which I really appreciated. The logistics of the trip were also seamless. Accommodations and food both on and off the mountains were outstanding and the local guides that CTSS partners with are amazing. Ecuador is a beautiful country that should be on everyone's bucket list and the climbs of Cayambe and Cotopaxi, while not technical, were sufficiently challenging to make for rewarding summits. I would highly recommend CTSS - 5 star all the way!
Year of Expedition : 2018
CTSS (Climbing The Seven Summits)
CTSS (Climbing The Seven Summits)
CTSS (Climbing The Seven Summits)
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