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!