Vetted Organizations to Support Nepal Earthquake Victims

We thought we’d put together a vetted list of the best organizations to donate to the relief in Nepal.  Not only are these people equipped to do the job, we vouch for their financial stewardship of the funds being donated going to the actual relief efforts and not some fat cat administrators speaking engagement tours.  I’d like to crowdsource this, so you have orgs that you think are good, put them in the comments below.

Firstly, a note.  I would be very, very wary of crowdfunded relief campaigns that just popped up.  I’m sure their intentions are really good, but running a non-profit and relief effort is an incredibly difficult task.  We’d like to put you in touch with people that go beyond good intentions.  Those who have a proven track record of rising to the occasion in the past.

International Medical Corps – They are first responders in massive disasters such as this.  They have people on the ground there as we speak.  They’ve done amazing work in the past with the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, 2010 Haiti Earthquake and 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami.

CARE -Great organization who is providing relief to survivors.  From their website: “CARE’s emergency response teams specialize in providing life-saving food, water, shelter and health care. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE, which works in 90 countries around the world, places a special focus on women, children and other vulnerable populations, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. In 2014, our emergency response and recovery projects reached nearly four million people in 40 countries.”

World Vision – “World Vision is currently working to locate and ensure the safety of its 200 staff and a number of international staff attending a workshop in country this week.  The agency is coordinating its response with the national government, which has declared a state of emergency, and other nongovernmental organizations.  After search and rescue, World Vision disaster management staff say initial needs are potable water, food, household supplies, temporary shelter, and protection for children.”

American Himalayan Foundation: this a great group in San Francisco with deep ties to the region.  100% of all funds donated will go to relief efforts.  They know the best and most effective people who need resources.  They will also be involved in rebuilding efforts.

….more to follow.  We’ll update this list as we can.

PathWrangler LIVES!

PathWrangler is Staying Open!

Something amazing has happened in the last 14 days.  And this thing has led to PathWrangler being resurrected and it will stay open…for now.  Below is what happened how it affects you.

The flood of emails I then received from our community in the past two weeks has been touching, but also heartbreaking.  We started PathWrangler to build a great community.  We succeeded in that mission, but we fell short in the making money to pay the bills part of it.

I cannot even begin to describe how hard it was to walk away from one of the most amazing communities of people I’ve known or been a part of.  Not only that, I personally felt like I had let everyone down who supported us all these years.

I also received a lot of phone calls.  And one of those calls led to this amazing thing.  It was from Emilie Cortes from Call of the Wild Adventures.  Emilie has not only been an avid user of PathWrangler, she’s also pushed the envelope with how tour operators use the tool and has provided the standard with how tour operators can improve their lives and build community for their companies.

Here’s a quote from Emilie about why we had to stay open:

“Our business model and customer service delivery is totally built around PathWrangler. At this stage, it’s unfathomable to contemplate returning to the old way of doing things. The increased email volume, document version control issues, difficulty responding to changing conditions quickly, and the feeling that each client has that they are completely alone before a trip were all simply unacceptable and were going to increase our costs dramatically. With PathWrangler, all of these administrative and business issues are solved or ameliorated. However, the biggest impact PathWrangler has had on our business is the ability to build community pre-trip, not only post-trip. Clients come on our trips feeling more connected, more prepared, and some groups even have inside jokes before they have ever even met. It’s powerful. As we all know, it’s way more effective to retain clients who then bring more people, than to keep spending money on advertising trying to bring in brand new clients.”

I told her that I was down to my last two nickels and had been rubbing them together for the last year to see if they’ll mate.  It hasn’t worked. I didn’t want to shut down and it was entirely a financial decision.

I won’t go into details, but it was a very emotional phone call for the both of us.  There were tears…I mean allergies.  It’s Springtime afterall.

The next morning, I woke up to a text message.  Emilie rallied some of our other clients and had raised about half the money we needed to stay open….in 12 HOURS!!!  I was initially reluctant to accept this help, but realized that tour operators don’t wear shiny top hats and monocles, and if they were willing to support us financially, they were dead serious about how much we meant to the success of their businesses.

So, here is where things stand: we are going to remain open.  However, we are going to need more investment to continue in the long term.  We’ll be implementing some changes to our business model to achieve sustainability from our end, but we need outside help to make this work.  Knowing that we have this kind of support in our community, I have no doubt we’ll figure how how to do this and I will continue to fight to keep this community thriving and, hopefully, growing.  Please connect with me directly for more information.

If you have a business or organization that runs trips and don’t have a business account, please get in touch with us and we’ll show you how companies like Call of the Wild are using their PathWrangler Premium Accounts to revolutionize the travel business.

Thank you everyone.  These emails are much more fun to write than the one I sent out on March 10th.  I never want to write that email again.

Doug Heinz

PathWrangler is CLOSING – March 21, 2015

Dear PathWrangler Community,

It is with a heavy heart and tears that I write to you today. It is one of the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life. I’ve owned and operated PathWrangler for 5 years now and when I started this company, I could never imagine the amazing people and incredible community that came together around a simple web app for organizing trips.

After all blood, sweat and tears that went into making this happen, I’ve come to the decision that I am going to close PathWrangler on March 21, 2015.

So, why? Well, of course, the primary reason is simple: we just don’t have enough paying subscribers to make this thing go as a technology business anymore. We’ve been able to build a nice profitable business, which is rare for a tech company that hasn’t taken any outside capital. But, we just haven’t been able to make enough money to take this web app to a place that our standards demand. Engineering talent is very expensive and it has gotten to the point where I am paying almost all of it out of my own pocket.

We have been challenged by people to raise our subscription prices, but we built this app for small businesses and know how every dollar counts. We couldn’t in good conscience ask our clients to pony up more of their hard earned dollars to get the same service for more money.

We have had offers from other companies to buy PathWrangler. But, in every case, we knew they prospective buyers were not interested in the technology; they just wanted our client base to move to their platforms. We didn’t think it was in your interests to pass the buck to another entity. I didn’t get into this business for the money, it was to serve a community. So, we’ve declined all of these purchase offers so far and don’t see any potential with another company that shares our values in serving our clients.

This decision may seem sudden, but it is has been something I’ve been wrestling with for months behind the scenes. I put every dollar I ever had into this business and I am personally dead broke. Like paying rent and groceries with a credit card, broke. I started this business on my terms, so I could gain the independence and freedom that comes with it, so I’m going to end it on my terms. If I personally had more money to keep this running up to the standards I demand, I would. But I don’t.

There is really so much more, but I don’t want to make this anymore self-gratifying than it is already is. I cannot thank everyone reading this enough for being a part of our family here. I am going to miss the interactions I have with you everyday, the amazing trips, the visions, the exploration and the friendships developed. I never imagined the incredible impact you would all have on my life and I certainly never anticipated having to write this email. It is ripping my heart out of my chest that we ultimately failed in realizing our vision to serve you.

There will be more upcoming, but for now, if you have any inquiries, you can reach me at

Thank you everyone.

Doug Heinz – CEO Founder

Death Valley Trip – Big Bell Mine (Part 1)

The Sonoran Pass, just north of Yosemite, is not just the link between the western and eastern Sierra, it is the divide between a California that, while beautiful and glamorous, is also regimented, civilized and predictable.  The eastern side is dramatic and austere; sometimes severe, sometimes tender, but always bubbling with the potential for adventure.

The eastern side is a siren with a wry and mischievous grin, inviting you to explore with her, but only if you’re willing to get dirty and greasy.  The other side is your dolled up wife, who wants to wear her dress at dinner parties and flips you shit for taking your shoes off when you come in the house.

The pass’s geography itself is a Checkpoint Charlie, symbolically reflecting this west versus east divide.  A just a handful of miles from the pass, the granite boulders shoot up through the trees, daring anything living to challenge their perches.  Snow capped peaks surrounding the pass stand over the top of you, demanding not just to see your papers, but to prove you’ve left the ways of the other side behind.  The East Germans who dodged machine gun fire, barbed wire and dogs were committed to their conversion.  Mine was much more mild: I turned on the airplane mode on my phone and turned up Van Halen.

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I was more than willing to leave Western California behind me.  2014 was a dam of expectations that burst all over my hopes and dreams.  It left me broke, exhausted and gripping to my last strand of faith, holding on for dear life.  I’d put all my money into my business and it just wasn’t coming back.  It had gotten so bad, I had to work a late, 3 am shift at a local bar cleaning up piss and puke just to buy a pair of hiking shoes for this trip.  I wore the last ones down to the point where the soles fell off.  I had used up the duct tape on my last houseguest, so it was time to spring for new ones.  The Tuesday before we started our trip, the grizzled manager told me that they wouldn’t need me anymore.  Yes, I had been shitcanned from my piss and puke disposal job.

After driving down 395 for about 20 minutes, I just turned off the cruise control and steadily increased my speed until hitting 90 miles-an-hour.  The mountains above approved, but the California Highway Patrol wouldn’t.  A ticket here would sap my previous month’s paycheck.  I no longer cared.  Death Valley was only a couple hours away and I hoped that Buford T. Justice would be busy chasing a black Trans Am, instead of my suburban blue, Subaru Outback rental.

“Why Death Valley?”

My dates eyes were kind, but her mind partially there and her heart elsewhere.  A question born of small talk and mild curiosity on a first date about a month prior.

For questions like this, I always hoped I could find a response with the brevity and depth of a George Mallory, “Because it’s there.”  So insightful, yet brooding.  It would then dazzle my inquisitor, who would be charmed by more than just the reflection of my bald head.  But the truth is, my real motivations aren’t that interesting.  I just find the place pretty fucking cool.

“Because it is fucking cool.”

“Oh, Romeo.  Thine reputation for pillow talk precedes you.”

On Day 1, I woke Greg up just as the full moon was setting over the Panamint Mountains and the was sun rising over the Funeral Mountains.  He was more interested in Death Valley than my date.  We had a ghost town and abandoned mine to find and explore.  It was a safe bet that we had a much higher enthusiasm for getting there than those that worked up there a hundred years ago.

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Are you interested in reading about the “exquisite cuisine” that I delightfully cooked up that morning “to the delight of our tastebuds?”  Me neither.  People that detail their breakfast on trips sit at Defcon Bore Level 2.  I almost dozed off even trying to remember what we ate that morning.  My fingers fell asleep yptaain….fasj .ljaljdsf…  I mean, “typing that sentence.”

A quick vignette:

Here’s an important equation to learn: Metallica + Few Cops + 20 miles of Perfect Visibility in all directions + Perfectly Paved and Mostly Straight Roads = Driving Speeds Matching the Speed of Sound.  The problem is, when you go in the opposite direction of where you need to be, you’re almost in Canada when you realize it.  For as much research and detail that I put into route planning and finding our remote objectives, I was relying on my memory from 6 years earlier to navigate the roads.  An old fashioned analog map told me, like an idiot, that I turned down the wrong road.  But we got to listen to a couple of extra Metallica songs.

Death Valley has a colorful past of ruffians, hoopleheads and other men of questionable character.  They came looking to these hills for mostly for gold, probably to trick out their Conestoga Wagons or, later, new rims on their Model A’s.  There were a handful of women who ventured out of the brothels and dance halls to join them and promptly reduced their paychecks by 100%.

Prospecting in Death Valley was a mini-rush in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s.  However, very few claims produced much of note.  The universe can be one cruel bastard.  Excuse me, I meant a fucking cruel, heartless asshole.  I don’t care how shady a character you are, if you willingly bought primitive equipment to dig holes into mountains in Death Valley, I’d at least hope that you would get enough ore for a couple gold chains.  You could then head back east and be a hit at the Jersey Shore.  Men actually murdered each other over claims disputes.

I’m no historian, nor a geologist.  I’m not even just a caveman, who’s frightened and confused by your modern ways.  I’m just a guy trying to tell a mildly interesting tale, which 80% of you probably stopped reading after the first paragraph.  But for the rest of you, seeing the ruins of the Big Bell Mine are worth the price of your pain reading to this point.

The site of the Big Bell Mine lies 1,600 ft below the top of the Chloride Cliffs.  We got their by hiking down a trail that used to be a cable road.

During the mine’s last years, they would extract the ore and grind it up in a ball mill.  Then they’d process it in a cyanide tank.  Whatever they processed was put on a motorless mack truck bed.  It was hooked to a cable and then pulled up the mountain 1,600 ft above.  A driver would steer up the truck and her precious cargo up the cable road, which is now the hiking trail.  If I had to dig holes down at the mine below, I would have prayed that the cyanide tanks came with a tap to fill my canteen with.

The trail down wasn’t made for hikers.  It can be a little steep, rocky and have some awkward negotiations at times.  The seasoned hiker won’t have any issues, though.  But it would bum out someone who doesn’t hike much.  Also, there is absolutely no cover, so be prepared for some serious sun exposure, especially on a hot day.  I would advise against retreating to the abandoned mines for shade.  These mines are over a hundred years old and OSHA wasn’t around to make sure everything was kosher.  If you end up at the bottom of a pile of rocks, you’ll be bummed you didn’t bring a better hat, some sunscreen and enough common sense to not go inside of a 100+ year-old dormant mine.

There was something oddly comforting about this place for me.  Besides the dramatic scenery, from the photos, you can see that this place wasn’t just abandoned, it was done so in haste.  I imagine the last prospectors, after yet another day of pulling out nothing but dried mudstone in the furnace-like conditions, sat in a bar sharing a lukewarm beer from the pennies they scrounged up between them and just said, “Fuck this shit.”  Never to return.

The remaining structures weren’t there as a memorial to greatness and success; one of hard work being rightly rewarded.  Not here.  These were relics memorializing failure.   No violins were played for those who lost their hats in the Big Bell Mine.  Few even care to know their names.  As someone who’s world came to a similar conclusion 7 months earlier, I felt a connection to the ghosts here.  I can only hope that some of these individuals picked themselves up, dressed their wounds and moved on to bigger and better things (like the Great Depression).  If I were them, I would be happy to know that someone would respect the effort they put in here over a century later.

Then again, I would find it to be an even greater joy if they were all flipping me the bird for even thinking for one second that I could relate to what they went through.

Don’t Be a Douche – Stories From Lombard Street

Originally, I thought I’d write a post about the proper etiquette of traveling.  However, that term makes me feel like Dean Wormer, throwing on the wet blanket of moralistic preening while furiously finger-wagging at a list of rules that I made up, which I’m going to hashtag and Facebook-share to death until I lose all my friends and my family disowns me.  But, I do think that one needs to check themselves when visiting a new place.  A simple axiom is probably all that is needed. “Don’t be a Douche.”  I’ve been trying to work on a couple of bumper sticker-ready slogans:

  • “When you’re a guest in someone else’s home, scrape the shit off of your shoes — Don’t be a Douche”
  • “Leave no Trace – That Includes Your Segway’s Tracks — Don’t be a Douche”
  • “Wash off the Drakkar, You’re Just Made My Sister Have a Seizure — Don’t be a Douche”
  • “Your Selfie In Front of That Statue Just Stole Our Ancestors’ Souls — Don’t be a Douche”

Here’s a recent example of how if you just followed this simple axiom, a whole neighborhood wouldn’t have to petition their local government to get them to do something about you by law.  This week, the MTA in San Francisco is looking to close down Lombard Street to street traffic in the summer.  In other words, you wouldn’t be able to drive your car down “the Crookedest Street in the World.”  Why is this a problem? Living three blocks away from this iconic street, we get to enjoy the daily barrage of rental cars that line-up blocks away, sitting in line for an hour at a time, pumping exhaust more suited for the freeway than our homes, so that the wary intrepid soul can eventually spend less than 1 min making 4 lefts and 4 rights to go down Lombard Street.  They don’t even need to turn the dial down Kanye’s latest aural abomination on the radio.  “Honey look!  Can you believe how crooked this street is?  OMG!  It is soooo crooked.  SELFIE!” It creates, what the SF Chronicle describes as a “Circus Atmosphere.”

On Friday, the line didn’t extend quite as far, only reaching Larkin Street. But the scene was circus-like. Cars, pickup trucks, bikes, skateboards, Segways and those little yellow GoCars cruising down the brick road through the hairpin turns. Pedestrians crowded the stairways and some wandered onto the curves of the street. Passengers popped their heads out of sunroofs and leaned out side windows to snap photos or hoot and holler. Others blared music.

At the top and bottom of the block, clots of cars, some double-parked, joined with people taking photos to occasionally block the streets. One visitor grabbed a large rock from a nearby planter and tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to ride it down the cable car tracks on Hyde Street.

With the news that the MTA might actually put up the “Road Closed” signs, some travelers aren’t so happy with it:

“I think it would ruin, for some people, visiting San Francisco,” said Ryan Heffner, 22, of Davidson, N.C., who had just taken a ride through the curves. “It’s part of the experience.”

His father, John Heffner, 54, who handled the driving through the tight turns, said it would seem odd for the city to shut down a landmark that attracts tourists.

“It would be like closing down any of the other attractions of the city,” he said.

What the Heffners seem to be missing, is that this road isn’t a tourist attraction.  It is a street that was designed that way, so that the actual people, who actually live in the real homes on the street, could get their actual cars in and out of there without actually dying on the 22-degree slope. The residents here know that people like coming to Lombard Street to walk around and take pictures.  In fact, we think it is cool that people enjoy it.  It does look odd and the views are incredible.  But the issue we have is that people are not following the “Don’t be a Douche” axiom.  Now the city is stepping in and saying, no more. Don’t fret future San Francisco travelers.  You won’t have to apply the white-out on your Lonely Planet book and remove Lombard Street.  It doesn’t need to be driven down to enjoy it.  You can preferably find your way to Lombard Street via public transit, Lyft, Uber or cab.  Or, you can **gasp** walk there.  Here’s a local’s tip: San Francisco is the best seen on foot. You can then walk the streets.  It gives you much more time, so that you can take in and enjoy the views instead of breathing car exhaust and staring at break lights.  Also, you might get an opportunity to chat with some of the people that actually live here, instead of breezing by in your car so you can hurry over to the Rainforest Cafe on Fisherman’s Wharf.  We all gain from that scenario and are glad you came to visit.  We might even invite you to our leather bondage dungeon later that night if you’re lucky. Please, please, with sugar on top, “Don’t be a Douche.”

PathWrangler Partners with Destination Jämtland Härjedalen in Sweden to Support Tour Operators and Increase Regional Tourism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 14   For more information, contact: Doug Heinz – CEO, Pathwrangler 899 Green St. #404, San Francisco, CA 94133 415-309-2242  

Destination Jämtland Härjedalen Turism partners with leading travel software company PathWrangler to expand reach and promote local operators for their region  

San Francisco, CA (January 21, 2014) – Jämtland Härjedalen Turism, a private tourism board responsible for promoting and developing tourism in Swedens top adventure location, is announcing a new partnership with San Francisco-based software company PathWrangler today. The partnership will give PathWrangler’s travel software, which helps outdoor programs, clubs and trip planners to run better trips, mentor student leaders and grow their programs.

PathWrangler’s online app allows users to create interactive trips with all the assets they need to organize outdoor expeditions and guided tours. Through their accounts, trip leaders can create, share and host the data for traveler registrations, itineraries, packing lists and more of the many aspects of operating an expedition. An additional module, Formstack, allows operators to build the forms they need online, and host them on their unique trip page without leaving the PathWrangler app, thus eliminating the need for PDFs, emails and spreadsheets to collect traveler information.

“Organizing and marketing in the digital age is a challenge for many organizations these days and we are very pleased to partner with PathWrangler to help achieve these goals.  This digital solution will be the perfect tool for tour operators in our region to both manage and market the unique travel experiences found in our destination and we hope it helps to support and increase the margins on this side of the business”, says Karin Gydemo Grahnlöf from Jämtland Härjedalen Turism.

“Tourism Destinations are faced with an extremely difficult challenge, especially when it comes to promoting experiential tourism,” says Doug Heinz, CEO of PathWrangler,” they have to figure out a way not just promote static itineraries that give potential visitors a ‘flavor’ for the destination.  They need to capture and promote the dynamism and the uniqueness that each experience brings with it.  However, the operators that they represent are vast and have many different experiences.  JHT came to us because this has been extremely challenging for them.  Through using PathWrangler, not only can they capture the dynamism and unique qualities of all their individual tour operators, it gives JHT and overall way to brand the unique identities that make up their entire destination.”

Heinz continues, “Many issues that Destinations have in the past is to bring the big picture into meaningful action.  Often times the operators are the ones who are forgotten in this process. PathWrangler helps to link all of these elements together.  Never before was this possible on a large scale.”

This unique partnership will provide JHT and their members with an entirely cloud-based solution when organizing expeditions and outdoor activities that will be used for Familiarization Trips and ongoing promotion by the JHT.  Ultimately, this will help JHT to manage large-scale tourism initiatives while being able to empower each individual tour operator from the ground up.

About PathWrangler For more information about PathWrangler or to start planning your expedition, visit Simply put, PathWrangler makes building and storing experiences easier than ever before. Let’s face it, planning an adventure trip or an outdoor excursion is like herding cats. It can be maddening to get everyone and everything prepared. We’ve built a collaborative web tool that makes trip planning not only easy, but fun. The goal is to empower you so that your only limitation is your imagination and sense of wonder. It can be used just as easily by professional guides running recurring expeditions to the Himalayas to just a handful of avid outdoor enthusiasts planning their next hiking trip in Yosemite.

About Jämtland Härjedalen Turism JHT was formed in 1995 and is the professional and business collaboration platform for the development of the region’s tourism industry.  It represents the country’s tourism industry in both nationally and internationally.  JHT is a trade association that cooperates with the county’s destinations and tourism enterprises, with representatives of the county’s tourism industry and representatives of the Regional Council of Jämtland.  For more information: –   Press contact: Karin Gydemo Grahnlöf, manager of the project organisation at JHT. +46 706053767

Turn Your Trips Into Sharable Selfies

If you could turn your Trips into a giant group selfie of Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper would you?  Selfies have been around much longer than this year, but the term has become ubiquitous and even grandma is getting into the game (mine just sent me a Selfie from the Prune Juice & Euchre Meetup in Arizona).
Some may see this as evidence that the Selfie has jumped the shark.  Au contraire.  The reason for its popularity is not about providing an all you can eat buffet for our narcissism.  The Selfie is a way for the taker to look at their viewers and directly engage us in joy and fellowship; it’s an invitation to share in a moment.
Tour Operators have a difficult task.  Your product is an intangible good: an experience.  Somehow you need to sell this good in the digital world.  PathWrangler turns your intangible experiences into digital goods.
– Collaboration (Increase Conversion & Word of Mouth Business) – Who on earth enjoys interacting with their email inbox?  Email was fun for about 10 minutes in 1993 when my email address was  Now it is nuisance that we have to manage.  PathWrangler turns your customers into active participants during the sales, booking and preparation phases of the trip.  Not only is a place to collaborate and interact with you, it was way for your clients to explore and dream about their trip on their own trip.
– Individualized Storytelling –  there’s no better joy than sitting around the campfire after a great trip, recanting your adventures with your fellow travellers.  PathWrangler offers map-based photo-sharing, simple-engaging story telling and social media integration.  Keep juicy details within the group or share them with the world.  Let your clients tell their stories in their own way that is unique to them.
PathWrangler captures the spirit of the Selfie for your all of your Trips.  It invites others in, inspires them and after they leave from their trips, not only gives them something personal to reflect on forever, it allows them to inspire others in their own way.  That’s your business and you’ll get more of it using us.  Even better news is that your membership with the ATTA gives you a 15% discount on PathWrangler.  Sign-up now to start growing your business with a free trial today.  Getting started is easy.  However, we do like to connect personally with you, so please contact me directly at and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have in getting set up.

Here’s How to Learn How to Climb Mount Everest

Have you felt the desire to climb the tallest mountain in the world, but had no idea how to go about doing it?  Here’s how you can start from being a newbie to acquiring not only the fitness, but the hard and soft skills and mental toughness required to climb the tallest mountain in the world.


1) 3-Day Rainier Climb 


Mt Rainier in Seattle is easily accessible and provides the perfect training ground for aspiring climbers to learn new skills due to the snow and glacier covering the mountain.  Here you’ll learn how to use crampons, an ice axe and roping.  It is your introduction to altitude.  After a day of intensive skills training, you’ll spend one good hard day to get to the Summit and back down.


2) Mexican Volcanoes


The next step is over the course of about a week, climb between 2 – 4 Mexican Volcanoes.  These mountains are between 14 – 18k feet.  These mountains aren’t quite as technical, but not only will you get increasing exposure to altitude, by going up and down between 2 – 4 times, you’ll be able to learn what it takes to do acclimatization rotations on Everest.


3) Aconcagua


Now you’re ready for your first major expeditionary style mountain.  Weather depending, 24 days on 23,xxx ft Aconcagua in Argentina will give your first taste of establishing camps, carrying heavy loads and making the mountain your home for an extended period of time.  This is the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas and you’ll learn not only how to survive harsh weather conditions, but also how to maintain yourself personally and mentally.


4) Winter Course

Denali Prep March  2012-03-04 at 13-53-30

Before heading to your next mountain,  an 8 Day Course in the Spring is called for.  The focus will be on learning advanced mountaineering skills such as ascending fixed lines, camping in snow, advanced glacier travel and cramponing, as well as crevasse rescue.  Spring time in DENALI/UPPER NORTHWEST, brings between 1 – 2ft of snow per day.  You’ll learn not only how to survived, but enjoy the cold.

5) Denali


Your next step is to climb 20,500 ft of much bigger glaciers and harsher weather conditions over 21 days.  This expedition will not only improve your skills, but will make you more self-sufficient and less reliant on your guides.  There are no porters on this mountain, so you and your team are responsible for getting everything and everyone up and down the mountain.  Most importantly, you’ll learn to rely on your fellow teammates to a much greater degree than in the past.  You’ll learn how to be solid component of your team.


FINALLY – Ready for Mt Everest


Now you’re prepared with hard and soft skills that are essential to climb the tallest mountain in the world.  Soft skills such as proper preparation, being part of a team and having a good attitude in the face of adverse conditions.  You’ll not only be adapted to the harsh conditions of the mountains, but you’ll actually learn to enjoy and see the beauty in it all.  Unlike the false characterization in popular media, you’ll be a fully self-sufficient team member who is ready to not only stand on the highest point in the world, but get you and your team safely down.

Contact Mountains Within to start your journey to climbing Mt Everest today!

ATTA & AORE Partner PathWrangler: Better Than Kittens on the Internet for Trips


If you could harness the power of all the cuteness of kittens on the internet and use that to power your running your trips, would you?  For Tour Operators and Outdoor Rec Programs, PathWrangler is bigger than kittens on the internet.  It is like an army of sherpas were all turned to 1s and 0s and are at your disposal (patent pending).  In ONE platform, you can plan & manage trips, sell more trips and grow your community.   We surveyed our clients, had our crack staff crunch the numbers and here’s the evidence for how PathWrangler is working for them:

– Decrease operating expenses by 78%.  Do you hate managing Trip Documents?  We do too (if you said no, there are support groups for this affliction).  We replace your Word Docs, PDFs and endless email chains.  Plus, our interactive trip planning tool is a blast for everyone to use.  When people have a better way to talk to each other with less hassle, your trip magic can thrive.

–  Sell 57% more trips.  We know how much you love your websites.  We also think they’re great (most of them, anyways).  But they just sit there in the vast Internet amongst other websites vying for the attention of your students and keeping them up to date is very expensive.  Integrating with your website, your trips in PathWrangler are interactive, sharable and extend out to reach a much wider audience.  If you put the two tools together, it is like discovering internet gunpowder.

– Increasing word of mouth referrals.  There are only a few subjects that people share on social media that aren’t irritating and won’t get you dirty looks from your family at the next gathering: kittens and travel stories.  We also know that your programs are heavily driven by personal referrals.  So, as your students share their trip stories and photos with their friends through your trips in PathWrangler, it also captures future students as they are inspired and brought to your virtual front door.

So, in short, PathWrangler is better than kittens on the internet for your trips.  Even better news is that your membership with the AORE gives you a 15% discount on PathWrangler.  Sign-up now to start growing your business with a free trial today (use discount code AORE1929).  Getting started is easy.  However, we do like to connect personally with you, so please contact me directly at and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have in getting set up.