Dave Cumming is a well established and fully qualified IFMGA UIAGM High Mountain Guide, with climbing and skiing experience worldwide. A native of Scotland, he is now based in the Alps and is available to arrange private guiding for corporate executives from around the world. His repertoire includes alpine mountaineering, ski touring, off-piste skiing and backcountry snowboarding in the French, Swiss and Italian alps. Guiding can be arranged to suit all levels of experience, though all clients should be fit and in good physical health. You may contact Dave directly from the States at 011-33-450-53-60-64, or call Venture Up at 602-909-5560.
Volcanoes of MexicoThe Volcanoes of Mexico provide an excellent opportunity for first-time mountaineers. Beginning in Mexico City we set out for two classic summits: Orizaba, at 18,851 feet, the third highest peak in North America; and nearby Popocatepetl, at 17,887 feet, the fifth highest. Upon reaching each summit, climbers can peer thousands of feet down into the pit of each crater. Popo is an active volcano with sulfur fumes spewing visibly from its crater. Cortez and his men were drawn to these fumes in the 1500s and entered the crater to obtain sulfur for gun powder during their conquest with the Aztecs. The trip provides ample time to experience the history and culture of Mexico. We overnight in the historic city of Puebla, visit mountain villages and colorful Indian markets.
Argentina's AconcaguaAconcagua is the highest mountain the Western Hemisphere at 22,834 feet. From Santiago we set out for this classic peak, the most difficult climb we offer. We access the mountain by mule and spend several days in base camp tents at ascending altitudes to acclimate and help ensure a successful ascent. Upon reaching the summit, we descend to Plaza Argentina, to Punta de Vacas and Mendoza to rest and take in the Latin American cultural experience before heading home.
Mont BlancRising from the Valley of Chamonix is Western Europe's highest peak, Mont Blanc, sharing its flanks with Italy and France. To Italian dismay, its summit, at 15,771 feet, is entirely in France. Blue glacial chasms mark the route from the valley floor to the glacial hut at the base of the climb. In good weather, the ascent can easily be made in 6 hours. Acclimating is generally not an issue because of its relatively low altitude, so more time may be spent exploring the culture of the region.
This cultural-alpine expedition begins in Rome, and travels to Florence, Turin, Portofino and Pisa before heading to Cormayeur, the village on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. A 10-mile tunnel carved through the mountain breaks way to the Valley of Chamonix. Groups preferring to spend more time in the Alps may start the trip in Paris or Geneva. This trip includes the options to attempt the classic Swiss summits of the Matterhorn in Zermatt, and the Eiger near Grindelwald, with a departure from Zurich.
Volcanoes of EcuadorNestled in a valley of the Andes, Quito rises 9,350 feet and is the gateway to three classic volcanoes: Cayambe at 18,996 feet, Cotopaxi at 19,347 feet, and Chimborazo at 20,561 feet. Ecuador is a cultural and educational experience in itself. The equator is minutes north of Quito, and Otavalo, Ecuador's largest market, is about an hour north. The base camp for Cayambe, our first climb, is a half day's drive from Quito and located directly on the equator. After ascending Cayambe, we head south for Cotopaxi, one of the world's highest active volcanoes, and then to nearby Chimbarazo, the highest volcanoe in the region. Climbers have an ideal opportunity to relax after the climbs in the steep mountain village of Banos, famed for its hot springs and Andean wildlife zoo.
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