Climbers and Trekkers' Comments About IMG
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Aconcagua Alaskan Ascents Alps, Matterhorn Annapurna/Chulu
Ama Dablam Baker Bolivia Cho Oyu Ecuador Elbrus
Everest Everest Treks Kilimanjaro Lhotse Climb Machu Picchu
Mexico Vocanoes Olympus Ouray Ice Climbing Seminars Rainier
Shuksan Tibet Trek to Everest & Cho Oyu Vinson Whitney
White Mountains, NH General IMG
Mt. Aconcagua, South America
"Our Aconcagua climb went very well. I think the route (Vacas - Polish) is an excellent way to experience all this great mountain has to offer. The guides were spectacular and complimented each other very well. Eben provided excellent leadership and was very patient with the many daily questions from various team members. Kelly provided positive encouragement and demonstrated a varied knowledge-base. And I think all expeditions can benefit from the wealth of local knowledge on this mountain by having a local guide such as Martin! He was of great assistance in many ways. All three were willing to do anything, including the most mundane tasks, to insure the success of our climb! Having been with IMG on the Everest ABC Trek and on Kilimanjaro, I had very high expectations for this adventure. And this experience lived up to those expectations in every way! Thanks as always to IMG, I look forward to a future opportunity to participate in another of your programs!"
"I had the time of my life on Aconcagua. The trip was absolutely incredible two weeks that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I have to say Mike made the trip. He just inspires confidence and security. I knew that no matter what happened up there he could fix it for us. I would climb anything with him..."
I have been very happy with my IMG experience and have recommended you to several people who have expressed interest. I will use your group again...
"Guides and guiding companies are not all the same. The differences lie with the people and their attitudes. Being positive and passionate about their work and the success of their clients is what distinguishes one outfit from another. It was my personal experience, and what I heard from the others in my group, that sets IMG apart. They made it their business to pay attention to the small things that not only makes for a good trip, but can make the difference between success and failure. Most important, they were positive and fun to be with. Team work and team spirit was the priority."
"I want to write to thank you for the great Aconcagua trip. It was the best climbing I ever had, both in terms of sheer pleasure, good companionship and as a learning experience..."
"Anyone can guide a climb, but you have the ability to surround the trip with the right atmosphere and a sense of adventure, and accomplishment, and make it a true vacation..."
Alaskan Ascents in the Wrangell/St. Elias Range
"I wanted to send you a quick note to express my thanks for the Alaskan Ascents (Mt. Bona) climb. We all had a great time. In particular, I wanted to let you know that Sheldon and Austin did a terrific job in coaching us to reach the summit. To me, so far, it's the quality of the guides that represent the distinguishing mark of IMG within the industry. It is quite clear that emphasis is placed in selecting professionals who not only know their stuff inside-out on the slopes but who also can relate well to the climbers on a personal level, identify challenges and support the climber(s) in overcoming them. Sheldon and Austin exemplified this throughout the week. Again, an incredible experience, and I look forward to my next climbs with IMG."
"The Mt. Bona trip was everything I expected and then some. The place is absolutely beautiful... everyone worked and lived well together... the food selection was outstanding... and, I don't need to tell you how enjoyable Mark and Eric were. They both also seemed to get a special thrill out of the place and the people. I have always wondered how much professional guides enjoy regularly herding amateurs like us up and down mountains... I could see that both Mark and Eric were sparked by the fact that they were on a remote mountain they hadn't been before with a group that was easy to manage. I guess that's why Mark went up and down twice.
I wanted this to be a smaller sample of what expedition style climbing might be like on a Denali trip. I had not previously been on trips longer than 4-5 days, nor had to regularly move and build camps... The Mt. Bona trip confirmed that an expedition style climb is what works for me...
On a trip that is more than a few days, three people in a three man tent does not work well, especially if the weather turns bad. I was very happy to see that you keep it at two per tent. The minor weight of an additional tent plus a little extra shoveling is well worth the comfort..."
"I had the pleasure of spending time in one of America's most pristine, magnificent and wild areas: the St. Elias range... This trip was one of the most delightful I've done because of the good leadership, companionship and incredible scenery... If you want a great adventure and a good time, this is a place to go, and do it with Geo!"
"I had a fantastic time in Alaska. Jeff is a terrific person and excellent guide/teacher. I feel like my mountaineering skills took a giant step forward... as a result of this trip and Jeff's stewardship. Jeff allowed me to contribute where I could and try new things as well, so I felt like an equal partner in the venture, as opposed to just a client. The entire experience was truly amazing... Drum is also a gorgeous mountain. We had wonderful views of both the Alaska and Chugach ranges. We also had the added benefit of other mountains close by. Mt. Ruddy proved to be a great day climb from our base camp. In short, I'd go back to the area in a heartbeat..."
The Annapurna Trek and Chulu Peak Climb, Nepal
"Everything on this trip went well: the guides, the sherpas, the client group and the hike/climb. Eben and Charlotte were superb... about the best I have experienced and always in tune with the group. One if the most special aspects of the trip was the opportunity to spend time with the Sherpas. What a special group of guys on our trip. You read so much in climbing literature about them. It was special to have this experience. Our client group also came together well. It is difficult on a trip when the group splits up mid-trip to say goodbye. We missed them every day. The other very special and unplanned part of our trip was the extra day we had in Muktinah. This was a great place to have a rest day. Highly recommended..."
The Alps Classics and Matterhorn Climb, Europe
"I found the trip to be varied and challenging it was a great learning experience. I have no doubt that my success on the Matterhorn was because I was climbing with George, as opposed to hooking up with one of the Swiss guides. George is great at assessing the abilities of his team members and pushing them without putting anyone at risk. I climb with George because he's been at it so long, and he knows what it takes not just to get to the top, but more crucially, to get the whole team down safely. I trust him implicitly..."
Ama Dablam, Nepal
"I had a great trip to Nepal! I was very happy with the team and our guide and sherpas. The itinerary was good. To make the summit we would have needed all factors to be on our side, and they were not, so it's ok. I think it was a good experience anyway!"
"For what it's worth, I had a fantastic experience with IMG. I found you to be head and shoulders above your peers at other firms in terms of your flexibility, knowledge and professionalism. Furthermore, you employ some of the best guides on the mountains. As a seasoned manager, I can tell you that a services firm is only as good as its people talent is hard to develop and retain. Justin is a consummate professional and demonstrated real leadership at the AD base camp in organizing the fix line party for the summit section. In any industry or professional circle, Eben is a unique talent. His enthusiasm, charisma and dedication to IMG and its clients will serve you well in the years to come. Justin and Eben represent your firm well and their contribution to it should ensure its ongoing success. On a related note, Pirjo was very helpful as well. She proved to be a great resource given the fluid nature of my flight plans. After a lifetime of travel, this trip may have been the best travel experience I have had from a planning and logistics standpoint. I thank you and your team for making possible such a memorable and important trip for me."
"First, let me thank you for such a well-planned trek and climb on the 2007 Ama Dablam expedition. The logistical organization was beyond reproach and your many in-country contacts were all expert and very helpful. Everything was so well thought out and executed that it was easy to forget just how much planning and pre-trip organization had to go into arranging such a flawless trek. I witnessed first hand the benefits of signing on with a first-rate company like IMG. On numerous occasions during the trip, I observed other trekking groups being stymied and delayed by reasonable circumstances that could crop up on a trip like this, but in each instance, our group just walked through with ease due to the incredible support network that you have in place along the route and due to the incredible work of what are undoubtedly some of the most dedicated, caring, and hard working individuals anywhere in the world. I can't say enough about our Sherpa support. They were all fantastic; it was almost beyond belief how hard they worked to make us comfortable. The American guides were great as well. Justin was professional, but laid-back and flexible. He was caring without being overbearing. The demeanor of the guides was my largest concern before the trip, but as soon as I met Justin, that fear was immediately obliterated. Ben was helpful as well, and we got along very well. I just wanted you to know that I was very impressed with your organization and had a terrific time on this trek and climb. Logistically, this trip was about as perfect as you can get. I would never hesitate to recommend IMG to anyone considering a guided climb."
"Thanks for running such a top notch service. I had some anxiety going on a guided trip when I signed on, but the trip was so fabulously run and conducted with such a fun atmosphere, I wouldn't hesitate to go on another trip with IMG, and I enthusiastically recommend you to anyone looking for a guide service."
"It was great to receive the certificate for the Ama Dablam summit. As an occasional but enthusiastic climber, this was a fantastic trip that was run on the most professional level. This was my third climb with Tap and first with Chris, but I hope not my last. The trip was a highlight for the year."
"The Ama Dablam expedition exceeded my expectations in every way from the place, the mountain, the team, the logistics, to George and Jeff."
"The trip went really well with the exception of my health, which is known to happen over there from time to time. The Sherpas were great as usual and you guys did an amazing job for our trip. Lobuche [as an acclimatization climb] made a huge difference for us and was a lot of fun. It is good climbing and it worked out a lot of kinks that would have been inconvenient on Ama Dablam."
Mt. Baker, WA
"Just wanted to say thanks to IMG for a great climb of Mt. Baker. We had a great team with Aaron Mainer and Josh Smith leading us. You have the best guides in the world, and Aaron and Josh proved that on Baker. Thanks also to Clarissa and your office team for all their help preparing for the trip. Thanks again, and I look forward to my next trip with IMG."
"Quick note to let you know how well our trip on Mt. Baker went. It was a great first experience for Aaron. He tells me he wants to hike/climb again. My son Michael loved the whole experience, and my brother Jeffrey could not have been happier. We were fortunate to have perfect weather. Chris and Justin were a lot of fun and great guides. My biggest dilemma at this point is figuring out what trek to do next. I will certainly look at IMG first to see if there is a good fit. Interested in the volcano's in Ecuador or Mexico and possibly trek to base camp of Everest. Mt. Whitney in the Spring is also teasing me. Thanks again."
"Just wanted to send along my thanks for a great Bolivia trip. What a great mix of culture and awesome climbing! Everything went well, logistics, top-notch guides, food, awesome mountains. Really enjoyed being in La Paz and experiencing the people and culture..."
"I enjoyed the trip very much and here are some specifics:
Greg [Vernovage] fantastic. He was 100% supportive to all questions no matter how small, at all points in the trip. This was quite impressive to me. I have only the most positive things to say about Greg, how he helps the team to gel, his motivational abilities, his mountain skills, his deep love for the mountains that infuses the team with enjoyment. I look forward to another climb with Greg no questions.
Logistics flawless. I was very impressed with how smoothly the logistics unfolded in all steps of the trip. I know how many details go into trip planning and there wasn't a missed step.
Support team thoroughly enjoyed everyone. Claudio's smile and warmth, as well as delicious food, will never be forgotten. The climbers were all great.
In summary, I'd like to give a big thumb's up to you, and I'll be sure to look at another trip with IMG, with Greg as leader. Thank you for all you did to ensure such a wonderful experience."
"I had a most amazing time in Bolivia I score the trip a 10 out of 10, and it well exceeded my expectations (which were high to start with)! I had fun, was challenged, grew as a climber and an individual, and came away with a great sense of accomplishment, new friends, and a hunger for more (and more frequent) adventure!... Thanks again for the most amazing trip!!! I am still riding high from it... I am so excited to keep climbing with IMG and moving to the next level..."
"I wanted to send you a note about the Bolivia trip. I'm just not sure how to express how great it all was!... I don't think it all could have gone much more smoothly! As I've come to appreciate from past IMG expeditions, the logistics, staff, and team members on this IMG trip were as good as ever before, and you guys delivered another once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Greg Vernovage was helpful, kind, funny, and had the kind of positive attitude that really sets the tone for a wonderful time even when you're far away in a foreign country with a bunch of people you didn't know before you started. The local guides and crew did a fantastic job getting us up the mountains, feeding us, helping us stay clean and healthy, and moving all our gear from here to there and back again. We had one fairly minor glitch in porters getting all the duffles to high camp on Illimani, but the guides stepped in and dealt with the problem before it became a real issue.
I have to specifically mention Eduardo, our mountain guide from Venezuela, and Claudio, our chief cook. Eduardo led my rope team on each of the three peaks and also hiked up and down with me most days. He was very professional and so knowledgeable, but was also just incredibly patient, caring, and engaging. He kept us working hard and feeling positive, told great stories, and was always encouraging even after my turn-around on Illimani. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to climb with him. Claudio was also fantastic always cooking another great meal, making sure we had all we needed, and smiling at every point. I can't imagine how he (and his crew) did all that every day for the whole trip.
I also want to mention the IMG Blog that updating is really cool and was greatly appreciated. My family and friends were able to check up on us and many of them let me know how much they enjoyed seeing the entries. My husband especially appreciated seeing our progress and knowing where I was, even when I was not able to communicate with him directly for a few days at a time...
Bolivia was absolutely beautiful, and felt pretty untouched by the rest of the world in a lot of ways. I was able to see another country, meet some great new climbing partners, and also accomplish some cool things for myself. I climbed higher and camped higher than I have before and did some really challenging climbing along the way.
Thanks for setting up the experiences in Bolivia. I look forward to more excellent adventures with IMG!"
"So... the headline is that trip #8 for me with IMG was pretty freakin' awesome.
A lot of people have asked me how the climbing compared with Denali. I go back and forth on this, but for sure, from a technical perspective Bolivia was definitely challenging. A fair bit of mixed climbing and some very steep terrain. This was great for me, and, as a client group everyone had sufficient experience to be able to handle it. However, I make the point because in my mind, and from conversations with the others, we all had more of an expectation that the level was closer to Ecuador (which I though much easier) versus Denali. The observation here is that you got the client experience right for this trip and would suggest that this is the skill level you want... no complete greenbeans or comedy punters :)
As a climber, I LOVED the fact that there was so much climbing packed into the trip.
It is abundantly obvious you love what you are doing and genuinely [care] that people have fun, achieve their climbing goals and stay safe. That piece just makes for a really great atmosphere... which, in my opinion, is a big part of what keeps people coming back.
Given all of this, it seems unlikely that #8 is going to be my last IMG trip! I am still working on whether the crazy Himalayan plan is doable for 2012..."
Cho Oyu, Tibet"Gayle and I want to express what a great adventure we had on Cho Oyu. It was terrific and in large measure this was so because you and Jangbu are so attentive to detail. You clearly have Himalayan climbing "dialed in" from years of experience. Nothing was overlooked. Safety was always top priority, and no shortcuts were allowed. And if I didn't immediately recognize this, the contrast couldn't have been more apparent as we moved up the mountain. I was so glad to be an IMG client. I don't want to criticize other services, but there really is a world of difference, and it's worth every penny!" "Cho Oyu 2008 expedition was superbly organized and professionally run. I love everybody on the trip sherpas, cooks, guides, and my fellow climbers. Thank you for the great job, IMG." "When the Sherpas were introduced I couldn't get over their experience. Some had summited Everest and Cho Oyu as many as ten times! And then they were serving me dinner. It should have been the other way around!" "All-in-all, your planning, logistics, and Mike's leadership on the mountain contributed to an excellent experience from start to finish. I cannot express how satisfied I was with the entire trip. My history with you dates back to Rainier in the mid-1980's, so I'm speaking quite sincerely from experience. You run a great program, thank you!" "I had a great time on the Cho Oyu Expedition. IMG runs a first class operation. I saw no other of the 24+ expeditions on the mountain that even compared in organization, experience and quality... The Sherpas were far and away the best on the mountain... Our Expedition was one of the very few that kept everybody in good shape and condition to get each member to summit-day and give each member a realistic shot at the summit. The equipment and organization of IMG in getting us to the mountain and up the mountain without incident attests to a quality organization that few of the other expeditions on the mountain could match. Thanks for putting together such a good expedition, and I look forward to climbing with IMG in the future..."
"Thanks for an incredible trip. In a nutshell, IMG was the class of the mountain. I can't imagine climbing with any other group. It seemed like many (the majority?) of the groups had no real plan, no type of actual guiding going on. People climbing alone, descending to basecamp alone, moving up when they shouldn't be. By contrast, Mike had us totally dialed in. We had a plan and moved as a team. We acclimatized right, rested at the right times and when the summit push came we were ready to roll. Mike is great asset to IMG technically solid, organized, persistent, strong as hell and an easy going personality. A great guide.
Not only did IMG seem to have the best guiding, but we were by far the best provisioned. Our ABC was clearly the most comfortable, the cooks were incredible, we had propane heaters for dinner, etc. More importantly, when we got to Camp 3 the afternoon before summiting, there were a few groups already there, just suffering in the thin air at 25,000 feet. IMG was the only group that I saw that had brought up enough oxygen to rest during the afternoon and sleep at night. When we got up at 1:00 AM we had actually slept a few hours and were able to get out of there quickly the first group gone (and to summit that day).
Jangbu and all the Sherpas were the strongest on the mountain by far. I can't say enough good things about them. They just outclassed everybody. They put in the entire route and somehow still had the energy to drag the three of us to the top. Jangbu is a great embassador for IMG. One of the most organized people I've ever met. He nailed every detail. We didn't have one logistical problem from the time we landed in Kathmadu. He's also just a hell of a nice guy.
That's about it. Thanks again I appreciate everyting. I wouldn't climb with anybody else and will do my best to steer folks your way..."
"I am writing you to first thank you for organizing such an amazing trip and second to commend you specifically on some of the best elements. IMG is really a class act. This became very evident after seeing other expeditions and how they lived and went about their climb. First and foremost Justin Merle did a fantastic job and his personality was a great fit for the team. He maintained a great balance between being supportive but at the same time pushing the members to be independent (self-supportive). There was no hand holding, so this really pushed us, and in the end I think helped toughen us up a bit so we could be ready for our summit bid (which felt like a Herculean effort.)
Ang Jangbu is also a huge asset (I know that you already know this), and he has a great way about him (charisma!) He really knows how to make things happen and work the system (e.g. IC and Base Camp officials, hotel staff [Tingri], drivers, porters, Sherpas, etc...) He also is a nice guy with a great smile and personality. In addition he possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge which he was happy to share when asked. Kaji was also excellent and such a great guy. When he learned of my eating quirks he quickly adapted and began fixing my plate especially for me (I don't eat pork.) He even went so far as to specially make and mark my sandwich which was brought to me at camp one by Rinzing on our way down from the summit. He always was smiling as well, and really worked hard to make sure we were always well fed. Everything was also very clean and well presented.
Phunuru and Donuru are absolutely awesome climbers and are super-friendly and helpful. I really enjoyed their company and hospitality. Phunuru was my guide on summit day and I think I may have not been successful if not for him. He really pushed me and kept me moving to the top. He also was very helpful with taking my pictures at the top, which required him to warm up my camera for each shot, as it would keep turning off due to the cold. He kept that smile of his the whole time. He was genuinely excited for me to reach the top and it really made it that much more exciting and fun for me. He clearly loves what he does (as does Donuru.) It was an amazing moment in my life to reach the summit, and we were so blessed by the clear weather (which made for great pictures!)
Another terrific aspect was the fact that in addition to the climbing, we had the opportunity to see Beijing, Lhasa, and much of the countryside of Tibet which made it a vacation as well. This really was a classy trip all around. One of the best parts was the fact that our ABC was located in our own private spot. I cannot imagine how awful it must have been in the main ABC, as I even hated just walking through it (it was like a ghetto.)
You run an amazing outfit. The logistics were awesome, and I was thrilled to be able to succeed and still come home early. I remember one guy that we kept seeing on the mountain we passed him on the hill from camp 2 to camp 3, and he later reached us, exhausted, and as he passed me he was smiling, shaking his head, stating "IMG always has the first tents!"
I want to let you know that I am grateful that I got my money's worth. I worked so hard to be able to afford the trip and it was worth every cent (and all of the 70-80 hour work weeks.) Thank you for everything, and a big pat on the back to you, Justin, Jangbu and the rest of the staff. I look forward to planning another climb with you in the near future."
"I loved my Cho Oyu experience with IMG. The sherpa team really was the Dream Team of the mountain, and their handling of helping Mark off the hill when time was of the essence was professional and effective. I will never forget witnessing that..."
"Regarding the Cho Oyu expedition I have to tell you that It was again an incredible experience. Everything was very well organized. Sherpas and guides incredible again. Ang Jangbu is one of the nicest persons that I ever seen and very funny guy. Guides were all the time tending on everybody. I specially have to mention Garrett, nice person, very strong climber, and always trying to help people, taking care of all of us and being very patient..."
"The guides were super, I would follow any of them anywhere. Mike and Chris did a great job. They all took care of me in a manner far beyond what I would have expected from normal guides. The food was a 1000% improvement over my last trip to Nepal Pemba did, as promised, a great job..."
"The guides were all very professional and they did a fantastic job. Mike and Chris worked well together as co-leaders of the expedition. I was very impressed with how they took charge when [one of the climbers] got cerebral edema. Mike's experience on Cho Oyu from last falls expedition was invaluable. And Justin and Garrett were huge assets as assistant guides; they're both very strong, mature and personable. These guys are all great people as well as talented mountain guides, and you shouldn't hesitate to use any of them on future Himalayan expeditions.
I can't say enough about our Sherpas. They were all super helpful and friendly. I personally heard Sherpas with two other teams say that we had the strongest Sherpas on the mountain. Jangbu and Ang Passang did an excellent job of dealing with the Tibetan yak herders, as well as coordinating the setting up of and carries to the higher camps. I was fortunate to have Da Nuru as my climbing partner on summit day. He took good care of me. I don't think I would've summitted and/or gotten back down to Camp 3 without him. Without his help, I at least would've frostbitten some fingers. And Pemba's fine cooking was a pleasant surprise. I'm sure I actually gained weight at A.B.C., which was key because I lost a lot of weight during the summit bid..."
"I wanted to put in a good word for the guides... They were both incredible helpful, reassuring, practical and very strong. I would trust either one of them without question..."
"Great trip! Ben and Mike were awesome as well as all the staff..."
"I wanted to say thanks for a great expedition. I was very impressed with the organization and facilities that were put together for the trip. Outstanding group of staff and in general the trip flowed with great ease because of the groundwork you've spent years perfecting. Thanks for the fantastic adventure!..."
"I also found that Eric Simonson's reputation and experience in the Himalaya has given IMG leaders greater ease in dealing with the Chinese government, in choosing more experienced climbing Sherpas, and in interacting with the leaders of the other expeditions. It was this kind of experience, or lack of it, that determined which expeditions were successful and which were not on Cho Oyu..."
"I honestly believe you have one of the best guiding outfits on Cho Oyu. After seeing some of the other groups, I would certainly recommend IMG to anyone interested in going there..."
"After preparing for many months (and years, really) to pursue the dream of climbing big peaks in the Himalayas, I was encouraged to know that the IMG team had prepared even harder than me to make the climb of Cho Oyu a reality. The logistics and equipment were first rate -- oxygen apparatus, personal tents at ABC, large dome dining tent, communications tent, caravan of 50 Yaks -- all of which made the difference..."
"If you run into anyone like me who would like to try, but is getting along in years, please refer to me. I would like to pass on my very excellent adventure report to any such person... It could not have been better... One of the questions you answered had to do with the values of guided trips. You handled it well. In Montana, we have similar questions; and I am no friend of the hunting guides and river pimps, but I could not have considered Cho Oyu without you, and I am very grateful..."
"The guides' and the Sherpas' prior Himalayan experience was extremely valuable, and proved to be the difference in having a successful summit bid during a difficult weather season. In fact, many climbing teams this spring left the mountain without ever making a summit attempt, mostly because tactical errors on the mountain and lack of good food weakened them unnecessarily..."
"I'm just quite amazed about how the expedition went... without a hitch. I was also pleased with Tap and Heidi's leadership, and I would recommend this trip to anyone."
"Thanks for your good decision making on Cho Oyu. It wasn't only the correct decision but how you arrived at it. All our expedition members became part of the process. We all learned from analyzing the risks. Thank you..."
"John kept this diverse group together through the trip. The Sherpas were awesome and all the clients felt they were the strongest and most organized on the mountain. Pemba did a great job of keeping us healthy which was a real factor in making the summit. Ang Passang read the weather patterns perfectly allowing IMG clients to attempt the summit in good conditions. Kami with whom I summited was great... All IMG 2001 fall clients had the opportunity to make the summit, which was not the case for other teams on the mountain..."
"On the topic of food, our two Sherpa cooks were constantly dishing out awesome meals at ABC. Pancakes, cereal & eggs in the morning, lots of rice and pasta dishes for dinner and lunch, fruit and vegetables with every meal, and an occassional pizza or apple pie. This was the only way to survive while waiting out storms and getting strong for climbing on the mountain, and it FAR exceeded my expectations..."
"Traveling and climbing in Ecuador with Phil Ershler and IMG was a unique and fascinating experience. Working with a world class guide and organization as Phil and IMG are, you clearly expect top notch mountaineering. What went beyond this was the incredible introduction to the beauty, people and culture of Ecuador combined with the opportunity to climb two 19,000 summits."
"I had the opportunity and the pleasure to go on a trip to Ecuador with a guide, Phil Ershler, who was my tormentor, so to speak... We had a wonderful trip; great experience; climbing was good... I hope to go back... highly recommend the trip to anybody."
Mt. Elbrus, Russia
"It was an exciting and memorable trip. Russia's a bit like the old Wild West, but we found the people like Americans, and found them to be very cordial and friendly. Our US guide, Phil Ershler, who is a world class climber and guide, manages a mountain to maximize group success. This is my third climb with him, all successful..."
"People always ask me, Why would you want to spend your vacation huffing and puffing and suffering climbing a mountain? and I tell them beside the obvious challenge and self-reward... it is a tremendous way, and an excellent excuse, to actively see the world with a purpose. How would any of them be able to meet and spend a couple weeks with people like Romalo and the Igors? To see and learn about their cities their country their culture and their people?... To climb great peaks of the world, and not to mention to sit back with a couple of adult beverages while jumping back and forth from steamy sauna to a freezing cold pool with a bunch of buddies that were with you on a great adventure? We see so much more than just a tourist would see..."
"In short, you run incredible expeditions to the degree that if all the 'clients' out there climb with you just once... all the other outfits will go out of business. And when people ask me how many people were on the trip, I don't say 3 guides and 9 clients, I say we had a team of 12. And that is very important. Thanks again for an outstanding 2 weeks..."
"Spending time with you is always a lesson. The things I learn and all the experiences of new and strange and unique adventures become indelible images, memories I will carry with me till the end of my life..."
Mt. Everest Climbs
"I have climbed with IMG five times (Cho Oyu, Vinson, Aconcagua, Everest, Kilimanjaro). Seattle based, Eric Simonson specializes on the Himalayas, Phil Ershler on South America, Antarctica and Elbrus and the other partners for other peaks around the world. IMG is a world-class operation with steady logistics and planning. They run a no-nonsense operation that you can depend on. With their mid range prices, they offer an excellent value. They have a massive support staff on Everest and are prepared for most any emergency. Full disclosure: I selected IMG for 4 of my 7 Summits throughout 2010/2011 and made the summit on all of them 100% success. My bottom line opinion: Best value/safety/independence combination of any guide service, and I would use them for any climb without hesitation."
"IMG was the first company I thought of as I was planning to climb Everest as part of the 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything. I summited on May 21, 2011 with my Personal Sherpa Kami. The entire expedition was extremely professional and the support from Greg Vernovage and Ang Jangbu was fantastic. IMG was clearly the leading team on Everest 2011 from base camp facilities to on-mountain support to the behind the scenes logistics. I had attempted Everest before without a summit and am very appreciative to Eric and the entire IMG team for my safe and successful summit."
"Thanks for putting together an awesome trip!!!... I just wanted to thank you and the rest of the IMG family for such an outstanding 2011 Everest Expedition. After close to 2 months on the mountain and seeing all the other expeditions, their resources and how they operate, I knew that I had chosen the best."
"All I can say is, 'Wow!' We flipping did it!!! I had the expedition and experience of a lifetime!! The whole expedition was fantastic, of course getting to the top makes it that much sweeter. Everything was first class, and the way our Sherpas took control on summit day was amazing. They had it all under control. I know I don't have to tell what a Godsend Danuru is. Could not have done without him, and together reaching the top with basically only our team on the mountain was absolutely thrilling!! It was pretty cool that it was just us up there. The Sherp's were awesome! I don't have the words to explain really how great the whole expedition was. If you ever need me to speak to a future client, don't ever hesitate. I am already planning my next trip with IMG!!! :) 2012 can't wait!!! Thanks for everything."
"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your entire staff for running such a great Everest program the last two years... Ang Jangbu's management is perfect. Our Sherpa team is beyond outstanding. I saw some crazy things on summit day by other teams and was so proud to be with IMG!"
"I'm writing to you for several reasons, the foremost of which is to thank you for providing me with an excellent trip to Everest... I can't say enough good things about both the logistics and the staff. As you know I am a crusty old IFMGA mountain guide with previous experience on the mountain, and so I had plenty of ideas about how the trip should go and what was possible. Your expedition service surpassed all my expectations, provided me with "the best" opportunity to summit even compared to the super expensive guided trips, and as such, I was successful in fulfilling a dream of 20 years... I will recommend your service to anyone interested... it was simply the best on the mountain. How do you keep the price so low? The facilities, equipment, and staff equaled surpassed any service on the mountain, even the expensive ones. Anyway, thanks again for a perfect trip!"
"We put a lot of effort and research into choosing the right way to go for Everest, and I left the mountain without a doubt that we chose and were with the best organization and people on the hill. I think most of the rest of base camp knew it too. Mark was aces as the base camp colonel, and Jangbu was probably the silent general of the Khumbu region. I was so impressed by the sherpa staff as well. The warmness and enthusiasm of Pemba, Ang Passang all the way down to the greenest of porters was wonderful. If I had to sum up what impressed me the most, I would have to say that it was never once in the entire 2-plus months, did I ever feel like IMG or its people ever cut a corner on anything. Everything was a class act, well organized, and people really seemed thrilled and enthusiastic about being a part of something great. I try and run my construction company in a similar manner, and I think you have the right gig going. It was a great climb, great adventure, and a wonderful 11 week escape with super people. Take care and I am sure we will be talking again soon..."
"I want to inform you that I really was a bit surprised, that all the logistics and work on the mountain was as perfect as a clock work. I thought that with so many people and so much stuff there could be also a small mistake or something, but nothing happens, all worked really perfect...
I further want to inform you, that in Kathmandu, [Ang Jangbu's staff] did a very, very good job after the trip. It was possible for Kiran to get flights for more than 10 people in a few days to all the different destinations. (We also have to manage many flights, and I know, what a difficult and sometimes stupid work it is nowadays to deal with the airlines!!)"
"I have to say, in my opinion, IMG ran one excellent expedition! I have done much volunteer work with gang youth in a leadership capacity, and been through many extensive professional leadership trainings at the Strozzi Institute, and have led large groups of professionals in a technical capacity for many years. I do not have much mountaineering experience. However, I have done and do many sports that can get very dangerous very quickly if they are not managed correctly or respected accordingly. You nailed it!
Even though I did not climb the icefall, I am fully satisfied. I may never go back to Nepal, however, I would call on IMG before any other company in future. My first hand experience with yourself... Ang Jangbu, George Dunn, and Jake Norton gives me the confidence to recommend IMG to my family and friends, something I do not take lightly."
"I would like to let you know how much both Lanta and I appreciate all your efforts and the support of your network. You have assembled a great group of Sherpas and guides, and we felt lucky to be able to participate in your trips and benefit from your work..."
Everest BC Nepal Trek
"Thank you very much for overseeing the Sherpa Trek I completed recently in Nepal. Thank you also for your hospitality and time answering my questions in Base Camp. I was made to feel very welcome and enjoyed experiencing the operation of a 'World Class' climbing operation. All the staff members I encountered in Kathmandu and Base Camp conducted themselves with the highest standard of professionalism and extended me the warmest level of hospitality.
Of special mention are the four Sherpas that guided us for our trek (Phu Tashk, Pasang, Sonam and Mingma). It was a privilege to spend time with them and to get to know their mountains, villages and lives. They were extremely kind, patient and generous with the group. They are excellent ambassadors for IMG and Nepal!"
"I want to express how grateful I am I chose to do the Everest Base Camp trek through IMG. The professionalism, companionship, teachings, attention to detail and everything else provided was top notch. Above all, your guides had the confidence I look for when I entrust my life with someone I've never met before. Mike Hamill and Andy Polloczek guided the group with precision-like skills. They had answers for everything and were always willing to share stories. By far, the most lasting memory for me was how I became part of a group of people that were going to climb Everest. While I was "only" trekking, I absolutely loved the fact that I was being treated like a climber. For those three weeks I felt I was climbing Everest and never once felt like an outsider... for me this was the key to a successful trip and memory maker... Because of my "out of this world" experience with IMG, I have signed up for your Rainier climb in May with three other friends. I have no doubt it will be another fantastic adventure with your company."
"I never had a chance to formally thank you after this year's EBC trek. But I did share with Greg Vernovage how impressed we were with IMG. From the first phone call, to the last departing hug in Kathmandu, everything was world class. You have a wonderful group of employees and representatives. We're looking forward to future adventures with IMG. Thanks again for allowing us the opportunity to participate!"
"I can say without reservations that the trip to Everest was the most rewarding adventure that I have experienced in my entire life. Your team and your expertise was without question top notch. From the moment Phil and I landed in Kathmandu to the time we departed the excitement never ended. I have been looking at some of the other wonderful treks that you offer and hope that in the near future will be able to book another adventure."
"Well the trip was everything I hoped for and more! The organization, all plans of picking us up, getting to where we needed to be, so executed to perfection. All the employees I met from Pasang to Mohan to our sherpas Phu Tashi and Tashi all made the trip so enjoyable and ensured we had a great time. The older Phu Tashi knows everyone, and the younger Tashi has great English; and what ambition, he wants to be on your summit team next time. Your employees, Adam, Greg, Mike, Eben, and Justin: I met them all, and I have to say what a dedicated crew. Welcomed us with open arms and so informative and made me feel right at home. Would I have liked to be standing on the summit, sure, but for me at 60, EBC was my summit. Well Eric, thank you so much for the opportunity. I definitely picked the right company to fulfill my dream. So professional, so caring and everything you said it would be. I was so blessed to have found IMG. I could go on and on and share with you many stories, but maybe after I get my pictures done, I'll send one to you of my happy face with the big smile!"
"I had a blast! IMG turned out to be a perfect fit for me and it was a real treat to get to know both the staff and the team! And thanks very much for all your help!"
"The trip was very well organized and supported, and our guides Phu Tashi Sherpa and Tseten Tashi Sherpa were excellent. I personally had a fabulous time throughout the trip and accomplished everything I set out to do in the Kumbu valley... I would consider using IMG in the future for other trekking/climbing trips."
"It was a privilege for me to be on a trek with the group. Thank you again for your planning and concern for each of us. I have had people contact me about signing up for the IMG trek to Everest Base Camp next spring, and I certainly encouraged them to prepare themselves and to go with IMG."
"I will definitely come back to IMG for my next adventure. Thanks for allowing me to expand on the normal Lobuche Peak climb and hang with the Ama Dablam climbers I appreciate your willingness to deviate from the "normal" program. Hope to be in the mountains with IMG soon!"
"It was a very memorable experience for all 6 of us, and I truly put it down as something that I am going to cherish for a long time!! For that, I have to thank IMG, and at a more personal level, our 3 sherpas: Mr. Phu Tashi, Pasang and Diku. They ensured at all times that we were comfortably looked after, however tired they themselves were or however demanding we were!!! A really good team of Sherpas do pass on our compliments and best wishes to them. We also appreciate the special efforts made by Mr. Jangbu who came down all the way to Lobuche to meet our group and set to rest our minds the various questions we had re. acclimatization, fitness levels, etc. Greg and Jangbu made our stay at the base camp very eventful and enjoyable. It was amazing to see how everyone had adapted to such tough living conditions and that is the level of comfort they brought to our stay also. Imagine being served pizzas and burgers for meals followed by the most delicious chocolate cake! Thanks Mr. Kazi and KUDOS to IMG on the overall organization of the entire trek. I would definitely recommend IMG to all my friends and family. Thanks once again for one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life."
"IMG is a terrific organization! Somehow referring to IMG as an organization seems wrong. IMG is a great bunch of people. First class operation! Justin, Greg, and Phil were tremendous sources of support and guidance. I made it to Base Camp because of them. Thank you as well, Eric. I cannot image the amount of planning and preparations that was required of you. And then there were the sherpas and porters. First class organizations hire only first class people. What a great crew we had! This may seem somewhat presumptuous of me, but I do have a suggestion. You probably heard that the trek to Base Camp was quite an ordeal for me. (I did make it though!) This had nothing to do with IMG but everything to do with my own conditioning. I had worked out since last September and thought I was in the right shape for the trek. While I may be proof that someone with no trekking or high altitude experience can make it to Base Camp and in my case in pretty good shape it is quite the undertaking. I mentioned this to someone at Base Camp, and they thought it was an idea that might be appropriate for me to share with you. Again, the problem was not IMG. It was my own preparedness. Just a thought."
"Going thru hundreds of pictures and trading emails with the team that has come home; thanks for an exceptional trip that exceeded my expectations. I was continually amazed at your ability to keep litarally thousands of items, several teams, and changing weather all on task for what I hope will continue to be a successful expedition. Thank you to Mark, Justin, and Tashi who put the bow on the final part of the trip and of course all of the Sherpa team from beginning to end. Thinking of everyone this week as the summit bids start. Thinking of my next trip..."
"Just a short note to thank both of you and the rest of the IMG team for a wonderful experience. Also congratulations on a successful (and safe) completion of the expedition and on the summits. Really appreciate the time and effort you guys put into the non-summiteers, especially appreciated by us trekkers. For me it was fantastic to be part of a full blown summit expedition and meeting some incredible and inspirational people. My feedback is all positive but Ang Jangbu and his team needs a special mention. They are really efficient and an extremely pleasant and friendly. Thanks again and all the best."
"Prior to leaving Nepal, I cobbled together a short sentence from the abbreviated dictionary at the back of a guidebook and committed it to memory. It encapsulated the sentiment I wanted to express: 'Mero mutu kushi ra kritagya chha.' I had some trepidation when I used the phrase that I was inadvertently saying something like, 'The gorak flew up the yak's ass,' or something equally impertinent, when I was trying to say, as I say to you now, 'My heart is happy and grateful.'"
"Eric is on top of everything. Frankly I don't know how he does it. I'm pretty old to have a hero but he is it for me. I have been trying to think of what sets IMG apart from other companies. I suppose others are competent, organized, but Eric and Phil really and truly care about the person. Eric knows when to come on strong and when to be the gentle giant..."
"Actually I probably would not have made it without Phil's physical and psychological help. He got me a different rucksack to use and most importantly he insisted at practically every meal that I eat, as I had a complete loss of appetite. He would even put peanut butter on crackers and insist that I eat. He really got me through some hard times. The bond of respect is so strong that it is hard to describe..."
"I was pleased to be a small part... of the Everest expedition this Spring. I enjoyed the adventure. George, Robert, Greg, Dave and Liza were all very helpful to me. Thosi and the other Sherpas were all fantastic. They were all great and very professional... The trip inspired me to plan more such jaunts and to increase my training to be able to make them... Patagonia, the Alps, the Atlas and on and on are all part of the plan..."
Tibet Trek to Cho Oyu and Everest Base Camps
"The Tibet Trek, the Lhasa visit, and the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek were all grand successes. Thanks to you and the many IMG people responsible. I'm especially thankful for all the custom arrangements you made on my behalf on the Cho Oyu (Tibet Trek) expedition. It could not have gone smoother."
"This trip was a 15 year dream in the making and it was everything I had hoped for, and more. The trip started out to be Everest ABC, but the Tibetan people and their culture soon became as exciting and interesting. Adam did a great job ensuring all went well and 'making a team of the team'. Our drivers, guides, and sherpas were as friendly and helpful as they could possibly be. Our accommodations were great be it hotels or tents and the food could not have been better... You run a 1st class organization, and I credit the staff and the planning for adding to our success."
"I had a fantastic time in Tibet, Eric. Your organization and leadership are just top class, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you as a person. So I wanted to thank you again for a wonderful expedition."
"A special thanks for everything you and your people did to make my experience so memorable... I've traveled all over the world, and I frequently get asked which trip was my favorite. I usually say it's about a 20-way tie for first. I think the ABC Trek just broke the tie. I had a great time. I'm still gushing about the scenery, especially along the route from Camp 2 to ABC. I can't say enough good things about Heather. She took great care of us, and in addition to being an expert guide, she was a wonderful travel companion. The same was true of the Sherpas. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that your organization is first-rate in every respect. Thanks for everything."
"I'm writing to express my appreciation for the high quality experience you organized for us on the North Side of Everest this year. Our Advanced Base Camp trek was a pretty minor part of the overall expedition, but it was nonetheless very well planned and managed by the IMG team... A lot of people have asked me about my trip and I've told them that if they ever want to go on a altitude oriented adventure, to connect with the guys at IMG. You run a great show..."
"Got back a week ago and had a great time! Everything was well organized and Ben & Mike are two very qualified and fun individuals. I enjoyed experiencing the various cultures and achieving a new PR of 20,331. I'll always retain the great memories from the trip... I look forward to joining you on a future trip..."
"I had a great time trekking from Cho Oyu BC to Rongbuk and Everest BC... I appreciate all the organizing and work you and your staff put into the Cho Oyu 2002 Autumn Expedition. The fact that there were no major missed dates, show up times, missing yaks, missing equipment or major problems, is a direct result of your team's successful efforts. Plus we had fun...
Please pass on my appreciation especially to [Ang Jangbu's Nepal staff]. These guys are great!!! On every occasion they exceeded expectations. All the Sherpas and KTM office/field staff (drivers, etc.) were on time, helpful, friendly and super hard workers. Special thanks to Kaji Sherpa for feeding, guiding and interpreting on the trek..."
Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa
I just returned from a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro with Max Bunce. It was so amazing. You folks set up a first class trip from the accommodations, meals, Max's expert guidance and tips on hiking and safari afterwards it couldn't have been better. Thank you!
What stands out about IMG to me is that their owners truly care about their climbers and their experiences above all else, and that attitude trickles down through every one of their guides and staff members. They go the extra mile to make your climb enjoyable, safe and rewarding...
We've now climbed with five different IMG guides, and every one of them have been so kind, knowledgeable, helpful and simply lovely people. They are the best at what they do and put your safety first and your experience at a close second. They do everything they can to make sure the team has a great time and can get as far as possible while still getting down safely. I completely trust them and cannot say enough about how wonderful they are...
I will also say that IMG had one of the nicest, if not the best camp set-ups of any other group on Kili, and boy are there a lot of groups on that mountain! The porters go ahead of you and set up camp each day. When you get to camp, you have your tent, your bag a porter carried and warm water for washing up right there. Such a lovely sight! There is also a large dining tent with hot drinks and a snack right away. Then you rest for a bit until dinner. And the food. Wow. Let me just say that I ate better on Kili than I normally do at home. The food is just incredible...
Every member of our Kili group summited, and we did so as a team, which made the experience even more special. There were challenging times but we got through it together...
They are wonderful and really do go the extra mile to make sure you have the best possible climb. They take care of and think of everything so you don't have to worry.
"My experience was so amazing that it took a while to adjust to being back and actually digest my trip. It's funny, Africa was so unbelievable that I keep forgetting I visited and had a nice time in Amsterdam beforehand!
IMG exceeded all my expectations from speaking with Clarissa before I even booked my trip, to having Chris as an awesome, caring, knowledgeable guide on the mountain, to the well-organized safari. I not only felt safe with Chris, but he felt like part of our group rather than just an amazing guide. The African guides and porters were hardworking and engaging. The safari guides and arrangements were perfect (I think Lisa and I would've loved another 1/2-1 day, but who wouldn't). What a spectacular team you have (domestic and abroad)!
Also, being a vegetarian (or picky pescatarian), I always am concerned about food options. The food on the mountain was delicious and the cooks were always conscious of the vegetarian options during lunch and dinner. I was never wanting for food!...Thank you for helping make this trip of a lifetime more wonderful than I could've imagined and for making a very challenging endeavor a safe and fun experience! I look forward to my next trip with you and have already recommended you to everyone I talk to!"
"My Kili experience with IMG was superb, so thank you to all of you. Everything was extremely well organized, ran incredibly smoothly and all of the local staff that IMG worked with were great. Chris is a fantastic and knowledgeable guide. I felt safe and secure the entire time with him. I really felt like he was 'training' and preparing us physically and mentally for the summit hike even from the very first day, and I think that really contributed to the climb being so successful for the entire group. I have already been recommending IMG to friends who may be interested in future trips and I certainly hope to travel/climb/hike with you all again."
"I'm writing on behalf of my entire family to thank IMG for our fantastic trip to Kilimanjaro. My wife, two teenage children, and I all had an incredibly great time, both on the mountain and on safari. I'd recommend a trip to Kilimanjaro with IMG to any family seeking a challenging and fulfilling adventure.
The success of our trip was due in very large part to Eben Reckord, who did a superb job guiding us to the summit of Kilimanjaro and coordinating our safari. Everyone in our family absolutely loved him. His relaxed style, warm personality and sense of humor put everyone at ease and kept us all laughing, but he also demonstrated mastery of the details and logistics of climbing that made us know we were in the hands of a real expert. He checked on everyone appropriately to make sure we were all doing well (Headaches? Nausea?) but without making anyone feel anxious. He had a way of inspiring everyone to do his or her best and feel as excited about being on Kilimanjaro as he was. Off the mountain, he was just as valuable. He introduced us to downtown Moshi (including the famous milkshakes), coordinated a trip to a Chagga village, presided over a great "tipping ceremony" for our porters, and made sure the safari ran smoothly.
Eben clearly had great relationships with all the local guides and porters and everyone at the Keys Hotel. You could tell they all admired him and appreciated how he treats everyone with respect.
Over the years, I've been guided by George Dunn on Whitney, Jason Edwards on Elbrus, Brent Okita on Denali and Jason Tanguay and Justin Merle on Liberty Ridge. None were better than Eben.
I asked my wife if she had anything to add, and she offered the following: 'I wanted an adventure for my 50th birthday this summer and thought it would be fun to climb Kilimanjaro with my family. Truth be told, I didn't really know what I was getting into, but some instinct was urging me to do it. I am not an avid hiker, camper or climber, so there was a risk I might regret the whole trip. As it turns out, I had by far the best vacation of my life. I loved the challenge of climbing and doing it with my family. I loved Tanzania and the people there. And I really loved Eben. He is hands-down the most good-natured person I have ever met, and he is the reason I had at least ten times more fun on this trip than I ever imagined I would have. He kept us informed, entertained and inspired. He is a real asset to your company, but I'm sure you realize that. Thank you for making my 50th birthday trip so memorable!')"
"In short, this trip confirmed that I picked the right group with which to climb Kilimanjaro. The entire process went smoothly and the trip was fantastic. I think the website and the documents outlining the trip did an excellent job of preparing me for the trip. Everything was spot on from the amount of money to bring to filling out a Visa form at JRO to the schedule. I feel like I brought the right gear and was prepared for everything.
Not only are [the guides] experienced and knowledgeable about climbing/guiding, I feel that they went above and beyond. They provided feedback on how to hike better and breathe better. The health and safety of all the trekkers was their #1 concern and that was very apparent. Mike and Max kept track of all the medications people were taking and questioning folks (esp on summit day) on how they were doing. Even the local Kili guides were checking on everyone during rest breaks... The local Kili guides were fantastic at predicting when we would encounter some difficult areas/terrains. They were already there to give a hand or a boost as needed. They were incredibly nice and helpful and knowledgeable.
The safari was interesting and fun... The lodges we stayed at were nice... The whole trip was well organized and executed flawlessly (from my perspective). I climbed Rainer with IMG in 2007 and had a great experience so I knew that I would climb Kilimanjaro only with IMG. You have proven me to be accurate in my assessment yet again... I'm signed up for Mt. Whitney in March and am looking forward to another great IMG experience."
"The trip was terrific. Mike and Max are not only wonderful guides but also great guys. Enjoyed their company very much. It seems that everyone got along very well and had a great time. Can't think of anything I would change."
"As I'm sure everyone else on the Kilimanjaro climb said, Greg did an outstanding job. I have a few friends that want to climb Kili, and I'll definitely be recommending IMG. Thanks for everything."
"Just a personal note of thanks to you and to Phil for allowing my much-needed delay in the Kili trip. It was worth the wait: a responsive and great guide who made us all feel safe and confident; fantastic weather translating to an easy hike to the summit; and a beautiful safari. Thanks also for your gear guidance. I really had no idea what I was doing, and your assistance paid off: I had extra space in my bags and more than enough gear both warm and otherwise for the trip. Again, many thanks for your flexibility. I suspect the Kili trip was not my last with IMG."
"It was a great trip! Justin and the Chagga staff were great. Thanks."
"I wanted to let you know that I had a trip of the lifetime with Greg and IMG. Greg was a great guide, IMG had every little detail planned out for the team, and we just had to worry about making it to the top!! I will definitely recommend IMG to others and hope to take another trip with Greg and IMG in the future!"
"The trip was awesome, and everything was perfect. Greg's work was great and also the guide's in Kili and the drivers during the safari."
"You have a real treasure in Justin! He made us all feel welcome, and his leadership was instrumental in leading us to bond the way we did. He also guided us technically, and although I had been hiking with ski poles for 6 years, his first tip was to shorten the poles, and it made such a difference in my comfort after a long day. He instructed us in a rest-step that was new to me too and made a lot more sense than what I'd done in the past. And then there was the breathing... Dawes said he'd never heard me breathe hard until Justin taught me, and it made a huge difference on summit day. I even learned from Justin that my Ipod likes to be warm. He has a great, easy going personality, and we just had a lot of fun!
We also thought the porters were wonderful. They were always smiling, helpful and kind. They added so much to our experience. So, thanks to you and IMG for all the planning and personnel that go into your expeditions so that we can focus on getting to the top and enjoying the journey."
"Wanted to let you know that, although we didn't reach the peak, (got to 18,000 feet) this was an incredible experience for all of us (wife and two daughters 16 and 14). Jangbu was a fantastic guide, (as were the Tanzanian guides), Kilimanjaro was beautiful, and the safari was exciting. All in all, a truly memorable family vacation."
"I wanted to let you know that Mike and I had an amazing experience on the Kili Climb and Safari. The climb was, by far, the toughest thing I've ever done (both mentally and physically), but also one of the greatest experiences of my life. Ang Jangbu was an excellent guide. He really had a gift for making us feel calm and confident in what we were about to do (many of us were a bit nervous about the Barranco Wall and summit morning, but he was so reassuring and supportive you just knew you could handle it). He was all over the place, taking pictures, checking on each of us, and joking around, keeping us all in good spirits...
Thomas and the rest of the African guides were also top notch. They came into the mess tent each night to debrief us on the next day's route, and each night Thomas would tell us "free your mind, we are here for you". You could tell that each of those guys really wanted us to have fun, and to make it to the summit. They were fun, supportive, and extremely professional.
I think we were all very impressed with the quality of the food prepared on the climb as well.
And the visit to the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program was a really enlightening experience which gave us an even greater appreciation for the support of the porter team. Each day I did my best to keep an eye out for my bag as it passed me and as I said "asante" to my porter, he would turn around, give me a big smile and a thumbs-up. "
The safari was very well done too... We saw every animal we wanted to see, and many more that we didn't even know to expect. Steven was fun, personable and very knowledgeable. Each of the lodges we stayed in was great too...
I guess the bottom line is you and the IMG team have done a really wonderful job at putting together an amazing trip. From Ang Jangbu as a lead guide, to the AMAZING African guides and porters, and the wonderful Safari team, this trip really was a trip of a lifetime for Mike and I both. We met some of the most amazing people too. I'm sure you can't really control who signs up for trips, but I know for sure that we made some friends we will stay in touch with for a very long time.
Thank you so much for all the help with getting our arrangements made and for putting together such a wonderful trip. I will definitely recommend IMG to anyone I know... And Mike and I will DEFINITELY be back for more..."
"All in all it was a great trip and we will definitely consider using IMG again. The climb and Safari portion was great, and Jangbu did an amazing job running the trip and taking care of the details through the trip. Thanks!"
"I was a member of the June Kili trip and can't say enough great things about IMG, Adam Angel, and all of our local guides and porters. From the application process and pre-trip e mails from the IMG team to our arrival at JRO and orientation, I felt so prepared and confident to begin the climb. All along our way up to the summit (and back down) Adam and our local guides (Eric, Robinson, and Thomas) were there, enthusiastically, with advice, background information on the mountain and the area and good stories. Making it to the summit was one of my lifelong dreams and I am so thankful to the IMG team for making the process go so smoothly. I was also pleased to learn that IMG treats and pays its porters well. I certainly will recommend IMG to my friends who are interested in climbing Kili."
"I want to thank you and IMG for an incredible and exciting trip with an experience (summiting Kili) that was truly one of the most inspiring moments of my life. I have travelled the world, bicycled some pretty steep terrain, rafted some great rapids and hiked in some pretty awesome places in the U.S., China, Europe, and South America but never in any guided trip (many of mine are self-guided) have I been with a more well organized and professional company or been with a guide as capable, fun, interesting or caring as IMG and Craig John... Again thanks very very much!"
"I want you to know that the Kili, June 2008 climb and safari could not have been better! The trip was well planned, well executed and lots of fun. And Craig John was the consummate professional mountain guide! He instills confidence in all team members, regardless of their level of expertise. He anticipates all possible outcomes so there are never any surprises. He exercises great judgment both on and off the mountain. AND, he is just plain fun to be around! In my years of mountaineering I have rarely climbed with guides who possess all of these traits. I know you have to be pleased to have him on your staff. I will not hesitate to recommend IMG and Craig to others and I look forward to future climbs with both IMG and Craig. Thanks to both of you for making Kili, June 2008 the trip of a lifetime for the Yakey family!"
"IMG was above and beyond my expectations. This has truly become the trip of a lifetime and a life-altering one as well. Our guide, Craig, not only was an incredible source of knowledge and strength during our climb, but he became family as well... As a team, we grew closer together than I could have ever imagined. We helped each other every step of the way and enjoyed our time together so, so much. Our climb became more a family journey rather than a push to summit of the tallest freestanding mountain on earth... The safari was excellent, and the first night in the tents was incredible. To camp in the middle of the Serengeti with the sounds of the animals right outside will be a memory unparalleled! I cannot stress to you enough how amazing it was... All of our other accommodations were fantastic as well and all the staff we encountered were professional and courteous. Thank you for all of your hard planning and making sure IMG's services surpassed our hopes. Tanzania will always be a place of mystery and challenge and family. I will always want to return."
"I wanted to let you know what a tremendous experience this was for us and how pleased we were with the whole IMG program from start to finish. From the initial contact with you and Phil Ershler, through the whole trip planning process, to the expedition itself, everything was highly professional and first class in every respect. Your personal communications to me by email and rapid response to any questions or concerns in advance of the trip were greatly appreciated. The local arrangements through the Keys Hotel and the assistance of and experience with the African guides, cooks, and porters were beyond expectations. I also cannot speak highly enough about Adam Angel. Not only did he do a great job coaching us through our progressive trek into high altitude, but he also became a wonderful companion and friend, and undoubtedly greatly facilitated the camaraderie that quickly developed amongst the climbers.
I don't know when I may get another chance to climb, but when I do, you can be assured that if at all possible, it will be with IMG. It appears that you set the standard in guided mountaineering, and I thank you for making possible this once in a lifetime experience for my son and me."
"I want to take a few minutes to write you and let you know that you have one happy customer!!! It is definitely noticeable that you carefully hand-pick your staff because Jake Norton is a gem! He is one of the most patient, kind and most knowledgeable people I've ever come across, especially when dealing with a diverse group of people...
You should also know that I have never done anything this challenging in my life; the highest I climbed/hiked was just a little over 12,000 feet. I know this is my achievement, but I could not have done it without Jake's guidance and IMG's expertise... the stories I've heard on both you, Eric and Phil and your staff really made me feel safe and proud to have climbed with you.
I also could not have imagined a trip like this without your wonderful itinerary, wonderful lodges and meals I never dreamed of eating, let alone while on Kilimanjaro (I think I gained weight on this trip.) Honestly, everything was perfect!
I already started spreading the IMG word to folks who have dreamed of doing this, hearing me talk about it they can see how easy it is just a phone call away, and it's taken care of, all you have to do is show up literally."
"The IMG expedition to Africa was far and away the best run trip I've ever had. Not a detail was lacking and it all added to the overall enjoyment of the experience. I want to thank you for the opportunity to have been a part of an IMG team and I sincerely look forward to climbing with your group again in the future. Thanks again for an unforgettable journey to the Dark Continent. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me and I'll certainly never forget it."
"What a wonderful mountain in a spectacular part of the world. The team was by far the best and nicest group I have ever had the privilege to climb with. I know it is the luck of the draw but this is my fifth large scale expedition, and I have never been with a better group. We all enjoyed ourselves tremendously."
"It was a great trip. I have never been on a summit climb where the entire team of guides and clients functioned so well together. Usually, a couple of people turn around or the team gets spread out. Everyone stayed together and we marched up to the summit as a team which was really neat. It was great to meet and spend time with everyone."
"We had an incredible experience on our trip. The climb was awesome! IMG had everything well organized from the excellent accommodations before and after the climb to the coordination of the porters and cooks on the climb. Adam was a pleasure to climb with. He took a personal interest in each person achieving their goals for the climb and did everything he could to help make that happen. He had a great sense for when he needed to provide specific direction to the group and when it was okay to let the group just experience the mountain. Hope we have the chance to climb with him again. We look forward to our next adventure with IMG."
"What a fun trip. And all I have to say is who ever thought up the porter concept was brilliant. It's not bad strolling up and down a mountain when you don't have to schlep your own stuff. Seriously, Tanzania is an amazing country. Kili is a beautiful mountain and the safari was just the right length of time. I also very much enjoyed climbing with Adam Angel. He's a very nice guy and excellent tour guide. The group was lots of fun and got along very well. Just a wonderful trip all the way around."
"I just wanted to send a short letter to thank you and Adam for a excellent trip to Kilimanjaro. Adam did a great job throughout the climb and I would definitely recommend IMG and Adam for anyone wanting to do a climb."
"I think I should first speak of Adam, for without his expert guidance and leadership, our climb could have been quite different and not as successful... at least for me. Although I have done some climbing, I was perhaps the least experienced of the group. And although I had trained religiously for months, I was not prepared for many of the challenges that confronted us. Adam was there for me and everyone, for every step of the way.
Not a headache was to go by without him knowing about it. When they did occur, Diamox was not the preferred cure; rather going back to the basics of breathing and drinking. He talked about what we should wear each day and how often we should snack and drink water. He instructed us as to the use of our poles: how long or short they should be or if we needed one or both. And when I encountered some problematic spots on the Baranco Wall or wherever, he was there to get me safely to the next point. By the time we had reached Barafu Hut, he had laid the groundwork: he had instilled so much confidence in us of his abilities as a leader. Little did we know how important that confidence in him was for us to reach the summit.
I know that Adam spoke to you about the wind and the less than perfect conditions on summit night. Regardless, Adam was unbelievable. He was decisive. He shouted out instructions all along the way: to eat, to drink, to breathe, to rest step and for me to stand up straight. He was quick to have our packs taken off and carried by a Chagga, when we were being carried and thrown down by the wind. And he yelled encouraging words that we were doing so well and that our bodies could do it and not to let our minds tell us it couldn't!! And because of his leadership and good judgment, no one was hurt, and we reached the summit safely.
All in all, it was an experience of a lifetime. And I thank you for including me in the group."
"Thanks to Jake's leadership and Wende's enthusiasm, I had a fabulous climb of Kili a few weeks ago. Jake's talent for creating a team out of us, young and not so young, was unquestionably essential to our success. We climbed with other groups along the Machame trail, but [neither group] came close to the care Jake gave us. Actually, each of the aforementioned groups had an injured client on the descent part of summit day, and those injured people came down the mountain on a gurney with NO guide to be seen with them! I know that Jake will have been there with his client in case of an accident. He was in fact, helping one of us to descend very slowly to Mweka camp, making it a 20 hour day, BUT, finishing with a smile and a healthy client! This is the difference between your group and the others: IMG guides are professionals in ALL aspects of the climb..."
"Mark was a fantastic guide, and I believe, the main reason nine of ten made it to the top. He really prepared us each day and set a pace that made the summit reachable. What a pro. As for IMG, I was very impressed with how everything was so well organized. It seemed like every little detail was covered. I know you guys have tons of experience with guiding and expeditions and it shows! I've used other guide companies for my previous trips and I know how they were organized and run, and I will state emphatically that I will never use another outfit other than IMG. IMG is way better than the others. Way better!... You guys are the best in the business."
"I wanted to let you know I had a great time on the Kilimanjaro trip. It went just as planned, we all made the summit, and the safari was great fun too... Thanks also to you for pre-arranging everything so perfectly..."
"My daughter Kate and I were on the trip. I've been going on trips with Phil since 1986, and this was among the best ever... It was extremely well organized; it was a great experience. Both the mountain, the culture of the people we encountered, our fellow climbers, and of course the indomitable Phil. I think that the defining element of adventure and fun that Phil's trips offer is that Phil, through his leadership, lets us step outside our daily lives and gain a perspective that we often forget... I'd go back tomorrow."
"We just wanted to tell you what a great job you did on the trip to Kilimanjaro. I have to say that it really was the highlight of our trip to Africa. I enjoyed our group very much, but I also think that you did a superb job of leading and organizing the trip..."
"I want to thank you for a great time in Kenya/Tanzania. Craig and Paul did an exceptional job on the mountain. Craig set the tone early by cutting our bag weight to all but the necessary. Climbing the mountain in seven days rather than six was a big help. Each day Craig and Paul kept us informed and handled what came up smoothly. I have to emphasize how well they evaluated people's high altitude health problems. Their instruction and supervision throughout and especially on summit day led to all but one person out of the 13 at high camp to reach the summit. Everyone returned home safe. Quite an accomplishment... Our drive through the Serengeti blew my mind... I can't wait to get my slides developed!"
Lhotse Expedition, Nepal
"When I saw Lhotse for the first time so high above the Nepalese clouds, I got very impressed and estimated my chances of success to be less than 20%. IMG simply boosted my expectations to 100%. Thanks to their undisputable experience and best-in-class professionalism, I realized my dream in only 7 weeks start to finish. This was an incredible experience, which I recommend to any qualified climber from around the world. From the Everest base-camp and above, it became obvious to me that IMG was the leading expedition second to none on the ground..."
Machu Picchu Inca Trek, Peru
"Overall the experience for me and my children could not have been better; we experienced the right proportion of exercise, history, culture and food in a magical corner of the world. The planning of our itinerary and execution of these plans was flawless. From the time we arrived until the moment we left, our travel was facilitated and an effort made to meet any of our requests... In Cuzco and in Lima we were provided with informative tours and knowledgeable tour guides... The hotels selected were first rate and were everything we needed.
On the trek the equipment was top quality. Of particular note was the high quality of our Peruvian guide Juan. He was knowledgeable, well spoken, friendly with an excellent sense of humour. I felt entirely comfortable in putting the comfort and safety of my children and myself in his hands.
I have already recommended the Inca Trail to friends who have not yet seen Machu Pichu. I will not hesitate to suggest they travel with IMG. I know I will be contacting you when I begin to organize our next trek to either Killi, Everest Base or Bhutan.
Thanks for all your efforts; you made this trip something that my children and I will remember always."
"I want to compliment both IMG and your team, especially Eric Stevenson, for a great effort on our Machu Picchu excursion last week. I know that adding a family of five to the many variables involved with one of your trips, especially one down in South America, can make things interesting, but Eric and Jaime were nothing but positive, accepting, engaging and understanding. The places we stayed, the quality of the guides, and the overall organization was top notch. As you know, we had a luggage issue as well, which could have been a major disaster but Eric helped to resolve the impass, professionally but effectively to the positive. I don't think my wife, Jeanine, and my kids could have had a better overall experience, and clearly one that they will cherish for a long time. I purposely booked with IMG because of my experience with your team on Mt. Rainier, and you did not let us down. I am already thinking about a few other trips in the next year or so, and I cannot imagine using any other guide service than IMG."
"I had a wonderful time on the trek! The places we stayed and ate in were top notch. The guides were great, very helpful, and Jaimi (the guide from the local company) was excellent and very knowledgeable about the area and history. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything that could/should be changed. Thanks again for providing a wonderful experience in Peru!"
"When I signed up for this trip I knew you were "famous" and all that, what I didn't know is that I would end up considering you a friend. You enabled me to do something I will be proud of for the rest of my life that's pretty powerful stuff. Thanks for all the encouragement and knowledge you shared. You will see me again on a rope, I promise!"
"I had the time of my life and I look forward to my next trip with IMG. Phil, your ability to balance the client/guide relationship should be commended. You and your staffs' professionalism and approachability made for an extremely positive trip experience.
I also wanted pay Lindsay the highest of compliments. She was our rope team leader on both Ixta and Orizba and I thought she was just outstanding. She sets a great example for all of us climbers that are new to the sport and I really enjoyed her words of encouragement. Once again, thanks for everything."
"I've had offers to climb with others, but I go with guide services because I want a comfort level of being up high with someone who really knows what they are doing. I chose IMG because of your resume and because you have been running this trip for a while. Beyond that, I was just hoping for an enjoyable time and good weather, and not sure what else to expect. What I got was an experience I will never forget, for which I wanted to express my thanks.
The professionalism with which you ran the trip was something we, I'm sure, all took for granted. Not just the logistics, but your demeanor, on and off the mountain, set you aside from other guides I have been with. It was helpful and certainly built my confidence to have you be so organized and direct with us, and push us to be just as prepared.
I particularly enjoyed the climb of Pico. It was a challenging mountain, more than I expected, even after Ixta. Your leadership and encouragement were very, very much appreciated. They were a nice break from 'how are you feeling?' lightened the mood, and made the climb that much more enjoyable.
It was a great trip, and a fantastic introduction to travel outside of the US. I have (finally) been lucky enough to find the money and time to do some traveling these last 3-4 years, and feel even luckier that I found IMG and this trip.
Thanks again, Phil. I look forward to talking to you soon, and hopefully joining another IMG trip."
"I would heartily recommend this trip for anyone who's interested in a great climbing vacation. The climbing was excellent. The logistics were very well planned... I believe that IMG does the best job with this trip."
"You surpassed all my expectations as a guide and as a human being. You are one of the lucky individuals who make it possible for people like me to live their dreams. Thanks for a memorable adventure...."
"Phil runs a well thought out and organized program. It's a great way to see the Mexican Volcanoes. I highly recommend it..."
Mt. Olympus Climb
"I really enjoyed this trip. Great mix of backpacking and technical climbing... I thought the mix of beautiful scenery and great campgrounds, combined with a day of technical climbing, was pretty close to perfect. Austin and Luke are great guides. The summit day was a lot of fun we didn't have to get up too early (3:30), and had a nice mix of glacier travel, steep snow terrain, and easy 5th class rock climbing. IMG should run more trips like this easy logistics (United and Alaska run nonstops from D.C. to Seattle), affordable (the only gear I had to buy were the hybrid mountaineering boots), and both relaxing (at times) and a hard adventure (on summit day)."
Ouray, Colorado Ice Climbing
"Just a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed the Ouray ice climbing. Sondra is a superb instructor; I learned so much from her about footwork on the ice, how to use ice axes, belaying, knots, etc. Most importantly we had a great time ice climbing and enjoying Ouray. The skills Chris and I learned of course will be useful on our Kautz climb this summer, but our Ouray trip was a big success on its own great long weekend away from the office rat race. Thanks again for putting together such a good program with such a talented instructor."
"It was so much fun and hard to leave and head back home. On day 2, Sondra had us do a second lap on a route with a bulge that gave me trouble the first time. After watching what she did, and learning from my first try, it was so much easier!"
"First and foremost we had a Fantastic time! Dan and Cedric are excellent guides: they provided more feedback on how to improve our ice climbing in one day than we received in three days of clinics at the Ice Festival... In addition to being great teachers, [they] also made the experience fun with their great attitude, positive outlook and communication skills... we will be back next year!"
"IMG has done it again with a challenging, rewarding and well-executed trip. The 3-day beginner's ice climb in Ouray, CO is quite possibly one of the most technical trips IMG offers that any beginner with a positive attitude, patience and determination can quickly master in a 3-day time period. I knew next to nothing about ice climbing (except that it looks really cool in pictures) when I started the trip. During the 3 days out in the Ouray Ice Park, IMG guides Justin and Sondra taught me the necessary skills I needed in order to ice climb. Both guides were very thorough in their instruction and provided lots of time to practice until everyone in the group felt comfortable. Additionally, the guides' patience and encouragement enabled everyone to climb up amazingly steep ice terrain. Their knowledge and passion for ice climbing came through and got everyone more excited to learn and climb. I find that IMG guides treat each client with a personal focus. Both Justin and Sondra are technically astute, but more-so, both guides are personable, funny and cater to each client's needs offering the right amount of support and encouragement that is needed. I am so glad I had Justin and Sondra as my guides as they helped to make the entire experience a great one.
IMG always stresses safety in every aspect of the trip, and the 3 day Ouray trip was no different. Ice climbing for the first time can be nerve-racking enough, but when you know that every knot is secure, crampons are on your feet the right way, and the person on belay is not going to let you fall, the nerves subside so you can focus on climbing!
I also feel that I got so much more than just instruction in technical ice climbing. I learned about knots, belay devices, rappelling (the first step over the edge is scary as heck, but the guides walk you through the entire process), and multi pitch climbing. The entire trip was incredibly fun and I cannot believe how much I learned in such a short time period. I think this trip should be on everyone's list even if you don't plan to climb in the Himalayas or Denali. This 3 day trip left me with such a sense of accomplishment and reward... and not to mention, some really cool looking pictures of me ice climbing!"
"The entire trip was top notch. I can't imagine how you manage to make any money charging only $600, but I'm not complaining. The guides were awesome. Justin is an absolute stud, so there's really no reason to go on and on about what a great guy/guide he is. From what I understand, Sondra is a new guide with IMG. In all honesty, that surprised me because she displayed total confidence throughout the entire trip. Never once did she come across as a new guide. Her skills were obvious from the first moment she arrived at the hotel. Her climbing is spectacular, and she took the time to pull each of us aside and sharpen our skills with advice and suggestions. The two of them made an awesome team... Let me say that after this experience, I won't be looking for any other guide service when I hit the mountains. We were not treated like weekend warriors. We had lots of fun, but we also learned valuable skills and were given the opportunity to prove ourselves as climbers (even if we were novices). That's what I'm looking for in a guide service. I need experts, not babysitters. I want skills, not pampering. That's what I experienced in Ouray and I can't wait to continue using your services as I plan the next phase of my climbing life."
"Just wanted to let you guys know that the course this weekend was amazing. Having climbed with IMG, I went in with high expectations, and they were exceeded. Mark and Gary were great guides and mixed in lots of mileage with technical stuff. My goal was to regain my skills as competent follwer, and Mark spent considerable time working with me on multi-pitch ice techniques. Thanks for a spectacular weekend."
"I wanted again to congratulate you on a great course and two terrific guides: Mark and Andy. As you know, I have been around since the middle to late 90's climbing with IMG and your self, and over the years, you have consistently trained and chosen exceptional guides with incredible ability and people-skills; Mark and Andy fall under that umbrella of exceptional, and you should be pleased and proud that they represent IMG. I have not been on the ice in 2 years, and I was impressed how individualized the "teaching and maintenance" of each client was... Level of skill was not an issue, and I can tell you Lisa was very impressed, and she will return next year with me. Thanks again for a great trip. See you on Whitney."
"Thanks for one hell of a trip! Your three-day program was just superb and having accommodations so close to the park was an added bonus! From my vantage point, Matt Farmer and Justin Merle were the most experienced people in the park, bar none. I cannot say enough great things about these two guys, great organization, persistent, excellent instruction, and two just all-around great people! These two encouraged us every day to try new and different techniques for conquering the ice. These two are without a doubt a great asset to IMG! Thanks again, and I will do everything I can to steer people your direction!..."
"Just got back from Ouray and had a great time, even better than last year, and I didn't think that was possible! From my past trips I have learned that the mountains and the climbing don't make a trip something special, the people on it do. And in particular, the Guides make or break the experience. Without their infectious enthusiasum, the group's going nowhere. And personally, if I do not have complete confidence in the guides' competance and skills, I'm going nowhere.
My Dad and I knew Farmer from last year, Justin from Denali and Jake by reputation so we expected it to be a fun trip, but I do believe that IMG has once again out done itself. All three of these Guides are exceptional. I know you know that, but I thought you should hear it again! My Dad and I climbed our butts off and had a blast, mainly because we had utter confidence in the guys leading us. We both climbed better and learned more because of that fact. So, I just wanted to say "thanks" and also, can we sign up for next year yet?!!"
"Thanks so very much for the GREAT climb with Jeff, Justin, and Farmer this past week. It was my first experience ice climbing and their professionalism, expertise, and instruction really helped me reach beyond my expectations. I'm hooked and hope to make it back next year!!"
"Everything was great, and we had a ball. There's a story about Farmer that I wanted to share with you. The gorge in the School House area was not covered with ice as it normally is and the river was the largest I have ever seen it. On our way back from a climb, Farmer had moved a long 2x12 so that Xander and I could cross the stream. But, by moving it, he had stranded a climber in another party. Farmer quickly said "I'll bring it back" and he did. The other climber, however, was a beginner who was having a hard time. He was complaining about his knee; his one crampon was hanging loose from his boot; and he was worried about how he was going to cross the river to get back to his belayer. Farmer not only replaced the board for him but also tested it to make sure it was sturdy and safe. He then stood in the water and unobtrusively held the back of this climber's harness as he nervously negotiated the 2x12 board. The new ice climber made it safely back to his belayer and everything was fine.
My son, Xander, has gone to and worked at Camp Dudley on Lake Champlain for a number of years. Their motto is "the other fellow first." Well, this was one of the finest examples I have ever seen of putting the other fellow first. Xander and I were very impressed, and, as I said to Farmer, 'George would be very proud of you.' It made me so happy for my son to witness this great example of the importance of helping others. It was, of course, no big deal for Farmer, but I shall never forget it. And neither will my son.
I can't wait to climb with IMG again; I have enjoyed every minute of it: from Jeff, to Chris, to Ben, and now to Farmer, it's been wonderful. Thanks again for everything."
"The Ice Climbing Seminar is out of control. You stay in a hotel all week and the ice park is just a couple minutes away. Jake Norton, and Jeff Ward, two of George's assistant guides are great. They are very good teachers. It's amazing how fast everyone picked up the ice climbing skills. Our skills and confidence improved every day. At the end of each day we'd hit the outdoor hot tub, drink a few beers, and talk about our adventures of the day. Our group pushed each other to do better every day, and we did..."
"This trip is a "don't-miss." The scenery is excellent, the town is cool and funky, the pace is relaxed, the company is fun, and the climbing is exquisite..."
"Ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado with George Dunn and International Mountain Guides has become an annual event for me and a few friends. The guides are knowledgeable and fun, the access is easy and the climbing is great! All this combined with evenings relaxing and socializing with fellow clients and guides makes Ouray a wonderful respite from life in the real world..."
"I participated in George Dunn's ice climbing seminar in February of 2000. My purpose was not to make a career of such endeavors, but to gain knowledge, confidence, and skill when encountering ice formations on mountain climbing trips. The instruction from the guides was superb. Their encouragement and positive reinforcement at every step of the way, made for a pleasant and rewarding experience..."
Mt. Rainier, Washington
We just had another incredible climb on Rainier with them (our entire team summited and just had a great time). They are an all around fantastic company. Every one of their guides and staff members I've met, talked or climbed with have been not only super helpful but also genuinely good, down to earth people that I truly enjoyed meeting.
It was a lifelong dream of ours to climb Rainier, so I did a lot of shopping around our local guiding companies (there are 3 here that can climb on Rainier). What stands out about IMG to me is that their owners truly care about their climbers and their experiences above all else, and that attitude trickles down through every one of their guides and staff members. They go the extra mile to make your climb enjoyable, safe and rewarding....
We've now climbed with five different IMG guides, and every one of them have been so kind, knowledgeable, helpful and simply lovely people. They are the best at what they do and put your safety first and your experience at a close second. They do everything they can to make sure the team has a great time and can get as far as possible while still getting down safely. I completely trust them and cannot say enough about how wonderful they are...
"I am still marveling at my wonderful experience with your team on Rainier. IMG is a class operation indeed. The guides are solicitous and exude competence and safety. I have never felt so safe and secure on the mountain. IMG does not cut corners. Every meal is scrumptious, and the hot breakfast on summit day is an essential component to a successful attempt..."
"I chose IMG over any other company to teach me the skills necessary to climb bigger and harder mountains. I was very happy with my choice from the moment I submitted my application. Tye and Becky both answered all of my questions and responded promptly. I was blown away with the professionalism and knowledge that every staff member held.
While on the mountain, it was go go go for the entire five days. There were times that were extremely difficult and others that were extremely cold. But that is why you call this a Denali Seminar. After five days on the mountain with seven other climbers and four guides, I felt like we were one big family that could take on any mountain in the world.
Every one of the guides, Josh, Johnny, Ian and Cedric were AMAZING!!!!!!!! They each took the time to share their knowledge, tips/tricks, share stories and made me feel like I belonged on Mt. Rainier with them. I can't thank them enough for that!
This seminar for me was to decide if higher mountains or mountaineering in general is in my near future. After climbing beside Josh, Johnny, Ian and Cedric, the answer is YES! And I will only climb with IMG! I can't say enough great things about IMG and the four guides. I want to climb Aconcagua in December of this year... Thanks again for a great Mt. Rainier climb, and I look forward to my next adventure with IMG!"
"Just wanted to drop a line and say thanks again to Dallas, Justin, Josh and Peter for making the ascent of the Kautz one for the books. Their leadership skills and professionalism made for one hell of a fun climb. From our first day of training to our final night on the summit, it was always safety first. As a client, I never felt as if I was in jeopardy. These four guides are just a small slice of the IMG team, and it is because of this type of dedication to staffing only the best, I will never use anybody but IMG. Oh ya, and to Josh, you're the BEST guide ever."
"I would like to express my gratitude to all at IMG and especially Austin and Karl for making the Fuhrer Finger climb a fantastic experience. I have climbed with IMG several times and appreciate the professionalism of your organization. This climb was very well organized. You had great group gear. The best tents for this trip. The food just keeps getting better. Pasta with fresh vegetables, broccoli, carrots and pea pods make a great meal. Austin and Karl are two Professional guides. They understood the mountain, the snow conditions, and most importantly, they understood the abilities of the clients. With this understanding, they made this the best of climbs. Camping on the Eagles Nest and then in the summit crater was above anything I had expected."
"My two sons, brother-in law, and I were on the May 24-27 climb with guides Josh Tapp, Erica Engle, Sara Cohen, and Liam O'Sullivan. I do not think the survey form I filled out adequately conveyed my appreciation of the skills each guide exhibited. Let me briefly add the following:
Josh Tapp: A very good leader. Decisive and confident. He was careful to be discrete with his assessment of risks, especially when talking with other guides, digesting the information, and presenting us with his plan. He communicated well, it seemed to me, with the other guides, listened to their thoughts, and took responsibility for ultimate decisions.
Erica Engle: I have a young niece who I think should and would look at Erica and Sara as role models. As you know, Erica and Liam literally made our trail for us, and did so on what appeared to me to be a treacherous, "sketchy," part of the route. They moved an extraordinary amount of snow on steep terrain, did so over a great distance and made the trail safe. I recognize that without their skill and stamina, we would never have gone above high camp.
Sara Cohen: A very strong climber and good guide. She conducted our skills-training and did a very thorough job, referring to a check list, which gave me confidence that my two boys were getting all the information they needed. Sara was cheerful and a very good chef.
Liam O'Sullivan: An exceptional athlete, guide, and I think any day now, a no kiddin' MD. Where else do you get that in a guide service? All that I said about cutting the trail with Erica applies to Liam. Additionally, when one of the climbers said he had doubts about summiting, Liam convinced him he could make the climb, watched over that climber, and sure enough, made certain he summited. Liam seemed the most experienced climber, but he was so modest that were it not for the other guides (and I mean guides from other outfits as well) telling us about Liam's many accomplishments, I do not think we would have known about all he has done.
I am certain none of these attributes come as a surprise to you. But put together, these guides made an exceptional team. It made for a memory my boys, their uncle, and I will never forget."
"I signed up for this trip with the goals of gaining some basic mountaineering skills and experience, and hopefully reaching the summit of Mount Rainier. As you know, the weather made the summit beyond our grasp on this particlular trip. However, I believe I got more out of my personal experience than I would have on an uneventful clear-weather climb to the summit.
Let me just say that I found your entire operation to be first-class, from the registration process and intervening communications with Becky and Tye through the entire climb with your outstanding guides, Josh Tapp, Dan Z., Austin, and Josh McD. These young men were each extremely personable, patient and easy-going, and made all of us climbers feel welcomed and truly a part of the "team." They definitely helped to quickly mold our group into a cohesive unit. Beyond that, they displayed an extreme level of professionalism in all of their planning, organization, actions and communications while we were on the mountain. Their calm demeanors and "business as usual" attitudes during what was some extreme weather and situational experiences for we novice mountaineers made all of us feel safe and comfortable at all times. Providing hearty and delicious meals and hot drinks in the midst of it all was simply a bonus.
Beyond our personal group experience, we had the rare opportunity to observe our guides dealing with the unforeseen situations of lost and missing independent climbers in poor weather conditions. Their communications and coordination with base camp, the Park Service, and other guide services on the mountain were reassuring, and I must again say highly professional. It is clear that IMG looks far beyond technical climbing skills and experience when hiring guides you obviously seek a certain type of high quality individual to lead your clients. In my personal experience I can honestly say, 'Well done.'
I may never climb the highest mountains of the world, but after my experiences on Rainier I certainly am inspired to continue to explore not only the outdoors but my own personal limits. You may rest assured that I will call on you again should I seek a guided climb anywhere in the world, and I will certainly sing the praises of IMG to any friends and acquaintances seeking adventure. Though we did not reach the summit of Rainier on our particular trip, I want to thank you for an extremely fulfilling experience where I feel like I reached a personal summit. Keep up the good work."
"I want to complement The IMG staff and especially Mike and Chris on putting together a great, memorable experience on the Fuhrer Finger. We did not get to the top, but we gave it a good try. You can not guarantee WX or snow conditions.
This climb was well organized and lead by two competent guides. They kept us informed of the plan and the options in front of us. That allowed me to mentally prepare for the next steps
You have good rental equipment, and the tents were just right. The food was good, though I am not partial to red peppers and onions, Mike cleaned up my bowl. I weighed just the same when I got home as when I left on the trip. That means there was plenty of good food, real meat and fresh vegetables.
This route was really enjoyable because we were the only party on it. I will be recommending IMG to my friends and anyone that asks, because you put together a great program."
"Just can't even thank you enough for the incredible experience I just had summiting Mt. Rainier with your company. Greg Vernovage was our team leader. There just aren't the right words to describe how incredibly awesome he is. He is so gifted and talented at what he does. We were in such good hands with him as well as Ty, Josh and Jess. What a remarkable team of guides we had. Making the summit was an amazing experience, but if it had not been for our awesome guides, the whole trip would not have been nearly as incredible as it was. Thank you for putting together such a fine team of exceptional guides. They were patient, funny, experienced, knowledgeable, and excellent teachers. I always felt safe and had a blast. I will definitely be climbing with you again. I've already been looking at your website to see what fits into my schedule for my next climb. Thanks again. You guys are simply the best! I'll be back."
"And now of course for my shout out to International Mountain Guides (IMG) and awesome guides Eric, Max, Karl and Mike! This is the first guided type expedition I have ever gone on, so I don't have much room for comparison, but I'm pretty sure these guys are at the top of the pecking order. A few things that made them so awesome: Not only are they hard-core mountaineer dudes who know their stuff, they are also nice guys; they actually like people, and like helping people succeed in getting as high up the mountain as they can.... Myself and several other expedition members were dealing with a variety of issues, and we all received kindness, patience and caring... I felt safe with them every step of the way."
"I forgot to mention on the survey how convenient and cost effective it was to have the tents available. I would definitely recommend the tents for before and after the climb."
"IMG hooked it up big time with the food. They worked pretty hard to overcome our lack of appetite at elevation... Not what I expected, for sure. We had multiple hot, fresh meals, including burritos, pancakes and bacon, and pad thai..."
"I just wanted to drop a note and let you know what a great job Olivia and Andy did on our Liberty Ridge Climb. I have done a fair amount of climbing with IMG, and you have a first class organization when it comes to your guides. Olivia and Andy always had our safety on the mountain as their #1 priority and they are just good people to be with on a climb..."
"Just wanted to drop you all a line and tell you how much I enjoyed my trip with you. Everything was great including the weather. Your company is first class in all respects. I knew exactly what I needed to bring and rent. All of your staff that I met was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and I felt safe with them. The rental equipment was also high quality. The overall experience was fantastic. If I am able to go on another mountaineering trip, it will definitely be with IMG."
"I want to send a big thanks to George, Phil, and Anne for making the trip a success. Climbing with IMG was a night and day difference from other guides I've climbed with."
"The experience was everything I was hoping it would be. The guides were knowledgeable and helpful without being patronizing. They pretty much kept to the schedule without being over-bearing. I would absolutely travel with you again and have already recommended you to a number of my friends. Thanks for a fantastic experience!"
"Thanks again for the Emmons Glacier climb, it was unbelievable. I'm still walking around on cloud nine and planning my next climb."
Mt. Shuksan, Washington
"Thanks so much for the tremendous adventure and great climb of Mt. Shuksan. This experience only enhances my desire to further visit and explore wild places around the world. We are very fortunate to have the North Cascades in our own back yard! This is my second IMG experience. You probably know that I trekked to Everest basecamp last year with IMG. The trips are top notch, well-organized, well-run and so satisfying. It makes you want to come back for more...
I can't say enough about Dallas. I can't imagine a better guide, teacher, new friend and companion on this trip. I immediately had confidence in his ability to help us successfully get up and down the mountain... He was organized and led the climb in the very practical and common-sense way. Dallas is a born teacher. He gave us a lot of really good information and presented it to us in ways that made sense and helped us see the relevance. Safety is always a very important part of any adventure like this. I always felt safe with Dallas and the way he lead. Safety was always in the fore-front but not in a stifling or over-bearing way. It was also obvious Dallas was observing us closely to understand our limitations so he knew when to hold the reins (rope!) tight and when to 'let us run'. I would look forward to an opportunity to go with Dallas again!
I am pretty sure my next IMG adventure will be next year on the Cho Oyo, Tibet trek... IMG has already provided me with many, many great memories, and I am looking forward to more! Again, thanks a million! "
"Where do I even start? I honestly don't think there are words in the English language that can adequately describe what an amazing and awesome trip I just had climbing Mt. Shuksan with IMG. I know you hear this constantly, but your guides and your company are so far above the rest of the industry that there is just no comparison. I cannot say enough about the absolutely fantastic guides that we had. Mark, Eben, Jonathan and Peter are simply some of the best guides I've ever had. They are so very skilled at every level of their job. They instantly instilled in me a sense of trust and respect in not only their mountaineering skills, but also in their leadership skills and their ability to create a unified, dynamic team of climbers. I especially appreciate that every time I climb with your company I feel like your guides are there because they truly love guiding climbers. So many other guides that I have climbed with leave me with the feeling that they became guides because they themselves love to be in the mountains, and they saw guiding as a way to allow themselves to climb. Your team is different. They love climbing and the mountains, but it is evident that what they really enjoy is the art of guiding and helping climbers achieve their goals... and that is why I come away from my IMG trips feeling successful and looking forward to my next climb with your team.
I am a school teacher and know how frustrating it can be when students arent paying attention or I have to answer the same questions over and over again. Your guides are like expert teachers whose classroom is the mountain. They were so patient with every one of us. They answered all of our questions, regardless of how many times they got asked the same thing. The group of guides and climbers on this trip was spectacular. I think that my abs were more sore from laughing than my legs were from climbing. It was simply a blast! Thank you so very much for all that you do. The website, the blogs, the administrative end, the organization, the amazing trips, the expert guides... all of it is just so very, very well done. I will absolutely NEVER climb with any other company. Why would anyone want to experience anything less than what your company offers? Thanks again for everything. Can't even wait for my trip to Ecuador in November!"
"I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to Shuksan with Chris. Overall it was a great experience; we climbed all different types of terrain in both rain and beautiful sunshine (on the summit the best time to have it!) But what made the trip truly memorable was Chris' guiding and friendship. While continuing to learn more skills in the mountains, I also appreciated his companionship and overall helpful attitude. The North Cascades are a wonderful spot and I look forward to climbing there again."
"My experience on Shuksan with your guides Eric Stevenson and Aaron Mainer was outstanding. I went to Mexico about 8 years ago with you, via Heather McDonald and Tap Richards, also an amazing trip and amazingly well-organized trip. I've climb with other guide services prior to Mexico and a lot of time has passed since climbing a "real" mountain, but I can safely say I won't climb with any outfit but IMG.
Eric and Aaron were total pros with personality. Their technical skills were clear and solid. But, equally important to me was their ability to relate with us pedestrian clients, encouraging us, not coming off superior and engaging at many levels. I pay for the expertise, but I hope for a complete experience I got it all..."
"I want to thank you and IMG for my trip to Mt. Shuksan last summer. Now every time I see it on a calendar or billboard, I can say 'I climbed that.' Eric and Aaron were great, and I would be glad to go on another trip with them..."
Mt. Vinson, Antarctica
"Phil, You have some really stellar guys working for you (but you probably already know that)... Thank you for all of the coordination and support on your end. It's been a pleasure interacting with you, and I have nothing but positive things to say about you and your company. You were SO RIGHT about this trip being the right trip for us, because of the great group of people. I will be forever grateful to you on helping the stars align on that one. This was such a cool group of people from all over the world in all the trips we've been on, this group was hands down the most fun, interesting, and eclectic. Many thanks!"
"Mike, it's not often that you get to have the privilege of climbing with a world class climber, such as yourself. Wow. And here's an added bonus... you're a really nice guy, too... down to earth and not an ounce of pretension. Seriously, we couldn't have enjoyed our time with you more. You illustrated the utmost level of caution and consideration for the team and not only that, you were a blast to hang out with. Thank you for your patience with me, for pushing me beyond my comfort level, and for your wisdom and care to help me make it to the top. You taught me a lot about climbing and about myself... I appreciate you tremendously and know that without you, I wouldn't have made it. This was ONE HELL OF A TRIP, and we will always think of you fondly... and hope to climb with you again!"
"Chris, Seth and I want to thank you for the wonderfully considerate and enthusiastic support you provided to us on Vinson. As an assistant guide, you were the bees knees, the cat's meow, the cream of the crop! The food was spectacular, your knowledge was priceless, and most importantly, you brought a smile and a laugh to our face's. You're a real class act..."
"I am really impressed with your personal care and work at IMG. We got preparation mails, reminders, etc. and the mails are not copies from the years before; you compose them each anew. And now, after the trip, again you send us a mail with friendly words. So I understand that IMG is one of the best guiding companies in the world (or probably the best). We had a super nice team, and Mike and Chris are really outstanding persons. They managed the trip with the highest professionalism. And our team consisted of very nice and interesting people. We had a successful and great time with this extraordinary team. Thank you very much, and I am looking forward to meeting you and Mike concerning another expedition to Antarctica."
"I climbed the third time with IMG. 2008 I climbed the Denali, this year the Vinson in Antarctica and the Cho Oyu in Himalaya always perfectly organized and always all climbers of the teams on the summit! I appreciate the experienced guides, the international teams, the new tents, the good food, and the committed local staff! IMG is a good international address for climbers..."
"I am on my way home from another amazing trip. I want to let you know how much I appreciate the knowledge, safety, and professionalism displayed once again by Greg Vernovage and Mike Hamill. Their interpersonal skills were equally evident. This makes my 3rd trip with IMG, and I just want to give credit were it's due and to say thank-you..."
"Thank you, Phil for your enormous help towards making our expedition to Antarctica such a spectacular success. You're a caring, kind and thoroughly professional guide and a fine human being..."
Mt. Whitney, California
"I just wanted to let you know that my Mt. Whitney trip couldn't have been better! I had the best time with the group and guides. We had perfect weather, great conversations, and I was able to get in some great practice before my summer climbing season. As always, everything IMG does is first class in the mountains."
"The climb was great. The guides were informative, very competent and very friendly. I really enjoyed their company... (the guides) made me feel comfortable and were very encouraging throughout the climb. They pushed me through some tough mental sections, and I am very grateful.
I found the climb to be comparable to the Emmons Rainier climb at the physical level with Rainier being a little longer with more elevation gain (but of course we took longer to do it giving more rest time). The climbing was more technical on the upper section of the Whitney climb which I found very enjoyable. Of course we were lucky with weather on both climbs, and different weather I know can change either climb."
"Mt. Whitney provided a few new tastes of technical climbing, a reasonably tough challenge and one more opportunity to experience a mountain in the stellar company of IMG. Specifically, George Dunn (IMG) and Doug Nidever of SMI. This is my fourth climb with IMG and hopefully not my last. Every company in America, in any industry, should go to school at IMG for their tremendous service, relentless attention to detail and maximum level of great mojo (more companies desperately need IMG mojo.)"
"The ascent of the Mountaineer's Route on Mt. Whitney in the spring gave me the opportunity to develop the winter climbing skills I had learned on previous climbs on Mt. Rainier and other peaks. The route was challenging and the IMG guides did an awesome job organizing every aspect of the trip. My experiences on this climb further motivated me to pursue my passion for mountaineering and served as great preparation for more challenging climbs I have done since..."
"After 10 years of mountaineering trips with close to a dozen different outfitters and guide services (as well as a number of self-organized trips), I've learned what goes into making a climb challenging, enjoyable, fulfilling, and safe. George Dunn and his programs are top rate in my opinion: he has immense experience and knowledge; his programs are well organized and executed; he provides destinations and climbs that can fit a variety of skill levels, backgrounds, and interests; he brings an even-handed, level-headed positive attitude to the different circumstances encountered during an expedition; and his associate guides are excellent. In the future whenever I feel the itch to get away and go climbing, I'll check on what George has got scheduled before I make any other commitments..."
White Mountains Winter Climbs and Seminars, New Hampshire
"Just completed the 4-day mountaineering course with Dan. Learned so much and had a ton of fun. Completed with a summit of Mt. Washington on a rare weather cooperative day! Awesome all around! Dan was so knowledgeable and very helpful. He was so excited to answer all our questions and did so with total confidence. Thanks, Dan and IMG!"
"It was a great climb overall. Hard at times, but this is normal. I had fun (which is rare for me). Craig had everything planned very well, with a progressive learning curve from day one to day three. I do know a few other mountain guides, and Craig is the best for the following reasons: he is knowledgeable, patient, flexible, skilled at training others and focused on the client. He did take the time to listen to my questions and to formulate a truthful response. I sensed these qualities during my Kilimanjaro climb and am glad to have done this ice climb with him. He is an asset to IMG. Being knowledgeable as a mountaineer is one thing. Being able to transfer this knowledge and teach someone else is a different thing. Craig can do both... I am sure that I will work again with IMG and Craig. Thank you for these three days."
General IMG Comments
"The professionalism demonstrated by IMG's guides as well as the high standards that they hold their clients up to maximized our chances of reaching the summit..."
"Did a private climb with Phil Ershler and two of his junior guides... Probably the most incredible experience of my life... Phil taught us everything we needed, including roping, cramponing, using the ice axe to self arrest yourself, crossing over crevasses, pressure breathing... couldn't be a nicer guy... probably one of the toughest, strongest guys I ever met; I felt extremely safe with him... highly recommended..."
"I had the opportunity to climb Mt. McKinley in 1995 with Phil Ershler. Great experience. Another great trip with Phil..."
"We just wanted to thank you for an unforgettable adventure and the experience of a lifetime. I am not sure we will ever have another trip to equal the 22 days on Denali..."
"George is simply the best at what he does. Hands down... George's trips are well planned, he doesn't miss any details. George puts the safety of each person first and foremost. If you want to learn from the best, climb with George Dunn..."
"Phil, you did a great job at providing superb leadership and it's only in hindsight that I realized how much I did learn in the several days that we all worked together. Your concern for safety and the well-being of the group was certainly expressed succinctly and in the end it paid dividends. But, what I particularly liked was your strong emphasis on the fact that we participate together as a team up to the top and back down. We succeeded, and in large part I think, it's due to the fact that you emphasized that we all do it together..."
"Everytime I go on one of George Dunn's expeditions, I come back saying, 'that was the best adventure I've ever been on'!! From climbing Denali's West Buttress route, to his ice climbing seminar in Ouray, Colorado, to the Everest trek and Island Peak climb. I had the time of my life on each trip. I'm going to climb the Liberty Ridge route on Mt. Raniier with George this spring, and it can't come soon enough..."
"Thank you for a professional, safe and successful climb. We had the experience of a lifetime. I learned a lot and appreciated the way you strategically and tactically approached the mountain, matching our abilities/capabilities with regard to climb days rest days, carry length, etc. Thanks again, Phil. You're the best...."
"The thing I like best about George's longer expeditions is how everyone comes together and becomes a tight knit team. It's like having a family away from home. George takes smaller groups, and I think that makes a big difference. Everyone that I have climbed with on George's expeditions are motivated, enjoy a good challenge, and are fun to hang out with..."