Outdoors

2 Rainier guide companies win contracts on Alaska’s Denali

Ashford’s International Mountain Guides and Rainier Mountaineering Inc. each won contracts to guide on Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest mountain. Seattle Alpine Ascents International also received a contract.
Ashford’s International Mountain Guides and Rainier Mountaineering Inc. each won contracts to guide on Alaska’s Denali, North America’s highest mountain. Seattle Alpine Ascents International also received a contract. AP

Two Ashford-based mountain guide companies have been awarded contracts to lead climbers on Denali, North America’s highest peak, the National Park Service announced this week.

International Mountain Guides and Rainier Mountaineering Inc. are among the six companies to land contracts for 2017-26 on the 20,308-foot Alaska peak formerly known as Mount McKinley.

IMG has pursued a contract since Denali National Park opened bidding for the contracts in 2012. The process was delayed, but guide services recently learned of their selection.

“This has been a long time coming,” IMG co-founder Eric Simonson said via email.

The company guides climbers on Mount Rainier and around the world. It has led 381 climbers to the top of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

It’s Denali contract goes to the company it started in 2014, IMG Denali LLC.

RMI also guides internationally. It led its first Denali trip in 1975 and, according to its website, has led more than 300 expeditions on the Alaska mountain.

Companies charge as much as $10,000 for three-week Denali expeditions.

Other companies landing contracts are Seattle’s Alpine Ascents International, Alaska Mountaineering School, and Colorado’s Mountain Trip Alaska.

The National Outdoor Leadership School also received a contract.

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