Student Comments

What students are saying about IWLS…

“The course was absolutely awesome. Caleb and David were professional, creative, and made the program a huge success. I can’t speak highly enough of them. They put together and implemented an excellent program.” – Joshua B.

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“Safety played into every decision made on the trip.” -Matt A.

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“Nickel and Will H. worked well together…they demonstrated lots of skill…and the planning was excellent.” – Guy M.

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“I am writing to you to say thank you for getting me started in the world of guiding. The IWLS course really gave me a good foundation for what being a guide is all about. I guess I really learned from how you conducted yourself with the group and just how you went about everything. I definitely consider you a top class guide and I highly value having been able to learn from you.

So your IWLS course worked, I am a guide and run my own program on the Columbia River. If you are ever in our neck of the woods give me a shout, and we can go climbing or boating or anything! I finally got to the top of Mt, Rainier last year via the kautz glacier.

Again thank you for teaching me about guiding and giving such an awesome experience in Alaska.” – Adam W.

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“I just finished the rock/ice course yesterday and wanted to give you my feedback directly . . . Clay and Morgan are both outstanding instructors; their technical skills and teaching abilities really superb. Clay particularly has a very mature approach with his well balanced personality and terrific interpersonal skills . . . Kudos to both of them for their really excellent performance.” – Nick L.

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“My leadership abilities have improved as a result of the course. Through my experience of being a leader and analyzing the decisions made by Eli and Nic, I now feel much more confident with the decisions I make.” – Nick W.

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“I recently finished a IWLS semester and I wanted to say thanks for an amazing summer. I learned a l ton and had so much fun in Haines, Skagway the East Arm and surrounding mountains. You guys did a great job and I appreciate all your hard work, advice and flexibility.” – Shockey F.

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I just completed the Alaska Ice and Rock Climbing course with Micah Lewkowitz and it was awesome. The fantastic beauty of Alaska aside the course was challenging, exciting and physically demanding. Our course leader was responsible for most of this and the fact that I learned a great deal. Definitely it was one of the highlights of my life. It should be that without exception all the people employed by IWLS in Haines and Skagway were the most friendly and helpful I have ever met. Thanks again! – Peter M.

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“Safety was always #1 and it showed with everything we did. I learned so much about mountaineering: how to travel, avalanche safety, rope teams, and how to be a better leader.” – Jeff C.

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“The course gave a solid glacier mountaineering experience while providing hands-on learning as a solid foundation for guiding/leading trips.” – Justin Z.

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“I feel that I received every bit of my money’s worth on my 24 day mountaineering trip. The course taught me a lot about the mountain guiding industry and in comparison to my resident university I feel that it has taught me more about myself and has made me a better person because of it.” – Brian H.

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“[The course] definitely lived up to my expectations. I came to learn the basics of outdoor leadership and specific skills sets, and I got them both.” – Ben M.

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“Brian is solid on hard skills and a very competent guy to learn from. He is a great motivator and extremely thorough.” – Kristen L.

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“The instructors were very involved and took pride in what they were teaching. They had excellent skill mastery and it is obvious that they love what they do.” – Matt E.

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“With a small class size, I had more than enough opportunity for leadership roles. It was great.” – Billy F.

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“Every last one [of my expectations] were met, I could not have asked for anything more. The small group size gave me great opportunities to develop my leadership [skills].” – Steven F.

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“The course was planned very well. Everything we learned built on the previous lesson. I feel way more confident as a leader than I ever have.” – Anthony S.

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“Ted was great at teaching kayaking and leadership skills. I now feel more aware of risk management issues and I feel more confident in decisions that I make in the outdoors.” – Justin R.

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“Nacho’s obvious experience and deep knowledge of sea kayak guiding enthused everyone on the course. His knowledge of the local natural history and wildlife was informative and motivating.” – Henry C.

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“[The 24-day Kayaking trip] in Glacier Bay was a great introductory course to the semester.” – Kelly W.

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“Hey guys…. I just wanted to let you know that I was chosen out of 80 at the RMI [Rainer Mountaineering Inc.] auditions for the new guide hires for 2001! You guys were my first step out of the gate, and I just wanted to say thanks for push.” Thanks again – Rustyn M.

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“Thanks again so much for the instruction and encouragement on our trip last month … we couldn’t have done it without you and Amy!! You’ve got to love your job when you know you are responsible for helping achieve the greatest moments of their entire lives!” -Chris E.

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“I have and would continue to recommend IWLS to my friends. It was a once and lifetime experience that I would do over in a heart-beat.” -Brian H.

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“I came on the overnight glacier hike this summer with the Putney travel group from the east coast. Basically, you guys, and that trip totally changed my life. Sean, Cedar, Corey, and Christa all left the most lasting and amazing impression on me. I will never forget any of you and how you helped me to accomplish my goal and change my life. Thank you so much for everything!” -Alexis

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“I just wanted to say……….AWESOME!!………… What you do for people kicks A%@S! Thanks for the incredible experience and memories. We’re getting our pictures developed this week… if something comes out good we’ll send you one for your office wall! If you’re down this way, definitely look us up.” -Susan

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“I just wanted to thank you again for putting together such a cool adventure!” -Dave Kayson

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“Sending a special thank you your way for the care and education of our son. He had a great time and, best for me within an hour of arriving home he told me the “secret” of making two mistakes. Or rather – making the second mistake. It was a lovely report! It was just what I was hoping he would learn. The other thing I noticed as I debriefed with Tamar, is how much he appreciated being with like minded people………… I appreciate what you folks are doing and especially how you are doing it. Best wishes to each of you.” Sincerely, -Gayle Y.

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“One of the best instructor’s I have had!” – Justin Z.

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“Eli’s enthusiasm and experience made the course very educational. It was easy to communicate with him. He’s a great teacher.” – Nick W.

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“Thanks for a great trip. You have allowed me to experience things that I never could have done on my own. It will be a lifetime memory. Geist and Chris, could not have been better. Every decision they made was right on. It was an honor to travel with them and I would be more than pleased to go anywhere with them again.” -James

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“The guides were great. They both exhibited very professional behavior and were a great source of knowledge, and on top of that they were very personable. The only criticism that I have is that they were pretty bad at playing cards :) . I would not hesitate to do another expedition with them again, and I have already recommended your business to others that are thinking of doing this sort of thing.” -Leonard m.

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“Thanks again for putting it together and taking us on a great (and safe) adventure. I think you have planted a seed within us, and you can definitely expect to see us again for more training. “ Best – Susan

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“I hold the highest regard and respect for Sean, Jen, and Eric. They’re three of the finest guides I’ve had the privilege to climb with and I’ve been around many other guides, partners/climbing friends over the past 15 years. I hope to return to do another gig with you guys in the future!” -Paul H.

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“Just wanted to let you know that my brother Al and I had a great experience on our Backcountry Skiing trip with Eli and Adam. The skis arrived in time and the rest of the trip went off without a hitch. Eli and Adam pushed us out of our comfort zones, but then, that’s precisely what we were looking for. They were both extremely safety conscious for the entire time. I also want to thank you for your responsiveness to Suzy in setting the trip up and answering all of our questions and accommodating our equipment delay. Spectacular scenery, great guides, friendly support staff, good snow, fine weather, all combined for a very memorable experience. You guys ROCK (and ICE)!” Best Regards, -Tim D.

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>“I climbed the volcanoes of Ecuador and wanted to let you know that Eli did a first class job with all aspects of the climbs and logistics. The experience was exceptional… In the middle of the night on a endless trudge, and tired he never failed to instruct, encourage and physically help me achieve my goal….always ahead of the game..insuring safety…protecting and encouraging his client. I consider Eli a friend that I will always remember and I very much hope that I will again have the opportunity to share another adventure with Eli…someone I would trust with my life on the end of a rope!!” -Bill W.

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“I never got a chance to say thanks before Kate and I left after our course. We had a great experience; Dave and Erin were excellent guides and companions. Apart from his rock solid mountaineering skills, Dave displays mature judgment and a natural ability to teach. Erin busted his ass cooking in camp and sweeping on climbs. Brian and I left soon after the course for another climbing trip. Your course enabled us to safety accomplish all of our goals.” Thanx again -Bill

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“I am taking this opportunity to express how awesome my experience was on Kili. Jacob is a great guide. He was extremely knowledgeable, patient, fun, and relaxed. He made me feel very comfortable with what we were doing each day. Jacob was also tuned into everyone’s needs in the group. I am very thankful that you have such talented staff. Thanks for a great experience. Hopefully this will not be the last.” Sincerely, -Corrie M.

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“Thanks for the newsletter. Just to let you know, I had an excellent time on the High Peaks Traverse trip at the end of August. My guides (Austin and Dave) were great and I learned a ton over the week. I am definitely looking forward to coming back in June with friends, and now that they have seen the pictures they are disappointed they couldn’t come this year. Have a great winter!!” -Diana W.

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“It was a thrill to learn ski mountaineering from Meredith. Her years of experience on skis, and inspiring teaching style have ignited a passion in me.” -Tom

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Hello Friends, Thanks for making this summer an outstanding one with a couple great adventures!!! Regards, -Nancy H.

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“Thanks for your beginning mountaineering course the last week of July with Eli, Robbie, and Rachel. They were SO patient and compassionate with me. To be out there on the glacier was an amazing experience for me. I got a lot out of it, in ways I didn’t expect…. All 3 of them are exceptional people and I was lucky to have them be the ones who introduced me to this “sport” (though it seems more like a frame of mind…).” Thanks again, -Trish M.

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“Just dropping you a line to say thanks again for leading such an awesome trip. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime, and I’ll never forget it. You both did a great job making the trip enjoyable, exciting, and unforgettable. Thanks for introducing me to the world of ski mountaineering.” – Jenny H.

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“Thank you again for a great trip. We’ve all been commenting on how much we learned. Appreciate your patience with our questions.” Best, -Keith

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“Thank you for your patience with all of my questions. Your website seems thorough and I have spent some time reviewing credentials, etc. Very impressive; quite a depth of experience. I’m glad you were recommended!” -Matt V.

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“My mountain guide Will H. was an incredible leader. He’s upbeat, knowledgeable, and funny. His international experience and stories added greatly to the trip. Inspiring many future mountains for me to climb. I would highly recommend IWLS and Will to all my friends.” -David S.

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“I spent 5 days this summer on the Matanuska Glacier with 4 of your climbing guides. Just wanted to say it rocked, and thanks to Billy, Phil, and Clay for leading an awesome trip!” -Eric L.

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“I found the trip fantastic and greatly enjoyed the time we all spent together. You are all very lucky to be doing what you enjoy. Scott, Keith and I will keep plugging away at this amazing sport and hope to be able to see you guys again next year.” Cheers, -Paolo

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“I just thought I would let you know I went into the Kluane side of the St. Elias Range this past April with 3 other climbers, 2 of them trained by you (and your team). I was quite impressed with their winter mountaineering skills. Much higher than mine. They were smooth as silk setting up camp. Keep up the good work.” -Phil A.

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“Can’t believe it took this long, but just wanted to thank you for a great trip on Aconcagua this winter! Brian was the best guide, (but you already know that) and Chris was a great climbing partner as well. I am definitely interested in doing future trips with you.” -Mary H.

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“We very much enjoyed your guide Scott’s guidance and knowledge of the trail! He was a wonderful addition to the trip. The whole trip back to Alaska was wonderful and we looked forward to doing the trip again in a couple of more years.” All The Best, -Ralph D.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or, if you would like any additional information.