We believe that travelers have an obligation to learn a bit about where we visit- and even give back through responsible travel practices. AP donates our services to various non-profits as free or discounted trips.
Our mission is to inspire and cultivate personal and environmental responsibility, transformation and integrated thinking by providing superior wilderness guiding services in Alaska. We inspire AWE through adventuring in the wilderness.
Did you know: A freight train moves a ton of freight an average of 484 miles on a single gallon of fuel. AP recycles, practices Leave No Trace and tries to maximize each trip's ratio for the most efficient resource usage.
If you are interested in joining our team of committed and dedicated guides, read our website carefully, email us your resume and a note describing why you want to work with us, the jobs you are applying for, your dates of availability.
Our mission is to inspire and cultivate personal and environmental responsibility, introspection and integrated thinking by providing superior wilderness guiding services in Alaska.
To this end, members and employees of Ascending Path LLC are sincerely and authentically committed to engineering inspiration and facilitating educational, fun and managed outdoor adventure experiences to locals and visitors in Alaska.
Furthermore, we are dedicated to educating our guests and recognize that through climbing and hiking folks can discover personal balance, centeredness, success, enthusiasm and harmony. We inspire AWE through adventuring in the wilderness.
We are driven to share the splendor of Alaska with visitors and other locals- Our simple goal is to provide an awesome Alaska wilderness experience by facilitating your direct experience. We love our jobs- and it shows! Our guides value Autonomy, the urge to direct your own life. Mastery, the desire to get better and better at something that matters, and and Purpose, the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. Our employees are extremely well vetted and naturally principled. We are all adventurous vagabonds, intentionally choosing to pursue a life of passion and people over profit.
For over 20 years, Ascending Path has been facilitating wilderness adventures with an outstanding safety record. We carefully manage risk by mindfully calculating the dynamic formula of probability and consequence. By hiring a qualified guide you are getting a sincere wilderness enthusiast with local knowledge of current conditions, climbing and wilderness industry standard risk-management. Many of our guides hold multiple professional certifications and advanced degrees. We know how to use our equipment properly and we happily teach the right way to climb, paddle and hike in Alaska’s wilderness. Some guides know the Latin names of nearly every plant on a trip and we may even know a few stupid jokes…
A professionally guided trip should be an educational experience with a patient, experienced, fun leader who can not only take great photos of you, but who knows Alaska inside and out.
Ascending Path is locally owned and operated
Ascending Path has been guiding worldwide since 1995. Matt founded the business after receiving a degree in Philosophy. He guided rock and ice climbing clients on the East Coast and expeditions to South America, Denali and the Himalayas. After meeting Heather on Denali, he decided to relocate full time to Alaska to persue their kismet. In between working international expeditions to Peru and the Himalayas and several seasons of science support and search and rescue for the US Antarctic Program, they opened Ascending Path for summer day trips in Girdwood in 2003. Seasonal offerings include Naturalist Hiking, Glacier Tours, Rock Climbing and Ice Climbing based out of Anchorage and Girdwood. AP has shared South-Central Alaska with over 12,000 clients!
In fall of 2016, AP was awarded a 10 year permit with the USFS for the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, look for new products now and in the future…
Article published on CNN.com August 17, 2016 about Ascending Path’s Heli Glacier Hikes.
“Jumping on a helicopter to start a hike may seem a bit like cheating, but there are few better ways to experience the majesty of Alaska’s wilderness.”
Article published in NYTimes.com July 14, 2006 about Ascending Path’s Alpine Hikes.
“The sun was shining, though by no means with all its might. Beaming across the surrounding snow-capped peaks, it emitted a moody, fractured light. Which in this case wasn’t odd, even though it would soon be the middle of the night.”
Article published in Travel and Leisure May 2019 about Ascending Path Glacier access issues.
“In 2012, we lost walk-on access to Spencer on the north side,” Szundy recalls. “We had to shift to kayaking across a lake to access it from the south side of the glacier.”
“It was an outstanding experience going glacier hiking and I enjoyed learning about the glacier ecosystem.”
“Wonderful! Thanks for the great experience. The New York Times was right!”
“First Ice Climb for Lee and Frank (father and son) and had a great time. Steady rain and some wind so conditions were a challenge also. Ryan inspired confidence with his words of encouragement and pushed up to get to the top. VERY memorable, fun and “out there” kind of time.”
“A most wonderful experience, the best thing we have seen and experienced in Alaska.”
“We signed up for the Spencer Lake kayak and glacier hike and although we got a bit of rain at the start, it was one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. Our tour guide, Ryan, was not only one of the coolest people we met during our trip to Alaska, but he clearly prioritized safety….”