Frequently Asked Questions

What’s with the name AWExpeditions — and how do you pronounce it anyway?
It’s all about awe: AWE-inspiring mountain experiences with AWEsome teams that’ll hopefully leave you AWEstruck. If you’re curious about why awe is front and center for us here at AWExpeditions, you may want to listen to this podcast from Outside Magazine: What Awe in Nature Does For Us.

Are AWE trips only for women?
Most of our expeditions are all-women, but occasionally we offer co-ed teams as well. If a trip is open to men, it’ll be highlighted on the trip description. And if you arrange for a private trip, the team composition is – obviously – your choice.

I am not a pro athlete…will I be able to keep up?
Yes, absolutely! That is, if you are in good cardio shape and willing to put in the work to train for our climb. AWE climbs are not speed missions – on the contrary, they emphasize gradual acclimatization and a sustainable pace to maximize enjoyment. 

I am a (semi-)pro athlete… will I get bored with the pace?
Hopefully not! Even though we believe in a conservative pace in the mountains, the daily workload tends to be sizable. And on days where there is extra room in the schedule (say, for example, during some segments on Kilimanjaro) there are opportunities for extra credit afternoon activities to tire you out.

Is Sunny, the founder of AWExpeditions, an AMGA/IFMGA certified mountain guide?
No,* though Sunny has years of experience on the mountains that we offer trips on, and a keen sense of risk management and expedition strategies. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder, an AIARE Level II Avalanche Professional, and was trained as an Outdoor Leader by the Harvard First Year Outdoor Program. In addition, for any AWE climb that requires roping up (or where local regulations stipulate the presence of a licensed guide) we will be accompanied by a tightly vetted certified guide.

*We take guiding responsibilities and standards very seriously. Sunny is a professional member of the American Mountain Guide Association though she has not pursued AMGA certifications to-date. 

What gear do I need to participate in an AWE trip?
Most of our climbs require standard personal mountaineering gear (i.e., mountaineering boots, warm technical layers, a warm sleeping bag etc). Tents and group equipment are provided. We provide a detailed gear list for each climb after you sign up, and are always happy to help with gear recommendations as well. Mountaineering gear is expensive, but that doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank: many items – including mountaineering boots and ultra-warm down items – can be rented on location. Have a specific gear question? Get in touch.

Does AWE guide other expeditions than the destinations listed?
Not currently, but we’re always working on adding new peaks – from Ecuador’s Volcanoes to exploratory ascents in the Himalayas. Subscribe to AWE’s mailing list to stay in the loop!

Does AWE lead private trips?
On occasion. If you’re interested in a custom/private itinerary, let’s talk.

Can’t find the answer to your question? Send us a note and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.