How AWE is Different

AWE organizes mountaineering and remote adventures for women, by women.

Our Values

Here at AWE we are about more than getting to the top. Sure, summits matter – but what’s even more important is how you get there. When you sign up for an AWE-some adventure, expect to feel welcome and supported. At AWE, you don’t have to prove that you belong – we’re all in this together.

This is what we at AWE stand for:

  • Safety
  • Empowerment
  • Inclusion and equity
  • Community
  • Fair & ethical treatment of staff
  • Ethical treatment of working animals
  • Care for the environment
  • Compliance with local rules and regulations

AWE provides an environment that is focused on skill-building, sound decision-making and supportive team dynamics. That’s why our teams are on the smaller side (often in the 3-6 climber range, but never larger than 10) and our itineraries balance the desire to cover ground with sufficient time for exploration and acclimatization, as well as skills practice where needed.

Pre-expedition support includes comprehensive gear lists, training recommendations, and of course a detailed description of each trip’s logistics and on-mountain itinerary.

Climbing and adventuring with AWE goes beyond the experience that many traditional guide organizations provide: instead of merely welcoming you during gear check and then focusing exclusively on guiding you on the trail or mountain, AWE provides an end-to-end experience. We put great care into assembling our all-women teams and building community amongst our participants and guides, because big adventure is about so much more than ‘just’ getting to the summit or finishing a trek. That’s why every AWExpeditions adventure begins and ends with a team dinner, and includes a night in town both before and after your time on the mountain or trail. It’s why our teams are small and handpicked, and why we carefully vet our local outfitter & guide partners.

Success in our book: to have you walk away from any AWE climb having made new friends, memories for a lifetime, and feeling one step closer towards self-sufficiency in the mountains.

And because we care about making the mountains more accessible to women from all walks of life, we donate 10% of the net profits from any AWE expedition or adventure to our sister organization, the AWE Summit Scholarship Foundation.

What our alumnae say

‘Every part of my experience with AWE was incredible. The guides were encouraging, skillful, and are phenomenal people. Sunny does such a fantastic job bringing women from diverse backgrounds together and creating an inclusive, exciting, and supportive environment that only makes you want to get outside in the mountains and climb some more! I joined AWE for the first time as a participant/hiker on Mt Baker in Washington, and was met with open arms by Sunny, the guides, and the other woman who quickly became friends and fellow team members. I never felt nervous around others with AWE or like I had to prove myself to climb mountains. I only ever felt supported by Sunny, her team, and inspired by all of the incredible things every woman was doing in their lives, both on and off the mountains. I’m new to the world of mountaineering, but AWE has totally changed the trajectory of my future endeavors in the mountains and I am itching to get out and climb with some rad women again, with AWE! I cannot recommend AWE enough!!’

Lucia T
Lucia T
02/11/2022
Dreams do come true! AWExpeditions truly made our dreams come true with a perfectly planned and executed expedition down the Paria. Despite challenging conditions, the expedition was one to remember for a lifetime - full of heartfelt conversations, camaraderie, and lots of adventure. Sunny Stroeer and Mel Rader were the perfect guides for our crew - incredibly knowledgable about the landscape, supportive and caring, and truly fostered confidence in an otherwise unfamiliar environment. Plus, they make the best canyon mochas and tiramisu this side of Buckskin!
rjharbitter88
rjharbitter88
02/11/2022
Incredible backcountry, incredible women. What a pleasure to spend time in the backcountry with incredible women and two phenomenal guides. I am so happy to have found AWExpeditions and so proud of the work they are doing. Do not underestimate going into nature with women -- it is powerful, rejuvenating, and inspirational.
Shannon B
Shannon B
21/10/2022
YES, just YES. I am so completely greatful to AWExpeditions and Sunny Stroer for holding the space for me to discover how much I love more serious backpacking. I work using my brain and have never thought of myself as athletic, but hiking 42 miles of the Paria Canyon in Utah and knowing that I could have gone a few more days feeling great really changed how I see myself and what I seek out.We spent the first four days actually in the canyon, learning technical skills like how to identify and navigate across quicksand, how to trudge through mud without getting stuck, how to shimmy down eroded banks with drop-offs, how to boulder, how to find that spot in myself that knows how to keep moving, even when the last day is a 12 mile full-sun-in-the-desert day. We saw bob cat prints, were observed by ravens, saw bob-cat prints every day. The ancient walls are carved out by at least 25 million flash floods, and the evidence of this seasons roaring floods were everywhere. I kept wondering how loud it was during the floods given how quite it was during our hike. I gushed about my time on the Paria for 72 hours straight upon my return and am already scheming for my next trip with AWE. Ladies, if this is at all appealing to you, do it! Train before hand (on sand, with leg raises/squates, and distances w/heavier pack than you'll carry, and on stairs.) It's a lot of micro elevation changes, but only a few solid climbs, so if you're nervous about up-hilll, it's not too bad. Bring whole-food based snacks, supportive vitamins, and appropriate gear, and DO IT! There was definitely a moment on day two where my cousin sang in the canyon, her song echoing off the vermillion walls had me weeping. It was beauty I didn't know I needed. Special thanks to Nathalie, Sunny's support guide, who was the exact right guide for our trip. I learned so much from her, we shared stories, wisdoms, and hopes. Shout out to Jan who drove us to the trailhead and picked us up; her enthusiasm and support was memorable. Most of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart to Sunny Stroer. You changed my life. No stress, just training. Rock On! Mosy or Die! haha.
Beth C
Beth C
20/10/2022
AWE-some Paria Canyon Hike This was an amazing trip that we will remember forever! I can't say enough about Sunny - she was an awesome guide and made the trip extra special. We are already looking forward to our next adventure! Words and even pictures cannot convey how amazing this experience was!
Teanna O
Teanna O
19/10/2022
Paria Canyon The hiking trip in the Paria was amazing! I think I just enjoyed being with all the amazing women and completely off the Grid for the 5 days. I feel so empowered and inspired and can't wait to plan my next outdoor adventure. Thank you to Sunny and Natalie for your guidance and friendship and to all my hiking buddies for a memory I'll cherish and remember forever!
Mariana B
Mariana B
01/10/2022
Epic, challenging and fun! It’s been 3 months since I got back from the Peruvian Andes with Awe expeditions. I made memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.I was really impressed with how great Sunny was before, during, and after the expedition. She was quick to respond to all my gear questions. During the trip she would check in regularly to see how we were feeling physically and emotionally. This was my first time mountaineering and I absolutely loved it. Everyone on the team had different experiences with mountaineering. Sunny really catered to all of our specific skill sets so we felt prepared on the mountain. I learned so much about mountaineering on this trip.The other women in the group were so great. I think this type of expedition attracts a certain breed of like minded humans. I had so much fun connecting with everyone. I highly recommended AWE. I already plan on doing more trips with them.
Catherine C
Catherine C
13/07/2022
Unforgettable and Empowering Glacier School on Mt. Shasta An unforgettable way to get outside with a rad group of women and learn a lot. This was my second trip with AWExpeditions to Mt. Shasta and both trips exceeded all my expectations. I came into the first trip with no mountaineering experience and by the end of my second trip, I have a strong foundation to build off of with more mountaineering adventures. Sunny is incredibly knowledgeable, a great leader, and a delight to spend time with. Both expeditions were well organized and the plans were communicated in a timely fashion. Mountaineering inherently has risk and one feature that is unique to the AWE experience is the transparency that Sunny provides in the risk analysis and decision-making process. This transparency allowed me to understand the considerations that should be taken at each step during the expedition and will help me become a better mountaineer going forward and have confidence in my ability to evaluate risks for future adventures. These trips have empowered me to get outside on my own and have allowed me to meet a wonderful network of women who love to climb mountains. I'm looking forward to doing more expeditions in the future with AWE, so would highly recommend AWExpeditions for your next adventure!
Ericka J
Ericka J
03/07/2022
Life-Changing experiences for women in the outdoors If you are looking for approachable all-female adventure, supportive community, and expert knowledge in the outdoors, AWExpeditions has your back. I recently returned from their pioneer trip to Ishinca & Tocllaraju in Peru, and could not have been more pleased with our accomplishments as a group.Sunny is an incredibly diverse guide with a focus on safety, skill share, and team development. She happily and gracefully responded to questions about flight logistics, gear recommendations, and training suggestions prior to the trip-- which was an immense help and confidence boost in the preparation for an expedition. AWE's focus on approachability and inclusivity in the outdoors lends itself well to outdoor pursuits at all levels. Sunny facilitates an environment that catered to everyone's individual skill level and backgrounds, while also creating a team that could teach and learn from each other. In the moments when we weren't crushing it out on the mountain, our team really got the opportunity to get know each other on a personal level. We shared strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, and continuously checked in with how we were feeling on the trip. I think that was hugely beneficial for our team's safety and group dynamic. You really walk away with a sense of community and connection that could last a lifetime.I'm already planning on signing up for another expedition next year, so 10/10 would recommend AWE for your next adventure!
Farah S
Farah S
30/06/2022
Lots of Love for AWE This was my second trip with AWExpeditions and it once again, did not disappoint. Sunny does such a wonderful job with planning, preparing, guiding, and caring for us on and off the mountain. I ran into some personal health issues and Sunny was proactive with what my next steps were to ensure my safety. It was truly an AWEsome experience, and the AWE community is the real thing.
clara s
clara s
30/06/2022
Unforgettable experience with other strong, inspirational, and amazing women I'm an experienced climber who frequently climbs solo and fast and light; this was my first guided trip, and my first trip with a group so I didn't know what to expect. It was an amazing experience climbing, traveling, and sharing a trip to Peru with other women. I think what sets AWE apart is the thoughtful attention to uplifting and building a community of women in the outdoors. Not only did Sunny provide expertise and local contacts, I was really impressed that she was able to offer so much individual attention to every different skill level in our group. We had avid hikers with almost no mountaineering experience, as well as seasoned climbers, and I think we all really learned a lot from Sunny and each other. I couldn't recommend AWE enough, no matter what your experience level is.