In 2006, the American Alpine Institute, headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, and Adventure Consultants, based in Wanaka, New Zealand, announced their formation of a worldwide alliance.
Over the years the owners of both organizations - Dunham Gooding from AAI and Guy Cotter from AC - have regularly discussed ways to strengthen both organizations by working together, sharing expert guides, and utilizing the special areas of expertise that each company had developed over three decades of work. While both companies were recognized internationally as leaders in the filed of mountain guiding, both Dunham and Guy feel that both companies are now even stronger because of the alliance.
The cooperative efforts of these two companies offer direct and tangible benefits to climbers. Together they offer the world's most comprehensive array of instructional programs, guided ascents, and expeditions. In every category of climbing, from instruction to expeditions, trips are offered at every skill level. Additionally, this spectrum of climbing opportunities is offered on every continent. Once you climb with us, wherever in the world you want to climb in the future, you will have the comfort and assurance of dealing with an organization you already know and trust.
Because of this alliance, climbers who come to either company have ample opportunity to learn climbing skills or join an expedition from anywhere in the world, in any season. With the two companies based in opposite hemispheres and each operating throughout the world, you choices in terms of both timing and location are nearly limitless.
Now you might ask yourself, "If I want to call AC, do I call AAI or vice versa? Can I sign up for trips for one with the other?" The answers are a resounding "yes!"
Our admissions departments maintain daily contact in regard to trip requests, registrations, and climber preparations. What does this mean for you? Let's say you climb Mt. Baker, Rainier, or Whitney one summer with AAI, have a wonderful time, and decide that you would like to climb something higher. You call AAI and ask about options. Depending on what your "next step" will be (driven by your skill level, interests, and schedule), we will then offer you options that may direct you to an alliance trip that is run by AAI or AC.
If you'll be joining an AAI trip, all preparations will be handled by AAI's Bellingham office. If it is an AC trip, we will alert the AC office in New Zealand about our discussions and your choice of a trip and have them contact you. AC will know about your background, how your last trip went, your skill level, and your current plan for a next program. AAI and AC will work together to assure that you are well taken care of and that all your planning and preparation goes smoothly, and that everything is in place to help you achieve your goals.
This is a three-way alliance that you will be joining: AAI, AC, and you. We will assure that from your first phone call or email to us, to the flight home from your course or expedition, you feel supported, encouraged, perfectly prepared, and successful in the pursuit of your goals.
Join our alliance and let's head to the mountains!
Dunham Gooding, Director
American Alpine Institute
Guy Cotter, Director