Alex Van Steen, Mountain Guide, RMI Expeditions

Alex Van Steen began climbing on Mt. Rainier in 1985 and joined RMI in 1989. With more than 75 trips above 15,000 feet, 6 seasons of rock guiding, and several seasons of ice guiding in upstate New York, Alex quickly developed as one of RMI's most technically proficient and well-traveled guides. In 2000, Alex joined other veteran guides in the role of On-Mountain Supervisor, helping to train and mentor younger guides. Avocationally, Alex serves as a children's pastor and works with youth-at-risk. Alex thoroughly enjoys life with his wife, adopted teenagers, and hound dogs in nearby Eatonville.

Visit Alex's Climb Carstensz Blog here.

  • 240+ summits of Mount Rainier via more than 20 routes, including winter ascents, with a first ascent of Fickle Finger of Success on the Success Headwall, a solo of Liberty Ridge, and several difficult one-day ascents
  • Guided 15 routes / variations, more than recorded for any other guide in history
  • Guided Jack Borgenicht to the summit of Mount Rainier. At age 81, Jack held the record as the oldest man to ever summit from 1992 until the record was broken in 2004
  • 5 of 7 summits on Mount McKinley via West Buttress, Direct West Buttress, complete West Rib, Wickwire-Patterson Route, and Traverse
  • 6 Himalayan ascents, including guiding clients to summit of Cho Oyu, 1995
  • Successful rescue in lieu of Everest summit, 1994
  • 1 ascent of Carstensz Pyramid, 2012
  • 7 ascents of Aconcagua
  • 21 expeditions to Ecuador, Bolivia and Mexico
  • First ascent of North Ridge, Veintemilla Summit, Chimborazo, Ecuador, 1998
  • Multiple wall routes, including several El Capitan, Yosemite ascents
  • Hundreds of difficult free and sport routes, including 50 first ascents across the US and Canada
  • Author of Climbing Mt. Rainier: The Essential Guide, a guide book describing the various climbing routes on Mount Rainier
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • U.S. Avalanche Level II
  • Leave No Trace Master
  • AMGA Rock Guide Course
  • Masters in Teaching / Washington State certification

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