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Aug 30, 2023

For Alan Rousseau, the allure of mountaineering is in the unknown. When he looks up at a mountain and contemplates whether it can be climbed, he sees a mystery to be solved. 

Rousseau is an IFMGA guide who divides his time between pursuing his own goals in the mountains, and helping others do the same. His achievements in the Alaska Range, to which he has ventured more than twenty times, include first ascents of Ruth Gorge Grinder and Aim for the Bushes. In 2020, his first ascent of the west face of Tengi Ragi Tau with Tino Villanueva was recognized as one of the year’s greatest climbing achievements and the pair won a Piolets d’Or. Villanueva wrote about the climb in Alpinist 81. 

In this episode, Alan reflects on more than ten years of climbing in the Alaska Range, and exploratory climbs like Aim For the Bushes that he and his partners established earlier this year. He talks about the difference between planning trips to Alaska and the Himalaya, and the mountains that act as his compass.

This episode is brought to you by the American Alpine Club

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Host: Abbey Collins

Guest: Alan Rousseau

Producer + Engineer: Mike Horn