We here at Mountain Link believe that successful climbs require a partnership between guide, guide service and participant. We do our best to provide a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience. Our goal is to help you choose, plan for and participate on a trip that is best suited to you. Your responsibility is to select a trip that best matches your interests, skill level, physical abilities and timeline.
The group limit for our trips is between six and 12 people depending on the adventure. To ensure a space for yourself, we suggest you make reservations at least 6 months in advance. A complete packet of trip information will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit.
Airline tickets may be purchased through "The Travel Agency" at (866) 581-1502. Annie Tippin will help you with your travel arrangements. Once she has your airline tickets booked she will fax your itinerary directly to Mountain Link so you won't have to. If you choose to use your own travel agent or arrange your own travel, please send your itinerary to Mountain Link no later than 45 days prior to departure. For certain trips, we need this information so that arrangements can be made to meet you at the airport. If you plan to redeem frequent flier mileage make sure to book your flight early, as seats are limited.
- Deposit: 20% of the trip fee (payable on sign up)
- 2nd Installment: 40% of trip fee (120 days prior to departure)
- Final Payment: 40% of trip fee (60 days prior to departure)
If the trip departure is less than four months away, $1000 deposit is due for international trips. For domestic trips, 50% of the trip fee is due. If the trip is less than two months away, payment in full is due.
Payments may be made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or a personal check made out to Mountain Link, LLC. We now no longer charge for using a credit card! (Special rules apply to Custom Trips.) Late payment may result in a cancellation of your reservation.
All hotel and hosteria accommodations are based on double occupancy. If you are traveling alone, you may choose to be matched with an available roommate. If you prefer single accommodations, a single supplement fee will be charged (approximately $150-$400). No single accommodations are available in tents or huts.
Cancellations & Refunds
Written notice is required to cancel a trip. The following cancellation fees apply: (time calculated from receipt of written notification).
90 or more days prior to departure $100
60-89 days prior to departure: 25% of land costs
31-59 days prior to departure: 50% of land costs
30 days or less prior to departure: 100% of land costs
You may opt to transfer to another Mountain Link trip, without penalty, 90 or more days prior to your original departure date. Cancellation fees will apply to all other transfers. Mountain Link, LLC. reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason. In this event, Mountain Link will refund the land costs in full. Please allow 60 days to process refunds. Mountain Link is not responsible for any other expenses incurred in preparation for the trip such as, but not limited to, non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses, equipment purchase/rental or visas. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Any policy you purchase should, at the very least, cover trip cancellation, loss of baggage, accident/life coverage, travel delays, and non-refundable airline tickets. Carriers for travel insurance include Travel Guard and Travelex. Other resources for travel insurance include the American Alpine Club. You may also consider insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation. Travel insurance information will be contained in the trip confirmation packet.
When trips do not fill to the required level, a price adjustment may become necessary to avoid trip cancellation.
Mountain Link Expenses
Mountain Link covers all land costs as part of the overall trip fee. Land costs include hotel rooms, sightseeing (only activities explicitly described in the trip packet), guide services (both Mountain Link and local guides), all meals while trekking and climbing (unless otherwise noted), porters and/or pack animals, cooks, ground transportation (unless otherwise noted) and all group climbing and camping gear for the duration of the scheduled trip. The cost of delays is not included. If a trip is delayed due to road or trail conditions, airline delays, government intervention, acts of war or terrorism, illness or any other contingency that we or our agents cannot control, Mountain Link reserves the right to modify the trip fee.
The participant is responsible for airfare, personal/travel/medical insurance, passport and visa fees, excess baggage fees, airport taxes and park entrance fees. Climbers are also responsible for meals prior to or after the actual scheduled trip or meals that he/she chooses as alternatives to the ones offered by Mountain Link, additional room charges (room service and the like), laundry services, alcoholic beverages, tips for guides and camp staff, medical costs and cost of any hospitalization and/or evacuation required for him/her.
Medical & Health
Included in your trip packet will be a Medical History Form and a Physician Form. The Physician Form must be filled out and signed by a physician and returned to Mountain Link no later than 60 days prior to a trip. Trip leaders need to be aware of any medical contingencies that apply to members of their group. Mountain Link reserves the right to disqualify for medical reasons any client from any portion of a trip. No refunds are given under these circumstances. If a physician fails to approve the medical release form after payment has already been made, the standard cancellation policy schedule applies (see "Cancellations & Refunds").
In the event of a serious medical problem, please be aware that hospital facilities are usually far away and a doctor may not always be available. If an evacuation becomes necessary, be aware that it can be difficult, expensive, and very time-consuming.
The health requirements for each country change frequently, so it is in your best interest to confer with your physician, local health department, of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia (404/311-3534 or 800/211-3435 or www.cdc.gov) for current information. If immunizations are required, get them early. Different immunizations require different waiting periods between shots. Please plan in the appropriate lead-time for the trip you are taking.
Mountain Link's Responsibilities
Mountain Link is responsible for running logistically sound and enjoyable mountaineering adventures. We do not subscribe to the "Summit at all Cost" attitude. If a trip is delayed or cancelled due to weather, avalanche conditions, poor group dynamics, or any other contingency that we or our agents cannot control, we reserve the right to choose an alternative route other than the one on the itinerary, choose an alternative mountain to climb, cancel a summit attempt or cancel the trip entirely. There will be no refunds under these conditions.
Participants have responsibilities to themselves, Mountain Link and to each other. They must choose the trip that is appropriate for their interests and skill level. Good physical condition is important on all Mountain Link trips and is a prerequisite for participation. Proper trip preparation includes but is not limited to, understanding the trip's itinerary, acquisition of the proper equipment and clothing and understanding proper wilderness and team etiquette. Once on the mountain, Mountain Link reserves the right to disqualify a participant from any trip for any reason as deemed necessary by the guide. Safety and teamwork are the cornerstones to a successful adventure.
You may wish to bring money for souvenirs and for incidentals not covered in Land Costs, such as extra meals and snacks, alcoholic beverages, hotel services, personal items, and gratuities. $250-$1000 would probably be adequate for such personal purchases depending on what you are interested in buying. Money should be divided between cash and Travelers' Checks. Consider bringing your Travelers' Checks in a range of denominations (e.g., some $20s, some $50s, and some $100s) so that you may exchange for local currency as needed instead of in one large sum. Credit cards (American Express, Visa, and MasterCard) may be accepted in the larger cities where we travel, but in the smaller towns and villages cash works best. It is a good practice to notify your credit card company prior to traveling to let them know you will be out of the country. In-country airports typically have the best exchange rates.
Tipping is voluntary, though it is customary to tip the guides and local staff. Usually, trip members contribute toward a group tip to be shared among the local support personnel. Generally, trip leaders also receive tips. Trip members often tip leaders individually depending on the length of the trip and the level of satisfaction.
To help you decide which trip is for you we have rated each trip on a four-grade system:
Grade 1: Simple hiking. This includes general trekking.
Grade 2: Strenuous hiking with some basic mountaineering skills (crampon and ice axe use, rope travel).
Grade 3: Some technical mountaineering skills needed. Experience in the use of ice axe, crampons and roped travel on glaciers.
Grade 4: A full range of technical mountaineering skills a necessity. Experience at high altitude (over 14,000 feet). Knowledge of crevasse rescue and fixed line travel.
Please call us at (800) 408-8949 Monday thru Friday, 9-5 Pacific Time. Or, email us here.