Alexander Barber was born and raised in Southern California. In his youth, it was the time spent fly fishing the Sierra Nevada that turned his interest to the mountains raising high above the alpine lakes and streams. He first climbed local Mt. San Antonio after a botched winter solo attempt on Mt. Whitney in his teens. When prompted on why he climbs mountains, he says, “I’ve always lived as if life begins where our comfort zones end. I’ve always been drawn to things that inspire and challenge me to be something more.” Alex now divides his time between being a professional mountain guide for RMI and his own, personal climbing ambitions. Currently his focus is on 8000 m Himalayan giants, climbing solo and without bottled oxygen.
On his love of climbing:
“I’ve been asked what it feels like for everything to culminate, to be on top. That feeling of accomplishment or exhilaration – what was it like? But I think what draws me isn’t that singular moment on the summit or any feeling of exhilaration from being there. Instead it’s a quieter and constant sense of contentment that comes from the simplicity of mountaineering, the journey along the way and being surrounded by extraordinary beauty that challenges you to conquer – not the mountain – but yourself.”
On why he uses Hilleberg tents:
“Hilleberg has remarkably combined the most sought-after attributes in tent construction. Their designs combine great strength with low weight, livability and functionality with easy set-up. Outfitting my mountaineering expeditions with Hilleberg tents in a world where missteps take a high price is a no-brainer.
I’ve found the Jannu to be well suited to my endeavors in the high mountains. Whether securing an important camp on a Himalayan giant or a partnered multi-day excursion in the Sierra Nevada. I’ve set this tent and left it for long periods of time, weathering storms without maintaining guy lines or actively manning the tent. As with all Hilleberg tents, it is built out of high quality materials minimizing wear and tear even after the most demanding expeditions.
The Soulo has been my “go to” shelter on recent Himalayan projects. The Soulo is light enough to carry on challenging ascents and it’s strength is remarkable, a veritable Bastille. It has the same well thought-out design Hilleberg is known for – strength + functionality, easy set-up and a light pack weight. On solo multi-day ascents this is the tent I carry; it increases my margin of safety and doesn’t weigh me down.”