The Peak is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned and Operated small business developed to address Special Operating Forces (SOF) concerns and increase their effectiveness while operating in austere environments and the extremes of combat. Realistic, scenario-based, operational training is the foundation of The Peak’s success. The Peak provides world class, high altitude training to ensure maximum performance during extended periods of operation in austere environment.
In 2005, Dr. Gus Varnavas, a renowned Neurosurgeon, and retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Rod Alne established The Peak. While still on active duty and after deploying to Afghanistan, Rod recognized significant shortfalls in environmental training within all Special Operations Forces. Rod and Dr. Varnavas initially started The Peak to address those shortfalls and ultimately to save special operator’s lives but now our customers come from all walks-of-life. From elite law enforcement to telecommunications professionals, The Peak’s unique approach to wilderness training appeals to anyone that works or plays in the outdoors.
Rod served for 27 years with the Air Force’s elite Pararescue units. He is a combat veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, participated in two Eco-Challenge adventure races (Argentina and Alaska), and completed summit climbs on Mt. McKinley, AK (2 times), Mt. Popo, Mexico (3 times), Mt. Blanc, France (5 times), Mt. Rainier, and The Matterhorn in Switzerland. He has 15 years of instructor experience specializing in emergency medicine, wilderness survival, mountaineering, rope rescue systems, navigation, and skydiving. Rod conducted research and testing with Dr. Peter Hackett on Mt. McKinley and helped develop treatment protocols for high altitude sicknesses and injuries. He also helped develop mountaineer rescue kits and cold weather clothing for USAF Pararescue/Special Tactics Teams. He is an avid skier, hiker, ATV and snowmobile rider, and spends a considerable amount of his free time in the outdoors.
Rod oversees all operational training and develops custom scenario based training packages for our clients. This highly decorated combat veteran’s insight and a special operator’s unique perspective ensures that the clients receive only the most relevant, high quality, and challenging training available.
Dr. Varnavas, MD also an Air Force veteran and avid outdoors man, is a member of the Wilderness Medical Society. Dr. Varnavas, along with our lead Medical Instructor Dr. James Wright, oversee all medical related training and approve all medical curriculum.
Col James Wright (USAF, Ret) is a surgeon and formerly the Group Surgeon for the 720th Special Tactics Group Air Force Special Operations Command. He has worked in trauma surgery for more than 30 years and has spearheaded efforts to improve resuscitation on the battlefield for severe blood loss as well as innovation in new hemostatic agents and traumatic brain injury. He has extensive experience training Pararescuemen and Special Operations team members in Combat Casualty Care.
Special Operations military training and research in high altitude acclimatization and physiology has been the cornerstone of our success, and has provided additional interest from civilian academic and research institutions as well as non-military clients interested in adventure travel and corporate leadership development.
Many of our instructors hold advanced credentials in their respective fields, which gives us the ability to grant certifications and continuing medical education credits to our students. Our team of over 30 instructors, all recognized experts in their fields of expertise, has provided high quality, state-of-the-art training to a variety of military, law enforcement, government, and corporate clients. We will tailor our courses to your requirements and modify the content to meet your specific needs. Additionally, The Peak has put together outstanding Mobile Training Teams to deliver operational and tactical training to groups at the location of their choice.
The Peak also has a very active Research and Development Division. We have conducted field-testing for Polaris, Revision eye wear, Mizuno cold weather apparel, and Colorado Altitude Training (CAT) hypoxic rooms. The Peak’s headquarters in Southwest Montana along with the team’s experience provides the perfect environment for realistic, high-altitude testing of the gear people count on when it matters most.
We understand the importance of using top quality gear when it really matters and have partnered with companies that provide the best mountaineering, cold weather, and climbing gear. The Peak is currently a dealer for Yates, Black Diamond, Mammut, Darn Tough, and Mystery Ranch. We can offer our clients equipment and gear from these companies at a very competitive price. With enough prior notice, we can have the gear on site prior to training.
With four high-altitude drop zones, all listed in ZARS, crystal clear mountain lakes for high-altitude diving, access to live fire and convoy ranges, and premier ice and rock-climbing areas, The Peak is ready to provide you and your teams with science based, state-of-the-art, training at high-altitude.
Taking knowledge-based training into the environments WHERE PERFORMANCE MATTERS!