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Climbing course in Washington State


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I live on the east coast and have been looking into taking a mountaineering course this summer. Some friends that took courses in Washington State had great things to say about the area. I looked into the outfits they went with and they seemed very expensive.


Northwest Outdoor Guides sent a brochure and they seem much more reasonably priced. Has anyone taken a course from them? Any opinions? Do they have good guides? Thanks in advance.

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You get what you pay for...


Not familar with them, which could be good or could be bad.


If you want a 6 day mountaineering course or a 13 alpine climbing course (mix of mountainering and alpine rock) look into Mountain Madness, Inc. at: www.mountainmadness.com


Also both AAIs run good programs. They are very similar to Mountain Madness, Inc.


Ask to speak with your guide (though this early out it may be tough becuase guides are not likely assigned yet) to get a feel fro the trip. Also ask for recomendations from former clients.


good luck.

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hey mike,


rodchester says "you get what you pay for" - indeed. im not familiar with that company either, which as rodchester also said, could be good or could be bad.


the american alpine institute offers numerous courses that will teach you just about anything you would like to know in a given discipline, their guides are solid, and the company has an outstanding reputation. im convinced that it would be worth whatever extra money it might cost to go with such a company.


check 'em out at www.aai.cc


as rodchester states, mountain madness and alpine ascents are good companies as well.


best of luck!

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I guide for the institute (AAI) so my opinion is obviously biased. But, if I may sound objective: Any of the big three washington guide services (American Alpine Institute, Alpine ascents, and Mountain Madness) would be good choices. The guides are all experienced and the curriculum adopted among the companies is getting similar.

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Another note, understand that not all guide services operate above board, in other words with the proper permits to operate in a given area or on a given peak.


Now it may not matter to you that a particular guide service doesn't operate above board, that's up to you. But you could actually be fined, so just be careful.


That said there are many very good guides that renegade guide from time to time. But they are hard to find from back east.


If you are concerned, and want to be above board, ask them what areas they are permited to operate in, and then call the land manager for that area, either Forest Service, National Park Service, possibly BLM, or maybe even a state entity, and confirm thier ability to operate in the area.


Good luck.

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