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mountainsandsound

Some guides...

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Most obnoxious apprentice guides burn out in their 20s. Those who hang on usually figure out that the only way to make a career out of it is to be friendly and cordial to everyone.

 

Q: What is the difference between a Mountain Guide and bonds?

A: Bonds will eventually mature and make money.

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Here is a little bit of knowledge from both sides of the coin.

 

Me: Recreational climber approaching 40

Professional full time guide in my 20's

Still put in some guiding (3-4 trips a year)

 

As a guide, you are constantly looking out for clients who are looking for ways to kill or injure themselves, or kill or injure you. Multiply this by 4 clients and your brain is overloaded with potential risks and hazards. After a 12 or 15 hour day in the mountains, physically I am fine, mentally I am done. Please let me apologize in advance for all my peers if we come across as grumpy at times.

 

Guides encounter individual groups all the time, it is part of the nature of the game. I usually go out of my way to avoid other groups, but sometimes it is unavoidable, or particularly with intro to rock classes, sadly the teaching methods require us to hog into a climbing area. (quick hint: All intro to rock classes wrap up early, swing back around 2:00 and most guides will be wrapping up as all the clients are exhausted). I know we are there first, and take advantage of a number of routes, but please understand that we were up long before you, hiking in the dark, stringing ropes at first light, (usually the junior guides, while the senior guides is with the clients). Guides are knowledgeable folk however, particularly when it comes to knowing routes outside the scope of the guidebook, or hidden gems. If you encounter a guided party on a route you wanted to try, please be brief, but feel free to ask us for alternatives or suggestions for similar routes nearby.

 

And then there is the dick swinging contests. Often (particularly in my youth), there is always the young male climber (not a client) who wants to chat you up, discuss or belittle your gear, or brag about some route he has done. As climbers, we all encounter this guy, but as a guide, I have a number of clients paying for my time and services, so please accept my friendly reply and smile, and when I hint that I have to get back to my group, please fuck off.

 

Luckily, as you approach middle age, you become less and less visible to these types.

 

So please accept my apologies in advance, but with that, please offer a little bit of understanding in our direction. We have a job to do, clients that are more deserving of our time than you, and our brains are working at full steam.

 

… and hey, we are working on making future climbing partners for ya!

 

Justin

 

 

 

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