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Denail Guide Services - "Interview Questions"


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I am looking to climb the West Buttress Route in 2017 with a guide service. What advice can anyone give when I am looking to narrow my selection of which guide service to use next year.


I understand that IMG has won a spot as an official concessioner and unfortunately American Alpine Institute is out. This puts the list of options of concessioners to Alaska Mountaineering School, Alpine Ascents, International Mountain Guides, Mountain Trip and Rainier Mountaineering.


What questions should I be asking of the prospective guide services? I know the typical; guide:client ratio, safety record, food/equipment provided, transportation to and from Anchorage/Talkeenta, room stay before or after the expedition, and of course cost.


What else should I be asking or looking for?


Thanks for the advice.


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I would speak to the clients themselves as to how their experiences were. Find out who the guides are who will be guiding your trip, and what their qualifications/certifications are. IFMGA or at the very least an aspirant IFMGA guide should be selected. This speaks volumes about the guide's dedication to their chosen craft.

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I'm not shooting down guide services, they do a great job and provide a great service to their clients. If you are looking to go up with a few friends and have a great amount of experience between you, I recommend that you do the WB on your own. It allows for a greater "experience" (if that can really qualify on the Butt). I've done trips both with a guide service and alone.... heck, I even lead trips myself many moons ago. Don't rule out a self-guided trip on Denali....... if you have the experience.

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