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Guides on Rainier

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Postby dirth » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:40 am

Got bitched out by an IMG guide for talking too loudly (read: talking in hushed voices) while we setup our tent because their clients were trying to sleep at the Flats at about 5:45 in the afternoon...

Not really sure if that's a pro or con for them, maybe it means they take really good care of their clients? Just thought it was a little unreasonable.
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Postby gwave47 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:49 pm

Do they not sleep with earplugs? I can just imagine how loud the wind probably is after the sun goes down, you would think most people would wear earplugs to sleep in.
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A shout out for Alpine Ascents...

Postby islesrule7 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:30 pm

Have done two trips with Alpine Ascents, a Mt. Baker 3-day and a Mt. Rainier 8-day training course / Emmons summit. Both trips were awesome, with excellent guides (not just excellent climbers, but also teachers and mentors).

You definitely pay a premium to go with a guide service of that caliber, there is no doubt. But for a new climber, there is no safer, more educational way to get to the top.

I am excited to get out there on my own a bit and avoid being on someone else's schedule, but wouldn't hesitate to rebook with Alpine...
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Postby nickmech » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:52 pm

dirth wrote:Got bitched out by an IMG guide for talking too loudly (read: talking in hushed voices) while we setup our tent because their clients were trying to sleep at the Flats at about 5:45 in the afternoon...

Not really sure if that's a pro or con for them, maybe it means they take really good care of their clients? Just thought it was a little unreasonable.


Everybody hits the sack early for the usual alpine start, but 5:45 ? at the Flats? I'm still enjoying the view, melting, eating and getting anxious about the climb. Give me a break.
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Postby lcarreau » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:40 pm

I remember hitting the sack around six-ish, and there were still people talking very loudly.

Even if I had worn earplugs, I wouldn't have gotten shut-eye on that particular night.

:?
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Postby welle » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:15 pm

Like I said it is a gross over-generalization on my part, and it all depends on individual guides, IMO. I was generally impressed for the risks all guides were taking - most guides were just kids and way way underweight compared to their middle-aged clients, most of whom had never worn crampons before. If one of the clients stumbles on the Cleaver, there isn't much to arrest the fall...
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Postby billisfree » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:08 am

Personally, myself, I would go with muper's advice.

Pick your level of comfort - if you like to take classes, like to listen, have money to spare and hate to read - take a class.

All my life, I've taken classes in many type of adventures. Some are worthless, some are very good. Sometimes, I'd take a beginner's class... feel I wasted my money and go train myself.

Basically people fall into to two groups - 1) those want to be taught how to do something. These people are good listeners, and 2) those who want to teach themselves. These people are not good listeners. I've taught a few people to sail and learned the hard way... figure out which type they are. If they don't like listening - shut up and just show them the ropes.

I'm sure there are a few people out there saying... "I took a class, therefore I must be a safe climber".

Since I am hard-of-hearing, from my personal experience in my climbing class, there was a lot of idle "fill-in" talk, stuff not really worth listening or stuff I already knew. Some of the guide's persoanl stories can be quite interesting tho.

My advice, if do do opt for a paid class, try to get a personal guide over being part of several people of a group. There's a lot less "standing around" while each student pracitices a fall, etc. Besides the guide can tailor the course to what stuff you really need to know.

No amount of self-reading or class lectures beats HANDS ON EXPERIENCE.
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Postby lcarreau » Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:47 am

Hate to say it, but some people attempting to summit on Rainier are way to cocky and
OVER-confident.

When Lou Whittiker began the program, the general idea was to GROUP folks together,
so they could learn from one another and HELP each other out.

I didn't see anything wrong with that way of thinking, so I took the course, then summited
the following weekend.

I remembered the guides watching their clients very closely. Two clients were "removed"
from the group because they were not following the correct safety procedures.

This all happened in 1984. I don't know how things are today - hope people are still trying
to "get along" with one another, rather than flying off onto an "extreme macho" trip.

Just my two cents - your mileage may vary ...
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Postby aglane » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:05 am

billisfree wrote:
My advice, if [you] do opt for a paid class, try to get a personal guide over being part of several people of a group. There's a lot less "standing around" while each student pracitices a fall, etc. Besides the guide can tailor the course to what stuff you really need to know.


I'll second this remark very strongly. One newer guide with AAI is Tom Kirby, whom I've been out with in the Tetons, and find him warmly friendly, calm, an attentive listener, very clear-headed. There surely are equally good others--just a comment imho, if you're otherwise flying blind to request someone.
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Postby dskoon » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:53 am

[quote="ExcitibleBoy"]Any of the guide services who guide Rainier will do a fine job.[/quot

This is straight-forward, accurate advice. All the comments so far have been good, but, having done the group thing once on Hood, I'd recommend that way, unless you've got the money for a personal guide. Even then, you learn much by going with a group. Are you a "listener?" Well, if you're considering learning from a guide service,(learning being the primary goal), then I would think that would be assumed by you and you'd be ready for such an experience.
Bottom line: pick one and go for it! You will learn more faster than by attempting to learn it on your own.
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