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guiding on rainier

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guiding on rainier

Postby kiwiw » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:49 am

I'm 17. I know I am not nearly experenced enough to be a guide for rmi or aai, but in my future I would like to get a job with them.
my question is what are the qualifications? WFR? 18? knowing people?
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Postby Steve Larson » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:07 am

RMI hires a lot of seasonal people, I believe they provide training. Best to just check with them directly.
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Postby bird » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:04 pm

Climb as much as you can, take courses. Get wilderness 1st aid and if possible EMT training, take friends and newbs climbing as often as possible (and within your ability to safely teach them). Volunteer, join alpine clubs, etc. Technical knowledge is great, but you also have to have people skills. You may be able to "hump loads" up to high camps for guide services. Good way to get to know the right people.
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:21 pm

I live in Washington and have guided and know and climb with an awful lot of guides who have worked for RMI, Mountain Madness, and both AAIs. Back when I was doing some guiding, RMI had the lowest threshold for guides. You needed some first aid and you had to fit their mold. They really don't care how much you know about climbing. Their philosphy is if you have the right personality you can be taught how to climb and guide. Here is a link to minimum requirements: http://www.rmiguides.com/about/employment.php

In order to work for the other guide services you have to be a very comptent and experienced climber, be college educated, have advanced first aid courses, avy courses, and at least be on your way to being certified.

Hope that helps.
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Postby kiwiw » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:02 pm

is there a minimum age? you just have to have all the qualifications?
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:58 pm

kiwiw wrote:is there a minimum age? you just have to have all the qualifications?

At RMI there are something like 10 applicants for each open guide position. Employers, even guide services, look at things like college degrees, so realistically you will probably need to have at least some college to get hired. FWIW, I was told by a friend at the American Alpine Institute that the youngest person they hired for a guide position was 19. It was Steve House.
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Postby sevenvii » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:03 pm

Whats average wage for someone starting out in the guiding life? What can one hope to make after becoming an "elite" guide?
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:28 pm

sevenvii wrote:Whats average wage for someone starting out in the guiding life? What can one hope to make after becoming an "elite" guide?


RMI pays between $125/day and $250/day DOE. I have heard of some extremely talented guides charging clients up to $600/day. I have a friend who supported a family of 4 by being a guide and writer.
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Re: guiding on rainier

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:31 pm

kiwiw wrote:I'm 17. I know I am not nearly experenced enough to be a guide for rmi or aai, but in my future I would like to get a job with them.
my question is what are the qualifications? WFR? 18? knowing people?


RMI often hires for seasonal positions other than guides like equipment managers and such. You could get hired for one of these positions with less climbing experience and get your foot in the door that way. Like I said before, at RMI you need to fit the mold; think all american, clean cut, no visible tattoos, earings or the like.
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Postby mconnell » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:30 pm

ExcitibleBoy wrote:
sevenvii wrote:Whats average wage for someone starting out in the guiding life? What can one hope to make after becoming an "elite" guide?


RMI pays between $125/day and $250/day DOE. I have heard of some extremely talented guides charging clients up to $600/day. I have a friend who supported a family of 4 by being a guide and writer.


Sounds about right. Another point is that a friend that had been guiding for a company for a couple of years wanted to get into international trips. He went along as a "intern", which meant they paid for his food and transportation but he didn't get paid a wage.
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Postby jspeigl » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:22 am

Ed Viesturs talks about tryouts for RMI in his book "No Shortcuts to the Top." He was turned down several times before getting hired.
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Postby xDoogiex » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:55 pm

Damn tattoo restrictions!
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:23 pm

jspeigl wrote:Ed Viesturs talks about tryouts for RMI in his book "No Shortcuts to the Top." He was turned down several times before getting hired.


When I tried out for RMI the senior guides took great pleasure in pointing that out.
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Postby JHH60 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:03 pm

ExcitibleBoy wrote:
sevenvii wrote:Whats average wage for someone starting out in the guiding life? What can one hope to make after becoming an "elite" guide?


RMI pays between $125/day and $250/day DOE. I have heard of some extremely talented guides charging clients up to $600/day. I have a friend who supported a family of 4 by being a guide and writer.


If you have a professional services business like guiding and can write well it not only generates income directly, it also creates demand for your services from readers. Cosley and Houston, who wrote "Alpine Climbing, Techniques to Get you Higher," command pretty respectable rates (just checked their website and saw $690/day for 1:1 private guiding in the Alps). I've read the book and if I were looking for an alpine guide in Europe might hire them on that basis alone.
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Postby OJ Loenneker » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:18 am

xDoogiex wrote:Damn tattoo restrictions!


What's that all about?
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