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is it still climbing if you use a guide?

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Postby Guyzo » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:45 pm

Gary Schenk wrote:
tom johnson wrote:So, for me, a guide is the only option left. I'm reluctant to extend the time out a few years as I flatten the learning curve because I'm a week away from 61 and want to get moving.


Go for the guide, Tom. There's no shame attached to that. Not only will you have the time of your life up there, but you'll learn a lot, too. Nothing wrong with that.


I have never used Guides because I mostly rock climb. I have used AID from Packers to get all that stuff to the base..... save your legs for the climbing.

I have a friend, who can trad lead 5.11-a on a good day, who uses them when he goes to Canada for Ice Climbing. He says it's very "cost effective" because Barry has all this great gear/clothing he breaks out for those sub-zero days, knows the way to the climbs, knows the conditions of the snow and ice and he will let my friend lead pitches if he wants to. When my friend returns from Canada he has for sure climbed "tripple XXX death Ice smear", but we don't really give him props for it because he used a guide.

I can sum it up like this: If we saw him with some ultra hot babe at a party we would all go ""wow dude some score.... :wink: " but if we knew that some $$$$$$ was involved we would all go " wow dude, having fun? :wink:.

And Tom.... all you need to do is get out and do some rock climbing away from TM ( that stuff is pretty unique, and dosen't translate to East Face Whitney rock ) to build up your skills some. Dig up a good partner and have some confidence in your ability to Climb and Pro and, if necessary, escape from a climb.

So Tom, your "only option" is "how do I score a permit"? :wink:

Best wishes, good luck 2 you.
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Postby Andinistaloco » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:40 am

Dingus Milktoast wrote:
Andinistaloco wrote:I often get the feeling that those of us who don't use guides are a dying breed.


Uh, no.

Gotta take yer blinders off mate, to see the DIYers out there.

They are coming out of the gyms, off of the sport crags and away from the boulders. They are standing their snow boards in the corner and learning to AT and Tele to reach better ground in winter.

They solo walls on Baffin Island and base jump off Lovers Leap on snowboards for christsakes.

No guides. Just balls.

Its Boomers mostly, engaging the guiding services, other than on big guiding mountains like Rainer, or Shasta or the Matterhorn, etc. ie Older folks with more money, than time, on their hands. And that's cool - guides have to eat too.

This whole concept of engaging the services of a guide is pretty much a religious issue among climbers - the view of guiding and indeed the ultimate fate of BEING GUIDED is a control issue. Its also a core philosophical issue.

For me climbing is many things and one of them is about me being in control in wild situations. I don't mean being in charge, I'm not the type frankly. I mean being in control.

I'd rather doing something easier or less committing, than engage a guide to do something rad.

DMT


Blinders? Whoa, hoss... just my opinion, and not even very strongly expressed, at that. I'm sure there are plenty of folks that don't use guides. They might well outnumber the ones that do. Just seems to me that the ratio is changing and the latter group growing quicker, 's all I'm saying.

It's easy to say folks are leaving the climbing gyms. But twenty years ago, how many climbing gyms WERE there? And how many now? I know folks who've never climbed outside of a gym.

Anyway, liked what you had to say about being in control of the situation, though. Because that's the proverbial double-edged sword too. D'you like being in control of a bad situation, or having someone else take charge? That question would often answer who hires guides and who doesn't.
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Postby tom johnson » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:21 pm

A follow-up to my earlier posts: In mid-September I did pay for a guide's services up the E Buttress of Whitney. The guide, Rick aka The Chief, who often posts on this forum, was extremely competent and not that much different than his on-line persona. We connected in a certain way - both Navy vets and been around some - and I think hanging out with him was the best part of the trip.

Of course, the route was great and the setting sublime. But the entire time I wrestled with the guide issue. I did feel like a pussy. Once back to Iceberg Lake, preparing for the hike out, I tried to convince Rick to go his own way and I'd make my way out by myself. After all, getting to the first pitch and back to Whitney Portal from Iceberg is backpacking.

Rick wouldn't hear of it, even after I offered to sign a waiver absolving him and SMI of any responsibility. So we ground out together and had some laughs on the way down, Rick at one point responding to one of my comments, "Well, at least I don't need a fucking guide!" Yeah man, you got it!

So it looks like I'll be schlepping up the NF Lone Pine Creek again to take on the E Buttress with a partner. Any volunteers?
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Postby The Chief » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:42 pm

I believe that regardless of the "Guiding" situ, you had a memorable climb. Maybe the fact that the guide wasn't that bad of a dude, may have made a impact on your time as well..eh?
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Image


Tough Guy to the end...... I saw ya crack a smile after this pic was taken!
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Postby ksolem » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:58 pm

Man, who does your guy's wardrobe? :wink:
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Postby The Chief » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:09 pm

ksolem wrote:Man, who does your guy's wardrobe? :wink:


This guy....
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Postby MarthaP » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:19 pm

ksolem wrote:Man, who does your guy's wardrobe? :wink:


I see a new Project Runway series!

"Camping" at altitude. :lol:
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Postby norco17 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:15 am

2_climbaxes wrote:
norco17 wrote:guide=aid


By this line of reasoning, only the sherpas have climbed Mt Everest.


Aid is still very much climbing.
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Postby albanberg » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:38 pm

Great topic...

I'm new and this is my perspective:

I would rather use a guide than die. lol.
I have gone much further much faster by using a guide.
I only used a guide where I really needed one...or thought I might.
I learned a lot that I would not know otherwise.

By using a guide, I'm preparing to climb without one....not that it's not ok to always use one.
I have found that, in learning anything new, it's good to seek out good practitioners in that area and learn from them.

If you think you might need a guide, you probably do and you should not hesitate. Unless you don't really care if you kill yourself.

I do feel that on my recent climb of Huascaran (to high camp only) I didn't carry my share of the weight. Although I also feel that they carried too much and didn't have the right, modern, gear. So next time I'm interested in carrying my own weight and maybe not taking a guide. I think it's important to note that this was only my fourth "climb." Really only my second as one of my "climbs" was a backpacking trip with a Whitney walk up from the backside.

Weather issues is a good point as well. If there were potential weather issues I would prefer to have a guide the first couple of times this happens to me.

The bottom line for me is that I can learn and accelerate my growth much faster with a guide as I'm getting more into climbing. Once I have some experience, I can do more on my own or with others that have experience.
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Postby Guyzo » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:53 pm

tom johnson wrote:A follow-up to my earlier posts: In mid-September I did pay for a guide's services up the E Buttress of Whitney. The guide, Rick aka The Chief, who often posts on this forum, was extremely competent and not that much different than his on-line persona. We connected in a certain way - both Navy vets and been around some - and I think hanging out with him was the best part of the trip.

Of course, the route was great and the setting sublime. But the entire time I wrestled with the guide issue. I did feel like a pussy. Once back to Iceberg Lake, preparing for the hike out, I tried to convince Rick to go his own way and I'd make my way out by myself. After all, getting to the first pitch and back to Whitney Portal from Iceberg is backpacking.

Rick wouldn't hear of it, even after I offered to sign a waiver absolving him and SMI of any responsibility. So we ground out together and had some laughs on the way down, Rick at one point responding to one of my comments, "Well, at least I don't need a fucking guide!" Yeah man, you got it!

So it looks like I'll be schlepping up the NF Lone Pine Creek again to take on the E Buttress with a partner. Any volunteers?


Way to go Tom :)

So how did you get the permit?
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Postby tom johnson » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:28 pm

Come to think of it, acquiring the permit is probably the most important aspect of the endeavor: Somehow SMI snagged one for the day - mid-week in mid-Sept. We were the only ones on the route. About 3-4 people on top when we clambered over the lip.
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Postby Guyzo » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:43 pm

tom johnson wrote:Come to think of it, acquiring the permit is probably the most important aspect of the endeavor:Somehow SMI snagged one for the day - mid-week in mid-Sept. We were the only ones on the route. About 3-4 people on top when we clambered over the lip.


Well the Rangers thought there were 150 people on the MT. that day so they refused to let anymore folks go up there :evil:

EZ access to "the permit" is the best reason to hire a guide, or a packer. They have no problem getting all they wish for.

Tom, whats next? :?:

And are you related to Lee Marvin? :wink:
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Postby Andinistaloco » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:52 am

albanberg wrote:I do feel that on my recent climb of Huascaran (to high camp only) I didn't carry my share of the weight. Although I also feel that they carried too much and didn't have the right, modern, gear. So next time I'm interested in carrying my own weight and maybe not taking a guide. I think it's important to note that this was only my fourth "climb." Really only my second as one of my "climbs" was a backpacking trip with a Whitney walk up from the backside.


Huascaran was your fourth climb?

No offense intended, but did you consider that the reason you need a guide is because you're doing stuff that's too hard for you right now?

Most climbers I know worked their way up to the level they're at. They didn't walk up the Mt. Evans road and then decide they were going to climb Cerro Torre next month. They climbed Shasta, then Hood, then Rainier, then Orizaba/Cotopaxi/etc. There's no shame in it, and you can do progressively harder climbs and still be reasonably safe. Safe as climbing can be, that is. I don't think there's anything wrong with pushing yourself - to a certain extent.

But jumping so far ahead that you're completely out of your element and need a guide to tell you everything and do most things for you could be downright dangerous. For one thing, what if something happens to your guide?

I would agree that being guided gives you experience. But going with a guide is not a substitute for experience. Look at what happened on Everest in 1996.
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Postby The Chief » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:47 am

Andinistaloco wrote:I would agree that being guided gives you experience. But going with a guide is not a substitute for experience.


BINGO!

And....thank you.

Guyzo wrote:Well the Rangers thought there were 150 people on the MT. that day so they refused to let anymore folks go up there :evil:


Negative!

They (the USFS) knew I was coming and shut it all down for me and my great client...Tom!
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Postby albanberg » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:30 am

Andinistaloco wrote:
albanberg wrote:I do feel that on my recent climb of Huascaran (to high camp only) I didn't carry my share of the weight. Although I also feel that they carried too much and didn't have the right, modern, gear. So next time I'm interested in carrying my own weight and maybe not taking a guide. I think it's important to note that this was only my fourth "climb." Really only my second as one of my "climbs" was a backpacking trip with a Whitney walk up from the backside.


Huascaran was your fourth climb?

No offense intended, but did you consider that the reason you need a guide is because you're doing stuff that's too hard for you right now?

Most climbers I know worked their way up to the level they're at. They didn't walk up the Mt. Evans road and then decide they were going to climb Cerro Torre next month. They climbed Shasta, then Hood, then Rainier, then Orizaba/Cotopaxi/etc. There's no shame in it, and you can do progressively harder climbs and still be reasonably safe. Safe as climbing can be, that is. I don't think there's anything wrong with pushing yourself - to a certain extent.

But jumping so far ahead that you're completely out of your element and need a guide to tell you everything and do most things for you could be downright dangerous. For one thing, what if something happens to your guide?

I would agree that being guided gives you experience. But going with a guide is not a substitute for experience. Look at what happened on Everest in 1996.



I appreciate your concern, thank you! I don't think I was really too far out of my element....and maybe not as far out of my element as you may think. I did have some concern for myself in the event that the guide became incapacitated or died. I did have a porter with me who was competent and very strong though, so I would not have been alone. The other clients on the mountain didn't seem to be as competent or as strong as me actually.

I like to push myself, yes, but I'm also well aware of my limits and I think I was well within them on this trip. Anyway I'll be working on gaining more experience so that I'll be more prepared and more fit next time.

If you want to learn more about my trip (and maybe give me more advice, which is cool) check out my trip report.
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