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is it still climbing if you use a guide?

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Postby MarthaP » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:19 pm

Not if the guide carries you piggy-back to the top... :lol:

Sure, it's called guided climbing! :wink:
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Re: is it still climbing if you use a guide?

Postby Buz Groshong » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:25 pm

josegarcia wrote:I don’t have any money and it seems like using a guide is really cheating anyway. Denali, here I come! I’ll just start at Park Highway 3 with all my chit and get it on, mang!


Good for you! That way, if you fall off the mountain, you won't take anyone with you.
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Postby norco17 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:54 pm

guide=aid
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Postby Andinistaloco » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:22 pm

I often get the feeling that those of us who don't use guides are a dying breed. I get this feeling most often every time I see a post that says something like, "I want to climb Humphreys Peak. Where do I find a good guide?" :wink:
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Postby radson » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:34 pm

as per MartaP. If you use the services of a guide and feel the need to discuss your exploits, then it's only fair to mention that you climbed with a guide.
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Postby RickF » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:10 am

Of course it is.

Just as it is still climbing if you go with a friend who is more experienced and has done the route before.

Aside from some basic climbing instruction I haven't commissioned a guided trip, but I may someday. In my opinion, it would make sense for a mountain that is far away. Denali for instance would be sensible mountain to utilize a guide for. If I were to fly 2,000 miles, take a month off of work and away from family, going with a guide who knows the logistics and the route would substantially increase the probability of summitting. I would still do all the required research, planning and physical conditioning. Hiring a guide doesn't mean they are going to carry you up the mountain. To me, the paid guide takes the place of the experienced friend who is there to advise you about the adventure.

Things like sherpas, fixed lines, food service and pre-established camps is another whole dimension beyond just hiring a guide for advice.
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Is it still climbing if you use a guide?

Postby JanG » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:32 am

This is a topic that keeps on resurfacing periodically. I am amazed at those who believe that somehow you haven't really "climbed" if you use a guide. Why, are you less macho???

How about trying to find your way when clouds suddenly appear and you are completely lost because all landmarks vanish? That is when a guide can save your life.

Or when it starts snowing and all traces of the trail are lost on a long descent?

Everything is " easy " when it is clear but anyone can attest to totally different situations when weather rolls in & you still have a long way to go!

That being said, if I am going to use a guide (and personally I use one every time I will cross a glacier on a climb) it will be a LOCAL one from the area, someone who will find the way in all conditions.

Just look at the statistics on fatalities at popular mountains like Rainier or the Matterhorn, most tragedies occur in situations where guides would have avoided getting started because of uncertain weather or bad conditions.

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Postby Moni » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:50 am

A dear friend of ours is a certified Swiss guide - some of the early climbs I did with him were paid guiding - but since I had no partner, this was the safest way to do anything. Since then we are friends and climb as colleagues. In our discussions, I have gained a variety of perspectives about guided climbing. Yes, there are people who use guides to make up for their lack of experience. However, one of the mandates of guiding in Europe is to teach and a good guide will certainly take his/her client to a new level in this respect. The other reason to use a guide is for lack of a partner: at least this one is certified, bonded and insured. I have used guides in Europe when I had no partner. I made clear to the guide my experience and what sort of climb I was expecting - so I never felt I was being unnecessarily babysat - in fact later I was invited to help with a trip. Also look at this from a guide's perspective - everyday a new partner who might be a total dork or a potential reliable partner with whom future serious climbs would be fun. To diss guided climbs is to diss very fine, dedicated people who lay their lives on the line every time they go out with a client.

If you never have gone with a certified guide, do not judge what you do not know.
Last edited by Moni on Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Of coarse....

Postby JLIEBERMAN » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:10 am

As long as the "guide" is not dragging you up like a haul bag!!
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Postby radson » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:47 am

I think you may overestimate the strength of the guide and underestimate the weight of the client.
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Postby lcarreau » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:21 am

I was always overly impressed with the "astute" guides on Mount Rainier (out of Paradise).

If a member of the "guide party" becomes bewildered by the fast pace, the Guide tells the
client to sit down and WAIT for the rest of the SUCCESSFUL members to make their return.

Hopefully, the poor, bewildered, pitiful, shameless, unsuccessful, worthless person is still there
when the Guide (and remaining clients) return from the summit.

:roll:
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Postby mconnell » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:01 am

radson wrote:as per MartaP. If you use the services of a guide and feel the need to discuss your exploits, then it's only fair to mention that you climbed with a guide.


But only if the guide carries your sorry ass to the top. Having someone more experienced than yourself along doesn't mean that you didn't climb something, whether you paid that person or not.
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Postby radson » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:47 am

mconnell wrote:
radson wrote:as per MartaP. If you use the services of a guide and feel the need to discuss your exploits, then it's only fair to mention that you climbed with a guide.


But only if the guide carries your sorry ass to the top. Having someone more experienced than yourself along doesn't mean that you didn't climb something, whether you paid that person or not.


I agree, the physical part of the climb is purely the domain of the client....but a climb is not all about the physical aspect. As such, personally I think it's more ethical to state if one climbed with or without a guide to pay some respect to the logistical, navigational and judgement etc aspects of the climb.
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Postby norco17 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:46 am

norco17 wrote:guide=aid


Let me expand on this now that I have more time. Climbing with a guide is still climbing however it takes away many of the risks, thrills, and fun. I have never gone with a guide, but that is mainly becuase a) I can't afford one and b) I haven't been doing this stuff all that long and have not done climbs where I think a guide would be necesary.

For me much of the thrill in climbing is the uncertainty. I go out to be closer to nature and God. I do not see obtaining a preset goal of a peak or a route as the ultimate goal. Some of my best trips have been the failures. Getting off route in good weather or trying to follow a route in bad weather and not succeeding is way more rewarding to me than the physical challenge of following a guide up a mountain.

My climbing partners and myself all look at each other as equals and we are all involved in the decision making. We set goals try to obtain them and if we can't we back off and return another day with the knowledge gained from a previous trip. This tends to make us pack in a more expedition style because many times we do not get all the available beta and we don't always know what we are entirely in for. This style of climbing can be much more interesting than following someone that has been there before.

If you are going somewhere where you have a fixed amount of time or route finding mistakes can lead to disaster than by all means take a guide, but if you want to truly be out there on your own relying on yourselves than look for a local peak, mountain, canyon, or coulier here on SP. Read how to get to the trailhead and then just go for it. It is more fun that way anyway.
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Postby radson » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:53 am

norco17 wrote:
norco17 wrote:guide=aid


Let me expand on this now that I have more time. Climbing with a guide is still climbing however it takes away many of the risks, thrills, and fun. I have never gone with a guide, but that is mainly becuase a) I can't afford one and b) I haven't been doing this stuff all that long and have not done climbs where I think a guide would be necesary.

For me much of the thrill in climbing is the uncertainty. I go out to be closer to nature and God. I do not see obtaining a preset goal of a peak or a route as the ultimate goal. Some of my best trips have been the failures. Getting off route in good weather or trying to follow a route in bad weather and not succeeding is way more rewarding to me than the physical challenge of following a guide up a mountain.

My climbing partners and myself all look at each other as equals and we are all involved in the decision making. We set goals try to obtain them and if we can't we back off and return another day with the knowledge gained from a previous trip. This tends to make us pack in a more expedition style because many times we do not get all the available beta and we don't always know what we are entirely in for. This style of climbing can be much more interesting than following someone that has been there before.

If you are going somewhere where you have a fixed amount of time or route finding mistakes can lead to disaster than by all means take a guide, but if you want to truly be out there on your own relying on yourselves than look for a local peak, mountain, canyon, or coulier here on SP. Read how to get to the trailhead and then just go for it. It is more fun that way anyway.


Norco, its cool you like to climb this way. Well done. But hey it's more fun for you this way, not necessarily others. You say you havent been with a guide, so its a bit unfair to say its more fun, interesting and by assumption better.

Professional guides in a perfect world can be incredibly good resource for better techniques and skills an alternately can make a trip a nightmare out of something that could have been attempted alone. Let people choose how they want to climb and let the individual decide who is having the most fun.
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