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What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

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What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby AndyJB444 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:12 pm

I am getting a trip together down to the Cordillera Blanca this summer, and was looking to hire a guide from the Casa de Guias for the more technical, less familiar routes we are planning.

My question is what gear and food am I expected to provide for the guide? Should I plan on bringing/renting an extra tent for the guide? Supplying rope? Ice screws? How about food? etc...

Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks.
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Re: What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby Jesus Malverde » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:54 pm

AndyJB444,
FWIW,
IMO, you shouldn't be expected to provide ANY gear for the guide(s). Any reputable and experienced guide/guide service will provide their own gear for their own use/employees. A good guide service will make recommendations/requirements for what gear you should bring for your own personal use on the trip. A good guide service might also provide their (quality) gear for you to use/rent.
IMO, if the guide service is requesting that you bring technical gear for THEIR use (e.g. ice screws, hardware, etc) that is a red flag. Others might have a different opinion. I'm curious, has Casa de Guias specifically asked that you bring gear for their use? Or is your question just an anticipation of a request?

I haven't done guided climbs in Peru. Perhaps it's a common practice to bring tents, non-hardware gear for porters/muleteers?
JM
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Re: What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby sharperblue » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:12 pm

^^^^^what Jesus said. You'll only be expected to provide shelter and/or gear from non-affiliated people who are guiding casually and on the sketch. None of the primary guiding companies in Huaraz will expect this; if you hire locals to 'guide' (as in wayfind and/or bear loads) at the trailheads or in the Raura or Huayhuash shelter at least would usually be expected
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Re: What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby rgg » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:50 pm

You should rely on the guide to have (or have access to) all the technical gear needed. If he doesn't, how could he possibly have learned his trade? To put it another way: a guide that doesn't have the right tools I would not trust with my life!

As for non-technical stuff, it might be a good idea to bring your own tent, assuming you have a good one. Otherwise you may have to pay extra to rent one, and you might not be able to find one as good as yours. Likewise, If you have a stove that works fine at altitude (ie, well above 5000m), by all means bring it along.

From your description, I can't clearly determine if you are going to hire a guide for just yourself, or a larger party. For technical routes, no respectable guide should take more than two clients on his rope; for difficult ones just one. As an example, in 2011 the conditions on the route where such that I would not want to go with a guide that would be willing to take three clients on Huascarán.
Mind you, I see how this could pose a bit of a problem: if you are looking for a guide to climb a route, you do not yet know its current condition; once you've climbed it, you don't need a guide anymore. So, ask around about route conditions.

Your post does not mention hiring other people, such as porters or a cook. More people obviously require more than one tent (or a bigger one). In the Cordillera Blanca, I climbed with people that I met locally or via SP, and I soloed some routes, but on one occasion I used an agency to hire a guide and a porter just for myself. I brought my own tent, they got one from the agency. I don't remember if I had to pay extra for it, but I wouldn't be surprised. However, I do remember that the guide wasn't very happy with their tent. They had a lot of condensation inside. The agency also provided a stove, for which I paid a small fee, and that worked just fine.

Cheers, Rob
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Re: What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby AndyJB444 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:28 am

Good info, all - thanks. Its just myself and one other, both are fairly experienced. My feeling is the same as yours with regards to supplying "licensed" guides with gear...but reading through Brad Johnson's book on the range it states regarding the Casa de Guias that "You must provide food and shelter and pay any transportation costs." So I wasn't truly sure what the deal was and where the line is drawn. ;)

Either way, I'm looking to keep our climbing party small - so a guide who is familiar with the routes we're targeting is all we need. And maybe a porter if necessary.

Plan is to bring all gear that the we believe the routes require down with us (and then some!) from the states and pickup whatever we forgot once in Huaraz.

Thanks again - cheers!
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Re: What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby rgg » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:48 pm

Don't count on being able to buy gear in Huaraz, the selection is pretty limited. Best not to forget anything important. The one notable exception are snow stakes: you can have them custom made cheaply locally.

If you hire a guide via the Casa de Guias, then you only get a guide (with his own climbing gear), but all the rest is up to you to provide, so, yes, you have to provide food and transportation. If you book through one of the agencies instead of Casa de Guias, you can choose what you want to do yourself and what you want them to organize for you - for a fee of course.
When I booked my one guided climb in the CB, I did use an agency, and left it to them to find a guide, a porter and organize transportation. And as I wrote before, I also asked the agency for a tent for the two of them, and hired a stove.
I bought food myself the day before, in Huaraz. The guide checked my supplies before setting out. I had almost everything they wanted, except that I didn't bring any sugar, and that was a very serious omission, so I went out and bought some. Most Peruvians apparently consume the stuff in massive amounts. For one guide and one porter on a four days/three nights trip, they wanted to have 1 kg!
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Re: What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby AndyJB444 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:27 pm

Wow, I'll be sure to add "a whole heckuva lot of sugar" to our equipment list! Thanks! :)
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Re: What gear to supply Casa de Guias guide?

Postby bledl » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:17 pm

Any serious peruvian guide will have his personal & technical equipment, as stated above. Meanwhile most guides down there use modern quality gear, as well. Usually you`ll have to cover transportation & food & perhaps shelter/food for porters. If guides require that you rent equipment for them they might be "piratas" (= non qualified guys acting as "mountain guides"). Be sure to see a guides qualification card & have a beer plus a chat with him, before you go on a climb with anyone. In the past there has been quite some trouble with those fake guides. A friend of mine is a peruvian mountain guide and has told me a lot about that hassle. Look for qualified people & pay them well. Don`t go for any discount offers. The Peruvian mountains are big, high and rescue teams arrive mostly too late, if anything bad happens. Stay safe!
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