I consider myself an independent guide. Please don't confuse me with a concession or a recreation corporation. The client-guide social contract is very important to me. I believe in working closely with individuals, not in herding large numbers of people around. (Not that there is anything wrong with this for those that are happy with it. It's just not the way I work.)
In one issue of the AMGA Bulletin it was pointed out that the average wage for a mountain guide in the US is under $100 per day. That's the average - the entry level pay in some operations is significantly less. These are baby sitting wages. Guides with insufficient income cannot invest in ongoing training and professional development. They may be forced to skimp on things, like equipment. I believe that guides are professionals - we take a great deal of responsibility and work in inherently risky environments. I don't baby-sit, I guide. (The cost to my clients is very competitive since my overhead costs are quite low, not because I work for low wages.)
From the time you first contact me, through your time outdoors with me, and afterwards, you will be in contact directly with me. Not with a staff member or secretary. I will gladly answer all questions you have and discuss any aspect of the activity or class with you. My service is personal and tailored to you.
I believe that in addition to having a rewarding and fulfilling experience in the safest manner possible (given the inherent risks involved) the client should go away having learned something and being capable of doing at least a bit more on their own than before their time with me. Expect to learn and to be directly involved in your climb, adventure or class.
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