SkaredShtles wrote:Kevin Baker wrote:<snip> My take is if you need to be on a rope on a CO 14er in summerlike conditions, then you shouldn't be on the mountain.
And this is *precisely* why guides exist.
Guides don't exist to take competent people up mountains.
Ok I'll just in again.
Professional Guides don't drag "incompetents" into technical terrain!
That is how guides and clients get killed. A professional guide is going to establish a proper fitness level, climbing movements, and exposure tolerance prior to taking a client into "Technical Terrain". If the client can not satisfy the guide with prior experience then a "qualifying day" is not out of the ordinary. It may require a few "other peaks" before the guide will take the job of technical terrain with that client.
Hiring a Professional Guide does not make you "incompetent" so let's take the "Curse" off here.
There are many in this community who use Professional Guides in their peak quests. A guide is another "tool". I see "competent people" off route all the time.
There were several people in the Elks on Saturday without axes or spikes / crampons while other elected to increase their protection level by carrying one or both
given the cover. Wearing a helmet doesn't make you a "clumsy incompetent" who falls and hits there head or can't move out of the way of falling rock.
In the loose rock that is the Elks, being off route is one of the majors dangers. The routes are littered with "Rouge Cairns" leading to loose terrain that is difficult to read and follow. The guide sets the pace on what the client can do. The summit is only half way. Guides are not for everyone and not everyone needs or wants a guide. That said you should not be made to feel like you are "less of a mountaineer" because you hired a guide to keep you on route, read the weather and keep things safe.
I could go on but I hope I have made my point.
Yes, I am a Professional Guide in the Elks for full disclosure.