pvnisher wrote:Gabriel wrote:Do learn to be self sufficient in the mountains so you don't need a guide. The experience will be a treasure for life.
I agree with Gabriel, but want to add that going with a guide is one of the ways to learn to be self-sufficient so that you can go again without one. View the guide as both a safety net and an instructor. My first trip to Rainier I went guided. It was my first time on a glacier, and my friends were similarly inexperienced. I'm glad I did. I learned some skills, and that has carried me further.
I've also hired a guide for rock climbing. I couldn't lead the grade, but I wanted to do a particular route. I learned a lot by going with a pro rather than some dirtbag buddies with bad habits.
People look down on guides, or rather, people who hire guides. I think that is mistaken since you aren't look down upon for taking a class...
If you hire a guide and let them do everything and you just do the minimum to get up, that's your own fault. But if you hire a guide, take mental (or written) notes, observe what's going on, ask why... it's like taking a hands-on class.
Well put. Use your experience with the guides to actually learn instead of having a babysitter mentality as most guided clients do. Tie your own knots, have and use your own map, work out your gear before you go, understand the cooking setup and the inherent inefficiencies of making water, properly making a tent platform and using the guy lines, etc.
My 2 cents if you want to do these trips on your own in the future is not to go with RMI via DC as they use the climbers hut which limits your ability to learn camping on a glacier. I would go on the E-W Route.