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Libbster


Nov 7, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Schooling
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Howdy, I was planning on going to Murray State for the new degree program called Adventure Leadership and Expedition Planning. Afterwards, go to NOLS and get accredited in things from AMGA. What do you think? Vaild pursuit?


Kartessa


Nov 7, 2012, 12:10 PM
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Libbster wrote:
Howdy, I was planning on going to Murray State for the new degree program called Adventure Leadership and Expedition Planning. Afterwards, go to NOLS and get accredited in things from AMGA. What do you think? Vaild pursuit?

If its what you want to do and you're ready to work for it, then go for it!


granite_grrl


Nov 7, 2012, 12:30 PM
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Libbster wrote:
Howdy, I was planning on going to Murray State for the new degree program called Adventure Leadership and Expedition Planning. Afterwards, go to NOLS and get accredited in things from AMGA. What do you think? Vaild pursuit?

It's valid if you think that's what you're really going to enjoy. Just keep in mind that guides don't really make much money and your idea of what guiding is is probably different from reality.


gunkiemike


Nov 7, 2012, 1:03 PM
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Yes, totally valid.

And profitable (for Murray State, NOLS, and AMGA).

Disclaimer - I'm working from memory here, but once you go beyond the SPI (Single Pitch Instructor) level in AMGA, you can't progress completely from the comfort and security of your educational setting. There is a mandatory period - a year IIRC - between you taking the Rock Instructor Course and taking the exam to get the certification. During this time you are required to mock guide some very big climbs.


theextremist04


Nov 7, 2012, 4:35 PM
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Re: [gunkiemike] Schooling [In reply to]
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I don't know if a year is required, but I would probably recommend it. The requirement is to guide/mock guide 10+ Grade III routes, which isn't terrible, but it could take some time. Anyways, realize that guiding doesn't pay a lot of money, and college is expensive. If you can reconcile the two, go for it.


petsfed


Nov 7, 2012, 4:46 PM
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Libbster wrote:
Howdy, I was planning on going to Murray State for the new degree program called Adventure Leadership and Expedition Planning. Afterwards, go to NOLS and get accredited in things from AMGA. What do you think? Vaild pursuit?

I think if you become like 90% of NOLS graduates and act like you are *the* clearinghouse of mountaineering information, you should spend your money elsewhere.

Education != experience, and experience is what the AMGA certifications require of you.


6pacfershur


Nov 7, 2012, 7:28 PM
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theextremist04 wrote:
...... 10+ Grade III routes, which isn't terrible, but it could take some time.....

we pull that off in a couple months around here....


USnavy


Nov 7, 2012, 9:54 PM
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gunkiemike wrote:
Yes, totally valid.

And profitable (for Murray State, NOLS, and AMGA).
Maybe. My reply to this thread is going to be the same as it was to the other similar thread: when choosing a college degree, it is very important one considers the worth of that degree in the marketplace. Now, if the OP really wants to be a guide, then so be it. But know that a degree in adventure leadership is of limited worth outside of the very small field of outdoor guiding and similar areas. Compare it to a degree in say computer science, which can be used by 95% of employers on the face of this planet (everyone needs IT pros).

Remember, Obama may try to trick you and say everything is going to be great if you vote for him, but the truth is the economy is still in the shitter and it is probably going to remain in the shitter for awhile. The unemployment rate is really only 1-1.5% lower now than it was in 2009 - it's still really high. So if the OP finds he cannot get a full time job as a guide (which is probable), dont expect to be able to migrate into many different fields with that degree. Worse, he may find he cant find full time work and now he also has student loan debt piling up interest. That is really a place you dont want to be. Sure there is NOAA and a few other organizations he might be able to work for, but again, overall that degree is not very marketable.

My personal suggestion would be for the OP to obtain a degree in a high demand marketplace and simultaneously pursue AMGA certification and part time guiding work while going to school. He does not need a degree to be a guide and having one only marginally increases his worth to a guiding employer. Most guiding companies are going to be far more interested in your climbing experience, guiding experience, and any AMGA certifications you may hold. If the OP chooses that route, he could still work as a guide, but if it does not work out, he can pursue a career in the field he pursued his degree in.

Again, to reiterate about guiding. The OP does not need a degree to be a guide! At best, it will give him some marginal hiring preference. However, it is unlikely to give him much if any pay increase which means if he decides to stay with guiding, he will not get his money back from his degree. The main purpose of going to college is to create a returnable investment. The idea is a student goes to school, and by doing so he or she will get paid more which means the money he invested in college will not only be returned back to him or her, but it will pay interest. However, there are many fields where this scenario does not typically happen, and guiding is one of them.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 7, 2012, 10:18 PM)


guangzhou


Nov 7, 2012, 10:10 PM
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Never thought I would say this, but nice post USNavy. Maybe not so Naive. Tongue

A certification from AMGA doesn't get you very far actually. Most big guide service have their own internal training, and several will help you pay for your certification after you start with them.

When I owned my guide service, I didn't want to know if the people I was interviewing were certified by AMGA or anyone else. My interviews were usually done in the parking area 1.5 hours before my clients arrived. I had the person set up the site with routes specified by me. Introduced him as a guide candidate to my clients and saw how he performed and interacted with people.

After half a day, I new if I was interested in having him on our staff or not.


Wade308


Nov 8, 2012, 8:26 AM
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All I know is, when I've tried to make my hobbies and passions my job, they went from being fun to being work.

I have learned to work hard for good money, which allows me the freedom to pursue my hobbies and passions in my free time with adequate funds.

My advice: Work for people who will pay well. Live free on your free time.

There's a nice middle ground of well paying jobs that don't become your life. Work to live, don't live to work. etc. etc.


(This post was edited by Wade308 on Nov 8, 2012, 8:28 AM)


marc801


Nov 8, 2012, 8:55 AM
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The other thing the OP needs to realize:
When you're not a guide, the thought of being a guide sounds really cool and fun! The reality though is that you'll probably be working for a guide service in a specific locale....and you'll be doing the same easy routes over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over..........


guangzhou


Nov 8, 2012, 5:30 PM
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Wade308 wrote:
All I know is, when I've tried to make my hobbies and passions my job, they went from being fun to being work.

I have learned to work hard for good money, which allows me the freedom to pursue my hobbies and passions in my free time with adequate funds.

My advice: Work for people who will pay well. Live free on your free time.

There's a nice middle ground of well paying jobs that don't become your life. Work to live, don't live to work. etc. etc.

Or even better, make good money working for yourself.


Wade308


Nov 9, 2012, 7:39 AM
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guangzhou wrote:

Or even better, make good money working for yourself.

Easier said than done.
Running your own business takes an insane amount of time and dedication to make it even marginally profitable.

Not much time leftover for fun.


FriscoWilderness


Nov 10, 2012, 3:29 PM
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+1 on that. As USnavy stated. That degree in outdoor anything will be very limiting outside the outdoor industry. Not saying it cant be done and have a great life but it really depends on what you want out of life. If you do go that route make sure you at least have a Wife or Husband that works a typical professional job.

Behind every great Guide is an even better Wife or Husband.


FriscoWilderness


Nov 10, 2012, 3:42 PM
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The big guide services here in the States wont even talk to you if your not at minumum AMGA RIC, smaller guide services require minumum AMGA SPI. Most not all. As the outdoor industry grows this will become standard.


(This post was edited by FriscoWilderness on Nov 10, 2012, 3:43 PM)


marc801


Nov 10, 2012, 3:50 PM
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FriscoWilderness wrote:
Behind every great Guide is an even better Wife or Husband.
Who has medical insurance.


FriscoWilderness


Nov 10, 2012, 3:52 PM
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This is true.


guangzhou


Nov 10, 2012, 6:46 PM
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FriscoWilderness wrote:
The big guide services here in the States wont even talk to you if your not at minumum AMGA RIC, smaller guide services require minumum AMGA SPI. Most not all. As the outdoor industry grows this will become standard.

Id you read their website, yes, but in Reality no.


guangzhou


Nov 10, 2012, 6:50 PM
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Wade308 wrote:
guangzhou wrote:

Or even better, make good money working for yourself.

Easier said than done.
Running your own business takes an insane amount of time and dedication to make it even marginally profitable.

Not much time leftover for fun.

Teally depends on the "business" or "Freelance Work" you choose.

Of course, what do I know. Started aguide service in my 20s, sold in in my late 20s to go live in Asia a few year. Now i own my own climbing gym, guide service, and cafe.

I also use my photography and photography as a way to make some extra income from time to time.

Work hard, play harder. I prefer to put in long hours for myself than someone else.


FriscoWilderness


Nov 10, 2012, 7:18 PM
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Personally I would beg to differ, maybe back in the day yeah. Any yahoo can set up some top ropes and interact with clients at their home crag and have a day with out incedent like most guide days are. Its when the sh*#t gets thick is when it counts.

I understand about internal training but I would'nt spend hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars training an employee on basic rescue techniques and scenerios when they need to know that stuff coming in the door. Your not gonna find that out in 1.5 hours before clients arrive at the crag. If an incedent happened with a client and that new employee you just met, that maybe considered gross negligence in most states.

Would any guides at the big guide companies care to chime in on this. Im interested to know if this is true.


(This post was edited by FriscoWilderness on Nov 10, 2012, 7:22 PM)


guangzhou


Nov 11, 2012, 5:48 PM
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FriscoWilderness wrote:
Personally I would beg to differ, maybe back in the day yeah. Any yahoo can set up some top ropes and interact with clients at their home crag and have a day with out incedent like most guide days are. Its when the sh*#t gets thick is when it counts.

I understand about internal training but I would'nt spend hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars training an employee on basic rescue techniques and scenerios when they need to know that stuff coming in the door. Your not gonna find that out in 1.5 hours before clients arrive at the crag. If an incedent happened with a client and that new employee you just met, that maybe considered gross negligence in most states.

Would any guides at the big guide companies care to chime in on this. Im interested to know if this is true.

You can beg to differ all you want. And if back in the day was last year when a letter of recommendation I wrote got one guide hired in the North West and two in New England, well than the info is archaic.

Internal training, any good guide service will do this regardless of the guide's background. This is how they insure consistency in their programs and insure that their guides are up to the guides standards.

I do agree, any yahoo can set up shop, but not every yahoo can set permits to operate in various areas. Private land is the easiest. After that, you're dealing with state and federal agencies who want to see a 1 million liability insurance.

I still hold permits for a couple key areas. One in California and one in North Carolina. I renew and reapply when the time comes. Even living in Asia, I guide those areas a couple time a years with Clients from Asia. I have 5 freelance guides on the book with my stateside business that operate and guide those areas. One of them is AMGA qualified, the others worked with me over the years and have no desire to be AMGA qualified.

I doubt you'll get a big guide service's hire up commenting on who they hire here. Would be good from a marketing point of view.

Did I mention I've been a member of AMGA for over 15 years.


FriscoWilderness


Nov 11, 2012, 6:29 PM
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guangzhou, I think your so busy trying to impress everyone with the size of your penis that you are missing the point. Go back and read your post that I was responding to cause your rebuttal does not address anything that I wrote, I said nothing about setting up shop or getting permits. You stated that you would put an employee in play with clients after knowing them for 1.5 hours and I am saying that could be seen as gross negligence if there was an incident and you are saying the amga certs mean nothing, then you state youve been a member for 15 years. Im just stating my opinion, and you know what they say " everyone has one".

Im not trying to get into a pissing contest about it so no need for you to be offended.

If this was mp.com we wouldve had several responses to this already.

And I too have all the things you spray about every chance you get gym, guide service, permits, amga membership, I just chose not to whip my dick out every five minutes.


(This post was edited by FriscoWilderness on Nov 11, 2012, 10:20 PM)


guangzhou


Nov 11, 2012, 10:46 PM
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FriscoWilderness wrote:
guangzhou, I think your so busy trying to impress everyone with the size of your penis that you are missing the point. Go back and read your post that I was responding to cause your rebuttal does not address anything that I wrote, I said nothing about setting up shop or getting permits.

FriscoWilderness wrote:
Personally I would beg to differ, maybe back in the day yeah. Any yahoo can set up some top ropes and interact with clients at their home crag and have a day with out incedent like most guide days are. Its when the sh*#t gets thick is when it counts.

Yes, “any Yahoo” can set up a guide service. Actually, same is true with a climbing gym too. More proof you don’t need certification from AMGA. Good bad, who knows. Would I like to see the industry more regulated and requiring “Guide Certification?” Not sure for various reasons.

I was more focused your comment about this was “back in the day,” so I explained that three people I personally know, worked with, and recommended did pick up a job guiding just last summer.

To run guide service in America, which you should know if you own a guide service already, all you need is the permit to operate on the land, or the land owner’s permission. Once you have that permit, they don’t ask any questions about your hiring practices as long as you are following the established rules.

In neither case are you required to have AMGA certification. Guide Services, big and small hire non AMGA guides every-year. The guide services do internal training; some send their guides to some training with AMGA to beef up their resume. External training also provides a nice way to evaluate your own internal training program and it works as sort of external audit too.

The less skills, technical or personal, a guide has the less responsibility he is given. From assistant instructor, to trip leader, or whatever other name/title a guide service gives the positions. Belay slave to site manager. Some guides can handle groups at local top-rope sites; others can guide clients on multi-pitch routes, more advanced guide can teach big wall skills. Here, we’re starting a “First Ascent” class. (Maybe Spraying in your book) Client can learn the skills they need to establish new routes; our clients will be able to put up single pitch routes to 20 pitch lines. Bolted or trad. Most of these clients are coming from overseas and staying ten to twelve days. By the end, if all works out, they have finished a new route. My beginning guides don’t teach these courses.

In reply to:
You stated that you would put an employee in play with clients after knowing them for 1.5 hours and I am saying that could be seen as gross negligence if there was an incident

What I said was I can decide after 1.5 hours if someone is going to work for me or not. During those 1.5 hours, they are on-site with me and my clients. (And other guides or instructors) Prior to clients getting there, they help set-up the site with supervision, when the clients are there; they interact with clients as “aspirin guides/instructor.”

What I see during this hour and a half teaches me much more about the worth of a potential future guide in my service than an AMGA certification. I can look at technical skills, teaching methods, and most importantly by that stage, their personality/interaction with clients. I can also decide what internal training the individual needs

From there, they go through training. Training is based on what they already know and don't. What they will be doing for me guide/teaching wise.

Some people who work for me are not much more than belay slaves, other manage the entire day, while a couple manage longer trips that involve travel.

Teaching someone to be an assistant instructor to help when a group of Boy Scouts work on their merit badge is easy at a place like Enchanted Rock, training someone to organize, plan, and stage a 10 day trip to an overseas area require very different skills.

The only way a guide service can insure that the guide service’s standards are being maintained is through internal training. The only I can feel comfortable with my guides on extended trips is to know they were evaluated by me or my people.

In reply to:
and you are saying the amga certs mean nothing, then you state youve been a member for 15 years. Im just stating my opinion, and you know what they say " everyone has one".

I stand by what I said, which was not AMGA certs mean nothing I might add.

AMGA isn't as helpful as people think and are lead to believe. In some cases it cracks the door open, but nothing more. A recommendation from a guide within that service will get you a lot further for sure. A recommendation from another guide service will get you further if the guide service is reputable. Even a recommendation from a climber the owner or person hiring personally knows will help more.

My AMGA membership serves its purpose. They are certain benefits come with it that outweigh the cost and time I have to put in. Purely a business decision. (I also like reading want ads from guide services looking for guides.)

Stating an opinion and not backing it up with real life examples or personal experiences is pretty useless. Somewhere, people are being taught to respect everyone’s opinions, so when people have nothing to back up what they say, they start with, “it’s my opinion.” Guess what, you wrote it here, I know it’s your opinion, just give me, better yet, the op in this case, some background on why you believe this.

In reply to:
Im not trying to get into a pissing contest about it so no need for you to be offended.

If this was mp.com we would've had several responses to this already.

Offended by an online post, I hope your life is more interesting and offers more depth than that.

MP.com, lots of guides there that feel the same about AMGA too. I am not the only person who has this view in the industry.

This isn’t the first time this AMGA topic has been discussed on this website, or loads of other climbing forums.

In reply to:
And I too have all the things you spray about every chance you get gym, guide service, permits, amga membership, I just chose not to whip my dick out every five minutes.

Spray, guess we define that differently, but OK, I mention my experience when giving a serious response. Makes the reader understand where I am coming from a bit better. If I were reading this post, I would appreciate advice from someone who is guiding, has guided, or hires guides. Sort of like when I have a tax question, I rather have an answer from a tax accountant who deals with ex-pats instead of a random person who may or may not know what they are talking about.

The Climbing Gym and Guide Service you own. http://www.northtexasopc.com/about/staff/

How many of the guides who work for you are AMGA certified?
How many beyond SPI status?
Let's have a look: http://www.northtexasopc.com/about/staff/
When someone asks a question and I answer it, I don't mind giving my personal history or info to back up my comment. Gives a bit of credibility to what I post. I don’t need to hide who I am, or what my business is, because someone may not agree with me.

Heaven forbid, I may even “OFFEND” some readers here.

Emmanuel “Eman” Lacoste


FriscoWilderness


Nov 12, 2012, 5:31 AM
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I respect other peoples opinion and i know about the different views about the amga. Im one of those that believe the amga has a great program for aspiring guides, and it says alot for those that take their time and money to go through it. Its not for everyone but for myself and my business I feel it brings credibility to a business that is currently unregulated where its difficult for the layman to tell the good from the bad and to make an informed decision were lives are at stake. You said it yourself, have a tax question go to a cpa, if your looking for a guide find one thats certified by one of the two major cerifying organizations in the states not just someone that says they know something, but there guides and climbers out there that feel the opposite, so we do agree on that. i didnt say their the be all end all.

There is the right way, the wrong way and a million different ways of doing things and people should respect that. I appretiate you doing your due diligence of checking my background and business before attempting to loud mouth me again, Im not hidng, my link is in my profile for everyone to see. Not sure what your attempting to do by posting it except giving us some free marketing cause im proud of who we are, what we are doing and how we do it, but it does say alot about you as a person, a loud mouth holy'er than thou, im right everyone else is wrong ass, and i hope others will be able to see that as well. As you can see we are in the amga guide program and as the lead guide at my business i feel i should at a minimum be amga RIC and thats what im doing currently along with actual experience in the realm in which we guide. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Like I said before everything that I wrote was just my opinion it didnt come from the bible. Take it for what it is worth, a grain of salt.

In case you missed the link, here it is again:

http://www.northtexasopc.com/about/staff/

And just so you know its not personal, my company has been a fan of your facebook page when you first started construction.


Sorry i dont meet your worthiness to have an opinion.

Cheers
Christopher Gibson
The North Texas Outdoor Pursuit Center


(This post was edited by FriscoWilderness on Nov 12, 2012, 11:24 AM)


FriscoWilderness


Nov 12, 2012, 3:43 PM
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