Guide for a new company? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-20-2017   #1
 
Laradise, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Feb 2017
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Guide for a new company?

Hey there,

I need some advice on guiding this summer. I am a second year and have definitely caught the bug. I was on Browns Canyon last summer working for a very small company in Buena Vista. This summer I am considering working for a different company either on the Poudre, Big Horn Sheep Canyon, or Clear Creek.

My question is should I leave a small, personal company that paid low and was very disorganized. The owner is an awesome man (kind, soft spoken, lots of life experience) he just sucks to work for (very passive aggressive, favorites, and poor communication). Or jump to a bigger production company on a new river? I've rent a guided for River Runners and it was nice having all the logistics taken care of, lots of guides to socialize with, and opportunity to learn from experienced people.

I want to become a better guide not only in how to read water but also learning the attributes of a professional guide. Should I stay loyal to a small company or move on to something more?

What have your experiences been like? Have you ever switched companies? What kind of company do you work for?

Thank you in advance for your input!

Sam

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Old 02-20-2017   #2
 
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FOCO, Colorado
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If you really want to take the plunge head east to West Virginia, long season lots of guides, easy to camp. Great whitewater.
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Old 02-20-2017   #3
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Bellevue, Idaho
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Originally Posted by srichte3 View Post
....he just sucks to work for (very passive aggressive, favorites, and poor communication).....
The river should be awesome. All bosses need to be bosses sometimes but you have answered your question.
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Old 02-20-2017   #4
 
Laradise, Wyoming
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For sure. Do you have any recommendations for company's?
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Old 02-20-2017   #5
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Tabernash, Colorado
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I think you probly answered your own question to.

I used to work down on the Royal Gorge and Big horn, for a now defunct small company, definitely loved it down there. Was certainly a good river community, fun social scene to, just got to be careful to stay out of trouble! ( Or at least I did) Definitely a good spot to improve your boating skills, if you get good at running the Gorge, you will have a pretty solid base for boating succeeding on a lot of different rivers. Once I had a few years experiance, I was able to stay pretty busy, and got a lot of opportunity to develop as a guide, somebody always seemed to need renta guides if I wasn't working.
If this were last summer, I would tell you to go rent a guide at a few places to see where you felt like you fit in best. Sounds like Runners might be a good home if you go back to the Ark, at least you've enjoyed working there.

If there are other rivers you always wanted to do, or even other kinds of trips, like run multi days all the time, now might be your chance for that to.

Signed dear abby
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Old 02-20-2017   #6
 
Laradise, Wyoming
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Thank you for your input! I just talked to the head boatman from last summer and he said I would be able to TL more, my pay would increase, and there are only four guides returning this summer and I wouldn't have to start at the bottom of a new company. I know no situation is completely perfect and I am totally fine working hard and putting it long days. It was cool only having to take three boats down river for a half day, but incredibly stressful when the boss decides to run 10 boats when we really don't have the capacity. What are some qualities of a well run company in your eyes?
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Old 02-21-2017   #7
 
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FOCO, Colorado
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I always suggest West Virginia for a lot of young guides for two reasons. One the season length, longer than anywhere else. Training starts early march, Gauley season isn't over until mid October. You will get some class five time in, you will see big water, it's easier to be more aggressive then Colorado, water is deeper and a lot warmer, plus drop pool river allows you to run bigger stuff because you can recover at the bottom.
Next is camping, pretty easy to find living without being in a dirt parking lot, and it's usually free. Don't get me wrong if you like the small company feel this is the exact opposite. Huge corporate rafting, trips pulling out every 15 to 30 minutes. You will make lots of lifelong friends and more work for younger guides because of all the other trips like zip line, climbing trips, etc etc.
Adventures on the gorge.
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Old 02-21-2017   #8
Dipshit with the most.
 
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Bellevue, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srichte3 View Post
What are some qualities of a well run company in your eyes?
Quote:
Originally Posted by srichte3 View Post
(very passive aggressive, favorites, and poor communication)
Not this. I could forgive the last two that seems to be the norm but #1 on YOUR list is not cool. Life is too short for that shit.

If you don't have to deal with him then no problem but it sounds like you do.
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Old 02-21-2017   #9
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Portland, Oregon
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Little confused on the boss he is kind but also passive aggressive? Will just leave that out for you to decide. If he is a good guy are not. I know working at a small company big trips with lots of rafts would stress the boss out because he was not set up for that.

I worked for a really small company when I started out. I did a couple of things that might work for you: One, after work I would hang out with some guides from bigger companies. After awhile the lead guides new me and I got some rent a guide work that helped me get some experience working in that big company system. Two, I talked to the owner about selling trips and getting commission. Good win for both of us and I bumped my pay up big time and used my non river days to sell trips.

Big raft companies tend to have their systems in place and you go with the flow. Small companies you can write an organization or logistic plan up and sit down with the owner and see what they think. If it is good they just might implement it.

FYI: I stuck it out at the small company with the experienced, disorganized fly by the seat owner. I ended up buying it when the owner retired. By then I was running the company anyway.


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Old 02-21-2017   #10
 
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Hampden, Massachusetts
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I work for a large commercial company. Love it.

Season from last weekend in March to Columbus Day. 4 years full time during summer through college. Now I am going on my 7th year as a weekend warrior guide/"call me if you need me" guide.

Definitely make the pilgrimage to West Virginia. If not to work, then definitely to play.
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