When we got the call the person on the other end of the line asked us an honest and simple question: “We’re experienced hikers, do we really need a guide on Mt Washington?” Our reply was that sometimes you and sometimes you don’t, most of the time people can get away without one. It’s not a sales pitch, obviously, and it is quite true. We told the caller that people do get injured up there and some die, but it’s usually more inexperienced people and the vast majority of folks don’t die and don’t suffer any problems at all. We also added that guides, however, can be worth their weight in gold if things go awry or if the weather gets gnarly. Moreover, guides can often prevent things from going awry in the first place using their judgement skill. And if that’s not enough, guides also offer their value-added insights, stories, recommendations, and wisdom. A good guide brings a lot to the table, not just an ability to hike with you or save your life. A good guide can even make possible an experience that might otherwise deter the unguided. The caller said that was exactly the answer she was looking for and booked with us at once. Two for Mt Washington, please.
We put the caller and her friend with Redline Guide Ryan Mcguire. We briefed Ryan about the conversation asking him to bring something extra and he took it from there. As it turned out, mother nature provided that “something extra” by way of the weather. Windy, rainy, ice, sleet… yuck. It’s the type of weather that would have turned the pair and most normal hikers around before the Lakes of the Clouds hut. Because of Ryan, his ability and his confidence on being able to summit safely, the pair decided to keep going with Ryan in the lead. The result of this madness: the pair of southern belles followed Ryan to the summit of Mt Washington (6288′). It’s not winter yet, but the lines up there get blurred real fast.
To expand on this very subject, Ryan provided his own summary, as follows:
A recent New Hampshire transplant and her friend, both from the South, decided they wanted to take on the Rockpile but lacked the experience and decision-making skills. But I was ready to take them up my favorite mountain. I joked with them throughout the trip that they requested the full value ‘type 2’ experience. And that’s exactly what they got. What with the rain, freezing rain, and gusts up to 70 mph they got that and more, in fact. It may not be winter yet, but the mountain doesn’t know that. They’re fortunate. They experienced the serenity of the mountain by having it all to themselves. —Ryan
Good lead, Ryan. You provided a legitimate experience. And congratulations to the team! Thanks for crushing it with Redline Guiding!