Employment with Alpine Ascents International

Mountain Guides

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We are currently accepting applications for the 2020 summer season.

We actively recruit mountain guides who are dedicated to pursuing excellence in guiding and teaching on the world’s most beautiful and challenging mountains. Alpine Ascents is a world leader in guiding great mountains around the globe for over 20 years. We guide on seven continents and operate climbing programs on Mt. Rainier, in the North Cascades, and in Denali National Park. Alpine Ascents has offices in Seattle, Washington and Talkeetna, Alaska.

Mountain guiding is a highly demanding field which requires great physical and emotional stamina, patience, solid technical skills, strong decision-making abilities, and a passion for imparting knowledge to others. In turn, guides are rewarded with a life in the outdoors, professional growth and development opportunities and very competitive wages. Successful mountain guides applicants will possess the following skills and certifications:

  • Strong understanding and mastery of alpine climbing skills
  • Ability to assess the needs of the individual and group for safety and success
  • Teaching techniques appropriate for adult learners with various climbing abilities
  • Experience climbing (and preferably guiding) in the areas where Alpine Ascents offers programs
  • Ability to perform and teach self-arrest and crevasse rescue skills
  • Minimum of three years alpine climbing and preferably guiding experience
  • Excellent ability to lead, communicate effectively and efficiently, be congenial to co-workers, clients, and the general public when guiding, and teach in a kind and friendly manner under stressful conditions.
  • Maintain current WFR, CPR, and avalanche certifications. Lead guides on Mt. Rainier must hold an Avalanche II certification.
  • Hold a valid U.S. driver’s license

We are actively recruiting female guides.

Most guides begin on our domestic programs in Washington guiding on Mt. Rainier and in the North Cascades. Those who successfully complete 1-2 seasons in Washington are often asked to guide on expeditions such as Denali, Aconcagua, or the Mexico Volcanoes. A select few guides will be offered the opportunity to join us as guides in the Himalayas, on Kilimanjaro, and in Antarctica.

Qualified applicants will be invited to attend a training/assessment in the spring of 2020. This training is designed to familiarize guides with the teaching methods and philosophy of Alpine Ascents guiding. Those who successfully complete this training will be scheduled for the summer season and are expected to be available from May-September. Housing is provided for guides between most trips.

Experienced Guides

Guides with 5+ years of professional mountain guiding experience are welcome to send an employment resume, completed climbing resume, and letter of interest to [email protected]. Guides will be interviewed and hired based on need and availability.

Alaska Guides

Guides with significant Alaska guiding experience who meet the above criteria and are interested in working in our Alaska program should send an employment resume, completed climbing resume, and letter of interest to [email protected]. Preference will be given to guides with successful Denali guiding experience. Qualified guides will be interviewed and hired based on need and availability.

Gear Staff

We are now accepting applications for our 2020 Gear Staff positions. Please take a look at the full position description and other hiring information available here. To apply, email resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject: Gear Staff Position. Please communicate clearly regarding your availability in your cover letter. Interviews and hiring will take place on a rolling basis until available positions are filled.

To Apply

Please submit the following to the Director of Field Operations, Jonathon Spitzer at [email protected]:

  1. Completed Pre-Employment Application
  2. Professional Outdoor Employment Resume
  3. Completed Climbing Resume– we are most interested in your experience climbing and/or guiding in glaciated terrain (but include all climbing you consider relevant)
  4. Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or equivalent; CPR certifications.  Indicate your intention to obtain or recertify if not current.
  5. Copy of Avalanche Level 1 course completion
  6. AMGA certificates are not required, but carry additional weight in the hiring process
  7. If you are not a US citizen, please submit employment eligibility documentation such as a current work visa or green card.

Once we receive these items, our guide management team will review your qualifications and certifications.  Applicants will be invited to interview in person or over the phone with at least one member of our guide management team.   We will make hiring decisions within a month of the interview.

All newly hired guides are required to participate in a 10-day pre-employment training on Mount Baker and Mount Rainier from April 18-28, 2020. This training is designed to familiarize guides with the teaching methods and philosophy of Alpine Ascents guiding. The training is paid and on-mountain breakfasts and dinners are provided.

Once this training session is completed, the applicant is in position to begin employment. The exact starting dates will depend on our staffing needs.

All application materials are held in confidence. Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Alpine Ascents is an equal opportunity employer actively encouraging applicants of age, race, religion, color, handicap, sex, physical condition, developmental disability, sexual orientation or national origin.

It is the policy of Alpine Ascents International not to discriminate against any employee or any applicant for employment because of age, race, religion, color, handicap, sex, physical condition, developmental disability, sexual orientation or national origin. This policy shall include, but not be limited to, the following: recruitment and employment, promotion, demotion, transfer, compensation, selection for training including apprenticeship, layoff and termination. Except with respect to sexual orientation, this company further agrees to take affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunities.

Why do you like guiding at Alpine Ascents?

Hannah McGowan

hannah mcgowan

Alpine Ascents Guide
Alpine Ascents cultivates strong mentorship and friendship between guides by promoting a culture of growth and support. I believe that people do their best work when they feel empowered, and Alpine Ascents does a remarkable job of making that happen. It seems easy to feel home here, between the inspiring caliber of my co-guides, the hilarious asides in company-wide emails, and Alpine Ascents’ commitment to diversity. When I came to Alpine Ascents from another PNW guide service and was asked if I’d rather participate in the all female returning guide training or the co-ed one at the beginning of the season, I was blown away! I immediately felt that I was in the right place, and as time when on I realized I have never felt more valued by an employer than I do here.

 

Patrick Chu

patrick chu

Alpine Ascents Guide
Working at AAI for the last six seasons has provided me with extensive opportunities for professional growth and development in the mountain guiding craft. I feel that the company sets a high standard for employee satisfaction through flexible scheduling, competitive wages, guide housing, and quality in-house trainings. The logistical support provided by our world-class operations staff ensures that our programs run smoothly and that clients are properly equipped for the field. Last and most importantly, the phenomenal guide staff at AAI keep my stoke high for coming back year after year.

 

Paul Koubek

paul koubek

Alpine Ascents Guide
There are a number of things that I like about working for Alpine Ascents, including: quality supervision, great coworkers, and cool diversity of work. I’ve worked for Alpine Ascents in the Alps, the Alaska Range, the Cascades, Aconcagua, Southern Patagonia, on Kilimanjaro, and in Indonesia (Carstensz Pyramid) – the list goes on. That, plus real reliability as an employer is why I have chosen Alpine to be my primary employer since 2007.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Alpine Ascents offer internship opportunities?

Unfortunately at this time we do not offer internship opportunities. We do hire summer gear and logistics staff each spring for the summer season, which offers a great deal of learning about working for a guiding company, but does not include field time. If you are interested in opportunities as a summer staff employee, positions will be posted in early January.  You can e-mail Matt Miller at [email protected] at that time.

Do you provide housing?

Yes. We maintain a guide house in Ashford, WA and Sedro-Wooley, WA.

How many days can a guide expect to work in the summer season?

Guides can generally expect 60+ days of work in the summer season depending on performance and availability.

The expedition was great. Very well organized. Very good acclimatization schedule. I would highly recommend this climb to anyone wanting to gain experience and take the next step to climbing over 6000 meters.

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Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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