Guiding on glaciers is serious business. Glaciers are an inherently dynamic environment which makes traveling on open ice a potentially dangerous activity, even with the proper equipment. Most travelers realize this, and that is why novice travelers choose to explore glaciers with a guide. However, it is important to know that just because a company offers guided glacier trips doesn't mean that your guide will necessarily have adequate training to keep you safe on the ice. In recent years, we have seen other companies' guides on the ice who literally have only a couple days of glacier guiding experience, leading clients through some very dangerous areas of the glacier.
As you've probably seen mentioned elsewhere on our site, in a recent operations review, we are the only company found to be operating on Exit Glacier without serious operational safety concerns.
At Exit Glacier Guides, we pride ourselves in our guide's expertise. We provide, by far, the most extensive, rigorous in-house training of any company in Seward, and we invest a lot of resources into making sure that our clients are safe. We believe we have an ethical responsibility to make sure that every guide has the tools and training necessary to provide a safe experience for all of our customers.
We are a glacier guiding company, and we provide training that is specific to the glaciers that we operate on. Our guides are not kayaking guides that have been turned into glacier guides overnight. The two skills are very different, and it takes more than a couple of days of training to teach a novice how to safely guide on the glacier. Our guides are all dedicated glacier guides who have honed their skills in our shop, and through experience gathered through their own studies. Collectively and individually, our guides have climbed some of the most challenging peaks around the world, and they are always pushing their limits and honing their skills in the off-season — it's what they do.
We received over fifty qualified applicants for this season, and we only took the four best to fill our open spots. Many of our guides have guided glaciers with us for four or more years, and those guides are some of the best in the industry.
Our training program consists of the following:
- Two weeks of dedicated glacier skills training on Exit Glacier conducted by multi-year returning senior guides with current AMGA certifications. AMGA certifications are regarded as the gold standard for the guiding industry.
- Mentorship program designed to cultivate novice guides with leadership skills over the course of two to three years
- New guides shadow under lead and senior guides for a minimum of 2 months and 30-50 trips before consideration to become a co-lead guide
- Personal skills training on Exit Glacier following AMGA course standards instructed by senior guides
- Funding for personal skills development through AMGA certs provided for returning guides