Mentorship matters in the world of mountain guiding. You can’t do this alone.
In this second episode of “Peaks and Passages,” a new video series by KGB Productions and supported by Flylow, we take a close look at the insular world of professional mountain guides in the Teton range. This episode, directed by Chris Kitchen, looks at the community of ski guides through the eyes of both longstanding veteran guides and new, young upstarts. It asks some important questions: How are mentors made in ski guiding and what do they bring to the table? Can you operate as a guide in your own individual snow globe, or do you need the camaraderie and support of other guides?
“You need mentorship to learn how to be a capable person in the mountains, but it has to be this sort of organic thing,” says mountain guide Morgan McGlashon. Guides aren’t wizards operating on their own out there, McGlashon adds. “We are fortunate that we have a strong community,” she says.
In the Tetons and elsewhere, guides share information—for the benefit of everyone. Data, observations, and updates flow from guide to guide, whether they’re colleagues or competitors working for different guiding companies. Young guides learn from older ones and vice-versa. “Mentorship helps give meaning to experience. That’s somebody you can bring your near-miss or your accident to to help make sense of the story,” says Lynne Wolfe, editor of the Avalanche Review and a retired mountain guide.
The episode follows guides including McGlashon, Aaron Diamond, Adam Fabrikant, Zahan Billimoria, and others.