More on Alaska Guide Training to give you a clearer look at one of the most difficult career choices men and women can make.
Pioneer Outfitters has been training Alaska Guides since 1924. As horse-outfitters in the remote, interior of Alaska, the guides are trained in a year-round schedule and in a “hands-on” environment.
Chisana, home to Pioneer Outfitters, is located inside the Wrangell – St. Elias National Park & Preserve. In this fly-in area, Pioneer Outfitters has made it’s home here, year-round since Lou Anderton and Bud Hickethier became partners in their love of Alaska.
The Guides trained by Pioneer Outfitters are accepted anywhere in the United States, including Alaska, as Professional Guides of the highest caliber and as capable of safely guiding clients and guests through the toughest lands of North America after and to some of the most dangerous game in Alaska.
The training itself, weeds out the weak (or mind or body) and the undetermined, easily. Charging Guide Trainees with limited and simple responsibilities thins out a small percentage more.
The final cut comes after a trainee comes after a licensed Professional Alaska Guide. The responsibility, even with clear instruction and support, is enormous and some just cannot or will not stand under the pressure.
This last, was a major factor in how Pioneer Outfitters trains Alaska Guides. For at least one to two years as an Assistant Guide, another more proven, more experienced guide is always in the same camp for advice, support and back-up.
Personally, I’ve seen many Guide Trainees become Alaska Guides. I have also felt the blow when a particularly promising trainee, quits.
A Guide Trainee, that an observer could simply feel, could bring the Professional Guiding Industry something special. Someone that could be counted on to be able to and inspired towards improving the standards and practices as a whole. This one, quits.
I try to feel good about this. (Really.) No matter how I personally may feel about or enjoy a particular Guide Trainee or another, the overall good of the industry must come first.
The Professional Alaska Guides and the safety and knowledge they provide people that visit this great state, the Last Frontier,are what matters most.