I haven't posted in quite some time, been very busy, but I've been lingering in the background occasionally.
My post is for experienced alpine mountaineers who have climbed some big mountains out west and outside of the 48.
I have taken training courses on ice climbing, avalanche assessment, basic mountaineering skills, crevasse rescue, and had countless teachable moments when hiking with my father in-law who has been at it for 30 years. This winter I am putting my independent skills to the test more when I go climbing and mountaineering in my backyard in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
My question is this - When do I stop worrying about training courses and guide services, and when do I start doing it on my own. I already do a fair amount of research on mountains and routes before I go on a trip anyways, but I'm getting to the point where I'd like to do something bigger. No reason to debate where I'm going, but I've picked an appropriate, beginner/intermediate route on a couple of mountains in the Northern Cascades.
What I'm unsure of is whether or not I should bother paying $600+ for a guide service, when their only real use to me would be the knowledge they have of the area.
Should I just save that hard earned money and do it with just my party? I can research the route, buy a guide book, and buy maps. Shouldn't that tell me what the guide will also tell me? I feel like part of the purpose of the guide is to instruct climbers, but I've had that instruction and I'm starting to feel like I shouldn't keep paying for it.
Thanks in advance!