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Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby Hobopoet » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:16 am

I'm a personal trainer here in Michigan. I have several clients who have expressed interest in training for and (attempting!) to summit one or more of the Colorado 14ers. This would be a commercial venture since we would charge our clients. Speaking generally, what should I know before trying something like this? Many thanks!

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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby SKIBREC » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:26 pm

u cant do it on most 14ers...if there on forest service or wilderness land or blm land.......u must have a permit which you wouldnt be able to get...sorry.........
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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby pills2619 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:08 pm

Why would he not be able to get the permit? Just wondering...
They forget that some crisis is necessary to hone skill. "Near misses," those brief encounters with the reality of mortality, are great learning tools if properly approached. -Denali Climbers Guidebook

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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby GregMiller » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:58 pm

Forest Service:
Looks like you'd need a special use permit (http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/recreation/special-use/) and/or an outfitter/guide permit (http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/recreation/special-use/guides/index.shtml)

BLM:
http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/special_recreation.html

Basically, it sounds like it's a whole lot of paperwork, and I wouldn't be surprised if they denied you, if you didn't have all the insurace/technical knowledge/whatever they want. I'd say figure out a couple you want to do, find who the manages the land (USFS vs. BLM) and give the local field office a call.
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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby DaveSwink » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:01 pm

farcedude wrote: I'd say figure out a couple you want to do, find who the manages the land (USFS vs. BLM) and give the local field office a call.


If dealing with the Feds turns out to be challenging, call the ranch at Culebra to discuss your plans. Culebra would raise your costs by $100/head but might allow you to avoid red-tape.

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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby SKIBREC » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:23 pm

better chance of walking on the moon than getting a permit for guiding on 14ers.....sorry just the way it is
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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby pvnisher » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:01 am

SKIBREC wrote:better chance of walking on the moon than getting a permit for guiding on 14ers.....sorry just the way it is


That's weird, there are many companies and individuals that guide on CO 14ers, but even NASA doesn't have manned moonlift capability anymore.

http://www.crestedbutteguides.com/page.cfm?pageid=8889
http://www.ontopmountaineering.com/14000ski.htm
http://www.hiphost.com/experiences/1188-Ever-wanted-to-climb-a-14er-but-been-scared-Fear-not-in-the-capable-hands-of-your-personal-guide-in-Westminster
http://www.aspenalpine.com/

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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby susanjoypaul » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:38 am

Work with one of the guide services that already has a permit (pvnisher started a list for you ^^^). The insurance, etc. can be very expensive (a friend of mine pays $30,000 a year for guiding insurance) and they've already done the paperwork and shelled out the cash. Ask them about their permits, insurance, and of course their experience before you sign anything. Get references - people who have climbed with them - and call them.

You can charge your clients for the training and manage the logistics of travel, transportation, rooms, etc. and charge them for that, either separately or combined with the guide service's cost. If you set up an annual trip with a guide service and can guarantee enough clients, they may cut you a good deal.

You do not want to get caught guiding without a permit. You can get fined and even banned from the area:

Man Fined, Banned, Burned, Hanged, Drawn and Quartered for Guiding in Grand Canyon without Permit

Okay, so I exaggerated a bit.

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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby pills2619 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:08 pm

@SkiBreck Yeah 14ers while yes special are still part of the National Forest which allows numerous different guided operations from hunting to fishing and hiking to everything in between but I can't imagine that there is a special little note that says everywhere but on 14ers. I think it would be a lot easier to get a permit like that than a permit to log, and logging happens everyday. Anyways if your gonna be negative about the whole thing you better have some experience to speak from and so far you haven't provided any.
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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby cftbq » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:31 pm

susanjoypaul wrote:You do not want to get caught guiding without a permit. You can get fined and even banned from the area:


Of course, Susan's right, but, then, my mother always said, "Never pass up a good chance to keep your mouth shut."
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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby flintster » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:05 pm

Hobopoet wrote:I'm a personal trainer here in Michigan. I have several clients who have expressed interest in training for and (attempting!) to summit one or more of the Colorado 14ers. This would be a commercial venture since we would charge our clients. Speaking generally, what should I know before trying something like this? Many thanks!


My personal trainer in Colorado, who is 33, fit, and strong...was sucking wind on his 1st 14er, which was Quandary in the summer time. I am also 33, decently fit, not so strong, but have spent my whole life skiing and playing the mountains, and can run a lap on Quandary. I just do well at high altitudes, always have.

Don't think just cuz you are a trainer that it puts you in some elite fitness category, nor does it make you prepared nor even able to lead someone else up a 14er, let alone yourself. Why would anyone hire a first timer to lead them on something they are doing for the first time?!? :?

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Re: Commercial ventures on the 14ers

Postby Vincopotamus » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:13 pm

pills2619 wrote:@SkiBreck Yeah 14ers while yes special are still part of the National Forest which allows numerous different guided operations from hunting to fishing and hiking to everything in between but I can't imagine that there is a special little note that says everywhere but on 14ers. I think it would be a lot easier to get a permit like that than a permit to log, and logging happens everyday. Anyways if your gonna be negative about the whole thing you better have some experience to speak from and so far you haven't provided any.


I don't think he(she?) was saying that you wouldn't be able to get a permit to guide just because they are 14ers, but because getting permitted to outfit/guide on federal land is formidable. As someone else explained, it does require a lot of paperwork and requisite insurance/expertise/qualifications and probably an unhealthy dollop of luck to get your permit approved.

Many FS offices will also consider whether there is a real demand or shortage for outfitters/guides on a given district. I used to work on the Columbine Ranger District of the San Juan NF (containing the west half of the Weminuche), where the District Ranger determined that outfitter/guide use on the district was at it's functional carrying capacity, so no new permits until one of the existing permits was terminated. They had a highly experienced outfitter/guide administrator who was up to his ears managing the current outfitters/guides on the district. The person in his job before him was a good ol' boy who made a lot of handshake agreements and turned a blind eye to many violations by outfitters, so the current guy is trying to get everyone sorted out and playing by the rules before he can even consider adding new permits.
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