That said, as far as the overall question of guide vs. no guide goes, I think NathanRL already said it best:
But to add on a little, I think it’s worthwhile to consider your long-term goals in the mountains. Are you thinking of taking on the 13k’ Centennials once you’ve finished the fourteeners? Three of those have unavoidable sections of low Class 5, and you may find it more prudent to take classes, join a gym, etc. and invest in the equipment that you’ll need in order to do those on your own or with friends who have similar levels of experience - that would be easier on your checking account than lining up guiding services for at least three more peaks!NathanRL wrote: ↑Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:41 amDo hire a guide.
Do hire a guide because they're someone who loves being in the mountains, is trying to make a living doing it, and can show you the way, tell some good stories, and maybe teach you a thing or two.
You're not any less skilled if you go with a guide than if you go by yourself, unless that skill is routefinding.
You are more safe, and safety's great. Safety's worth a lot of money.
This just reeks of the way climbers will say "oh, you climbed that route? Yeah, well I soloed it." We both got ourselves to the top. You might be a stronger climber than I, or you might just have a higher risk tolerance, so you decided not to use protection. But taking fewer safety precautions doesn't make anyone cooler. Do whatever's comfortable for you.
However, if you want the one-off outing of doing the Traverse without having to buy all the gear and hoping your/your partner’s skills are ultimately up to the challenge, go ahead and get a guide! It’s no less of an achievement, IMHO, if you pay someone in $$$ to help you across than if you pay them in rides/pizza/beer (which is how I have firsthand knowledge of 2/3 of those Class 5 Cents, as well as firsthand knowledge of just how bad I am at Class 5 climbing :X ), and you’re still learning and building your skill base under settings that are as reduced-risk as it’s possible to find in such circumstances.