Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Year in Review, Professionally.

Maybe you've seen me do this before, maybe you've just tuned it out. In reflecting on the year past, I dig into some of my professional record keeping and present a summary here. The data gets a little deeper each year, and the numbers tell new stories each time. Notable in 2016 is the balance of mountain time. Of 111 guiding days, I spent:

  • 12 on ice
  • 34 alpine climbing
  • 23 rock climbing
  • and 42 days skiing. 
I don't think I've ever hit double digit days in all four disciplines. 

Bugaboos. British Columbia. September 2016. 

Here's what my guiding life looked like, by the numbers:
  • I worked 67 guiding trips 
  • Of those, 49 were single-day outings. 
  • 7 were two day commitments. 
  • 7 were for 3 days 
  • 1 trip went for four days 
  • 1 trip was 5 days and one trip was 7 days 
  • I did a 11 day ski trip to Alaska's Chugach with an amazing group in May.  
  • Of all those trips, I slept in the backcountry for work about 35 nights. I also slept away from home, but in hotels and huts a great deal. 
  • That adds up to 111 guiding days. 
  • Of course, for every 3-4 guiding days, there is about one day of administrative work that includes packing, unpacking, food prep, etc. 
  • Of those 67 trips, fifteen of them were for alpine climbing (34 days worth). 
  • Nine were ice climbing, for a total of 12 ice guiding days in 2016. That's likely my most ever.  
  • 22 were rock climbing. (23 days)
  • 21 were for skiing. (42 days.)
  • I did five trips with folks that came directly to me. These fine guests were not the customers of another guide service nor had I climbed with them prior. They somehow found me, usually through word of mouth. 
  • 28 trips, for a total of 59 days, were with returning clients. This is also a milestone... More than half my work was with returning clients. Thanks team!
  • 18 trips were for educational purposes. Folks training or preparing for something else, in which I took a primarily instructional role. That's 29 days.
  • The next major category of trip objective, after education, is an amalgamation of mileage, exercise or excellent snow. These trips constituted 28 days over 15 trips. 
  • Finally, many folks come to me for a specific route or peak. In 2016 34 trips were initiated with a specific peak or route in mind. Of those 34, on only two did we not make the summit. This is unprecedented! The "normal" summit percentage in past years is closer to 60% than 2016's 94%! What good fortune... 
  • For comparison:
    • 2012 71% 
    • 2013 61% 
    • 2014 20% (An outlier. A rough year in the mountains... on the clock or off, I failed to "send" a number of big itineraries in 2014)
    • 2015 69%
  • Finally, and notably, I worked for my own company a total of 45 days in 2016. That's awesome! Much of that time was with the Certified Guides Cooperative, which is a great team that is steadily growing the guiding career in the US. 

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