Introductory Comments by George Dunn
How to sum up 2006? That's a tough one. Watershed year? Major landmark in the history of IMG? Pivotal point in our growth as a guide service? YES! 2006 was all of this and more.
After years of preparation and planning, the National Park Service issued a prospectus for two new guiding concessions on Mt. Rainier. This went out to bid in February, and we put in three very long months working on our submission. In November, our efforts came to fruition and IMG was awarded one of the new permits.
We are very, very happy and now very, very busy getting ready to run a full service guiding operation on Mt. Rainier. We'll be ready to go in early spring and will be running a full spectrum of new and innovative programs. We promise to continue to hold our Rainier trips to the same high standards, guided by the same great guides who lead climbs for us around the world. Most important for us, we are now back home, guiding on the mountain where we all started our guiding careers over 30 years ago.
Yep, I think I WILL reach 500 successes on Mt. Rainier after all. I figure it will be towards the end of the summer of 2008 if all goes well. I'm at 483 right now. Don't wait for two years to come climb with us, though. Help us kick off 2007 in a big way by visiting our new facility at the base of Rainier in Ashford, WA and participating in one of our climbs on The Mountain. We have GREAT guides, we guide at a ratio of one guide for every 2 climbers on ALL our Rainier trips, and we offer a wide assortment of programs to give you more options to best fit your needs.
So, now I have two full time jobs. Working on the new Rainier business doesn't mean I gave up climbing around the world. 2006 was a very busy and successful year of climbs and programs for me. Highlights include the Machu Picchu Trek in Peru with my 16 year old son, Jimmy, in July and August; a new route on a never before tried side of 16,000 foot Mt. Bona in Alaska in May; great climbing in the Pacific Northwest on Rainier, Mt. Adams and the North Cascades; the ever popular Ouray Ice Climbing; Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer's Route; rock climbing programs to Joshua Tree and Smith Rocks and lots more.
I'll be Chief Guide on Rainier this coming summer, but I'll be returning to my favorite haunts plus a new trip or two. I'll hope to see you on Mt. Whitney this March; Alaska in April or May; and Rainier, Mt. Adams or the North Cascades this summer. Let's hook up for a climb!