April 23, 2018
Justin Merle began guiding on Mt. Rainer in 1999 and hasn’t stopped. Since his first climb as a guide, he’s accumulated over 160 summits of Mt. Rainier and countless other summits here in the Great Pacific Northwest and worldwide, including seven summits of Mt. Everest. Merle, an AMGA certified Alpine Guide, has shown tremendous leadership over the years and he has earned the position of Chief Guide. The Chief Guide role at IMG has been held by Justin’s good friend, mentor and longtime guide, IMG Partner George Dunn.
“I’m delighted to pass on the role of Chief Guide to veteran IMG Guide Justin Merle. Justin has been with IMG from the start and he is a proven guide with experience based on years of leading programs around the world. Most importantly, Justin has the respect and friendship of the entire guide staff at IMG.” – George Dunn
In this new role for Justin, he’ll direct our great team of Guide Supervisors, oversee new guide hiring, training and ongoing guide development. Additionally, throughout the Rainier season Merle will consult with the IMG staff as well as the National Park Service and the other Rainier Guide Services on mountain conditions, route development and risk management on the mountain.
“I’m humbled to be named Chief Guide at IMG. I’ve looked up to George Dunn, Phil Ershler and Eric Simonson since my first climb in 1999. They’ve been great leaders, mentors, bosses and friends. I’m looking forward to these new responsibilities, especially working with the guide staff. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that we can all be better guides, and that starts this weekend with our Spring Guide Training. Time to get to work!” – Justin Merle
While Merle has been promoted to Chief Guide, George Dunn isn’t going anywhere. He’ll continue to oversee the entire Rainier Program at IMG. Look for George and Justin on the snowfield this summer!