The Skagway Guide’s main responsibility is to carry out the company’s mission of providing clients with a safe, enjoyable, and educational wilderness experience. This position is best thought of as a “utility guide” position, where the guide will lead a variety of tours. Schedules and responsibilities will vary often in this position. A flexible attitude is crucial to the success and happiness of this guide. Our ultimate goal is satisfied passengers at the end of each trip.
General Overview of Tours:
The typical duration of a canoe tour is 4.5 hours, and the extended summit drive runs 5-6 hours in duration.
Summit Canoe Tour: Guests participating in one of our tours are greeted by their guides at one of the three cruise ship docks in Skagway and transported to the site in 15 passenger vans. During transit, the guide provides a variety of historical information about Skagway and the surrounding area in addition to information on the mountains, geology, and natural environment of the region.
Once we reach the lake, guests unload in a parking area along the Klondike Highway and take a short hike to the lakeshore. Guests are issued rubber boot, PFDs, canoe paddle and fleece and rain ponchos (based on the weather). The guests then receive a safety briefing and instruction from the lead guide before boarding the 31 ft voyageur canoes. The guide gives paddle instructions and operates a 4 or 6 horsepower outboard motor to navigate the lake for about 2 hours. The daily schedule allows for a guide to work up to three canoe trips in a day, but this is not a common everyday schedule.
Summit drive: Guest are met at the pier by the driver/guide. This is a narrated driving tour along the Klondike Highway to/from Carcross in the Yukon. Various roadside overlooks allow for multiple photo opportunities. Guides for this tour are expected to possess knowledge on a variety of topics in order to narrate and entertain guests for about 5 hours. Passports are required for guests and guides on this tour.
Additional Job Responsibilities
Other driving: As mentioned , this position is best thought of as a “utility guide” position. The majority of alternate tasks would include driving 15 passenger vans and 24 passenger buses for our Klondike Rock Climbing & Rappelling Adventure and our Adventure Park & Zip Line Adventure. Other tasks may include office support, dock repping (gathering other tours on the pier), site maintenance , and other miscellaneous tasks.
Employees may also be called on to participate in Haines-based long trip programs at any time. The opportunity to gather additional experience in any of these programs is a privilege. One of the key elements of the AMG and IWLS structure is the use of staff from Skagway for programs generally originating in Haines. The ability to be flexible with schedules and adapt to changes, sometimes with short notice, is a requirement and expectation of your employment.
Essential Job Functions
Experience Required to Perform Job Requirements
Staff training will provide a foundation for you to build & enhance your skills. It also serves to put in place a set of standards we expect all our staff to maintain. Prior to your arrival you will receive your Employee Manual and complete all AMG-specific employment paperwork. Upon your arrival to Skagway, you will complete all remaining U.S. employment paperwork.
All new employees must participate in Guides School Courses provided through the International Wilderness Leadership School (IWLS) for your chosen discipline (rock, rafting, canoe, etc.). As previously mentioned, IWLS is an accredited, recognized leader in experiential education. These courses will develop your technical, decision-making, and leadership skills. Successful completion of these courses will grant you IWLS certifications. These skills are transferrable and can be used with any similar employer or even for recreation purposes.
After these courses, the training will focus on company-specific policies and procedures. This segment will take the skills taught in the IWLS portion and teach you how to utilize them successfully as an employee of AMG/CG. Training length may vary depending on class size and how quickly you demonstrate leadership and technical proficiency. Employment is subject to your successfully completing the IWLS courses.
IWLS courses for Alaska Mountain Guides Canoe Guides:
Paid Training for all guides, 1-2 days (Emergency Response, Dock Rep training, etc). You may be required to cross-train and take additional training to expand your opportunities and provide greater flexibility.
Guide Program Equipment
Guides will be required to purchase a canoe guide kit for program use. The equipment kit consists of a PFD, rubber boots, a hard shell, and a soft shell Mountain Hardwear or Black Diamond jacket embroidered with the company logo. Your existing PFD and boots may suffice, but this is at management discretion.
The cost of the canoe guide kit will be deducted from guide wages.
Living Space and Rent Structure
AMG housing is located in the center of Skagway with immediate access to the entire town. Accommodations consist of shared rooms with up to 6 employees. Room sizes are generally moderate and a premium is placed on mutual respect for the living space and the other residents.