Work for and learn from an established guide service in remote Alaska

guiding in alaska

The goal of our internship program is to provide participants with the unique and exciting opportunity to experience many facets of working for, and the operations involved in, running a guide service in the remote community of McCarthy, Alaska.

St. Elias Alpine Guides is located in the heart of the largest National Park in the United States – Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. For the past 30 years we have been based out of the historic Motherlode Powerhouse in the charming and unique, tiny mountain community of McCarthy, Alaska. Our staff currently numbers approximately 30 outdoor professionals dedicated to giving our customers the ultimate outdoor experience.

Participants will take part in guide training for: glacier hikes, alpine hikes, historical tours, local flora/fauna/geology, and, depending on experience and motivation, ice climbing seminars. Focus will be placed on safety, leadership, and client experience.

Depending on experience and ability, participants will independently lead historic tours and will assist senior guides on glacier hikes and possibly ice climbing.

Participants will live with our guides at our rustic compound, centered around the historic Motherlode Powerhouse, in McCarthy, AK. Along with the guides, they will take part in a wide variety of duties unique to operating a guide service in a remote, Alaskan bush community.

Depending on experience, participants will have the opportunity to take part in at least one multi-day, backpacking or rafting trip to a wide variety of destinations within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. These trips range from 4 to 12 days and will be paid for by the company.

Throughout the program, participants will be exposed to a wide variety of tasks and issues surrounding the operation of a long established guide service in a National Park that is relatively new, rapidly evolving, and very remote.

As in many outdoor programs, the work is generally mentally and physically demanding with long hours spent working in challenging environments. Those looking for a glamorous mountain guiding job should look elsewhere. As with any experience, you get out of it what you put into it, and the rewards can be spectacular. Interns are expected to come prepared with a good attitude and a willingness to work hard at any task they are given. These tasks can range from repairing broken gear or helping with vehicle repairs, to giving slideshows to guests of the local lodge or general maintenance, like cleaning the outhouse. While we realize that all staff members want good day and backcountry trips, promotion and reward within the company is entirely based on merit. Additionally, interns are expected to make every effort to be positive, contributing members of our community.

glacier guides in alaska

Round trip transportation between Anchorage, AK and McCarthy, AK.
$500/month stipend
Room and (basic) board provided by St. Elias Alpine Guides.
Opportunity to participate in our pro-purchase program.
Training including: guiding techniques, natural history, Alaskan backcountry travel skills, rope work, and rescue skills.

For our 2021 season, St. Elias Alpine Guides will be leading trips starting May 29th and ending September 12th. Training will start sometime in the second half of May and interns are required to attend. Intern program participants are asked for a minimum commitment of two and a half months (until August 15th) but are encouraged to stay until late September if their schedule allows.

Please email the following three items to [email protected]:

  1. A cover letter stating why you are interested in working for us, as well as which position(s) you are interested in and your dates of availability for summer 2021
  2. A current and detailed work history resume
  3. A current and detailed resume or summary of outdoor experience/qualifications

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