Friday, 17 July 2015
Clients, the unknown element.
One of the problems I face with some clients is that I don’t really know their experience in the mountains. If they are here for a few days I do a walk on the first day that gives me some idea of what they can do and how fit they are or not. Clients who come for just one day, usually to do Mulhacen are more of a problem. With little idea of what experience people have it is a bit of a gamble. Once you get to meet people however you do get a chance to get some idea of what to expect. Most claim to have and a long experience of walking in Britain and a few well aimed questions soon confirm this. Others talk of trips to ‘’base camp’’, having done ‘’Kili’’( Kilimanjaro) or the Inca trail. In late June I had a group of three women who where here to do Mulhacen before they then headed off to Granada for a couple of days. We met in the hotel bar on the evening before and in order to get some idea of what to expect I asked about their mountaineering experience. ‘’We’ve done, Ben Nevis, Sca Fell Pike and Snowdon. Mulhacen’s not much higher than those is it?’’ I had a slight panic as I explained that whilst summits in the UK are measured in feet, Mulhacen’s height was shown in meters and as a result was more than three times the height. ‘’Will that make a big difference then?’’ was the response. We did set out the next day on the understanding that we would see how far we got. The summit was in view for most of the walk but we got nowhere near we did however have a great walk in the mountains which at the end of the day is what we went out for. I cant say to much as many years ago at a house show back in the UK I glanced at a map of Andalucia and saw a height of 3482 and presumed it was in feet and thought ‘’OK so these hills will be a bit like the Lakes’’ it was hours later dawned on me that as it was a European map it would be meters. At the other end of the client scale I have had had those who opening lines are ‘’I’m a triathlete and want to bag a few peaks’’ I then end up chasing people up and down the mountains without taking a breather. Not my idea of fun at all.