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Kaf Adventures


Original Post
Jeffrey K · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0
  • edit 6/19*

    I'd still recommend KAF climbing courses for sport but I'd definitely check student to instructor ratio before paying and probably steer clear of the advanced course.
Brian Campbell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 16

I'm really glad to hear you had a good experience. KAF has a bad reputation for unethical guiding practices. Unless I'm mistaken, either KAF or the owner has been officially cited for illegal guiding in Leavenworth. It is pretty difficult to actually get caught doing something illegal guiding. What that usually means is that if you get caught once you probably broke the law many, many times. I genuinely hope that KAF ha cleaned up their act and they are offering legitimately good products.

Eric Thompson · · Mountlake Terrace wa · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 125

That's so interesting Brian.  Who caught them?  The guide police?  Did they take him to guide jail? Mick is a solid person and Kaf doesn't have a bad reputation.  If you're the type of person that pays for instruction KAF isn't a bad place to get it.  I'm not friends with anyone there.  

Brian Campbell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 16
Eric Thompson wrote: That's so interesting Brian.  Who caught them?  The guide police?  Did they take him to guide jail? Mick is a solid person and Kaf doesn't have a bad reputation.  If you're the type of person that pays for instruction KAF isn't a bad place to get it.  I'm not friends with anyone there.  
I bet some form of Federal Law Enforcement caught them. It seems more likely that they were on federal land than state land. I do not know what the punishment was/is for breaking whatever the law is that they broke but I doubt anyone went to jail. This is pure speculation, but I bet there was a fine and a promise to never do it again.
Ryan Dubberly · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 76
Brian Campbell wrote: I'm really glad to hear you had a good experience. KAF has a bad reputation for unethical guiding practices. Unless I'm mistaken, either KAF or the owner has been officially cited for illegal guiding in Leavenworth. It is pretty difficult to actually get caught doing something illegal guiding. What that usually means is that if you get caught once you probably broke the law many, many times. I genuinely hope that KAF ha cleaned up their act and they are offering legitimately good products.
Interesting. I haven't heard this, and I've heard only good things. Source?
Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,655

Years ago, I was walking down Mt. Hood (while working) and saw Mick guiding two clients up.  He was for sure working illegally as the company I work for is the only active permit holder for technical climbing on the mountain.  To Brian's point, I didn't do or say anything because unless law enforcement/a ranger shows up and saw him breaking the law, it wouldn't have gone anywhere.  After that, a coworker made up a fake email account and emailed KAF asking if they would guide them (illegally) up Hood and they said they would.

I have a lot of friends who are friends with Mick and I've cragged with him and them for a day.  I'm sure he's a good guy, but his business practices drive me crazy.  It's really easy to legitimately guest guide in Leavenworth and on Hood, but on multiple occasions, it appears that he's ignored that fact and run trips illegally.

Jeffrey K · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

Huh, interesting!

I can't speak to any of their guide service, just the intermediate rock climbing course.

I was pretty familiar with anchors, rappel and lead from self study but I'm more of a hands on learner and our instructor, David, was great. In stages he had us mock lead up, clean an anchor, place an anchor, rappel, do an easy lead and then put it all together.

Really nice way to safely practice what I already had knowledge of and much better than doing it in a gym, imo.

Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50

This thread feels spammy

Jeffrey K · · Seattle, WA · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0
Roamin' Buffalo wrote: This thread feels spammy

The thread you refreshed from almost two weeks ago giving appreciative feedback on a local climbing company?

You feel trolly.
Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50
Jeffrey K wrote:

The thread you refreshed from almost two weeks ago giving appreciative feedback on a local climbing company?

You feel trolly.

Its spelled B-u-f-f-a-l-o

Seraphim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

I have no skin in the game but seriously why would another guide service report another guide service in the mountains?

Seems a bit like a cry baby tattle tale move to me. 

Garrett Genereux · · Laramie, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 10
Seraphim wrote: I have no skin in the game but seriously why would another guide service report another guide service in the mountains?

Seems a bit like a cry baby tattle tale move to me. 

Permits can be extremely hard to come by. It isn’t fair when certain companies jump through all the hoops and pay their fees, and someone just does whatever they want. It also can jeopardize all commercial access to high use areas such as the Icicle/Tumwater. 

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 175
Seraphim wrote: I have no skin in the game but seriously why would another guide service report another guide service in the mountains?

Seems a bit like a cry baby tattle tale move to me. 

The same reason why people who pay and work for college degrees get upset when people get fraudulent diplomas for a fraction of the price. It devalues what the former worked very hard for.

Mick Pearson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

Hello
MP forum posters,
 
I wanted to officially write a statement to you on this thread regarding some the of comments made about me and my company, Kaf Adventures.

First, I want to thank Jeffery K for writing a comment regarding your experience with Kaf. Our mission relates to providing you with education that will support your goals of traveling into the wilderness with confidence.

@Brian Campbell –Even though we have never met or spoken to one another, I appreciate your concern regarding my business practices. I am sorry if anything you have heard about me has caused you concern. I or Kaf was never issued any citation in the Leavenworth area, and have always been in the Leavenworth area on private land where access is controlled differently.

@Max Tepfer – I also appreciate your concern regarding my business practices. I also want to thank you for returning my email and for listening. As stated in our dialog, I have never done any illegal guiding on Hood, and take this seriously. Just like you state on your website, you are able to take people in a variety of different areas using permits from other companies. If you or a colleague wanted to climb Hood and contacted us via a fabricated email address, I’m sure I would have responded yes because of the legal opportunities that exist.  

@All others with questions – if you ever have questions about permits, business practices, or access in the United States, I am happy to speak with you directly, please ask. I am well versed in land management and small business practices. I’d be happy to show you how the permitting system works, what permits Kaf has, and help you understand why it is important to speak up to your congress and land managers to help change the current system of access for you to have the ability to choose who you would like to teach you and guide you on public land.
 
Thank you all for you time and I’d be happy to chat anytime.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I don't know anything about Kaf, or the veracity of Mick's statements, but that was a very professional response. I'd be more likely to use your service, after seeing how you directly answered the accusations in a mature way.

Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50
FrankPS wrote: I don't know anything about Kaf, or the veracity of Mick's statements, but that was a very professional response. I'd be more likely to use your service, after seeing how you directly answered the accusations in a mature way.

Agree

Chris Bersbach · · Arroyo Grande, CA · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 233

I haven't used Kaf, and don't live in the area, so I can't say anything one way or another about their local business practices. However, I did take a multi-pitch efficiency workshop with Mick at the Red Rock Rendezvous in 2017. I enjoyed the workshop, and I found Mick's instruction clear, professional, and informative. Based on that class, and on his response to this thread, I wouldn't hesitate to hire him as a guide.

(Although I still don't rack my cams the way he recommended.)

TravisJBurke · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 65

I used to work in parallel with Mick and Kaf. I count some of his guides as partners and friends. So, definitely biaised here, but just want to say how stoked Kaf is, and how that bleeds onto their clients.
I wear a Kaf sticker on my helmet (because support your local companies) and coming down Eldorado a few years back, meeting a party heading up, a woman in the party was exclaimed with joy that I knew kaf...she was so stoked to be in the mountains with skills she learned from Mick, it was awesome. Mick helps folks who want a different experience and instills in them a love of mountaineering, climbing, the outdoors...even sometimes his DJ skillz (hahaha)
I highly doubt Mick would be in trouble with the leavy rangers. I’ve seen Kaf’s inner workings and there is definitely a lot of legal work on the permits. Also, I know they have permits for rainier, doing an excellent job for a small company not as well known as the big guys. Admit I’m not fully in the know, but I think I would have heard something from some of the guides if this illegality were true, so...#dontbelieveevrythingyouoverhearatcampmuir?
On another note, Mick, if you’re ever in Germany, let me know...I’m now living in the heart of the Frankenjura. And can get to the alps in about two hours. 

coppolillo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 70

+1 for Mick. Passed an AMGA exam with him. Relaxed, professional, kind hearted guy.

Permit system in this country is pretty challenging and exactly as Mick explains, guest guiding allows a visiting guide or guide without a permit on a particular feature to guide legally. My own little business does not hold a permit for Rocky Mountain National Park, for example, but I occasionally work up there as a guest-guide on the permit of two other companies. Were someone to see me working up there, they could assume I was pirate-guiding...and hit the internet...or simply ask and I could explain I was working on the permit of another company. I've actually discussed running a program on Mick's permits in the Northwest...and as usual, he was totally cool and supportive about it.

I'd be heads up with other people posting to bad-mouth a guide or guide service without knowing all the facts of a particular incident or story. I'm sure Mick would be happy to chat with any of you to discuss his operation, where he guides, etc.

So, another +1 for Mick and Kaf. 

Asa P · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

I have only ever had positive experiences with Kaf and Mick. I took an AIRE course through them as well as a private climb and they have always been extremely professional and above board with everything. Having used other guiding services before, I recommend Kaf to my friends because of the way they run their operation. Mick is a patient, knowledgeable, and responsible teacher and just a generally fun person to have on a trip so I would question anybody describing their outfit in such a negative light because that is so different from any interactions I have had with Kaf.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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