VALDEZ, ALASKA - Alaska Guide Co. is transitioning from being a virtual guide to the Last Frontier to becoming a real-world guide service offering professionally led adventures including rock and ice climbing, glacier hikes, trekking and canoe tours in this iconic Alaska mountain town.
Zachary Sheldon, local photographer and owner of Alaska Photography, has been working on his Alaska Guide project for over seven years as an attempt to document the landscapes, people and wildlife of Alaska. Last year, he started offering photography tours and found himself catering to requests for more custom adventure tours including guided rock and ice climbing.
"People looking for guided adventures in Valdez would find my photography tours and ask if there were other things to do in summer besides charter fishing or glacier cruises,” Sheldon explained. “I wanted to help get visitors excited about the plethora of year-round adventures we have in Valdez so I started this licensed and insured guide service.”
In addition to his own love of climbing, Sheldon explained another reason for offering guided climbing. “I wanted to help give back to those who have put in so much work developing the routes around here. They've done a lot of heavy lifting, so if I can help them make money having fun, doing what they love, it's my way of saying 'thank you'," Sheldon said.Giving back to the local community is a priority for Sheldon who said he hopes most of his employees will be year-round Valdez area residents and he intends to offer local discounts on a space available basis.
Alaska Guide Co. will also plans to educate people in safety, general knowledge of the outdoors, and conservation ethics. The goal of Alaska Guide Co. is to get people excited about being outdoors in Alaska, to soak up it's beauty and care about its future. As Sheldon said, "There's a lot good for the soul that comes from being outdoors. The deeper into the wilderness the more profound the experience."
Alaska Guide Co. will be operate year-round; hours and tour offerings will vary by season. The guide to client ratio will be 1:4. Family friendly, the minimum age for guests is 8 for rock climbing; 12 for ice climbing. During the summer, the company will partner with Valdez Adventure Alliance to re-open and staff an information kiosk at Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site on Thompson Pass. For additional information, rates, availability and reservations, visit http://Alaska.Guide.