RMH directly employs about twenty people, and another fifteen are contracted. The helicopter is contracted with pilot and maintenance. Pilots applying to these companies should have experience landing helicopters at high temperatures, high elevations and heavy internal loads.
We currently employ eight guides. Each of the guides is familiar with the terrain and weather of the Ruby Mountains. To become a guide takes a great deal of time and commitment. Prior to applying we look for a ski area pro patrol background. Our best talent has been recruited from the Wasatch Range, Alta and Snowbird. These ski areas can offer a tremendous experience in both an intermountain snow pack as well as medical hands on practice.
We encourage winter backcountry knowledge, travel and safety practices as well as avalanche rescue, and above all common sense. The Level One, and Level Two avalanche courses offered by American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) will help understand the inter mountain snow pack. Try and achieve these goals in the inter mountain region, which will assist in any mountain environment. To become a guide at RMH or any reputable guide service takes time. In most cases to become a lead guide takes about five years.
Consider your first year to be in a non-skiing position.
During this time there is a great learning curve. Learning about the communications and logistics of a heli-ski service, dealing with the guests and learning about the terrain and weather is a huge undertaking. Ski guiding is a great career, however there are huge trade-offs that have to be accepted. While our guides are paid at the “high” range of American Heli-ski guiding, this is a three-month job. Often times it is hard to make ends meet. Married? Have an understanding and supporting spouse – supporting in several ways would be ideal.
Skiing ability is important. This ability can be achieved either through a racing background, instructing, pro patrol or any way to keep your skis on your feet for 100 days a year. While ability is clearly a valid prerequisite, how the guide deals with the guest with a lesser ability is a far greater asset. Think about a bluebird day with a foot of new snow and a group of entry-level guests, or better yet a flat light, breakable crust windy day with the same entry level skier.
Guiding is a challenge everyday. On the positive side, guides make great friends and are in the position to share a unique winter experience. Guides are in the mountains, maybe hauling fuel, maybe driving a cat, but they are out there. They see the beautiful skies, they see the wild life and they make the first track.
We also employ chefs, housekeepers, dispatchers, cat drivers, massage therapists, carpenters and bookkeepers. Each of these positions is as important to RMH as the guiding. Without a positive group that works together RMH would not be where it is today.