Idaho guide Patrick Condon shares how the Redside Guide Helpline allowed him to finally ask for the help he knew he needed.
I think definitely I’ve become more focused on seeing the guests change their lives. I’ve had trips where we are still friends today, we stay on touch on Facebook. It’s crazy to see how much the kids have grown and recently a lot of the young ladies I’ve taken down the river have turned eighteen and they’ve been asking me how to become a guide. That’s really rewarding.
When I’m guiding, I’m not that engaged in skiing for myself. When I’m guiding, I rarely think about how awesome the skiing is personally. It just goes through my head, “These guys are gonna love this.”
We have a great lifestyle but it’s a very very hard job and a very, very demanding job. We ski about half what we work so we ski six hours in the field and we’re working another 6 hours to pull it off. People underestimate the decision-making process. It’s not for everybody. You have to really love the aircraft and appreciate that what we’re doing is kind of unreal.
"There’s a local guy, Cliff Hansen, a rancher here, that was an old friend of my dad’s. He told me the other day, was telling me that my dad had told him, says ‘Hey, you ought to go down get one of these permits, they’re only $15. They’re gonna be worth somethin’ someday.’ And Cliff said that he told my dad there’s no way in heck anybody will ever pay you to take them down a river they could just go do it themselves."
You are a chef, firing up the stove and making sense of the coolers.
You are a storyteller, around a fire, on sites occupied by people for millennia.
You are a weaver, threading a line over Velvet, over and through Ladle, over Salmon Falls.
You are a coach and help bring competence to people visiting the outdoors.
You are a guide. You are a guide. Think about the word.
That dark winter in the blue camouflage room it was difficult to speak with friends or family that were expecting to see a happy, confident, strong me. That was the “me” that I knew and loved. I didn’t care much for this new sad impostor living in my skin, invading all of my thoughts. I wanted who I thought was the real me back. That Kyle wasn’t available and I wanted to deal with it alone. I came to realize, however, this was an unrealistic idea.