Seasons greetings. I hope you are having a great week.
Three quick announcements related to my 2020 guided trips:
1. Apply by December 28 for Utah and West Virginia
Open Application started December 15 for all locations, and it will close for Utah and West Virginia on December 28 (or, more specifically, when I sit down at my desk at around 8 AM MST on December 29).
Apply during Open Application for your best chance of getting on your First Choice trip. All applications received during this period are considered equally, with some priority given to alumni and previously waitlisted applicants. After it’s closed, I treat applications on a first-come-first-served basis for any remaining spots.
2. Apply by January 11 for Alaska, California, and Rocky Mountains
Because the Alaska and California trips are later in the year, and because it will take me a few weeks to process the Utah and West Virginia applications, I set the Open Application deadline for these locations a few weeks later. It’s January 11 (or, more specifically, when I sit down at my desk around 8 AM on January 12).
3. What trips will be “sold out” by the end of Open Application?
Each year I’m surprised that in January I can sell out trips that aren’t until July or even September. But it happens, and it will happen again in 2020.
To help set the expectations of applicants, and to give prospective applicants an informed level of urgency, I’ll share some predictions.
Utah. By the end of Open Application, the 5-day Adventure trips in Grand Staircase-Escalante will be mostly sold out. I’d expect a few spots available after Open Application, and probably a few more will open in January or February due to cancellations.
West Virginia. There will be sufficient demand to run two Fundamentals courses and two Adventure trips. There probably will be available space on all of the sessions after Open Application. If last year is any guide, these sessions will slowly fill up in late-winter/early-spring.
Alaska. All four sessions in Alaska will be sold out. A few spots may open due to cancellations.
California. We have a lot of capacity in Yosemite in 2020 — we’re proposing to run up to six trips in July and another six trips in September. Out of the twelve sessions, a few will probably sell out during Open Application. The remainder will have some space.
Rocky Mountains. Many question marks remain about this location still. I’d like to stay away from Rocky Mountain National Park for a year, but I’m struggling to find another venue that checks my two boxes: world-class terrain and available outfitter-guide permits. I may bail on this location entirely and collapse these applicants into more certain locations, which will put some additional pressure on them.