The Mount St. Helens Institute (MSHI) seeks Assistant Guides for the 2023 Summer season. Assistant Guides are skilled, experienced and enthusiastic leaders who assist in guiding groups of diverse international participants and support staff on safe, exciting and informative hikes and non-technical climbs on Mount St. Helens. An Assistant Guide is a critical member of an MSHI Guide Team and collaborates directly with a Lead Guide and certified Volunteer Mountain Stewards and scientists, depending on the program. This guide team will work together to highlight the natural and historical wonders of the American Pacific Northwest, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument throughout each adventure.

We seek qualified mountaineers with demonstrated personal experience who can safely assist participants on 6 to 10 mile guided adventures around an active volcano and a vibrant National Forest in all weather conditions at elevations ranging from 2,600ft (792m) to 8,365ft (2,550m). Assistant Guides will be trained in MSHI policies, scientific and historical interpretation, route navigation, emergency response, risk management, radio communication, equity, diversity and inclusion. Through the team’s training and technical expertise, MSHI compassionately encourages participants to gain confidence in the outdoors while also providing natural history and scientific interpretation of the landscape. Routes and programs include: Mount St. Helens Rim (summit), Glacier Overlook Hike, Into the Crater Hike and various other outdoor seminars and hikes throughout the Monument. Guides can expect remote and in-person training in June and programs that run from June through Sept. Guides can expect to work Saturday and/or Sunday (with some Fridays and other weekdays) throughout the Summer with additional work possible as private trips are requested. The Assistant Guide will work under the supervision of the Outdoor Programs Manager, and will work collaboratively with other MSHI guide staff and volunteers throughout the season. See guided adventure descriptions at https://www.mshinstitute.org/explore/guided-adventures/.

Assist in preparing materials (paperwork, supplies) before and after trips
Greet participants and provide introduction and instructions for the day’s adventure
Provide engaging and accurate natural history interpretation on the trail
Collaborate with Lead Guides and Volunteers
Assist with emergency situations
Assist with managing group dynamics
Follow and enforce MSHI risk management, health and safety safety protocols

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Climbing Skills, Instruction and Guiding, Mountaineering Skills


First aid and CPR certification (or higher) valid through September 18, 2023, or willing to obtain prior to period of employment
Valid Driver's License and able to drive in Washington State.
Demonstrated ability to teach and lead groups in outdoor settings and experience with preparing and presenting public talks
Knowledge and passion for natural and human history
Able to hike terrain of varying difficulties, work both independently and in groups in remote areas with minimal supervision

Required Skills:

The Assistant Guide is required to hike and stand for long periods of time, work outdoors in all weather conditions, hike up to 15 miles across rough terrain with a 30 lb. pack and occasionally lift up to 40 lbs. Regular driving for up to 4 hours is common.

Preferred Skills:

Assistant Guide must be comfortable outdoors, in nature for extended periods of time in various weather conditions and willing to camp (sleep) at the various trailheads on the South, Northeast and North side of the Monument or MSHI’s remote and rustic field camp when scheduled for multi-day assignments. At field camp, non-flush toilet facilities and handwashing stations are available. Shower facilities are not available. Cell phone service is very limited throughout the Monument. MSHI shall provide radio co

About Mount St Helens Institute

The Mount St. Helens Institute is a 501(c) (3) private, nonprofit organization established in 1996 and devoted to advancing the understanding and stewardship of the Earth through science, education, and exploration of volcanic landscapes.

Application Instructions

Email the following items to [email protected] before April 1, 2023, 11:59PM Pacific Subject Line: “Last Name, First Name - Assistant Guide” If you would like to apply for multiple positions: “Last Name, First Name – Multiple” and indicate the positions of interest in your cover letter. Cover Letter (name the file as follows “Last Name, First Name - Cover Letter”) Resume (name the file as follows “Last Name, First Name – Resume”)