move the argument over here so Al can have his ice fest thread back :-)
Good points in other thread. I've had good and bad experiences with guides on public land. In Ouray, there were some d-bags that kept trying to beat the system. Rules were made to get them to stop hogging anchors, so they found loopholes. And they made just as much frustration for the general public. Down in Texas, I asked a guide if I was heading in the right direction to get to one climbing area in a park that was pretty non-descript with a piss-poor guidebook and received a snide remark. Then there's the dude throwing his guidemanship around butting in to people's conversation and when my buddy and I were gearing up for his first ice lead, telling him to only take 3 screws (first pitch of standard). I got his point, but not the time or place to play mr superior arguing the merits of weight. I wish I had remembered the name of who he worked for so I could have called them and let them know how their name is being thrown around. You couple these experiences with large groups that are unruly, using classic lines, and other things, its easy to see why people get tired of guides.
That being said, Craig at IME is an awesome ambassador to the sport and the profession. Other guides run their programs with much less impact then previously described. A group I worked with in Texas (I'm in no way saying I guided as some wankers would) found areas with very little travel that were safe and the volume of a group would not be intrusive to others. Unfortunately, in the same way a small group of unruly drunken streaking climbers can close down an area on private land, the negative guides can shed an unfortunate light on their field. This makes it easy to see how people can be frustrated with them running a business on public land.