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Terms and Conditions

SYMG Philosophy & Responsibility:

Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides is concerned with the beauty of the mountains, the strength of interpersonal relationships, the wilderness experience, and the challenges these provide. SYMG intends to make people more aware of the environment, while providing an opportunity to meet others with similar interests. The people who make up each trip are as important as the areas and the places we explore. The primary concern for all trips is that they are run safely and provide a positive outdoor experience.

The quality of your guide is what makes a good trip great, and in many ways distinguishes one company from another. Our professional mountain guides are there to facilitate a seamless and memorable trip for you. All guides are trained in wilderness medicine at the professional level and are experienced backcountry leaders. Each guide has his/her own specialties, often associated with advanced coursework or certifications and participates in enrichment programs each season. Our guides are well versed in the natural and cultural history of the area, cook excellent food, and are fun, personable people to spend time with.

SYMG places great emphasis on the well-being of our guests and our guiding protocol is above the industry standard. Providing a safe and rewarding experience is always our first priority. Experience, use of good judgment, leadership skills, and effective decision-making are all factored in to executing a safe trip. We regularly review and improve our risk-management policies and practices.

Deposits

All Day Trips that cost under $500.00 have a non-refundable deposit per group/guide scheduled of $100.00. A deposit is required to secure your spot on our trip roster.

All Multi-Day, Open Sign-up Trips (as advertised on our website) have a non-refundable deposit per-person that is required upon booking. Non-refundable deposits are $200 per person for trips under $1600.00 and $400 per person for trips over $1600.00. A deposit is required to secure your spot on our trip roster.

All Private/Custom Trips have a 25% non-refundable deposit per-person based on the total trip cost. A deposit is required to secure your spot on our trip roster.

Final Payments & Cancellation Policy

Domestic Trips (except for 23-day JMT Backpack): Final payments are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations made 30 days or more prior to trip departure receive a full refund, excluding the non-refundable deposit. Cancellations made 6-29 days prior to trip departure receive 50% refund, excluding the non-refundable deposit. There are no refunds for cancellations made 0-5 days prior to trip departure or after the trip has begun. No refunds will be made for any unused portions of a trip.

International and 23-day JMT Backpack Trips: Because of the nature of our JMT backpack and International trips, our final payments and cancellation policies vary from our domestic trips. Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure. Cancellations made 60 days or more prior to trip departure receive a full refund, excluding the non-refundable deposit. Cancellations made 30-59 days prior to trip departure receive 50% refund, excluding the non-refundable deposit. There are no refunds for cancellations made 0-29 days prior to trip departure or after the trip has begun. No refunds will be made for any unused portions of a trip. We highly recommend trip cancellation insurance.

Private/Custom Trips: Final payments are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations made 30-59 days to trip departure receive a 50% refund, excluding the non-refundable deposit. There are no refunds for cancellations made 0-29 days prior to trip departure or after the trip has begun. No refunds will be made for any unused portions of a trip.

Weather, Trail Conditions, and Natural Disasters

There are no refunds due to bad weather, inaccessible trails or routes, natural disasters (including forest fires), disease outbreaks, or for any other occurrences that the SYMG Directors deems your trip unsafe or unfit for travel.

We plan our trips and departure dates for times when conditions are most stable. We use long-range historical averages as well as over 25 years of personal experience running trips in the areas we operate. With that said, unsuitable and/or unsafe weather and trail conditions can affect any trip, even at the most stable times of the year. Although not very common, we have had to re-route trips to different locations due to weather-related access (re: snow), blocked trails, damaged trails that affect packstock access, snowed-in passes, impassable access roads, and forest fires to name a few.

We realize that many travelers have flights, lodging, and other details associated with their SYMG trip and so, in cases where trips cannot be executed as planned, we will design an alternative itinerary for you. In these cases every reasonable effort will be made to keep intact the vital aspects of the trip itinerary you originally signed up for. Please keep in mind that your safety is our most important priority and we reserve the right to entirely re-route your trip itinerary to keep you safe. We highly recommend Trip Cancellation Insurance if you are uncomfortable in any way with these policies.

Evacuation / Departure From A Trip

An evacuation is defined as anytime you need to come off the trip before the scheduled exit. In these cases, your guide(s) and our office experts will devise the best plan for a safe and efficient extraction from the backcountry, all dependent on your location, specific situation, and available resources. You can also count on SYMG to arrange any logistics that you may need in the front country once you exit, including shuttling, lodging, medical care, etc. There may be costs associated with your evacuation and these costs will be your responsibility. We will of course do our very best to minimize these costs while still ensuring a safe and efficient process for you as well as for the rest of the group remaining on the trail. Shuttling, lodging, heli/medi-vac transports, staffing resources, stock-support, meals, shipping, and other needs may all be factors depending on what needs to be done to get you out efficiently and safely. Fortunately, Travel Guard trip insurance covers many of these costs, which we highly recommend.

Trip Insurance

We highly advise purchasing trip insurance and recommend TravelGuard Insurance. The most common reason guests need to make a claim is for missing the trip entirely due to injury/sickness prior to the trip (either to yourself or loved-one). Insurance can also cover cancelled trips and expenses due to unforeseen delays, reroutes, natural disasters, etc.

Participation

SYMG works hard to ensure that all of our travelers join the trip that best meets his or her own interests and abilities. Certain circumstances or specific trips may require that the participant obtain medical consent prior to departure as a condition of participation, at the discretion of the SYMG Directors.

Advanced Bookings

Many people prefer to plan and book their trips in advance of permitting & reservation dates. In these cases, specific trip itineraries are subject to change until SYMG is able to make the necessary bookings, which typically occurs between 1-year and 6-months prior to a trip date depending on which federal lands the trip starts on. If we do make a change, you will be notified as early as possible. The dates for these reservations all vary based upon the land entity(s) and/or vendor(s) associated with each trip. Please contact us for information specific to your trip if you are concerned about making other plans/reservations in association with your SYMG trip (such as flights, car rentals, etc).

Inadequate Enrollment

SYMG reserves the right to cancel any departure that has not met the minimum number of participants, which makes the trip economically infeasible to operate. We will notify you when final payments are due if the minimum has not yet been met and we can discuss alternative options then. However, last minute sign-ups are common to many of our departures and we will not fully cancel a trip outside of 30 days. If SYMG cancels a trip due to low participation we will offer a full refund including the typically non-refundable deposit. If you prefer, we will also work with you to find an alternative solution that you are happy with (in the past, guests have opted to join a different trip in the same time frame, transferred their trip cost to a future trip, or even split the cost of a small group surcharge to make the original trip happen). SYMG assumes no responsibility for any expenses, including non-refundable expenses, incurred by participants due to cancellations or rerouting. We highly recommend Trip Insurance to protect you in these cases.

Should you have any questions regarding our Terms and Conditions please call our office at 800-231-4575 or email us at info@symg.com