Oregon Guides and Guide Services
This goes beyond the issue of permits and government ethics, other activities by Mr Kessler and his colleagues include slandering injured climbers and writing fraudulent checks. See the list below.
An example of how government employees ignore ethics regulations,
pursue conflicting interests, and abuse their government positions ...
We strongly recommend avoiding courses through or with Glen Kessler, Mountain Savvy, and Doug Ironside. The primary reason is the unethical basis on which this business was built and is maintained, at a significant cost to the public. Mr Kessler has also been known to slander injured climbers while they were in the hospital, and write fraudulent checks to non-profit organizations. His colleague Mr Ironside has also written bad checks, stolen from fellow climbers and passed off to a local climbing shop. These activities are documented by police reports, links to these are on the left side.
We'll let his track record speak for itself here:
1) Within one year of starting up his own business (Mountainsavvy) Mr Kessler, in his capacity as a US Forest Service Ranger, began shutting down all potential competition. The OMA was suddently required to get a special use permit, after years of not being required to use one for our volunteer run classes. When it became clear that we were able and willing to obtain a permit he found a reason to cite us for alleged "illegal guiding" over our mountaineering classes. These were never successfully prosecuted in court, see #4 below.
2) All OMA classes were run on a basis very similar to other clubs, including but not limited to the Santiam Alpine Club and the Chemeketans. All charge a nominal fee and have been known to hold parts of class on Mt Hood. None have a permit. All still operate. The only difference is that none of these others offer avalanche safety classes which could be perceived to compete with Mountainsavvy. (For several years the Oregon State University Dept of Recreational Sports held classes on Mt Hood which required a permit. The USFS was aware of this yet never cited anyone, nor did they terminate the classes.) Obviously Ranger Kesslers actions were not simply a matter of "doing his job" and "enforcing regulations".
3) When OMA members were injured in a rockfall accident and in the hospital Mr Kessler was busy proactively calling the media with slanderous information which was not relevant to the accident and cannot be supported by any facts or documents.
4) When his inital efforts fell on their face at the prosecution stage the US Forest Service mounted a full scale investigation which included infiltrating our climbing club of about 50 members with a special agent and obtaining our bank records with a subpoena. What they learned was that our entire budget (in and out, for everything the club did) was $2700 for the year in question. Given that an investigation running well into six digits of cost had to be justified somehow they issued two more petty offense tickets exactly like the first two. These ultimately required time and effort on behalf of the US Attorneys office, a second special agent, and the OMA. In the end they were not prosecuted either. [Considering the public expense that has gone into protecting the Mountainsavvy monopoly their courses should be free for all US citizens. After all, you've already paid far more than most reputable programs charge.]
5) Following that Mr Kessler, in his new capacity as a ranger on Mt Rainier, came across one of our members at Camp Muir. There were two others in the public shelter as well. He interrogated them as they left and then approached the OMA member and asked for his permit, which he had temporarily misplaced his copy of. When Mr Kessler radioed in to check on the permit he stated it was "very important". He then insisted our member had been part of a group of three, when he had signed out on the permit as a party of one. Glenn insinuated that he was being a nice guy by not issuing a guiding citation, although the reality is clearly that there was no basis to do so. [The climbing permit showing a party of one was later found and is on record should anyone question this.]
6) In 2004 the name "Glenn Kessler" cropped up once again when a fraudulent and harassing check was written online to the CSAC Avalanche Center. A police investigation led directly to Ranger Kessler. He was staying at the home of Mr David Waag who was away. However, Glenn insists he was not the one who did this and told investigators he would find out which of his buddies did it and get back to them. He never did, which leaves the buck stopped at Mr Waag's IP number. With friends like this who needs enemies? (When this became public knowledge we were tipped off to the fact that one of his buddies involved back at #1, Doug Ironside, had a history of bad check writing. Sure enough, a Bellingham police report shows Mr Ironside stole checks from another climber and forged them for purchases at a local climbing shop. Like Mr Kessler he tried the "I didn't do it" bit, but was sucessfully prosecuted on sound evidence anyway.)
There are a few people who keep insisting Mr Kessler is a great guy and that this is a grudge or a permit issue. As the list above shows, there is not one incident a long time ago but a long string of incidents showing a pattern of unethical and illegal behaviors. Anyone who thinks he's such a great guy can let him stay in their home while they're away, but you may want to consider that when Mr Waag did this he found himself implicated in a bad check writing issue. And rather than taking responsibility or finding the responsible party Mr Kessler simply claimed he didn't do anything, hanging Mr Waag out to dry since it was his computer and nobody else can definitively be shown to have written the check.
You can find out much more about this issue here on our website. Use the links on the sidebar to the left. We present facts - what happened and when - and supporting documents. Many documents which we have requested from the forest service which would shed a great deal of light on matters have, of course, not been provided. There have been allegations against us, primarily in the form of presumed guilt, which have not been backed by either documents or facts. Don't be misled about who is being open and honest and who is not.