A Mountain Guide is, first of all, an alpinist with a long career as an amateur. All this gathered experience is what provides the Guide with a strong background enough to face his formation with success.
A Mountian Guide is a professional who organises, escorts, teaches and is in charge of the safety during the mountain activity. It is a demanding job, you need to be fit, aware, up to date with the latest techniques and technical developments. The risks in a very changing and complex environment need to be constantly assessed and managed. You should have a educational attitud and sharing your knowledge is a must. A Mountain Guide needs to be empathetic, to manage doubts and fears and to share joys. But especially, needs to love his profession, needs to be passionate about what he does..
His working tools are an ice ax, ropes, a backpack, boots, skis, carabiners and crampons, without forgetting an active and focussed mind and a fit and trained body.
The Guide office is a glacier, a ridge, a climbing wall, an iced waterfall, a trail, an indoor climbing wall, a via ferrata, a peak or a ski resort. As a summary, any mountain of the world, from the Pyrenees to the Himalayas or the Andes, the Alps or the North Pole.
The Guide is a professional that when he is not working he whises to go to the office.
What is the Mountain Guide’s attitude?
A mountain Guide, following the profession code of ethics, will put all his tools and knowledge to assure the success of the activity for which he has been hired. He will plan and will look after of the details, will assume the responsability that his job implies and will manage all the risks at site. He will watch over the well being of his client, making him the main character, empowering him and will share his knowledge with him. In conclusion, the Guide will look after his clients and will become a friend to trust.
What training and certification a Mountain Guide has?
In Spain, this training is regulated by the Ministery of Educacion, Culture and Sport, as a special regim technical training, of Intermediate and Advance Level.
To join this training, you need to pass two access tests, to show your physical and technical abilities in navigation, resistance, rock climbing, ice climbing, alpinism and ski. Also, to join the Advance Level you need to present a sports curriculum. The training is 1855 hours and to finish it you need to present a project in front of a examinin board.
In average, a Mountain Guide applicant can spent three years to complete the Intermediate Level and to achive the title of Sports Technician in High Mountain; after this, two more years for the Advance Level. After finishing the complete training, he will obtain the title of Advance Sports Technician in High Mountain.
The training is recognised and authorised worlwide by the UIAGM/IFMGA, a worldwide federation of mountain guides that guarantees the proper training and skills of its members.
What is a Mountain Leader?
A Mountain Leader is a mountaineer, which has been formed and trained to become professional. The training includes an access test and 2 courses, with a total of 1260 hours, leading to the award of the qualification of Sport Technician on Medium Mountain.
This qualification is recognized internationally under the acronym UIMLA, which is the organization that brings together all the Mountain Leaders, ensuring quality standards and training.
The work of a Mountain Leader is to guide groups or individuals for the world’s mountains, where technical climbing or alpinism is not required. So, can guide on glaciers, permanent snow and where ropes are not necessary, also in trekking at high altitude and using snowshoes.