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Austrian mountain guides Anselm Klotz (left) and Josef Frey (right), 19th century
Alice Manfield, a pioneering female mountain guide in Australia in the early 1900s wearing self-designed clothing

A mountain guide is a specially trained and experienced professional mountaineer who is certified by local authorities or mountain guide associations. They are considered to be high-level experts in mountaineering, and are hired to instruct or lead individuals or small groups who require this advanced expertise. This professional class of guides arose in the middle of the 19th century when Alpine climbing became recognized as a sport.

Contents

AttributesEdit

SkillsEdit

A mountain guide's skills include:

KnowledgeEdit

Supporting these are the theory and practice of:

Certification in the IMGAEdit

The title of IMGA Mountain Guide is (in most countries) reserved for individuals who have received full certification through their country's national mountain guides association of which the curriculum and training are approved by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA). Certification is earned through a rigorous examination process encompassing rock climbing, alpine climbing and ski mountaineering. Typically lasting between 3 and 7 years, mountain guide certification requires a high level of commitment, dedication and technical skill to achieve.

ServicesEdit

In addition to assuring safety, professional mountain guides frequently offer other desirable services to their clients. These services can significantly improve the alpine experience, especially when the client climber has limited time or equipment, lacks a qualified partner or is visiting an unfamiliar area. These additional mountain guide services may include:

OrganizationEdit

Mountain guides are commonly organized in national and international associations. The world's oldest guides association is the Compagnie des guides de Chamonix, established in Chamonix in 1821, which banned women until the 1980s. It remains today the largest association with nearly 250 mountain guides. The biggest international organization is the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations located in Gstaad, Switzerland.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit