Mountain guide

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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.



A mountain guide's skills include:


Supporting these are the theory and practice of:

Certification in the IMGA[edit]

The title of IFMGA 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.


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:


Mountain guides are commonly organized in national and international associations. The world's oldest guides association was formed in the Silesian Sudetes in 1817.[1] Also in Sudetes Franz Pabel received probably the first ever state confirmed guide licence.[2] First alpine guide association was 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 also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hose, T. A. (February 2016). Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism. ISBN 9781862397248.

External links[edit]