If you are planning a trip to the mountains – whether to go skiing, climbing or even hiking -, safety should be your #1 priority. Asking yourself questions like “Am I experienced/skilled enough for this activity?” or “Am I fit enough to enjoy it?” are key to ensure that you’ll have a good time. But, even after you ask yourself those questions, a certain degree of risk will remain.
Mountain guides and leaders are experts trained to limit this risk. Their very demanding training is focused on safety and their extensive experience helps them make the right decisions in even the most difficult situations.
By hiring a mountain guide or leader you are not just hiring someone to show you the way. A mountain guide will help you achieve what you didn’t think you could, will help you make some of your wildest dreams come true and will inspire new adventures far removed from your daily life. Their knowledge about geology, flora and fauna and their deep understanding of weather, the mountains and their history, will turn your trip to the mountains into a true global experience (even if you didn’t leave your home state).
Apart from all these assets, a guide can also help you organize the logistics of your trip (transportation, mountain huts, buying food, renting gear, etc.) and, because he or she probably knows the area really well, you’ll get to know the locals and their culture.
Last but not least, and apart from all the safety and technical expertise that a guide can provide, they will also make a great difference from a human point of view. They usually have plenty of fantastic stories and anecdotes to share and that will definitely enrich your experience. If you’ve ever met a mountain guide, you must know what we are talking about!
Explore & Share is the source for the best mountain guides in the world. We carefully select guides and leaders based on their certification so that your trip is unique in every possible way. Contact guides directly from our site and let the adventure begin!
Which mountain guides and leaders to hire?
Depending on what you’re planning to do, we highly recommend you hire an IFMGA/ UIAGM/IVBV mountain guide or a UIMLA mountain leader for your trip.
The IFMGA is an international association of mountain guides from all around the world. It represents all the national mountain guides associations which are qualified and apply IFMGA guidelines. It is the most rigorous mountain guide certification in the world.
The UIMLA is the international association of mountain leaders. Holders can lead their clients on the mountains where mountaineering skills are not required. IMLs cannot provide tours on glaciers and permanent snow or where the use of a rope is necessary. However, IMLs can work with groups on high altitude treks as well as lead groups on snowshoes.