alpine Guide
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Alpine Guide

This program is designed to develop the guiding and instructional skills needed to work in alpine rock, snow, and ice terrain, in both summer and winter.

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Overview

  • Alpine Guides can be seen guiding frozen waterfalls, climbing alpine ice faces, and leading expeditionary trips throughout the great mountain ranges of Canada and the world.
  • To enter the program you must complete the Apprentice Rock Guide Program and meet all prerequisites for the Alpine Guide program.
  • Although this is a demanding program it opens up tremendous opportunities for a guide.
  • The Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) professional Level I course is required for entry into the certificate program.

Prerequisites

This is an absolute minimum. To demonstrate these skills in an exam setting requires a great deal of confidence, ability and fitness. Most candidates enter the program with a much higher personal standard than the minimum required.

Apprentice Rock Guide

Must have been successfully completed.

Experience

You must show that you are capable of guiding clients, demonstrating smooth, confident, efficient movement while climbing, protecting, anchoring, and belaying.

  • On alpine routes involving glaciers, snow, ice, rock, and mixed terrain at 5.10b/c wearing rock shoes and 5.8 in mountain boots
  • On Grade 4 Waterfall Ice

Personal Climbing Standard

You must demonstrate a personal climbing standard of 5.11 in rock shoes, 5.8 in mountain boots, and Waterfall Ice Grade V.

Advanced First Aid

An Advanced Wilderness First Aid course with a minimum 80 hours is required. Courses from this partial list of providers have proven adequate in the past. Contact the ACMG if you are uncertain about other programs.

First Aid Overview

The ACMG does not run these programs but rather relies on outside course providers.

  • For the Mountain Guide and Hiking Guide Programs an Advanced Wilderness First Aid course with a minimum of 80 hours is required. Although wilderness courses are preferred, Occupational First Aid Level 3 is also accepted.

  • The Climbing Instructor Programs require a Standard First Aid Course. These courses usually run over a two-day period (minimum 16 hrs), combining theory and practical sessions to provide the basis for dealing with traumatic and medical emergencies.

Advanced Wilderness First Aid

An Advanced Wilderness First Aid course with a minimum 80 hours is required. Courses from the following partial list of providers have proven adequate in the past. Contact the ACMG Training and Assessment Program office if you are uncertain about other programs.

  • Alberta Health and Safety Training Institute
    125 3510 29th Street NE Calgary AB T1Y7E5
    Phones 1.888.670.5406, 403-670-5406, fax 1-866-202-1822
    info@safetyed.ca, www.safetyed.ca
  • Canadian Institute of Safety Search and Rescue Advanced First Aid
    Box 6151, Cochrane AB TOL OW0 Phone 403-932-3689
  • Outdoor Emergency Care Program - National Ski Patrol
    NSP National Office 133 South Van Gordon Street, Suite 100 Lakewood, CO 80228
    http://www.nsp.org/nsp_programs/oec.aspx
  • Pacific Alpine Institute
    102-4369 Main Street, Suite #997, Whistler, B.C. V0N 1B4 Phone 604 938-7846
    www.pacificalpineinstitute.com
  • Peak Emergency Response Training
    1717 Beach Grove Road South Delta, BC V4L 1P4
    778.899.7325, admin@peakemergencytraining.com, www.peakemergencytraining.com
  • Remote Medical International
    3400 Harbor Ave SW. Suite 344 Seattle, WA 98116
    206.686.4878 Toll Free: 800.597.4911 info@remotemedical.com, www.remotemedical.com
  • Rescue Dynamics
    5109 -17 A Ave. NW, Edmonton AB T6L 1K51
    780-461-5040 rescuedynamicsinfo@telusplanet.net, www.rescuedynamics.ca
  • Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine Inc.
    9 Manyhorses Close, Redwood Meadows, AB T3Z 1A1
    Phone/Fax 403-949-2632 adventuremedic@nucleus.com, www.adventuremed.ca
  • Sirius Wilderness Medicine
    2685 rue Rolland, suite 303, Ste-Adèle, QC J8B 1C9
    Phone 514.509.2112, Toll free 877.982.0066, Fax 514.509.2123
    email: info@siriusmed.com www.siriusmed.com
  • Slipstream Wilderness First Aid
    #403 110-174 Wilson Street, Victoria, BC, V9A 7N7
    1-800-760-3188 email: info@wildernessfirstaid.ca, web: www.wildernessfirstaid.ca
  • Wilderness Alert Safety Training & Products
    Box 95050 Vancouver BC V6P 6V5
    Phone 604-263-1432 or 1-800-298-9919 email:
    info@wildernessalert.com, web: www.wildernessalert.com
  • Wilderness Medical Associates, Canada
    106- 1100 Main St. W., Hamilton ON L8S 1B3
    Phone toll free 1-877-945-3633, 905-524-5531 web www.wildmed.ca
  • Wilderness Medical Consultants
    Box 64 - 512-9th St South, Golden, BC V0A 1H0
    Toll free 1-888-344-4755, 250.344.4755 web www.wildernessmedicalconsultants.ca
    info@wildernessmedicalconsultants.ca

Avalanche Course

The CAA level 1 is a minimum prerequisite for the training level of the Apprentice Alpine Guide exam. Experience shows those candidates who enter with the CAA Level 2 have an easier time with the decision making and hazard evaluation tasks.

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Guide Training Alpine

Training is divided into two sections waterfall ice and alpine
  • (Part A) Waterfall Ice: Takes place in the winter and emphasizes waterfall ice climbing skills
  • (Part B) Alpinism: Takes place in the summer months and emphasizes alpine climbing in the big mountains on rock, snow, ice and glaciated terrain.

Goal

To instruct participants in the application of guiding and instructional techniques in alpine and waterfall ice terrain. To introduces the participants to client care and safety. To screen candidate’s ice, rock and snow climbing skills and to provide recommendations for further participation in ACMG programs.

Format

The courses are designed to help prepare and to introduce some of the recommended methods common to alpine and waterfall ice guiding and instruction through indoor and outdoor training sessions and through practical application with demonstration and coaching. Participants will receive counselling, feedback and recommendations to assist with the process of becoming a guide. Self-directed learning, and practical application of guide skills on the participant's own time is required prior to the exams.

Field Session Examples

Ice: Movement skills, teaching ice climbing schools, winter hazards, multi-pitch guiding and descents, steep ice technique, protection and anchor building

Alpinism: Navigation, snow and ice anchors, belays on snow and ice, short roping, multi-pitch ice climbing, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, client care, alpine hazard evaluation.

Lecture Session Examples

Compass and map orientation, equipment preparation, guide meeting format, use of options, planning a guided week, hazard management.

Evaluation Areas

Screening of movement skills on alpine snow, rock and ice - Screening on waterfall ice - Knowledge of systems: belays, protection, crevasse rescue - Recreational leadership, hazard evaluation skills

Location and Length

  • (Part A) Ice: 5 days, training usually takes place in January in the Rocky Mountains centred around Canmore.
  • (Part B) Alpinism: Seven days, training usually takes place in July. Location varies but centres around accessible glaciated alpine terrain; past examples include Bugaboos, Columbia Icefields, Lake Louise and Mount Joffre.
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aag iconApprentice Alpine Guide Exam

Goal

To train, examine and certify candidates to work with supervision in alpine climbing terrain; and to provide leadership and direction to candidates working toward the Alpine Guide Certificate.

Format

This is a 2 week exam which includes learning from instruction, coaching and debriefing. The exam continues the process of the apprenticeship started in the training course. The focus is on principle based learning giving the candidates the strategies for problem solving through coaching and practical application in simulated guide/client scenarios. Participants are marked in categories indicating their decisions, terrain choices, and technical skills demonstrated.

Expectations

Participants are expected to arrive prepared and able to demonstrate guide skills, and be examined on information contained in the ACMG manual "Technical Handbook for Professional Mountain Guides", subjects taught on Guide Training Rock, the Apprentice Rock Guide, and the CAA Level 1 Avalanche courses. The guiding standard requires movement up to 5.10 in rock shoes; 5.8 in mountain boots, alpine ice to 70 degrees and water ice to Grade 4 with confident and efficient movement

Special exam areas

Participants should be prepared to be tested in the following - Crevasse Rescue, Rock Rescue, Navigation, Shortroping, Record Keeping, Teaching

Location and length

These are often mobile courses and will visit several alpine locations in B.C. and Alberta over a 2 week period starting mid August. See Dates and Fees.

 

ag icon Alpine Guide Exam

Goal

To certify guides to work without supervision in an alpine climbing environment, and to continue the aspirant guide's learning process in applying techniques in a wide variety of conditions.

Format

A multi- day exam often base camped for several days in a popular mountain guiding area. Classic guiding routes are completed as part of the daily task. Candidates play the role of guide, making the appropriate decisions regarding objectives, terrain choices and options, and client management. The candidate is given enough information to make his or her decisions and is expected to carry out options should the given objective be out of condition or inappropriate.

Candidates should expect to guide a variety of routes with different types of climbing including technical rock, snow and ice faces, mixed routes, some short aid sections, and lengthy moderate ridge routes. The successful candidate demonstrates safe, efficient guiding that comes as close to meeting trip objectives as conditions allow.

Expectations

Come prepared and able to demonstrate and be examined on information contained in the ACMG manual "Technical Handbook for Professional Mountain Guides" and taught on the Guide Training Rock, Guide Training Alpine, Apprentice Rock Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and the CAA Level 2 Avalanche courses. The guiding standard requires movement up to 5.10 in rock shoes, 5.8 in mountain boots, alpine ice to 70 degrees, and waterfall ice to Grade 4.

Special exam areas

In addition there may be exams in the following topics: Crevasse Rescue, Rock Rescue, Navigation, Shortroping, Record Keeping, Teaching Session.

Location and length

These are often mobile courses and will visit several alpine locations in BC and Alberta over a 9 day period toward the end of August.

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How to Apply

The application package below outlines what is required to be submitted when applying to each training course or exam.

Application Package

Guide Training Alpine/Ice

Apprentice Alpine Guide Exam (Upon completion of training courses)

Alpine Guide Exam (After 1-3 years of apprenticeship)

 

  1. Please read through in detail and ensure that your application includes all of the required elements.
  2. Complete the online registration form: TAP Application Form
  3. We recommend using the Chrome browser when completing your online application, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer are not well supported by our student information system software.

By applying to the training course in each stream you are automatically registered for the apprentice exam in that stream (pending a recommendation from the training course instructors). You do not need to submit a separate application unless you completed the training courses in a different year or have already attempted the exam and are applying to take it again.

Dates and Fees

NOTE: Schedule and costs may vary due to conditions and enrolment. As a result dates and fees may change without notice. Full payment is required 45 days prior to the course start. Remain flexible in your dates as the ACMG office reserves the right of candidate placement.

Course Location Date Fees App Deadline
Guide Training Ice Canmore, AB January 13-18, 2019 $1950 + GST October 15, 2018
Guide Training Ice TBC February 9 - 14, 2019 $1950 + GST October 15, 2018
Guide Training Alpine Coast, BC June 26-July 4, 2019 $2545 + GST March 1, 2019
Guide Training Alpine Banff, AB June 26-July 4, 2019 $2545 + GST March 1, 2019
Apprentice Alpine Guide Exam Coast, BC August 25-September 3, 2019 $3300 + GST July 12, 2019
Apprentice Alpine Guide Exam Banff, AB August 25-September 3, 2019 $3300 + GST July 12, 2019

For more information:

ACMG Training and Assessment Program
Box 8245
Canmore, AB Canada T1W 2T9
403.679.9181
tap@acmg.ca