Discover the world...

With a mountain guide

It starts with a passion for the mountains and adventure…a meeting of minds, a shared experience, a look and a dream… This is followed by a certain hesitation mixed with a curiosity to discover the higher altitudes…a willingness hindered only by inexperience.

Finally, it all comes together and you find the guide who will help you discover the austere and magnificent world of mountaineering.  Your guide will lead you and stay by your side, giving you the confidence and encouragement to reach deep within and surpass your sporting expectations. Your guide will share and develop a professional relationship with you based on mutual trust.

Discovering the world with a mountain guide can be an intense experience, where individual adventures and shared experiences combine satisfaction and sheer enjoyment.
Most mountain guides are self-employed and have their own clientele.  New clients may be found via a guide office where the guide is a member.
Guides can also ‘hire out’ their services to a commercial structure or agency.  Others may be on a company/agency payroll such as is the case with the French UCPA leisure association. Courses with a mountain guide can be one-on-one or in groups, lasting anything from a few hours (such as climbing school), to a day, a week, or even longer as in the case of an overseas trek or expedition.

Discovering the mountains with a guide is as relevant for a complete beginner as it is for experienced climbers wishing to undertake a difficult or prestigious peak.

The cost of a guide, in general, depends on the length and difficulty of the course, each course having a standard fee.  The cost of meals, lodging and transport is usually met by the client. The guide is legally bound to abide by certain rules of conduct laid down by the profession and French law.

Qualification and competence

All professional mountain guides hold a nationally recognised mountain guide diploma.  This ensures that guides are individually capable, particularly on specific types of terrain, of leading and instructing members of the public undertaking any type of alpinism or other comparable activities, under the title of “mountaineering”, in a safe and responsible manner.

For additional information on mountain guide qualifications and requirements, you can consult the decree of 11 January 2010 which amended the decree of 10 May 1993 relating to the national diploma of mountaineering (only available in French).