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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Austrian mountain guides Anselm Klotz (left) and Josef Frey (right), 19th century

Mountain guides are specially trained and experienced mountaineers and professionals who are generally certified by an association. They are considered experts in mountaineering.



Their skills usually include climbing, skiing and hiking. Their knowledge includes furthermore the topics rocks, snowcraft, weather, navigation, avalanches and health, each practically and theoretically. Most guides work only in certain (familiar) areas. The main issue is guiding through routes and the successful performance of a tour.

Mountain guides are employed by groups or individuals assuring the safety of the climbing party. This professional class of guides arose in the middle of the 19th century when Alpine climbing became recognized as a sport.

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 biggest international organization is the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations located in Gstaad, Switzerland.

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