Every Mountain Guide started out as an Aspirant Guide!
As part of the IFMGA, the British Mountain Guides Association operates it’s own training scheme; training and assessing a small number of talented new guides each year. The BMG scheme has very high pre-requirements, so when people are accepted onto it they are already very experienced and accomplished skiers and climbers. The journey towards becoming an IFMGA guide involves 3 – 5 years of training and assessment with 4 modules to complete – rock climbing, ice climbing, alpinism and finally, off-piste skiing and ski touring.
The alpine and ski touring modules both involve an apprenticeship period as an Aspirant Guide, working alongside a fully qualified Guide, gaining valuable experience whilst helping to lead groups in the mountains. The BMG is a small family and we are proud to play our part in this, via our commitment to providing training opportunities for Aspirant Guides on our ski program each winter. Having an Aspi in the team is great fun, and massively enhances the value and enjoyment factor of any trip – essentially it’s like having an extra guide on the team!
When working with Aspirants, the Guide is still fully responsible for the whole group at all times – so we adhere to standard maximum local guiding ratios whether we have an Aspirant with the team or not. On some trips, it costs us more to have an Aspi along and on others, we generate a small surplus – this goes into a fund to provide further aspirant training opportunities within our program.