In order to be considered for entry on the British Mountain Guides training scheme, an applicant must meet the requirements listed below:
Please note that the deadline for applications is the end of May each year.
Be at least 22 years of age.
- Submit the Association’s medical form completed by a medical practitioner.
- Provide details of mountaineering experience in the UK over a period of at least five years, which should be geographically extensive. In all cases these routes must be led or alternate led, and not soloed. They should include:
- At least 50 multi-pitch climbs led at El 5b or above in a wide variety of areas in the UK. Technical leads at E3 5c are recommended as this ensures that the applicant is consistent at E1 5b.
- A comprehensive list of at least sixty snow and ice climbs Grade III or harder (twenty of which must be Grade V or harder), and at least ten icefall/cascade climbs grade WI4 or harder in the Alps or similar. List all routes climbed but over forty of these routes should be in the Scottish mountains in a variety of areas, e.g. Ben Nevis, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, Torridon, Cairngorms. Non-UK experience may also be taken into consideration e.g. ice grade 4 in France or Canada, but the majority of experience logged must be UK/Scottish.
- A general mountaineering history including hill walking in the UK and Ireland, mountaineering and camping experience
- Provide details of Alpine mountaineering experience over a minimum period of at least four years. Again routes must be led or alternate led, and not soloed. This experience should show the following:
- Knowledge of several Alpine climbing areas, at least three of which should be European
- Twenty ascents of major summits, ten of which must be TD or harder.
- A variety of experience including rock, snow/ice and mixed (mentioning any winter ascents)
- As a guideline, experience in the European Alps should include a minimum of twenty routes, at least ten of which should be Alpine TD standard or above. Of these ten routes five should be at least 800 metres in length and be mixed routes of a serious and committing nature (i.e. classic North faces or similar).
- Greater ranges experience will be considered but the majority of routes and experience must be in the European Alps.
- Applicants must include the names of climbing partners on all significant ascents.
- Provide details of skiing ability on and off-piste including a minimum of thirty listed days of ski-mountaineering experience in glaciated Alpine terrain. Fifteen days or more of the thirty listed days must be linked days consisting of at least three consecutive nights in huts on recognised tours. Ski touring and skiing expeditions outside of Europe will be considered but the majority of ski-touring experience must be in the European Alps. Applicants are expected to ski all pisted runs with good style and demonstrate good balance, posture and control whilst skiing linked-parallel turns of varying radius. Applicants should cope well in all off-piste conditions showing the ability to ski safely, effectively and in control.
- The applicant must be currently operating at the standards mentioned above.
- Provide written references from at least two referees, one of whom must be a fully qualified Guide. The Guide must be able to vouch, at least in part, for the authenticity of the candidate’s application and be prepared to help and advise him/her through the scheme as a mentor. The Training Officer/Training Committee can assign a guide as a referee if the applicant does not know a Guide. One referee must be able to attest to the candidate’s good character.
- Provide details of a current first aid certificate with a mountain component.
- List any relevant qualifications held e.g. MIA, MIC etc.
- Send an Application Fee to British Association of Mountain Guides (details of the cost are to be found in the Guidance Notes for Applicants available from the BMG office.)
- Send a copy of your application form to both referees along with a pro forma for the referee to verify your application.
It is also recommended that the candidate obtain as much experience and observation of instructing as possible prior to entering the scheme.
Candidates should note that the prerequisites are high to help ensure that those who embark on the scheme have the commitment, experience and technical ability required to complete the scheme successfully.