Explore application process



In order to be considered for entry into 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.


To be considered for membership of the British Association of Mountain Guides, an applicant must meet the requirements listed below:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Complete the Association’s application form.
  3. Submit the Association’s medical form completed by a medical practitioner.
  4. 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 provide help and advice through the scheme as a mentor.  The Technical Director/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.
  5. Provide details of a current first aid certificate with a mountain component.
  6. List any relevant qualifications held e.g. Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (MCI) – formerly known as Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA), Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (WMCI) – formerly known as Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC).
  7. Send an Application Fee to British Association of Mountain Guides.
  8. Send a copy of your application form to both referees along with a pro forma for the referee to verify your application.

Note – Please only record routes and climbs that you’ve completed in the last 10 years and any repetition within separate categories will not be accepted.

Rock Climbing Experience

At least 50 multi-pitch climbs E1 5b or above

List all multi-pitch climbs E1 5b or above in a wide variety of areas in the UK, such as the mountainous regions of Scotland, England and Wales.  In all cases these routes must have been led or alternate led.  Technical leads at E3 5c are recommended, as this ensures that the applicant is consistent at E1 5b.

Winter Climbing Experience

At least 60 snow and ice climbs to include:

50 Grade III or harder (twenty of which must be Grade V or harder) in the UK

10 icefall/cascade climbs grade WI4 or harder in the Alps or similar terrain to be included in the above sixty climbs

List all UK 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.  In all cases these routes must have been led or alternate led.

Alpine Mountaineering Experience

Provide details of Alpine mountaineering experience routes of PD or harder, 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.

Experience outside Europe will be considered, but the great majority of experience should be within Europe.

Ski ascents should be recorded in the relevant section.

Skiing Experience

List a minimum of 30 days ski-touring experience in glaciated Alpine terrain.  At least 15 of these days must be on multi-day tours of at least 3 consecutive nights in huts.  Also list a minimum of 15 days lift-accessed off-piste skiing in the Alps.

Applicants are expected to ski on-piste, in all conditions, with good style, demonstrating good balance, posture and control.

Applicants should cope well in all off-piste conditions showing the ability to ski safely, effectively and in control.

Ski touring outside Europe will be considered, but the majority of ski touring experience must be in the European Alps.

It is also recommended that applicants obtain as much experience and observation of instructing as possible prior to entering the scheme.  They should note that the pre-requirements 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.


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