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Terrain Limitations
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Certification and Membership

Who are our members?
ACMG guides/instructors are trained, examined and certified by an independent, internationally recognized body to the highest standard in Canada. This process is carried out through a partnership between the ACMG and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops. In this relationship, TRU provides the course instruction and administration while the ACMG consults on the technical standards for each level of certification. This ensures that the training and assessment are both academically and experientially rigorous. It takes 6-8 years to complete the entire process and become a fully certified Mountain Guide.

What is the value of certification?
ACMG guides are trained to provide experience-based decision-making in the field to balance two important facets of your trip – the feeling of adventure and your safety from objective hazards. Guiding is an elegant blend of art and science – a delicate synergy of experience and intuition. One must assess factors such as weather, snowpack quality, avalanche hazard, rock fall potential, crevasse and serac danger, route or terrain selection, daylight and distance, and continuously weigh them against your capability and objectives. ACMG certification is your assurance that any member guide you hire has been trained and assessed to the accepted standard of an internationally recognized, professional body.

Considerations when hiring a guide or instructor

How do I choose my guide or instructor?

  • The first step is to identify the type of trip you wish to take. It may be anything from a day hike on a valley trail to an extended peak-climbing expedition to a remote mountain range. The document entitled:
    Terrain Limitations - will help you determine the certification level that best suits your needs. Note that Apprentice guides are not considered certified and must work under the direct or indirect supervision of a certified guide.
  • The next step is to check the section entitled Membership Lists which provides the names, certification levels and home regions of ACMG members, but not how to contact them. Once you have the names of some potential guides, search the World Wide Web for more information on them. Look for brochures, posters, business cards or other advertising with the ACMG logo. Local mountain shops, information bureaus and outdoor clubs are good places to find this material.
  • The last step is to contact one or more guides to determine their availability and trip price. Then make your selection. Note that Top Rope and Climbing Gym Instructors rarely work independently, usually being employed by a larger institution or company.

Is there anything else to consider?

  • All mountain sports have some inherent risk. While ACMG guides are trained to manage this risk, it is simply not possible to guarantee safety on any given outing. It is a shared responsibility between you and your guide to discuss potential risk prior to heading out.
  • You have a choice of many guides available to you. While many land managers, schools or companies require ACMG certification as a prerequisite for their guides, some do not. Likewise, there are a variety of training programs available to prospective guides. Check the credentials of your guide carefully. Only ACMG members may advertise with the Association logo and possess an ACMG identification card (see Identifying Cards and Logos). Only fully accredited Mountain Guides may use the IFMGA logo and will have an IFMGA identification card. You will be happy you selected your trip leader wisely.
Identifying Cards

Look for these cards. All members are issued ACMG or IFMGA identification cards.
Check that the validation sticker shows the current year and the applicable permits and certificates are on the back of the card (samples below are examples only).

acmg card
ACMG Membership Card -front and back

IFMGA Membership Card -front and back

Identifying Logos

Only ACMG members may advertise with the Association logo and only fully accredited Mountain Guides may use the IFMGA logo. Look for these logos on printed material, websites and other advertising mediums.


ACMG Waiver

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If you are taking a course or being guided by an ACMG member, you will be requested to complete a liability waiver. This is a requirement set out by our insurance underwriter as well as by the land managers we deal with. Copies of the waiver are provided below so that you may familiarize yourself with some of the risks associated with the activity you are about to undertake. Please read it carefully.

English For use in all areas


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