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Hiking Guide

Hiking Guides are certified to guide day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips

  • Apprentice Hiking Guide
    This course/exam is designed to train participants to guide day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips on and off trail in mountain terrain.
  • Hiking Guide 
    Hiking Guides are certified to guide day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips in all types of hiking terrain without supervision.
  • Winter Travel Course
    ACMG members in the hiking stream may extend their seasonal capabilities by taking the winter travel course.
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Prerequisites

  • On the courses you will be required to show that you have the skill, confidence, and personal fitness to guide clients through rugged, strenuous on- and off-trail conditions.
  • This may include travel on snow, talus, scree, meadows, and marshlands while carrying a pack on day hikes and/or multi-day hikes.
  • You must be able to care for clients while traveling and route finding.

  Apprentice Hiking Guide

  • A current (80hr minimum) Wilderness First Aid course
  • A current Basic CPR course
  • References who are familiar with your personal and technical background
  • A curriculum vitae which includes:
    • A description of how you have gained a good understanding of hazards related to mountain travel.
    • 30 day hikes, of which 10 should describe off trail travel in alpine terrain and a minimum of 700 metres elevation gain/loss.
    • 21 backpacking trip nights.

  Hiking Guide

  • A current (80hr minimum) Wilderness First Aid course
  • A current Basic CPR course
  • An Assistant Hiking Guide Certificate with course performance evaluation form indicating a positive recommendation from the instructors to continue to the Hiking Guide Exam.
  • A letter from an employer or ACMG guide confirming a minimum of 20 days professional guiding experience or a professional resume that outlines your guiding experience.
  • An update to the curriculum vitae and personal skills resume you submitted with your application to become an Assistant Hiking Guide. The update should include significant additions to original documents.

Advanced wilderness first aid course

A minimum 80 hours is required. Courses from this partial list of providers have proven adequate in the past. Contact the ACMG if you are uncertain about other programs.

  • First Aid Courses

    First Aid Overview

    The ACMG does not run these programs but rather relies on outside course providers.

    • For the Mountain Guide and Hiking Guide Programs an Advanced Wilderness First Aid course with a minimum of 80 hours is required. Although wilderness courses are preferred, Occupational First Aid Level 3 is also accepted.

    • The Climbing Instructor Programs require a Standard First Aid Course. These courses usually run over a two-day period (minimum 16 hrs), combining theory and practical sessions to provide the basis for dealing with traumatic and medical emergencies.

    Advanced Wilderness First Aid

    An Advanced Wilderness First Aid course with a minimum 80 hours is required. Courses from the following partial list of providers have proven adequate in the past. Contact the Training and Assessment Program office if you are uncertain about other programs.

    • Alberta Health and Safety Training Institute
      125 3510 29th Street NE Calgary AB T1Y7E5
      Phones 1.888.670.5406, 403-670-5406, fax 1-866-202-1822
      info@safetyed.ca, www.safetyed.ca
    • Canadian Institute of Safety Search and Rescue Advanced First Aid
      Box 6151, Cochrane AB TOL OW0 Phone 403-932-3689
    • Outdoor Emergency Care Program - National Ski Patrol
      NSP National Office 133 South Van Gordon Street, Suite 100 Lakewood, CO 80228
      http://www.nsp.org/nsp_programs/oec.aspx
    • Pacific Alpine Institute
      102-4369 Main Street, Suite #997, Whistler, B.C. V0N 1B4 Phone 604 938-7846
      www.pacificalpineinstitute.com
    • Peak Emergency Response Training
      1717 Beach Grove Road South Delta, BC V4L 1P4
      778.899.7325, admin@peakemergencytraining.com, www.peakemergencytraining.com
    • Remote Medical International
      3400 Harbor Ave SW. Suite 344 Seattle, WA 98116
      206.686.4878 Toll Free: 800.597.4911 info@remotemedical.com, www.remotemedical.com
    • Rescue Dynamics
      5109 -17 A Ave. NW, Edmonton AB T6L 1K51
      780-461-5040 rescuedynamicsinfo@telusplanet.net, www.rescuedynamics.ca
    • Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine Inc.
      9 Manyhorses Close, Redwood Meadows, AB T3Z 1A1
      Phone/Fax 403-949-2632 adventuremedic@nucleus.com, www.adventuremed.ca
    • Sirius Wilderness Medicine
      2685 rue Rolland, suite 303, Ste-Adèle, QC J8B 1C9
      Phone 514.509.2112, Toll free 877.982.0066, Fax 514.509.2123
      email: info@siriusmed.com www.siriusmed.com
    • Slipstream Wilderness First Aid
      #403 110-174 Wilson Street, Victoria, BC, V9A 7N7
      1-800-760-3188 email: info@wildernessfirstaid.ca, web: www.wildernessfirstaid.ca
    • Wilderness Alert Safety Training & Products
      Box 95050 Vancouver BC V6P 6V5
      Phone 604-263-1432 or 1-800-298-9919 email:
      info@wildernessalert.com, web: www.wildernessalert.com
    • Wilderness Medical Associates, Canada
      106- 1100 Main St. W., Hamilton ON L8S 1B3
      Phone toll free 1-877-945-3633, 905-524-5531 web www.wildmed.ca
    • Wilderness Medical Consultants
      Box 64 - 512-9th St South, Golden, BC V0A 1H0
      Toll free 1-888-344-4755, 250.344.4755 web www.wildernessmedicalconsultants.ca
      info@wildernessmedicalconsultants.ca

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ahg iconApprentice Hiking Guide

Goals

  1. Introduce participants to the standards of professional guiding, instruction, and client care in the hiking industry including overnight travel.

  2. Assess the participants at the standard of an Apprentice Hiking Guide. To provide an information exchange to better the industry of professional hiking guides.

  3. Provide direction towards the Hiking Guide program and other ACMG programs.

Format

Much of the emphasis is instructional but, as a certification program, a significant portion of the agenda is assessment and skills evaluation. The certification issued to the successful candidates is a sanctioned professional standard and will assist the candidates in finding work in the guiding and adventure travel industry.

Expectations

The following expectations are relevant on both day and overnight trips and would include (on overnight trips) campsite selection and management.

  • Demonstrate excellent physical fitness and the ability to move confidently and efficiently when traveling off trail.
  • Present an assertive attitude on safety when leading a group.
  • Demonstrate a high standard in navigating and route finding.
  • Show their ability to establish effective communication with regard to the clients' safety, comfort, and enjoyment.
  • Demonstrate a respect and care for the environment.
  • Have professional standard equipment as required for guiding hiking and backpacking trips.

Examination

Methods of assessment include asking the participants to model and demonstrate the appropriate actions of a professional guide. The course may be strenuous, and the field trips will continue with appropriate choices of routes and options in all weather and conditions.

This course does not include travel on permanent snow, glaciated, or scrambling terrain. It does not include terrain where use of hands for balance is needed (scrambling or mountaineering terrain) and does not include information regarding ocean shoreline safety.

Location and length

Nine days. In most years courses are conducted in June and September. Location varies but Canmore, Alta., and Pemberton, BC, are often used.

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hg icon Hiking Guide

Goals

  1. To introduce participants to the standards of professional guiding, instruction, and client care in the multi-day hiking industry.

  2. To assess the participants at the standard of an ACMG Hiking Guide.

  3. To provide an information exchange to better the industry of professional hiking guides.

Format
This course is designed for professional guides who are leading multi-day trips on or off established trails and in mountainous hiking terrain. This course does not include travel on permanent snow, glaciated, or scrambling terrain. The course is a combination of instruction and examination. The certification issued to successful candidates is a sanctioned professional standard for guides leading multi-day backpacking trips.

Expectations
A strong recreational hiking and backpacking background. Arrive with professional standard equipment. Please note there are evening sessions as well as the field days.

Examination
This exam week is designed to test the result of several years experience as a recreational leader on and off trails. Practice navigation (specifically map reading, taking map and field bearings, resecting (triangulation) etc.). Prepare for off trail route finding and brush up on your leadership, communication and interpretive skills prior to the course. Be prepared to hike for 5 days in succession under all weather conditions.

This course does not include travel on permanent snow, glaciated, or scrambling terrain. It does not include terrain where use of hands for balance is needed (scrambling or mountaineering terrain) and does not include information regarding ocean shoreline safety.

Location and length
Six days. In most years courses are conducted in September. Location varies but Canmore, Alta., and Pemberton, BC, are often used.

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hg icon Winter Travel Course
  • ACMG members in the hiking stream may extend their seasonal capabilities by taking the winter travel course.

  • Those who are experienced in non-skiing winter travel may choose to apply for course equivalency through the Prior Learning and Assessment Review (PLAR) process offered through the above program. If interested, contact TAP program coordinator at derek@acmg.ca

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ACMG Training and Assessment Program

Hello and thank you for your interest in applying to the ACMG Training and Assessment Program (TAP).

As of April 30, 2018, the ACMG will be running the program for an undetermined period. For any courses beginning May 1, 2018, please use the following pages and application packages that are appropriate for your needs. If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to us at tap@acmg.ca.

If you have previously taken a course with the Canadian Mountain and Ski Guide Program at Thompson Rivers University, it is possible that we will not have your complete file and may request an update on your resume, letters of recommendations or other info.

Best of luck as you enter the guiding or climbing instructor paths.

The TAP Team

How to Apply

The application package below outlines what is required to be submitted when applying to each training course or exam.

Application Package

Apprentice Hiking Guide Course/Exam

Hiking Guide Exam (Upon completion of training courses)

Winter Travel (After 1-3 years of apprenticeship)

  1. Please read through in detail and ensure that your application includes all of the required elements.
  2. Complete the online registration form: TAP Application Form
  3. We recommend using the Chrome browser when completing your online application, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer are not well supported by our student information system software.

By applying to the training course in each stream you are automatically registered for the apprentice exam in that stream (pending a recommendation from the training course instructors). You do not need to submit a separate application unless you completed the training courses in a different year or have already attempted the exam and are applying to take it again.

Dates and Fees

NOTE: Schedule and costs may vary due to conditions and enrolment. As a result dates and fees may change without notice. Full payment is required 45 days prior to the course start. Remain flexible in your dates as the ACMG office reserves the right of candidate placement.

Course Location Date Fees App Deadline
Winter Travel Banff AB Dec 14-16, 2018 $715 + GST Oct 1, 2018

Apprentice Hiking Guide Charlevoix, QC June 2-10, 2019 $2280 + GST March 1, 2019
Apprentice Hiking Guide Canmore, AB June 4-12, 2019 $2280 + GST March 1, 2019
Apprentice Hiking Guide Jasper, AB June 16-24, 2019 $2280 + GST March 15, 2019
Apprentice Hiking Guide Canmore, AB September 4-12, 2019 $2280 + GST July 5, 2019
Hiking Guide Bridge for Ski Guides Canmore, AB May 28-June 1, 2019 $1265 + GST April 1, 2019
Hiking Guide Exam Charlevoix, QC June 11-16, 2019 $1775 + GST March 1, 2019
Hiking Guide Exam TBC September 14-19, $1775 + GST July 15, 2019

For more information:

ACMG Training and Assessment Program
Box 8245
Canmore, AB Canada T1W 2T9
403.679.9181
tap@acmg.ca