What Lies Beyond?
What do you see as you travel through the incredible mountains of Canada’s National Parks? Do you wonder what lies beyond that first tantalizing range of peaks? Would you like to explore the backcountry, but believe that you lack the skill or experience? The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) is a non-profit society. It is the certifying body for professional Mountain Guides in Canada. Established in 1963, the ACMG has over 600 members, all of whom have passed rigorous training and examination to receive their certifications.
Guiding in Canada has a long and storied tradition, dating back to the days when the Canadian Pacific Railway imported guides from Switzerland to look after their adventurous hotel guests. Today, guides not only have the same client care skills as their predecessors, they possess an outstanding array of technical, interpretive, and risk management abilities. Their talent is such that our Mountain National Parks will only permit ACMG-certified guides to lead trips away from the roadside.
If you are new to the backcountry, consider doing a day hike to see truly spectacular wilderness with minimal effort or risk. Amore adventurous outing could involve a night or two in one of the many backcountry campsites. For those willing to push their personal envelopes, there are a multitude of rock climbing, mountaineering, or ski-touring objectives to suit all capabilities.
Do you really need a guide? Consider this: On my first visit to Nepal, I chose to hire Mingma, a local guide, for a popular trek. Initially uncertain of the value, over time I began to view the landscape and culture through Mingma’s eyes. I learned things I never would have had I been on my own. The Canadian mountain wilderness has a culture of its own. Having a guide as a companion will not only allow you to manage the risk more wisely, it will help you interpret the terrain through the eyes of a dedicated professional.
Learn more about the ACMG through our Web site, www.acmg.ca, or at a Park Information centre. Maximize your experience while you are here in this truly remarkable part of the world. You won’t be disappointed.
~By Peter Tucker