Quality mountain guiding
We emphasize listening to our guests and adapting our activities accordingly. Furthermore, we go out of our way to find the best ski and climbing conditions by following recent weather and activity. Communication between guides, watching local forecasts and having our eyes peeled allows us to find the optimal terrain for the conditions. Equally important to the experience can be: finding a lonely summit or quality ridge climb with panoramic views; possibly spending the night in a cosy mountain hut with a visit to the best Italian coffee shop. Or it could be swimming in the plunge pools of an alpine stream. For us these things make the experience memorable and fun.
We understand that Mountaineering and Skiing are high risk activities that require a calculated approach. Coming home safely is our absolute number one goal. Mountain guides are above all, risk managers. Respecting our “socially acceptable” risk norms imposed by the UIAGM/IFMGA guides associations is central in our planning and activity. For every outing we carefully consider the Human Factors, Mountain and Meteorological conditions as well as the Terrain. In addition, we’re acutely aware of group pressures and dangerous social dynamics that can potentially lead to higher risk situations.
To legally work in the western European Alps as a professional mountain guide, one is required by law to hold a UIAGM/IFMGA qualification. Furthermore, it’s a legal requirement to be insured for professional liability and to be recognised by local authorities.
Becoming a mountain guide in the alpine countries is a long process, holding much prestige in these areas. It has been a well respected profession for over one hundred years. Also required is a long list of mountain experience in the various disciplines. In addition to this, the candidate guide must be a very competent skier, climber and mountaineer to enter the selection process. Once the entrance exams are passed, a three year training program is followed. This involves passing courses on rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, ski technique, ski touring, avalanche safety, nature and environment, communication and business. All with with an overall emphasis on risk management, client comfort, human dynamics and enjoyment.
Andrew Lanham is trained by the Swiss Mountain Guides Association and affiliated to the French Syndicat des Guides. These are the two oldest and most recognised mountain guides associations in the world. They are the original mountain guides with a rich history and tradition of mountaineering and skiing. There are well over a thousand members in each association with top level training, professional development and support for their members. On the whole, these are the mountaineers and skiers who know the Alps better than anyone and have true local knowledge of their respective areas. Mountain Guides from the Swedish or British associations also have great training and often work with us.
If Andrew is not available to guide you, we can organise you a trusted local guide that we know personally and who will deliver a quality service. We only work with UIAGM/IFMGA internationally qualified guides.