Our basic formula for Private Guiding is Guiding + Expenses meaning we only sell the guiding element of any private trip. We can recommend accommodation, gear hire shops or help to organise transport, ski passes etc. It must, however, be paid for separately.
We sometimes provide estimate costs surrounding the guiding to help you plan your budget, but we cannot guarantee prices for other services.
A 30% deposit must be paid for a booking to be finalized. The rest must be paid at or before the start of the trip.
In case of cancellation more than one month before the starting date of the activity, 50% of the deposit will be refunded.
In case of cancellation less than a month before the starting date of the activity, 0% of the deposit will be refunded.
How to pay
The best way to pay us a deposit is via a bank transfer to our account. We find Transferwise to be good.
For bank details:Contact us
What potential extras should we budget for?
- When sleeping in mountain huts, the group covers the guide’s boarding and food. (This is normally discounted by about 30%-40%)
- Guide’s transport like trains, buses etc when away from his/her home area.
- €0.40 per kilometre + potential road tolls when using guide’s car.
- €20 round trip for the Tunnel from Chamonix to Italy
- Equipment hire
- Airport Transfers
- Ski Passes: Chamonix Verbier Courmayeur Zermatt Jungfraujoch
What equipment do I need?
We will mail you an equipment list on booking. Ask us if you have any specific questions.
How dangerous are these activities?
Are these activities risky?
Studies done by the Swiss on annual risk of death in mountain sports compared to annual risk of death in road transport in Switzerland came up with the following conclusions:
- High Mountain Sports ≈ 2 × the risk of death in road transport
- Rock Climbing ≈ risk of death in road transport
- Ski Touring ≈ risk of death in road transport
- Mountain Hiking ≈ 5 × less risk of death compared to road transport
(Extract from ‘Sports de montagne d’hiver’ © 2005 Edition du CAS)
A professionally qualified Mountain Guide will try to keep the risks down to what our guides associations consider to be socially acceptable risk levels. We carefully consider the conditions, terrain, group capabilities and aptitudes. We work to reduce the consequences of an accident (e.g. Avalanche transceivers) and build redundancy into our systems (e.g. 2 points on a rock climbing belay)
However, this does not eliminate the risk! Like driving your car, there are residual risks even if your car is serviced, you drive within the laws and take due care, you can still have a mortal accident.
The mountains are not a controlled environment, there are objective dangers. i.e. Seracs, Avalanches, Rock Fall and more.
Anyone considering participation in these activities must understand that these are adventure sports with real risks. You must take responsibility for your own participation.
What if the weather is bad?
Generally it is possible to still have a good day in the mountains when the weather is bad. If the guide decides before-hand that he can’t offer anything worthwhile on that day due to extreme weather conditions, a refund can be discussed.
What if the snow/climbing conditions aren’t good?
Skiing in average snow conditions is part of high mountain skiing and often we learn more in average snow conditions than in perfect powder. We don’t cancel or refund due to snow conditions. If we feel there is really nothing reasonable to offer, we will discuss a partial refund.
What if I hurt myself half-way through the trip?
We can’t offer a refund due to injured participants. We recommend a good travel insurance that covers such eventualities.
Am I expected to tip the guide?
If you felt a guide went out of their way and gave you a great experience, a tip is always much appreciated and a validation for their hard work. Guides also understand that their services are not affordable for everyone and that it’s easier for some guests to offer a tip than for others.
What to do in case of an accident?
It’s good to keep track of where you are on the mountain. Ask the guide questions so as to take an active role in the team and understand where you’re going.
In case of an accident of any kind always think about keeping yourself safe first and then take your time to consider secondary action.
Call: 112 in Europe
Tell the rescuers where you are, what happened, how many victims there are, what the weather is like there. They will generally guide the questioning. Keep calm and speak in short clear sentences.
Often the guide will carry a radio for rescue.
If you have victim remember: Airway, Breathing, Recovery Position
Then very important: the COLD will put an injured person into a hypothermic state very quickly. Protect them from the elements.
Your travel insurance must cover mountain rescue and if not take a complementary insurance. The BMC, Club Alpin Francais, Carte Neige do a good accident insurance.
A European Health Card is a good idea to speed up getting in and out of hospital if need be. If you’re coming from outside of the EU, make sure your travel insurance covers medical expenses and repatriation.
Check carefully for “high risk sports” exclusions in your insurance. After an accident or injury is the worst time to find yourself with a large medical debt.