I made it!

A long time goal realized, starting the UIAGM/IFMGA/IVBV Mountain guide scheme feels really good! It was not easy to get here but I was certain that I could do it. A new journey began this summer, the education to become a certified international mountain guide.

Many readers already know what the UIAGM Mountain guide program is about so I’m not going to write too much about it but briefly a short description:

The UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guide education
There is only one international mountain guide diploma, the UIAGM/IFMGA/IVBV diploma, that allows a mountain guide to work globally. You can achieve this diploma by follwing a guide scheme by any of the UIAGM/IFMGA guide organisations and it usually takes about 3,5-4 years to get ready depending on how well you perform. Once certified, you’ll be confirmed to have the highest professional mountain guide expertise in all alpine terrain, winter or summer.

In order to be invited to start you need many years of experience from both climbing, alpinism and skiing, logged ascents and descents at a certain level of difficulty in different mountain areas, through out all seasons, documented competence previous from mountain work etc etc. The requirement of experience to start is pretty grand.

Sjur Hauge is working on short rope techiques with our instructor Robert Caspersen on the summer alpine guide course this year

Sjur Hauge is working on short rope techiques with our instructor Robert Caspersen on the summer alpine guide course this year

Entry tests

If your list of experience is accepted by the guide organisation you’re invited for entry tests. In the Norwegian scheme Nortind you first have 4 days of skiing/navigation tests in springtime followed by another 3-4 day bulk of alpine climbing tests in varied terrain/weather a month later. Getting through the “needles eye” was among the toughest all-around tests I’ve been through. I passed the last tests in May and in July we had our first guide course.

The UIAGM scheme started by a course in the Norwegian legendary mountain massif of Jotunheimen with a course in geology, mountain vegetation and values. For 5 days we walked around examinating the nature, and had a lot of discussions about values, the guide role, some soft skills etc. A good way to start an education that will have a lot to do about the handcraft of guiding, skills and sharp focus.

Kull 15 Nortind

Our class top of Vågakallen, Lofoten sept 2015. Øyvind Eek, Pål Røsrud, Bjørg Selvåg, Sjur Hauge, Øyvind Salvesen, Sander Buene and myself. Vegard Rye was missing on this photo.

Great class!

We are 8 new candidates and the class is superb. I’m certain that I will learn as much from my fellow class mates as through the courses. And another great thing is that I’m not the only woman but we are actually two. There are today only 3 Swedish and 3 Norwegian certified UIAGM female mountain guides so let’s hope we’ll increase that number!

Bouldering on the Jotunheimen rocks

Bouldering on the Jotunheimen rocks

In Lofoten on the summer alpine course this autumn, we had 10 great days of intense work and a lot of fun. We practised on rescue techniques at multi pitch routes with full scale exercises, had many days of short ropening – the so called dark art, multi pitch techniques, efficiency, more soft skills and a certain number of themes to discuss in evenings and breaks.

The course was brilliant and our instructors Robert Caspersen, Marius Olsen and Seth Hobby almost outshone the good weather. Almost.

Thank you everyone for a good start, next up is Skiing and First responder/aid in Hemsedal. Looking forward.

Sander Buene belays high above the sea on Vågakallen North ridge, Lofoten Islands

Sander Buene belays high above the sea on Vågakallen North ridge, Lofoten Islands

Øivind Salvesen about to get rescued on the full scale mountain rescue exercise in Lofoten during our alpine course.

Øivind Salvesen about to get rescued on the full scale mountain rescue exercise in Lofoten during our alpine course.

Belaying at Myggapillaren, Lofoten.

Belaying at Myggapillaren, Lofoten.

Mountain rescue at the Gandalf wall. Sjur and Bjørg working on the thing.

Mountain rescue at the Gandalf wall. Sjur and Bjørg working on the thing.