Hiking Guide Training and education in South Tyrol

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Mountain and ski guide

  • Guiding people on mountain tours over rock and ice or in any case in the mountains
  • Guiding people on ski tours or ski excursions
  • Specialised instruction in mountaineering and ski touring

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Hiking guides

  • Plan and lead hikes on paths and trails
  • Provide interesting facts about the landscape, history, flora and fauna
  • Take the planning and organisational work off your hands

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Alpine School

  • The union of 12 alpine schools
  • Expertise in mountain, flora and fauna
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Education

How do you become a hiking guide?

Hike leaders must be able to do much more than just lead the way on a hike. They also need to be able to do more than plan and organise hikes. After all, they are professional guides on paths and trails, so they have to be able to answer questions about the country and its people, landscape and geology, flora, fauna and culture. This is why the training of hiking guides in South Tyrol is as comprehensive as it is demanding. 

Training across the board

Since 2016, the training of hiking guides in South Tyrol has been legally regulated and laid down in an implementing regulation for the mountain and ski guide regulations. Only those who complete this training can be entered in the special register of hiking guides at the provincial professional chamber of mountain and ski guides. 

Hiking guide training generally comprises a preparatory course and an examination. The course is run by private training centres in South Tyrol in accordance with the requirements of the province and the professional chamber, includes a practical and a theoretical part and comprises at least 240 hours of training (on around 32 teaching days).

These hours are packed with a wide variety of subjects. Firstly, the basic knowledge required to lead hikes is taught. Tour planning plays an important role here, as do orientation and map skills, as well as rhetoric and communication, hiking techniques, tour leading and didactics. 

Answers to all questions

So that the hiking guides can offer their guests not only a professionally planned and guided hike, but also provide them with all the information they need about South Tyrol's mountain world and its peculiarities, the course participants are also trained in regional studies (from geography and the history of the Alps to typical South Tyrolean products) and familiarised with the special features of nature and the environment. What is a nature park and how does it differ from a national park? What other protected areas are there? And what is the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site all about? 

Two central areas of the training are, of course, the alpine fauna and flora, as well as insights into the geology that lies open before hikers in the mountains of South Tyrol like an open book. 

Because a hike can only be a carefree experience that can be enjoyed with all the senses if the safety of the guests is ensured, the prospective hiking guides also receive special training in this area. Lessons in meteorology, snow and avalanche awareness familiarise course participants with the vagaries of the weather, as well as course units in emergency management and first aid. 

Certified quality

Future hiking guides must complete the preparatory course before taking the corresponding examination, in which candidates have to prove their knowledge, especially in theory. Not only the range of subjects taught on the preparation course, but also the composition of the examination board shows just how broad the examination topics are. It includes two representatives of the mountain guides, a specialist for the theoretical subjects and, last but not least, a doctor or paramedic who is responsible for health and emergencies. 

Those who pass the examination can be entered in the special register of hiking guides, which is maintained by the South Tyrolean Chamber of Mountain and Ski Guides. And only those who are entered in this register are authorised to use the title of "hiking guide", but they must also attend regular training events in order to keep up to date with the latest knowledge and techniques. 

Comprehensive training and continuous professional development are therefore instruments of quality assurance, and a guarantee for guests.  If you are travelling with a South Tyrolean hiking guide, you are not only in the best of hands, but also on tour with a living encyclopaedia of South Tyrol! 

INFORMATIONEN Overview

Training and further education: What's next ...

General

Hiking in South Tyrol is a very special way to discover this land. If you not only want to experience nature, but also learn everything worth knowing about the landscape, geology, fauna and flora, history and peculiarities of the region, it is best to be accompanied by a hiking guide. The guide takes care of planning the hikes on designated trails, accompanies their guests and supports them with their experience and knowledge. Hiking guides in South Tyrol not only have to have this knowledge, they also have to prove it, which is why only those who can prove that they are registered in the special register of hiking guides at the South Tyrolean Chamber of Mountain and Ski Guides are allowed to call themselves "hiking guides". This ensures that guests can count on qualified guides and supervisors on their hikes.


Unlike mountain guides, hiking guides are only deployed on hikes. Wherever technical aids are required (rope, ice axe, crampons, etc.), as well as on secured climbs, internationally certified mountain and ski guides are the right people to contact.

How do you become a hiking guide?

Anyone wishing to pursue the profession of hiking guide on a freelance and professional basis must be entered in the special register for hiking guides, which has been maintained by the Provincial Chamber of Mountain and Ski Guides since 1 January 2018. The prerequisite for such registration is the completion of in-depth training that covers all areas necessary for the professional guiding of hikes: from knowledge of fauna and flora, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, geology and history to tour planning, first aid and emergency management to group leadership and dynamics. 

This training has been mandatory since the provincial government's resolution of June 14, 2016, no. 629, came into force and serves as preparation for the exam, which is administered by the provincial professional chamber of mountain and ski guides.

Training

The South Tyrolean Chamber of Mountain and Ski Guides is organizing a preparatory course for hiking guides in 2024 in collaboration with the South Tyrolean Chamber of Ski Instructors.

The course provides the practical and theoretical foundations for expertly accompanying guests on hikes. In addition to practical hiking skills, this also includes leadership skills, weather and orientation, tour planning and organization, emergency management and basic knowledge about our homeland, which guests are introduced to.

The preparatory course is aimed at all those who wish to work as hiking guides professionally and professionally.

Hiking guides organize hikes and excursions for individuals and groups. On the tour, they introduce customers to the regional nature and culture. They arouse the interest of participants not only with selected information, but also with offers such as themed hikes on legends, geology or local agriculture.

Test

The next examination for entry in the special register will take place in the week from November 11 to 15, 2024. Anyone who has attended the relevant preparatory course may take the exam. After passing the exam, entry in the special register of hiking guides is possible.

Further information will follow in mid-September. Registration will be possible from this date.