Mountain & Ski Guide Training 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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  • The union of 12 alpine schools
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Training and further education

How do you become a mountain guide?

Master, professional and teacher on the mountain: before you can adorn yourself with these titles, i.e. before you can bear the title of "mountain and ski guide", you have to undergo a selective, lengthy, comprehensive and demanding training program in South Tyrol. The basis for this is provided by the mountain and ski guide regulations of the province of South Tyrol from 1991 and the associated implementing ordinance, which came into force two years later. 

Our courses and appointments

Skilful Alpinists – even before training

The first hurdle for all those who are interested in the training course is already waiting before admission. After all, you can only start the course if you are already a qualified alpinist, i.e. if you can demonstrate experience and ability in all alpinist disciplines. The tour reports are therefore scrutinised year after year, in which the candidates must provide evidence of challenging tours in the disciplines of climbing, skiing and mountaineering. If the tour report fulfils the specified criteria, one-day aptitude tests in each of the three disciplines follow. 

100 course days in two years

In even-numbered years, i.e. every two years, the actual training courses begin with a theory block in spring. This is followed in the summer by the rock training block of 22 or 23 course days as well as a unit on mountain rescue and another theory section on fauna, flora, geology, geography, alpine and national history. There are also social, legal and economic aspects of mountain guiding as well as avalanche awareness.  

The winter part of the training programme comprises a further 20 or so course days and focuses on ski touring, freeriding and avalanche awareness. The start of the second year of training is marked by the alpine tour training, which again lasts around 20 course days. 

From candidate to mountain guide

After a total of 100 course days, the future mountain guides are allowed to take an exam in which all the training content is tested once again. To ensure that this examination has an official character, the province of South Tyrol then also conducts the - purely theoretical - qualification examination, which turns a simple course participant into an aspirant mountain guide. 

Aspirant mountain guides then spend 18 months gaining professional experience, after which there is another ten-day course in the disciplines of rock, ice and skiing. This is the last course for the time being and ensures that the candidates are promoted to the category of internationally recognised mountain guides. 

Lifelong learning

Because the profession of mountain guide is constantly evolving and alpine technology does not stand still, all mountain guides must undergo further training. As with other protected professions, continuous further training is also compulsory for mountain guides. This is by no means a chore, as the South Tyrolean Chamber of Mountain and Ski Guides always ensures that what has been learned can be used in everyday life or even opens up new fields of activity - for example in the form of specialisation courses for working on suspended ropes. 

Detailed information

Training and further education: What's coming up

Training

Every two years, the province of South Tyrol, in collaboration with the South Tyrolean Chamber of Mountain and Ski Guides, organizes training for mountain and ski guide candidates. The professional training for the "dream job" of mountain guide is carried out in South Tyrol according to international standards and enjoys a very good reputation. The training lasts a total of three years and is carried out by highly qualified instructors in both local languages. In order to take part in the demanding professional training, a tour report must be submitted according to certain criteria from the last few years and a practical aptitude test must be passed.

In order to achieve mountain and ski guide candidate status, all training examinations must be passed in the first two years and professional practice and participation in the final course must be completed in the third year. After approximately three years, candidates are awarded the title of International Mountain and Ski Guide (IVBV).

 

Application

Registration is made by sending the completed forms (tour report & application for aptitude test) to the responsible provincial office by e-mail (tourismus@provinz.bz.it), by post or in person.

The application for the aptitude test must be accompanied by a copy of the identity card and a stamp for 16 euros.

Further information can be obtained from the South Tyrolean Chamber of Mountain and Ski Guides (Tel. 0471 976 357, Mail: info@bergfuehrer-suedtirol.it).

Costs & dates

Deadline for submitting the application for training: January 23, 2023

Next training cycle: 2025

Stamp of the practical aptitude test: 16 euros

Tour report

The tour report form is intended for listing the "top ten" tours of the last few years in all disciplines.

The tour report will be evaluated by the examination board and announced at a meeting one week before the practical aptitude test.

Attention: Compulsory attendance for all candidates! 

Aptitude test

A positive tour report is required for admission to the practical aptitude test.

Candidates with a positive tour report are admitted to the practical test of skiing and climbing technique on rock and ice. This lasts three days. Only participants with positive assessments in all four disciplines are admitted to the multiple courses.

Further education

In order to have a valid professional license, South Tyrolean mountain guides are obliged to attend at least three days of further training every three years. We try to offer a very diverse range of courses and focus much more on motivation than on obligation. With success. Many mountain guides attend further training courses beyond the prescribed duration. The latest developments in the alpine sector are taken into account in the training courses, and we always have very good local and international specialist speakers as guests.

Foreign professional qualifications

Mountain guides with a foreign professional qualification may also carry out the activity in South Tyrol temporarily and occasionally. If they wish to exercise the activity in South Tyrol on a permanent basis, they must have their professional qualification recognized.

Applications for recognition of a foreign professional qualification can be submitted to the competent provincial office at any time. The application for recognition of a foreign professional qualification must be stamped with a stamp of EUR 16.00.