Are confident and have experience skiing off piste, or climbing and mountaineering in the backcountry. If you’re trying out an activity for the first time eg. Ski touring, split-boarding or ski mountaineering, we recommend you hire an instructor until you’ve learnt the ropes. After this, a guide is the best choice for in-depth knowledge of a resort’s backcountry: from taking you to the best lines on a powder day, touring in pursuit of untracked snow, multi-day or hut-to-hut tours, mountaineering and climbing.
An IFMGA guide is qualified to lead you around off-piste, or ‘backcountry’ terrain, in an informed and supportive way. They use their experience and qualification to make decisions on itineraries, taking into account weather conditions, safety and the goals and ability of the group. This could be from your first experience ski touring, or finding fun off-piste in a new resort, to a hut-to-hut high Alpine route, or scaling Mont Blanc or the Eiger. Guides will offer full-day or multi-day guiding, and are often happy to guide groups of mixed skier and snowboarders. They will sometimes provide additional off-piste equipment for clients, but this is not a guarantee.
Teach you to ski or snowboard. By the time someone has qualified as an IFMGA guide, it’s highly likely they’re an incredible skier, and most will be happy to give you tips or suggestions, but they are not qualified as instructors and are not responsible for developing your skiing or snowboarding skills. Whilst you can hire a guide privately for your group; different activities will have different maximum head-counts, for safety reasons. In addition, guides generally work in the backcountry, if you’re looking to be led around a resort’s pistes, we advise you choose instructor-led guiding.