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Are our plans realistic?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Anyone know how many Brits have qualified other than through the BMG route? I know of one who went through ENSA but not sure if there are others?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Haggis_Trap wrote:

best advice is that if you really want to be a guide then start getting some basic qualifications now (Mountain Leader, Winter ML, Single Pitch Rock etc).
at 16 the world is your oyster Very Happy


without turning this into a circle jerk I think this is really good advice. Lots of qualifs you can do without too much investment and some like IML where you can work practically anywhere with clients.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Arno, I know of one Brit who qualified through ENSA (Neil McNab) but there must be others.
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@JackSkier, there is a lot of good advice above. all I can think to add is that if you have hatched this idea based on ski trips in Europe and implicitly a love of skiing I think you need to really reflect on what stevomcd says (that BMG is about climbing first and foremost - as the assumption is that you will lead climbs in the UK as your home terrain). If skiing is your thing you need to do a cost benefit analysis of all the extra climbing related time you will need to invest to get to BMG level (assuming you make it). Instead, why not just go through the BASI route and, if you get highly qualified enough, be able to ski the world (or most of it). BASI 1 can be done easily in the UK. There are lots of threads on snowheads about BASI 2 (and above) courses including costs and location.

As an aside, as far as I know, it is not realistic (there may well be a small number of exceptions who are native speakers in a second country language who made it)for you to do the IFGMA qualification anywhere outside the UK.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

As an aside, as far as I know, it is not realistic (there may well be a small number of exceptions who are native speakers in a second country language who made it)for you to do the IFGMA qualification anywhere outside the UK.



I did look into it at one stage (though decided against it when I saw how much climbing ws involved), but the Austrians are quite open to allowing Brits to do their course. It will be in German obviously, but I don't think you'd need to be mother-tongue sort of fluent.
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Haggis_Trap wrote:


a significant % of UK UIAGM guides work for Glenmore lodge before qualifying.
they have an instructor development scheme (used to be called the night watch man scheme) that you can apply for.
it is very competitive to get in but is ideal for enabling young people to get the right qualifications and experience in short period of time.


A few of my friends have done/are doing the Night Watch programme - it seems pretty rad! Very hard to get onto though; most of them had several years experience working in outdoor ed. and a fair few qualifications already.

The Lodge sounds like a really fun place to be though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
stevomcd wrote:
@Arno, I know of one Brit who qualified through ENSA (Neil McNab) but there must be others.


Some Anglo guides at least part qualified with the ENSA

Paul Mason (New York)
Jérôme Sullivan - USA (don't ask me why he has a French first name)
Ross Hewitt
Andrew Lanham (although Swiss qualified)

(note list may be incorrect or incomplete)

Neil McNab was a ski teacher first and has the eurotest so is really a very high level athlete.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Mon 23-02-15 15:45; edited 5 times in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@JackSkier,

It's not unrealistic if you really love climbing and you are a reasonably talented athlete - not premier league footballer standard but I'd say you want to be an obvious choice for most of your school teams.
But you haven't done very much climbing yet so you don't know how much you love it.

I'd suggest that the first think you should do is try to rock climb as much as possible this summer. Yes to climbing walls but also out on real crags. Transport may be an issue at your age but if you are passionate then buses can get you to some places. Join a club and you may be able to get lifts. Also get some serious mountain walking done. See how hungry you are for it. How much of your free time you are prepared to dedicate to it. The answer you are looking for is "almost all of it".
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Like others I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but having been a careers advisor for many years I think that there are a number of jobs which are so popular that making a good living from them is very difficult. Acting and outdoor pursuits both fall into this category. For every Eddie Redmayne there are 90 odd actors currently "resting", and outdoor pursuits always has younger people willing to work for less money than you! Also there is always the possibility of injury which can bring your career to a sudden end (happened to a good friend of mine who was avalanched). Having said that there are many successful people out there in your field and if you understand the difficulties and are prepared to go for it then there is plenty of good advice in this thread. Good luck.
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@davidof, thanks - I have a sneaking suspicion that the guide I know (not on your list) chose ENSA because he preferred the idea of sun-kissed summer alpine climbs to bog hopping and winter climbing in the Highlands, although I have never asked him the question in so many words Laughing
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Arno, rofl snowHead I could understand his p.o.v.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
We would both like to say a huge thanks for everyone for their advice- it has been really helpful. I think the best plan that we could make would be to keep our options open; start climbing and see if we enjoy it, go to uni and also learn another language as it can only help in our futures. Don't think that it is just a faze of 'it seems like a cool job' we have both really loved being in the mountains since our first trip and I don't think it will really ever change. It would also be another option to get a job somewhere near the mountains like Innsbruck- I think we just need to see how this plays out; we could either learn to absolutely love climbing or hate it, it's just something where we need to wait and see! Just one more that we would like to ask:
- We have looked at ski instructing but feared that a lot of time is spent teaching beginners on green runs which I think we would find quite boring. When (if) you get to a top level are you generally teaching students at a higher level? Also was wondering how the pay compares to a mountain guide? I thought that guides can earn from £250-400 a day? obviously they would probably have quite hefty insurance policies too though.
We will go to the local wall this weekend, our Dad does a little bit of climbing and has said that he will take us climbing properly too- we also have some sandstone rocks just down the road that we will be able to climb a lot at during the summer.
Many thanks again Smile
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@JackSkier, Nice that you came back and shared your thoughts.
I wish you well.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@JackSkier, top-level ski instructors are generally able to pick and choose their clients somewhat. Pay (in France at least...) is comparable to mountain guides - independent instructors are generally charging €300-€400 per day.

When training, you will undoubtedly spend a fair bit of time teaching beginners. You may find this enjoyable and rewarding or you may not! Nevertheless, at least you get a chance to get paid while you train...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I suspect that top ski instructors can earn better than guides "in the season". Not so impacted by poor weather or the need to recuperate. But the number of working days available to a guide over a year will be higher.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
No, this is utterly insane.

Get a job in an office, you'll be much happier.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@JackSkier, Good luck! It's been a pretty excellent thread I think - lots of very insightful comments. Oh, last comment, the more languages...the better!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@JackSkier, ... I think there's ski slope nearby where you can get your skiing up to scratch too wink
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stevomcd wrote:
@JackSkier, top-level ski instructors are generally able to pick and choose their clients somewhat. Pay (in France at least...) is comparable to mountain guides - independent instructors are generally charging €300-€400 per day.

When training, you will undoubtedly spend a fair bit of time teaching beginners. You may find this enjoyable and rewarding or you may not! Nevertheless, at least you get a chance to get paid while you train...


stevomcd is obviously in a much better position to advise you on the situation for ski instructors than I am, but what I would say is that I think *every* job has boring elements, no matter how much you are "living the dream", even when you progress beyond entry level. I never thought I'd enjoy teaching kids and took it up part time to fill in the pay gap when I landed myself a *really cool* job that paid a lot less than my previous kinda cool job… only to find that I loved the teaching so much I ditched the cool job and ended up doing it full time until I moved to France.

On top of all the climbing and skiing practice, and foreign language study, as well as full-time education (!) I wonder if there are any opportunities for you to do a bit of volunteering helping kids (I'm not sure what the age restrictions are)… I don't know, something like a summer activity camp or a youth scout leader or something during the school holidays? It might give you a little bit of insight into whether you actually enjoy working with people (at your age I guess it would have to be kids) in a leader/guide sort of capacity… probably wouldn't do a UCAS form any harm either…


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Mon 23-02-15 19:54; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@miranda, good call
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

probably wouldn't do a UCAS form any harm either…



+1
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
miranda wrote:
probably wouldn't do a UCAS form any harm either…


I thought University in Britain was just a way to get gullible 18 year olds to pay their own unemployment benefit for 3 years?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@davidof, well I thought it was a chance to go get leathered for three years with some new mates, and only have to pay back your loans if you actually got a job that paid an average salary… but it does seem that some employers still care about whether you did that or not…
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I agree with Stevomcd regarding the climbing. You will need to lead ED, TD with confidence (petit dru). That's a high standard. Skiing is secondary to climbing for the Mountain Guide qualification. Get climbing. If you aren't hooked then focus on skiing instead.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
miranda wrote:
@davidof, well I thought it was a chance to go get leathered for three years with some new mates, and only have to pay back your loans if you actually got a job that paid an average salary… but it does seem that some employers still care about whether you did that or not…


@jackskier, honestly, unless you really want to follow a career that needs a degree or are really keen to settle down with a 9-5 job, get a house etc. etc. I wouldn't go to Uni. I say this as someone with 2 degrees who has worked in academia all my life..

If you have no desire to ever work in a job that needs a degree then why spend 3-4 years and a load of money doing one?

There are jobs which pay plenty and give you good living conditions ie. time off, which don't require a degree, working on the oil rigs?? Starting salary is good, progression is good and you seem to work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off. You can spend your 2 weeks off where ever you want so no need to be based in the UK, a friends partner is just starting working on the rigs this summer where he will work 2 weeks on 3 weeks off.

My flatmate is a flight engineer from Italy. No idea if the qualification route is the same in the UK but he studied at home for 1.5 years, worked as an apprentice for another few till he was qualified and now has a job in the UK where he works 14 days a month, he gets other holidays on top of this as well.

Another option would be to learn a trade, I have a friend who is a hair dresser and has a 1st class business degree, the hairdressing experience has allowed her to travel and work wherever she fancies, including in the alps, it might be worth looking into the demand for qualified, english speaking plumbers, electricians etc. in alpine towns with large expat populations or where a large no. of holiday chalets are owned by Brits.

There must be loads of other jobs like this, if you don't want to follow a conventional career path then why start out on one?
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