Aspirant and Mountain Guide

Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) signed agreement with Nepal National Mountain Guide Association (NNMGA) to work jointly to produce necessary skilled human resource through training courses - Aspirant Guide Course (AGC) & Mountain Guide Certification Course (MGCC) recognized by International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA).

Entrance Exam:

To be eligible for the entrance exam candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

Be over 18 years of age
Be in very good physical shape
Possess high moral standards
Possess a very good level of: Mountaineering experience (rock, snow, ice and mixed terrain); athletic rock climbing skills, ice climbing skills, mixed climbing skills on all types of terrain. This experience certified by their list of courses and climbing certificates (References)

Access to aspirant guide course is subjected to passing the entrance exam. The challenges set in the exam as well as the minimum technical requirements are defined below:

1. An oral test on the candidate's list of climbs and experience
2. A rock climbing test: minimum 6a with mountaineering boot (Lead climbing on equipped route
3. A rock climbing test, minimum 6b with rock climbing shoes (Lead climbing on equipped route)
4. A Glacier test: the ascent, traverse and descent (using all the points of the crampon with semi technical ice axe).
5. Technical Ice Climbing test with ice tool, technical crampons (Lead climbing on equipped route)
6. Mixed terrain test: route over blocks/ascent and down-climb in mountaineering shoes.

Minimum Requirement for Entry Exam:

As per the NNMGA training directive, there is one proficient preliminary required for aspirant guide course entry exam candidates. Each applicant has to accomplish climbing training and experience on alpine peaks, which is as follows:

1. Climbing training and Alpine Peaks Climbing Experiences.
• Basic and Advance training certificate course conducted by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA)
• Experience on four trekking peak summits (NMA list).
• Experience on one summit over 7000m including at two camps in altitude.

Entry exam schedule

Date: December
Duration: 3 days
Location: Kathmandu or Rolwaling or Langtang

Aspirant Guide Course:

Aspirant Guide course is the first step education to be an International Mountain Guide, which is also indicated as transition diploma course. Aspirant guide training is consisting of three components spread out over 10 months, giving a total of 47 training days. This proposed plan does not include the approach or the return from training venue. It is a group structured based training. The dates of the different components are to be reconfirmed internally while, in the main, respecting the accepted dates. Each component will occur in three different season i.e. first component in winter, second component in summer and last component in early autumn. The first and last component will held in alpine terrain (Altitude 4000m – 5800m) and second component will held in hilly region below 4000m. Each year, the training and evaluation of components will hold on same seasons but may vary in dates.

Progressiveness in the training programme will allow the trainees to complete their aspirant guide course i.e. in each component the participant has to appear in the final evaluation. The successful completion of final evaluation will open the door of next component to respective participant. The eliminate participant, who are willing to continue the education should face the entry exam in next time.

Aspirant guide course schedule

Aspirant guide course component I
(the fundamentals techniques on alpine rock, ice and mixed craft)

Course length:  23 days
Month:   December
Day off:1 day every week
Location:  Rolwaling or Langtang or Khumbu

Aspirant guide course component II
(rock and theory modules)

Course length: 19 days
Month: June
Day off: 1 day every week
Location: Kathmandu/Bimal Nagar

Aspirant guide course component III
(theory plus snow and mixed modules, leading and managing clients)

Training length: 25 days (5 days with clients)
Month: August/September
Day off: 1 day every week
Location: Rolwaling or Langtang or Khumbu

Mountain Guide Training:

Mountain Guide Exam is final education and evaluation system to be a certified international mountain guide (IFMGA Standard). Mountain guide exam consist of one module in winter season, giving a total of 15 training days. The program should be conducted at 4000m to 6000m of different alpine terrain. This proposed plan does not include the approach or the return from training venue. The dates of the courses are to be reconfirmed internally while, in the main, respecting the accepted dates.

Progressiveness in the training programme will allow the trainees to complete their mountain guide exam with the mountaineering module last; close to the reality of the profession. The trainee who successfully completes the final evaluation will decorate as International Mountain Guide. The eliminate trainee has to face the evaluation on respective subject (in which, he/she failed) in coming future.

Minimum requirements for Mountain Guide Exam:

The trainee completes his/her Aspirant Guide Course with all three components. Successful trainees will return two years later to pass his/her Mountain Guide exam.

Before enroll in Mountain Guide Course the Aspirant Guide should exercise and update the Log Book provided by NNMGA.

Guide Exam schedule

Month: Feb/March
Course length: 21 days
Rest day: 1 day every week
Location: alpine peak bellow 6000m with glacier, snow, ice, rock and mixed route