Exams

Apprentice ski guide exam

Goal

To give the candidate the opportunity to apply guide techniques in mountainous ski terrain while being coached, supervised, and assessed by an experienced ACMG guide. The technical skills and judgement and decision making skills are assessed to the standard of the ACMG Assistant Ski Guide.

Format

The course is a nine-day exam. It usually takes place in remote glaciated terrain based out of tents or huts. Candidates will get exposure to guiding in all types of terrain and will undertake a number of ski mountaineering objectives. The field trips will involve a variety of, simulated, guided ski tours and ski mountaineering trips.

Expectations

Each candidate must be prepared to "guide". This means he will have applied the time between the training and the exam in a preparatory and constructive manner appropriate for a guide planning a trip with clients. Arrive with a researched knowledge of the area, a plan of day and overnight tours and knowledge of current weather and snow conditions.

Special exam areas

In addition to day-to-day guiding there may be exams in the following topics - Crevasse Rescue, Transceiver Search, Navigation, Ski Skills, Record Keeping, Teaching Session, CAA Standards, history of the mountain region.

Location and length

Nine days, mid March to mid April. Location varies but can take place in the Rockies, Coast or Interior Ranges. Past examples: Pemberton, Pantheon range, Rogers Pass.


Ski guide exam

Goal

To certify guides to work as unsupervised backcountry ski guides. Successful candidates are capable of being trained as lead guides in mechanized and ski touring/mountaineering operations.

Format

This is a ski mountaineering exam based in a lodge or camp in remote glaciated terrain. This scenario gives the ACMG and the candidate the best opportunity to demonstrate and practice the decision making and judgement skills that challenge the independent ski guide. The skills tested are also generic guiding standards that are common to "lead guides" in any mechanized ski business. Once you have passed this course the skills you have displayed are applicable to a variety of occupations including cat skiing, helicopter skiing, and ski touring. The testing is physically and mentally difficult.

Expectations

Candidates are expected to arrive with a working knowledge of the information covered in the Guide Training Ski course, Assistant Ski Guide exam, CAA Level 2 course and the ACMG manual "Technical Handbook for Professional Mountain Guides." The participants are expected to arrive in good health and capable of completing a week of strenuous touring and ski mountaineering.

Special exam areas

There may be exams in the following areas: Improvised Rescue (this skill, like transceiver search, is a prerequisite for mountain travel). Candidates may be asked to demonstrate a "rescue response" including radio call out, first aid, and team management. Candidates must have a reasonable proficiency in this category to complete the exam.

Location and length

An eight-day course run mid April. Location varies but is usually helicopter access in glaciated terrain. Examples: Nirvana Pass, Athelny Pass (coast ranges); Azure Pass (Cariboo Range), Moberly Pass (Selkirks), Albert Icefields (Selkirks), Numtijah Lodge, Mummery/Freshfield Glaciers (Rockies).