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 Post subject: Mountain/climbing guide
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:41 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Avenant
I am considering making a change in my life, and I am investigating various possibilities.

I am a professional tree climber, and have been climbing for over 8 years. As for rock, I am not that experienced, but have been climbing for about 2 years. I am looking at selling my business and to go out and do something different/new.

I have been doing some research but would like to hear some input/ideas from people in the industry please.
My idea is to do a basic instructors course at a mountaineering school, and then go from there. The goal would be to work here in SA for 6 months of the year and work in the US for 6 months of the year.

My questions are:
1. Would one get employment after doing some instructors courses?
2. According to my research, instructors in the US are pretty well paid; does anyone have any first hand info on this?
3. Would one be able to find 6 months on 6 months off jobs?
4. Which would be the best mountaineering school to attend?
5. Are there any mountaineering/climbing coursers in Cape Town that will be accepted/endorsed by other climbing schools in the US/Europe?

Thanks for your help in advance.


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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:09 pm
Posts: 248
Hi Willem,

A comprehensive answer is asking someone to write quite an essay.
Which province are you based?
Best phone and have a discussion with someone at Venture Forth, or Rob Thomas (SML) or Gavin Raubenheimer

But in brief:
- Guides the world over usually have a 'something else' on the sideline for during the winter months / injury months / rest days.
You will hear about the 'Rock-Stars' of every industy, but consider the average, and the path that characterises the first number of years.

1. You basically need to create your own work really
2. Hmm. There are certainly some guides that have built up a reputation and a following that people will pay for, but I wouldn't bank on it when setting out
3. Unlikely, at least until you've got clients following you around
4. Venture Forth runs good courses in SA. ISM in Switzerland and the school at Plas-y-Brenin have good names too.
5. Each jurisdication has different qualifications and you will need to qualify in each. Once you have one though, it gets easier to convert. In SA our SETA system calls it 'recognition of prior learning'. The rock-climbing quals overlap a lot. The snow-ice-alpine have very particular requirements by country. If you want to be a globtrotter guide you'll need a UIAA / UIAGM guide qualification which is quite a little project that will take some time and expense.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 6:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:41 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Avenant
Thanks for the advice Ant

I will give the guys at Venture Forth a call, and have a chat.

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:45 pm
Posts: 592
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Unless you have an ace up your sleeve you are going to need a sponsor for a visa if you want to spend 6 months of the year legally working in the US. Europe might be a more practical option, at least for starters.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:41 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Avenant
Hi Chris

My wife is from the US, so a visa would not be an issue.


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 10:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:45 pm
Posts: 592
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
That's the Ace. :thumleft:


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