About us

With more than 120 High Mountain Guides and so many Mountain Leaders, the company of Vanoise is 2nd the most important of France. 26 offices are disseminated in all Savoy and want all to give in, alone, in group or in family the means to discover all mountain treasures and the heritage left by our elder. The massif of Vanoise with the biggest French ice sheet, its many valleys resulting in so many high summits in the easy normal ways, shelters a tremendous natural area: the 1st National French park and the biggest skiable domain of the world. High Mountain Guides and Moutain Leaders, professionals awarded a diploma by State, with their numerous trainings will transmit you their passion of the mountain in all seasons since the low valleys in peripheral zone of the Park up to the high mountains. As their elder of the family Amiez de Pralognan, or Pierre Blanc says " the Pope " of Bonneval-sur-Arc at the beginning of the century, the Company's Guides go through the mountains of the world and are ready to get you of the dream in reality by sharing their emotions.


Today, a century and some years later, the Moutain Guides and Moutain Leaders from Vanoise established themselves as one of the first companies. She counts 26 offices and 250 members. They play a leading role for the development of all the activities of mountain of the department of the Savoy. The new rocky routes opened since the beginning of 1980s come to supplement, to enrich a glacial 0ski massif very various, ideally adapted of mountain. At the dawn of the XXIth century, while tourist requests diversify, the Savoyard Guides chose to bring some change in profession towards new activities, in such the canyoning, via ferratta, the Mountain Leaders towards the winter walking in rackets and the discovery of heritage. The Guides are originators of plan, teachers, animators, innovators and security guards of natural and human heritage. Hannibal indeed used conductors to cross the Alps cols but it lacks precision. During centuries, the mountain is lived as an obstacle, a desolate and savage land that they go through only out of necessity. The most audacious natives run these centres in pursuit of chamoises, then launch in search of rhinestones, which decorate the chandeliers of the aristocracy. Very naturally, the passengers, the conquerors, later the visitors, call these audacious peasants to "guide " them towards cols... In the XVIIIth century finally the interest for nature awakes. Rousseau, solitary dawdler of Salève, above the Lake Léman, reveals the splendour of the Alps. In 1741, Windham and Pococke organise an expedition in the "coolboxes" of High Savoy. Then in 1786, at the instigation of the scholar genevois Of Saussure, the Mont Blanc is climbed up by Paccard and Balmat. The infatuation for the Mont Blanc dedicates the birth of guides job. The guides get organised in Companies: from 1821 in Chamonix, in 1850 in Valley Montjoie, on 1863 in the Pyrenees, on 1875 in Oisans, on 1876 in Vanoise. Job obeys first rules or local customs. The organisation of profession takes a national character with the law of 1948. The training, for a long time local and informal, is assured by the National School of Ski and of Mountaineering (ENSA) which issues a State certificate. At the same time, the guides regroup within the National Labour union of the Guides of Mountain (SNGM). Today, the guides all go out of the same school. But the history of job is recent. Rich man of the high facts caused by to the personalities engaging and coloured with those who were the guides of " the gold age " of the conquest of the Alps, profession is successfully between the technical nature of modern sports and the inheritance of ancient..

Mountain Guide Job

Result of a passion, high mountain guide is not a job as others. The mountaineering, disciplines queen of job in via ferrata, by way of canyoning, ski raid, off-piste skiing, waterfall of ice, climbing, the trekking, the racket and distant expeditions, the guide works worldwide.
Beyond the technical aspect of the certificate, the picture of the guide, in fact an ideal job for many young people passionate in mountain and in virgin nature. This mixture of freedom, independence and surpassing oneself, the whole in a nature frame which they are anxious with preserving, attracts young people of any horizons. Scientists, literary, but also people having left the school very early are found in the practice of ENSA polytechniciens, academics: workers, peasants, big middle-class persons, aristocrats, marginal.
Guide's job requires big competences in very various domains (glacier, rock, canyon, ski, security, ropes labourers, weather forecast, snow conditions). He must be able to assess the level of his clients: physically but also psychologically and especially have nerves steel. It is common to have the life of several persons suspended in its decisions. It is an attentive companion able to make discover the mountain.
Live on this job is not always easy. The summer season is short and very intense: running in mountain, climbing, canyon, via ferrata, travels... The winter is long: raid with ski, off-piste skiing, waterfalls of ice. The guide often left and he evolves on a dangerous ground. The autumn and the spring are habitually chosen to be the organisation of trips, acrobatic jobs or other less common activities (conception of equipment, training).

To the Companie des guides de la Vanoise, the guides are organised in 26 offices in every village or station of ski. These allow to reduce expenses by having a place, a secretariat, advertising step together. This structure allows to defend the interests of the guides and to represent them in local or territorial assemblies. She perpetuates a prestigious and important tradition for our picture. Every office offers rates which guarantee the incomes of the guides, and give a reference to others. Job is divided according to internal regulations peculiar to every office there.
Guides offices offer more and more new activities or practice. Their job stays nevertheless, mainly, the organisation of collective or private courses in the massif where they are installed. These offices are regrouped within the Companie des guides de la Vanoise.
Mainly self-employed person, the guide pays the contribution in this title in all compulsory organisms of social contributions. The guides fulfilling the duties follower to the National Labour union of the Guides which is concerned about the defence of profession, about third-party insurance, and about a lot of other inherent problems in profession. SNGM is member of the UIAGM (International Union Association of Guides Mountain) regrouping 17 countries worldwide. About 1200 guides practise currently in France.

more information on www.sngm.com

Become High Mountain Guide

To become HIGH MOUNTAIN GUIDE the front-door in profession is the grading examination of candidate guide.
This examination includes three tests requiring a very good level: test of escalation, test of ice, test any ground, test of ski.
He takes place to the National School of Ski and of Mountaineering (ENSA) in Chamonix. To register in it grading, one asks for prerequesting:
1) Be first-aid worker: have BNPS (National Patent of First Helps).
2) Have Common origin Mountain or General Common origin (160 hours of training).
3) Introduce a list of courses displayed over three years minimum certifying an experience in mountain. This list includes 55 shopping at least.

To register you in the Internship precandidate guide organised by the Companie des guides de la Vanoise, follow link below:

Once receipt in the grading, the internship of inhaling training guides is accomplished in ENSA.
He includes:
- 4 weeks the winter (2 weeks of winter activity and 2 weeks of fundamental),
- 6 weeks the summer (+ 1 week of training in the supervision of the descent of canyon)

The candidate guides has 5 years to come in examination High MountainGuide.

The candidate guides minimum consecutive in the getting of its title of inhaling guide must practise during two summer seasons.

- He must introduce a new list of 50 courses. The purpose of this courses list is to certify a professional practice and an amateur practice at high level.
- Guides internship includes 2 weeks winter and 4 weeks the summer.

High Mountain Guides certificate is acquired lifelong. The exercise of job is possible for all guides possessors of identity card issued by the Ministery of Youth and Sports and up to date of recycling every 5 years.