About the BMG
BMG members work as Mountain Guides in the UK, Europe and further afield in the world’s famous climbing areas and high mountain ranges. Every BMG Guide has a solid base of experience, knowledge and skill. Collectively they share a common passion for climbing, mountaineering and skiing, and a professionalism for leading groups in challenging and hazardous terrain. Beyond this, they are a diverse group of individuals, with a wide range of achievements and other interests.
The history of Mountain Guides in Britain goes back to the end of the 18th century. However, national recognition of the term Mountain Guide had to wait until the creation of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) in 1944. The BMC and the Association of Scottish Climbing Clubs (ASCC) awarded certificates and tested the first official Mountain Guide in Britain. Hence, the BMC Guide certificate was the first recognised qualification for mountain leadership in Britain. The body of qualified guides grew slowly during the 1950’s and 60’s, and those early guides were defined by their region and category (i.e. rock or mountain, and for some Scottish Winter).
During the 1960’s there was a move to create an independent national body to manage professional standards for British guides and run training and assessment courses to a uniform higher standard. This coincided with the first steps in the Alpine countries in 1965 to create an international union for mountain guides associations (initially widely known by its French acronym of UIAGM).
In 1947, there were only five professional Mountain Guides in England and Wales. In 1995, the number of fully qualified British guides passed the one hundred mark. Today, BMG has a membership of just over 200 including trainee and retired Guides. The acronyms have moved on (UIAGM tends to be know by the English alternative IFMGA, and ABMG has been shortened to BMG) but the passion and professionalism remains the same.
Mountain Guides lives are linked by a love and profession to the mountains, and their company will enhance the experience of all those who wish to approach the mountains and learn.