WORDS BY ALISON JONES | JUNE 30, 2020
As a company that’s spent over 50 years staying at the forefront of safety, CMH is continually looking for new ways to enhance the skills of its guides.
There are many ways this is achieved, but one of the most effective is the CMH Guide Development Program.
Born out of a desire to continually grow and develop aspiring guides, both for CMH and the guiding industry as a whole, we wanted to provide hands-on experience in the backcountry that ultimately helps them through their accreditation journey and to improve.
For perspective, becoming a certified guide requires commitment.
Our 100+ member team represents over 1,400 years of guiding experience. All CMH Guides have completed a multi-year certification process with either the internationally recognized Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), or the Canadian Ski Guide Association (CSGA).
Our Heli-Skiing guides are trained in client care, avalanche hazard forecasting, risk mitigation, mountain rescue, and emergency first aid.
The program helps on many levels. From those looking to apply to the ACMG program and who need more experience with the guidance of a senior guide and instructor, to those already in the ACMG ski program
What is the CMH Guide Development Program?
This free program for CMH guides offers various multi-day training trips into the backcountry throughout the winter, as well as ski mountaineering camps in March and April. Around 15 Tail and Apprentice Ski Guides join a senior CMH guide for hands-on training in any areas in which they’ll be later tested during their exams.
- For Tail Guides looking to get into the ACMG Training and Development courses, these trips are a safe way to head into the mountains with the guidance of someone who is both highly trained and prepared to help them learn and develop their guiding skills.
- For Tail Guides already in the ACMG Training and Development program, the program helps them continue to hone best practices and the skills they have learned in their ACMG courses. These development days also help them prepared and train for their upcoming ACMG apprentice ski exam.
- For qualified Apprentice Guides who are preparing for their final exam to become an ACMG Ski Guide, they receive similar program benefits as Tail Guides. Their development days focus on them leading the instructors, with the instructors providing critical feedback. These Apprentices are already qualified and are in the final stages of their ACMG accreditation process – the hands-on training and coaching they receive are the final touches to prepare for their last exams.
Those in training often dictate topics covered while out in the field. If Tail and Apprentice Guides are looking for more knowledge on rope work or handling avalanche conditions, for example, this is what the group leader will focus on during the trip.
Ultimately, the program is a highly effective system for supporting the accreditation process. It helps to connect and foster structured relationships between those who want to enter the industry with highly qualified individuals.
It’s great for our employees and the industry as a whole. Whether we’re helping to develop guides for CMH, or for those who later work elsewhere, it helps create highly skilled and qualified guides.
For more information on this and any of the career paths available to you at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, please see our careers page >