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      Simon BLACKMORE

      International Mountain Leader
      (Accompagnateur en Montagne)


      Member of BAIML - the British Association of International Mountain Leaders uimla logo

      As a fully qualified Accompagnateur en Montagne or International Mountain Leader, with a French equivalence and full Carte Professionelle, I am legally qualified to guide sub-glacier mountain terrain in France until the level where complex mountaineering techniques become required. I also have a supplementary diploma giving me the legal right to guide snowshoeing in winter and I carry the necessary professional insurance. This is French civil assurance (third party) which I get through Syndicat National des Accompagnateurs en Montagne (which I am also a member of) and includes a limited sum for helicopter rescue of clients.

      Simon I am available for trekking using refuges or one day hikes for all levels and abilities. Many clients will enjoy having lunch at a mountain restaurant as part of a day out,such as le Chapeau or Chalet de la Floria, or even La Cremerie or Le Sarpe (les Bois) for an easy day. There will always be interesting things to point out concerning the history of the valley or the environment,and the flowers and butterflies are in full season at all altitudes.

      On top of a comprehensive mountain experience logbook, (mainly in the Himalayas - see "My own experience" below) in order to gain this qualification I had to carry out a series of practical and theoretical training weeks and exams over a two year period on general mountain safety. This included nightime and zero-visibility mountain navigation, coping with adverse conditions, making and living in snow-caves, assessment of avalanche risks, protecting groups on dangerous terrain and first-aid in a mountain context. There is also a strong focus on environmental knowledge - flora and fauna and the mountain habitat.

      Advice is my pleasure to give. Please note that in high season it is normally necessary to reserve the more popular refuges well in advance.

      Snowshoeingday/Dayhike - 1 or 2 people 130; Group 150
      Trek using refuges per day - 1 or 2 people 150; Group 170
      Half-day/night excursion/short day - 1or2 people 90; Group 110 (snowshoeing or hiking)

      Simon and clients

      * * * * *
      I am a full member of BAIML - the British Association of International Mountain Leaders - which is affiliated to UIMLA - the Union of International Mountain Leader Associations.

      Snowshoeing and trekking

      All ages and abilities
      Chamonix Mt Blanc 0687 99 14 72
      * * * * *
      CLICK HERE for my e-mail address
      Simon Blackmore 0033 (0)687991472


      An Accompagnateur en Montagne, or International Mountain Leader, is qualified to guide you on a long or short mountain journey,looking after your physical comfort and safety and sharing his specialised knowledge of and love for the mountain environment in winter and summer.

      clients with donkeys The mountain footpaths pass through hamlets of traditional farm chalets with Alpine chapels, meadows carpeted with wildflowers under azure high-altitude skies and dark mossy forests full of dancing butterflies. In winter you plod silently along the same paths on snowshoes, immaculate drifts of deep snow half-burying the hamlets and shrouding the trees.
      I hope it will inspire you in the way it has myself and countless others over the last two centuries.
      I can offer you a wide choice of itineraries from easy valley paths to high mountain routes, either accessible by car or telepherique.
      Lunch at a mountain restaurant, often a traditional farmhouse, can easily be arranged as part of a day out and for hikes of more than one day I will reserve acommodation in mountain refuges. Please feel free to call to discuss your ideas - or even just for advice.


      Why go with an accompagnateur?

      Above all a guide de moyenne montagne knows his area well, and with ten years experience in the Chamonix valley I would hope to provide you with a deeper experience than by simply following a guide book - according to season, conditions, altitude, orientation and frequentation I have a fair idea for instance of where ibex are grazing, which flower meadows are particularly bright, even perhaps where butterflies are numerous and of course which paths are prettiest and mountain auberges most authentic.

      In terms of safety, although some footpaths are signposted, they are still subject to big mountain conditions, threatened by avalanches and stonefall from above and often crossing exposed sections of hard frozen snow from old avalanche debris as well as the notorious chains and ladders common in the Alps. Thick mist, snow, rain, wind and lightning arrive with little warning in the mountains and compound the usual risks of getting lost, slips, exposure and fatigue. As well as knowing the local conditions, I am trained to deal with these problems - preparation and choice of route due to experience is invaluable.

      ABOUT ME

      With daughter I am English, born in Yorkshire in 1964, and have a degree from Edinburgh University. I have lived in France since 1995 with my French girlfriend and we have a delightful 1 yr old daughter. When not working in Chamonix I live in Paris where I teach English as a second language to French businessmen, holding the coveted Cambridge CELTA qualification. So, although I do not pretend to be bilingual, I do have a reasonably good understanding and command of both spoken and written French.


      On summit of Cho Oyu

      I have spent a total of about two and a half years in the Himalayas in repeated trips to Tibet, Nepal and India since 1986. I climbed Cho Oyo summit, 27,000 ft, Everest North Ridge 27,500 ft, Shishapangma summit 25,500 ft with skis and 24,000 ft (second attempt) - I am often struck by the similarity of the Alps, where I live for part of the year, and the Himalayas in both environment and culture.

      Here you see me on the summit of Cho Oyu in September 1996 in my oxygen mask - I only used it on the summit plateau. Over my right shoulder you see the North Face of Everest, which I attempted the following year. I got as far as the middle of the long ridge (the North Ridge) on the left leading to the summit. I was climbing alone, with only starlight to guide me as my head torch had failed, before I caught up with the two others I was with, but we decided to turn back. I had spent six continuous days at 7,500 m and above.




      "Dear Simon
      Thank you so much for guiding us during our stay here in Chamonix. We really enjoyed our days with you and seeing the donkeys,churches,squirrels etc.
      We all agree you looked after us so well and were extremely considerate to our needs,
      Best regards, P,C and M"


      Here is my e-mail address, in a form unreadable to "spammers"; please note the "j" between my two names:-

      e-mail address


      It's usually better first to reach Geneva by rail or air and then travel to Chamonix by road, as the railway system is extremely slow - 4 changes between Chamonix and Geneva, or 3 hours and Eaux-vives station at Geneva which is not in the centre and hard to find.

      Try ATS or Alpibus for a shared taxi to your accomodation.


      The British Association of International Mountain Leaders

      HIGH MOUNTAIN HOLIDAYS   and accomodation in Chamonix - recommended by me.



      Sunset, MtBlanc
      Sunset, Mt Blanc