International Mountain Leader
(Accompagnateur en Montagne)
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.
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)
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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
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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.
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.
BACK TO TOP OF PAGE
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.
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.
MY OWN EXPERIENCE
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.
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:-