Is it expensive ?
The effort put in planning and achieving a high mountain tour is often out of proportion with the guide's salary. Withstanding long distances, hours at a time, measuring itself in places where danger exists, doubting you?ll make it to the top... The guide has to manage through all these and a large amount of responsibilities.
In mountains, a bad decision can have large consquences. Guides spend most of their time controlling danger. They keep up with the evolution of their trade, always learning new techniques. Hiring a guide is hiring competency, resulting from a passion, but also from concessions and years of experience.
This career cannot be lived without passion : it is alsmost impossible to live solely on a guiding income. Only a hundred of Switzerland's 1450 mountain guides work full-time. Revenue fluctuates according to weather and it is often hard on family life.
Only the passionate survive in a profession where hardships are as numerous as victories. It is more than a passion, it is a calling, a way of life.
Full-time guides shy away from fortune, they are more bronzed than golden. However, guides more keen on the positive sides of their profession, less on the financial difficulties.
If the price of the tour or trip is not within your budget, it is alway possible to join a group to share the expenses. Group guiding is a good way to get acquainted with mountains.
Also, through BeMountain's search engine, mountaineers can look for partners interested in the same tours (and you get to split the bill). To do so, search under the « group » profile (more than 3 people) or under the « private » profile (for a maximum of 2 people). Detailed information for the tour will indicate the number of participants that have already booked.