The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

The association, suggested by Walter Perren with the encouragement from Parks Canada, became reality on May 23, 1963 when the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides was registered in the Province of Alberta. The founding members were Hans Gmoser, Eric Lomas, Peter Fuhrmann, Brian Greenwood, Willi Pfisterer, Dick Lofthouse, Leo Grillmair, and Heinz Kahl. Guides holding a Parks Canada license prior to 1963 were automatically eligible for membership in the new association. By 1966, a program for training and certifying guides was in place. In 1972, the ACMG became the first non European member of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA), the international body that sets professional standards for mountain guides worldwide.

Guides have played a major role in Canada’s rich and colourful mountaineering history as well as being a major partner with the Alpine Club of Canada. In 1896 the first professional mountain guide worked in Canada. The first of the renowned “Swiss Guides” came to the Canadian Rockies in 1897. By 1899 the Canadian Pacific Railway decided that guides were essential for the safety and well-being of their guests and began the tradition of importing European guides to take guests into the Canadian mountains. These professional guides played a role in first ascents of many major peaks including Mt Sir Donald, Mt Sir Sanford, Mt Robson, Mt Louis, and Bugaboo Spire to name a few.

The ACMG now has over 850 members and Canadian guides can be found working around the world. We are perhaps best known for having developed helicopter skiing and setting the acknowledged standard for safety and client care in ski guiding.

The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides was awarded the Alpine Club of Canada’s President’s Award in 2012.