What can a mountain guide add to your trip?
Depending on your personal knowledge and skills, a trip in to the mountains may become a great experience or a catastrophe. If you are not certain where exactly do you want to go, how to plan your trip, what equipment and technical skills are required and how to proceed in an emergency situation then probably you need a mountain guide.
Taking people in the mountains shouldn’t be only movement from one point to another but both fun, adventure and educational process. A guide can answer to the numerous practical questions that are part of every trip, take you to places you wouldn’t dare to go on your own and teach you how to cope in the mountains next time. A local mountain guide can give you a completely different point of view on the places you visit and people you meet.
How to choose a mountain guide in Bulgaria?
There is a strict separation worldwide between mountain leader and mountain guide professions. In a few words, if you need a guide for activities like hiking, cycling and snowshoeing, where no climbing, mountaineering, off piste skiing and glacier travel are mentioned as a part of the trip, then you need a mountain leader. Both professions have their representing organizations in Europe – IFMGA Mountain Guides and UIMLA Mountain Leaders.
According to Bulgarian law, there is no distinction between mountain guide and mountain leader qualifications, but only state certified guides can work legally in the country. The only internationally recognized Bulgarian mountain leaders organization at the moment is Mountains and People Association, member of UIMLA. Holders of their award cover both the Bulgarian standards and the worldwide requirements for the mountain leader’s profession.
Choosing a certified mountain guide means that you can be sure in his/hers professional skills , experience and commitment to the profession. Nevertheless you shouldn’t underestimate personal qualities like communication skills, patience and positive attitude as their lack or presence may seriously affect on the quality of your trip.
What are the advantages of organizing your trip directly with a guide?
– You can choose the dates and duration which are suitable for you;
– Can set your own pace of the program, choose the places to visit, to stay and to eat with the help of a local;
– Don’t have to mess up with people you may not like, as in a bigger organized group;
– You contact directly with the person who is going to lead you and is responsible for all the organizational hassle;
– Every trip can be planed for a tight budget or with extras and there is no total price with hidden costs – you know how much exactly do you pay to the guide, for accommodation, transport, etc.
What can we offer?
If you want to go cycling, hiking, climbing, ski touring or snowshoeing in the mountains of Bulgaria and consider hiring a mountain guide/leader, all the assistance in route planning, accommodation and transportation arrangements we may offer you through this website is for free. A certified mountain leader can be contracted for a certain trip and paid on a daily basis. Depending on the activity, route and the group size taxes vary between 65-115 EUR per day for the whole party not including the personal expenses of the mountain guide like transport, food and accommodation. Please click to check our rates. Such a scheme of organizing your trip may sound a bit more complicated on a first sight, but actually it saves you money. Please take a look at the Bulgarian Mountain Guides Profiles section or use the contact form to email us for discussing your plans or any further information.
Author: Lyuben Grancharov
“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (Augustine of Hippo). I enjoy filling up the page, called “Bulgaria”, both working as a guide and writing about the mountains of Bulgaria on this blog.