/ BMG ski mountaineering requirements (Linked Days)

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Mr-Cowdrey on 29 Jan 2014
I'm prepared to be shot down here, but here goes.

I've decided to go down the road of BMG and gain MIA/MIC on my way there and (as sad as it sounds) have set a timeline around the requirements and when I 'realistically' am ready to register etc.

A bit of background info:
I've started skiing but have only skied for a week in Austria to date. Out there, I could ski all pisted runs in relatively good style but only touched on some off piste I.e. going down 'off piste' down the side of a red before coming back on piste at times.

I'm heading out to Chamonix in March and want to do some easy tours to start gaining the touring requirements for BMG.

My question is: regarding the linked days (3 consecutive nights in huts) do these have to be 3 seperate huts that you tour between (eg the Haute route) or does it count if you spend 3 nights in the same hut and do tours starting from there (eg Argentiere hut and touring round the Argentiere basin for 4 days)

I know I shouldn't get hung up on requirements and just enjoy being in the mountains etc but this just gives me a goal to aim for each year and ideas when planning trips :)

Thanks in advance and all advice (helpful or other wise) is appreciated.

Chris
Cuthbert on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

Surely best to ask the BMG?
Mr-Cowdrey on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:

I was hoping the knowledgeable folk of UKC would know.
Mr-Cowdrey on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to Saor Alba:

But cheers, I'll email them :)
graham F - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey: It looks like you've found the pre-requirements on the BMG website.
http://www.bmg.org.uk/index.php/eng/Guide-Training/Pre-requirements

The ski bit has this phrase:
"at least three consecutive nights in huts on recognised tours"

which I guess rules out 3 nights in the same hut...

But if you've only done a week of skiing I'd concentrate on improving your skiing instead of ticking the requirement boxes. The skiing standard is going up and you need to ski pretty well now, even to pass the first entry test.
Mr-Cowdrey on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to graham F:

> The ski bit has this phrase:

> "at least three consecutive nights in huts on recognised tours"

> which I guess rules out 3 nights in the same hut...

That was my first impression, but I have the mont blanc ski tours guide book by Vamos and lots of the routes start and finish at the same hut. That's why I used the Argentiere basin as an example. So are all the tours in the guide book recognised tours?

I realise the importance of being a very good skier and have (I think) allowed enough time to improve to their standard (5 years) although, all that rides on me being able to ski every year for at least a week.

Cheers for your input though :)

Mountain Spirit - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

Hello

I would love to do the BMG scheme to.

I am doing two ski holidays this yearn - Bulgaria in Feb and another one in March - maybe Les Arcs or Cervinia.

Bye

Savvas

AdrianC - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

Like Graham (Hi Graham!) my first thought was that the part that sounds like it's most likely to trip you up is the downhill skiing. For that you just can't beat lots of mileage - ideally that'll be in the widest range of snow conditions you can find, with a big pack and some bad weather. Obviously I haven't seen you ski but at this stage of the process you might think about ways to fitting in a full ski season somewhere along the line. That's likely to set you up really well whereas I suspect that a week a year, even for five years won't be enough. Hope that's some help - I'm happy to try to give other pointers if you want to email me.
Mr-Cowdrey on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to AdrianC:

Ski season is a good idea which I have considered. And cheers, I'll keep you in mind.

Chris.
tompg7 - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

I'm on the BMG scheme and I beleive they have to be different huts, that was my understanding when I was ticking the pre-reqs.

On a different note, why do you want to do through the MIA/MIC road if you are set on the BMG? It will probably slow your progress with the BMG and cost you loads more money. The benefit is it will help to some extent with the UK elements of the BMG, but it seems to me only slightly, and I'm not sure there is any correlation with the guys who successfully progress on the scheme whether or not they have MIA/MIC. Better just to focus on one path or the other IMO.
Mr-Cowdrey on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to tompg7:

The MIA / MIC route is a back up incase I don't get accepted onto the scheme or fail part of the induction phase.

Plus it's a way if making money leading up to the time I apply and during the training.

When I looked into it a while back, I realised I could gain the requirements for MIA & MIC through gaining the BMG requirements. 2 birds, 1 stone kind of thing. Besides, I'd rather be working in the mountains iver the next 5 years as opposed to doing the job I'm in at the moment.
Murko Fuzz - on 04 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

If you're intent on BMG I wouldn't bother with MIA and MIC, neither of which are easy or quick, it's going to double your workload, and your bill!
As a self employed builder you may be able to engineer the time and money to just enjoy your climbing all the way throughout the entry requirements. That may be more efficient than trying to hack a living out whilst going through the early stages of the MT stuff. Beyond the BMG summer test you'll be able to take paid work anyway.

I started touring before I could ski properly and it was hard going. Hefty resort mileage and some coaching sorted that out and then the touring became ace! Some of the classic Austrian tours have some friendly hills to ski.
highclimber - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

Why are you interested in the BMG? Serious question. It's a lifestyle not a profession in reality. Like parenthood only, you won't get to see much of the kids if you're working in the alps all year!
Edradour - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

> I've started skiing but have only skied for a week in Austria to date. Out there, I could ski all pisted runs in relatively good style but only touched on some off piste I.e. going down 'off piste' down the side of a red before coming back on piste at times.

As others have said, you're unlikely to be close to the ski standard at the moment.

Being honest (I'm a ski instructor), unless you have an outstanding natural aptitude for the sport, your definition of 'relatively good style' is likely to be way off the mark. A ski season is a good idea or, at the very least, a decent period of instruction, i.e. 4 consecutive weeks plus for a couple of seasons in a row.

Off piste skiing with a pack during a ski tour is very different from the side of a piste in a resort, as I am sure you are aware.

Time on snow is what you need for skiing I'm afraid. And decent tuition. There are few short cuts.

Mr-Cowdrey on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to highclimber:

That's a good question. I've aleays wanted a career in the outdoors as I love climbing, walking and now skiing and love instructing, guiding, passing on advice and getting people interested in what I do. I passed my Summer ML assessment when I was 19 and from then, have really enjoyed instructing etc Hence the MIA/MIC route.

The BMG route just seemed like an amazing goal to aim for and combined everything I enjoy. There are more reasons but I'm afraid I'll start to sound too emotional and poetic ;)

But if you're good at something and and enjoy it, then why not try and make a career out of it?
Mr-Cowdrey on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Edradour:

Ohh I know :) I've only skied for a week. I may be good, but not that good ; (

Ski season is already being considered, as is further tuition. I haven't had the pleasure yet to ski 'proper' off piste but can imagine the difficulties.

Cheers for the advice :)
OwenM - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

Where about's in the UK are you based?
Mr-Cowdrey on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to OwenM:

Down in the small lake of Somerset. Not good when it comes to travelling to Scotland. Or Mountains.
OwenM - on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

Ah, not so good for Scotland then. From there it'd be quicker and cheaper to head for the Pyrenees. Another area to think about is the Picos de Europa, there's no downhill skiing but it's great for touring and wont break the bank. just an idea so you can get the miles in.
Mr-Cowdrey on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to OwenM:

Excellent suggestions. I'll look into it :)

Just to go completely off topic with the skiing, in regards to the other BMG requirements:

They ask for 20 ascents of major alpine summits. Now are these summits regarded as 4000m peaks or do summits like the Chardonnet and the Courtes count?

Also, they also ask for 20 alpine routes. Are these seperate routes from those used to gain the major summits (equalling 40 routes) or can they be in conjunction with the summits? Ie The Colton/Brooks route on the Droites (A major summit, plus a route, plus 1 of the 5 TD+ serious mixed routes)

I know, I know, don't get hung up on requirements but I like to be thorough and clear things up :)
alasdair19 on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

I'm on the scheme and forward you My accepted tick list. The issue for.most is your 10 tds.

Many people are.asked.to do.more after submitting so get advice from the training commitee early.
Mr-Cowdrey on 05 Feb 2014
In reply to alasdair19:

If you coukd email me that'd be great, just gives me an idea of what to aim for.
Scotsken on 06 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

If you are a builder then get yourself out to Chamonix. There are loads of rich brits out there who would rather hire an english builder. If you are a novice skier you really need to do a season or two to get enough turns under your belt and you'll easily be able to do enough ski touring while you are there plus get enough alpine climbing experience.

Lets face it if you are going to be a guide thats probably where you are going to end up spending a large part of the year anyway so you may as well get settled there.
Mr-Cowdrey on 06 Feb 2014
In reply to Scotsken:

That's not a bad idea, and as mentioned before, I'm considering a ski season for next year :)
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Mr-Cowdrey on 13 Feb 2014
In reply to Mr-Cowdrey:

one last ski touring question ;)

what defines a quality ski touring/mountaineering day? duration, height gained etc?

Does skinning across to the Chere couloir, climbing it, then descending via the Valle Blanche (or back up to the midi) qualify as a quality ski mountaineering day?

what about skinning to Les Courtes from the Argentiere hut and back after a climb?

cheers :)

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