School of mountain guides of Kyrgyzstan keeps going.

School of mountain guides of Kyrgyzstan keeps going.

The dog barks…caravan keeps going”  

(popular wisdom)



March 2010, Kyrgyz range foothills, Kyrgyzstan. The second module of training course for aspirant-guides of the first intake of the School of mountain guides took place from 1st to 12th of March. The main theme of the module was skiing. 9 people participated in the training (7 people from Kyrgyzstan and 2 from Russia). 8 participants passed their exam and were certified as aspirant-guides of the School and will start practicing the knowledge they’ve got. One of the students didn’t get his certificate and was given opportunity to continue training with the next group.

The main topics and exams of the ski training were as following: 1) ski techniques (ascent, descent) on the tracks and pristine hills; 2) identification of the avalanche danger; 3) search in avalanche; 4) orientation in the mountains; 5) work with clients during the ski trips; 6) methodology of ski teaching. Training module was taught by expert trainers of UIAGM-IFMGA – Adolf Schlunegger and Erik Zommer both are members of SAMG

The final exam of the second group intake for the School of Mountain Guides under the Kyrgyz Mountain Guide Association was held on March 14-15, 2010. The Alpine skiing exam was held on March 114th, and exams on climbing, ice climbing and rope skills was held on March 15th as well as the language test for those who didn’t take it in October, 2009. Acceptance to the School was based on the total result of two exams with account taken of mountaineering experience of a candidate. 17 students were accepted to the second intake. Two of them are candidates. Among the students 6 people are from Kyrgyzstan, 9 – from Russia and 2 – from Uzbekistan. First training module of the second group will take place in October 2010.

The skiing exam was held on the skiing technique on the track. Two tries were given to the examinee and the best result out of two was registered. Those students who didn’t take exams in autumn had to pass three missing disciplines: rock and ice climbing, roping skills and language test.

Rock climbing. Place of exam: Alagush rocks in Ala-Archa canyon. The task of the exam was to pass two routes each of 20 m with the upper safety straps. One participant wearing mountaineering boots (G4-G5 difficulty level) and second participant wearing climbing shoes (G5-G6 difficulty level). Evaluation was done by three parameters: 1) climbing technique; 2) roping skills; 3) general performance (speed, movement uniformity and accuracy)

Ice climbing. Place of exam: frozen waterfalls of Sharkratma in Aksai gorge of Ala-Archa canyon. The following techniques were evaluated: walking in the crampons on the slopes of different steepness – ascent, descent and traverse frontward and backward to the slope using ice axe and its equivalents. Two parameters were evaluated: 1) full foot movement technique on the gentle slope; 2) movement technique on the front tooth crampons.

Adolf Schlunegger and Erik Zommer were the examiners. 30 students were allowed to take the exams (8 people from Kyrgyzstan, 7 – from Uzbekistan, 11 – from Russia and 4 – from Kazakhstan). Among them 5 students were women. 7 of the allowed were not present and were not accepted accordingly. However, they can take this exam to the third intake.

Entrance examination on all subjects to the third group of the School will be held in March 2011. The size of the new group will be 15-20 students. Tuition fee for the third is not decided yet.

Director of the School from UIAGM-IFMGA is Adolf Schluneger and director from KMGA (the Kyrgyz Mountain Guides Association) is Vladimir Komissarov. The School is sponsored by the mountain project in Kyrgyzstan ran by Mammut (Switzerland) and local sponsors. The School was certified by the State Agency of Vocational Technical Training under the government of the Kyrgyz Republic. Five specialties are taught in the School: 1) Mountain guide; 2) Mountaineering/Rock climbing guide; 3) Trekking guide; 4) Rock climbing instructor – methodologist and 5) Alpine ski guide.

KMGA submitted application for the membership in UIAGM-IFMGA. The application was considered by the technical committee of UIAGM-IFMGA and KMGA is recommended for joining UIAGM-IFMGA as the country-candidate.

That is the way it is!

More detailed information about the Association and Kyrgyz Mountain Guides School you can find on our web site (launch of new site with new name coming soon).

Article by Vladimir Komissarov, photo by Vladimir Komissarov and Adolf Schluneger.