What you need to know before hiring a morocco mountain guide
Morocco has a well-organised programme for training official mountain guides.
Would-be guides must pass a demanding three-day selection test before even being accepted on to the training course. They are then given six months’ training at the Centre de Formation aux Metiers de Montagne (CFAMM), just outside Tabant in the Ait Bouguemez Valley, before qualifying. As you would expect, official mountain guides are completely different from city guides. They can be identified by the personalised guide de montagne card which bears their name and photograph as well as by the set of documents they are given upon qualification.
It’s important that you employ an official mountain guide rather than a faux guide (unofficial guide)first and foremost, their profession is a proper one and they deserve to be taken seriously. They have undertaken a long and rigorous training which calls for respect. A guide who leads a trek into the mountains undertakes a big responsibility for your personal safety.
Do i need to hire a mountain guide?
Trekking without a guide is possible, but only advised for experienced hikers and then only in properly mapped areas.
If you decide to hire a mountain guide there are some very good reasons why you might choose to do this:
- Safety: He will help prevent you from getting lost, avoid dangerous trails, have a good eye for changing local weather conditions.
- Communication: Atlas Villages have only quite recently begun to welcome visitors to their previously hidden world. Few speak French and fewer still understand English. A guide will act as an interpreter so that you can talk to local people; apart from the cultural insight the such an exchange would offer, this could also be critical in an emergency.
- Understanding: If you form a good relationship with your guide, which is likely over the course of your trek, you'll benefit enormously from the chance to learn more about Moroccan life and the land through which you pass.
- Enjoyment: Finding your own way through the mountains takes considerable effort. Admittedly, it is this very challenge which appeals to some. However, if your guide is leading the way, you are free to concentrate on enjoying your trek and to take in the countryside around you.