• Urs Wellauer
  • Martin Berner
  • Gregor Braun
  • Gilbert Guirkinger
  • Aldo Guerrero
  • Lasha Kvekveskiri


IFMGA mountain guides and rope access work in the fields of industry and natural hazards.

There exists a decades-long tradition in the mountain guide profession of applying their rope access skills to working in the fields of industry and natural hazards.

Since the beginning of 2000, training courses for rope access work have been regulated by law in Switzerland and most European countries. Initially, only the Swiss Mountain Guides Association conducted training courses in industrial rope access techniques, later cooperating with the Austrian and German Mountain Guides Associations, and South American member countries such as Georgia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina who now also have well-established training courses in accordance with the IFMGA Rope Access Standard, allowing them to take on their international competitors.

A mountain guide’s practiced competence in rope techniques combined with their ability to move in all terrains and to recognise changes in their natural environment, particularly in this age of progressive climate change, are advantageous prerequisites for rope access work in industry and natural hazards – thus providing mountain guides with an additional platform to practise their profession all year round.

A future concept is the close cooperation of trained rock specialists with experts from geology and specialist construction. Trained IFMGA mountain guides with the corresponding professional competences and additional training could open a wide range of working opportunities in this field.

Current activities of the IFMGA:

The IFMGA Rope Access sub-commission promotes, accompanies, and supervises level 1-3 training courses for rope access in Europe, South America, and Eastern Europe; specifically, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (course languages German/ French/ Italian), in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (course language Spanish) with several level 1-3 courses also held in Georgia (course language English/Georgian). Chile has also shown great interest in the training but is not yet an IFMGA member.

All theoretical course materials are available in all languages listed above.

The aim of the project is to establish competent national or regional teams of experts who can train the IFMGA Rope Access Standard course independently in the future. Currently, for the most part, these courses are accompanied by IFMGA experts to provide quality assurance and on-site support. Further training courses are planned for Eastern European member countries (course language English).

All IFMGA Rope Access courses Level 1 - 3 are also open to participants without mountain guide training, provided they have the appropriate skills and previous knowledge.


Urs Wellauer


Translation Lu Abegglen Grindelwald 2023 08 10