I am sitting in my living room, as I have been doing for the past few days and I just got into the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) ski guide program at Thompson Rivers University in Canada, FIRST TRY!! Ohh yeah! :D
I grew up with love for the outdoors. Traveling with friends outside, challenging myself, doing what ever she has to offer, with respect to her and my limitations. Then three years ago I was in school to become an architect …Wait what?
I sort of stumbled upon this path while finishing my Matriculation Examination focusing on art and science. I had all of a sudden applied and been accepted into Architecture Studies at the Icelandic University of the Arts. I didn't know if I liked architecture, but how would you even know? I might as well try it out since I was in…
After three semesters I had made up my mind. I had no interest being inside all day looking at a computer screen and slowly plucking out all my hair while I obsessed over a wooden model of a structure that would be critically demolished the next morning. I missed my mates at the climbing gym, missed the mountains, nature and the excitement of travel. What was I doing, why was I doing it and above all, why did I all of a sudden choose a path of safety, away from the adventures of the unknown that made me so happy?
Architecture was a great learning experience, one that I never regret trying out but ultimately, not for me. I was at a crossroads and it was time to turn away from this path and readjust my bearings.
Guiding for me at that time was a summer job - the best time of the year, the most fun work I had ever done and what I looked forward to every time I was in school. It is a challenging job of safety, responsibility, communication and trust. The goal is to go outside and provide a fun, safe memorable tip for your guests. Not so hard right? Well little did I know...
I decided then and there that if I was going to walk the guide path then I was going to be darn good at it, I would educate myself and go “all the way” by getting an IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Association) certification.
After that decision I started working full time as an adventure guide in the backcountry. Skiing, mountain/glacier hiking, ice/rock climbing, caving, sea kayaking and snorkelling. I did a lot of single and multi day adventuring from a tent, hut and boat. I developed a number of skills, including patience, understanding and strong communication skills.
After some time I had enough to put an application together. With the help of friends and family, I gained the confidence to apply to the ACMG program in Canada. I did not expect to be accepted the first time, but there is a letter on the table that says otherwise.
You know that hysteric laugh that you forced out when seeing your first scary movie with a girl you liked in college and you where trying to look all tough? Well that happened, again...
Holy shit! I just got in to the most demanding mountain guide program in the world and I live in Iceland, thousands of miles away from Canada... I felt honoured but this stirred up a lot of emotions.