What do you need a map for? There are signposts everywhere.

That’s what I used to think, until our almost-adventure in 2008 in the Bauges Mountains. We had found a nice hut-to-hut tour in a guidebook, but after having checked into the hotel we discovered that we were in the wrong Bellevaux (there are two of them in Haute-Savoie). We quickly packed our things and three hours later we were in the right location. Unfortunately, we were unable to get a map of the area because it was Sunday morning, so we had to make do with the little map in the guidebook… This I wouldn’t recommend; after we had made our way through tall stinging nettles up a steep grassy slope, we saw through our binoculars that the path ran along the opposite side… (and that was only the beginning…).

We learned a lot from this experience, including that you can’t rely on signs along the route.

Close to villages they are installed at high intervals and with great enthusiasm, but farther out they become more and more sporadic, and are eventually nothing more than yellow dots, all but invisibly covered by moss or other overgrowth.

It’s also quite a challenge to use a map to set out a mountain hike that is appropriate to the level of the hiker, taking into account whether there are kids, dogs or people with vertigo in the group. Thanks to the guide training course I completed in Switzerland, I have mastered this art and can plan a beautiful mountain tour for any group, whether it’s a half-day or a multi-day hike.

I do more than take my clients safely from A to B. Just like a museum or a city is brought to life more with a guide, so too the mountains.

I can tell you about the surroundings, their history, and flora and fauna:

  • What flowers and plants are edible or have medicinal benefits?
  • What kind of animal passed by recently and how can you tell?
  • What is the name of the mountaintops glowing on the horizon?
  • How did people live in the Alps in the past and how do they live now?

Of course, mountains can also be formidable: how do you assess the weather, how do you cross a difficult pass, and how do you get back safely without Google Maps?

I will show you how to find your bearings with a map and a compass, and how to enjoy the mountains in safety.

If you want to enjoy the path less travelled without a care, come hiking with us!

If you need a bit more convincing, read the reviews by people who I’ve already taken off the beaten track!

If you would like more information or you would like to discuss the options suitable to your particular situation, please e-mail famke@mountfulhikes.com