With so many hiking tour operators offering their services, how do you choose the right one for a particular trip? Everyone seems to offer “expert guides” and “the trip of a lifetime.” We at Alpine Interface believe that any active holiday, be it walking, hiking, trekking or sea kayaking, is more than just the activity. It is a full immersion, both linguistically and culturally, into a new environment. That’s why the following points are very important to our guests and us:
The most important factor on guided trips is your hiking guide. He or she is your link to the destination and its culture. Guides make or break a trip: that has been our most profound belief for nearly 20 years of guiding around the world. Most guides will have undergone several years of training and assessment before being awarded certification. We strongly believe that local knowledge is key to providing a trip of the utmost quality.
Our hiking adventures such as “The Walkers’ Haute Route” and “The Tour du Mont Blanc,” differentiate us from other operators’ trips. We do this by working with certified hiking guides who possess an intimate knowledge of the area and speak the languages of the countries they trek in. They have the expertise to navigate alternative routes, stopping to visit small, family-run dairy farms, and taking the time to interact with the locals, such as the farmers, hoteliers and shepherds.
As Alpine Interface Inc. has grown, so too has the number of destinations. By carefully searching the globe for committed professionals who demonstrate the same penchant for quality, respect for the environment and outstanding guiding skills, Alpine Interface maintains the highest level of personal service yet offers competitive prices. As Louis, director of Alpine Interface says, “When we aren’t the local experts, we hire them!”
At Alpine Interface, the use of internationally certified guides is a guarantee that your trip leaders meet the highest standards of training and expertise, and also hold the requisite insurance to operate in their designated location. They have up-to-date First Aid training, and carry emergency radios and/or satellite phones that link them to mountain rescue.
Throughout Europe, the UIMLA (Union of International Mountain Leader Associations) has set high standards for mountain leaders of hiking tours around the world. This is the required certification for leading guided hikes in most member countries of the European Union and Switzerland. Most of our European guides work full time as guides. They enhance their knowledge and skills each year by spending hundreds of days in the mountains guiding clients, but also working as naturalists, photographers, and freelance writers.
The use of certified guides who work for remuneration in France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland is mandatory. Why risk an abrupt end to your trip when a little research can ensure that your hiking tour employs only certified guides?
Only the International Mountain Leader and the IFMGA Mountain Guide are formally qualified to lead guided trips in international mountains. For more information, please visit the websites of the British Mountain Leader Association (BAIML) and the French Association of Mountain Leaders (SNAM).
Alpine Interface, as our name indicates, wants to be an interface between all that is Alpine and you, the intrepid traveler. Whether you’re looking for the journey of a lifetime or just a week away, our tours provide the way. Enjoy the bliss of hiking in the mountains, sea kayaking in the Adriatic or Mexico, or exploring dozens of other destinations. All of our trips have been carefully researched using the expertise of local guides throughout the world. Our Himalayan trips, such as the Everest Village Trek and Base Camp, stand out not only for the sheer beauty of the walk, but also because of the careful planning and logistical support that this journey requires. Handpicking our team of Sherpas, with whom we have worked for many years, creates a richer experience for all involved. Hiking with locals who can communicate their passion for what they do is far more enriching than being led by inexperienced “summer help,” just looking to earn an easy salary.
On most of our group hiking tours, we limit the group size to 8 guests. Most companies have a minimum departure size of 5-6 max. We confirm our trip departures as soon as three guests have confirmed their participation. Our small groups ensure flexibility, and real interaction with the country, culture, and people.
Get direct telephone access to a regional manager who can answer your pre-trip questions. We also offer you downloadable information and constant contact during your planning phase. Alpine Interface, Inc. assists you in choosing the right trip for your interests and ability level. We answer phone calls and emails promptly to keep you informed about what is happening. Speaking four European languages, we can assist you with personal travel plans and handle all necessary changes. However, we only provide ground transportation. Upon booking one of our trips, you will receive a comprehensive information package, including a detailed itinerary with elevation gains and descents for each day, as well as background information, a topographic map, and practical tips for the designated area.