Local boy John Furneaux is one of three Canadians to earn the
prestigious Mountain Guide Certification under the Association of Canadian
Mountain Guides (ACMG) this spring.
The 27 year old from Squamish joins a league of only 125 other
Canadian guides certified under the organization. The others to earn the
certification this year are Brett Lawrence and Matt Peter of Revelstoke.
“John is to be congratulated on his success. The process is
lengthy and grueling as our standards are amongst the highest in the world. We
welcome him to the international community of guiding,” said ACMG president
Furneaux decided to become a mountain guide when he was 14
years old, after reading a magazine article about a guide working in the
Since then, he has developed an impressive resume.
Through his work as a guide at the Canadian West Mountain
School, Furneaux has led expeditions to Cho Oyu, Mount Waddington, Kilimanjaro,
Mount Kenya, and Mount Logan, as well as teaching mountaineering and winter
Furneaux has also been responsible for many challenging first
accents in Squamish, the Waddington Range of B.C.’s Coast Mountains, and
Alaska, and he has climbed in the Yukon, Alaska, the Himalayas and throughout
the west coast of North America.
Despite his experience, achieving Mountain Guide Certification
is not an easy task. The certification allows guides to practice around the
world, as it is recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides
During his candidacy, Furneaux was required to complete courses
and examinations in rock climbing, alpine climbing and backcountry skiing. He
has also achieved certification as an Assistant Rock Guide, Assistant Alpine
Guide, Alpine Guide, Assistant Ski Guide, and Ski Guide.
The courses and exams are run by Thompson Rivers University, in
accordance with standards set by the ACMG. Certification takes on average six
full years of education.
The ACMG is dedicated to protecting the public interest in
mountain travel and advocates for the highest standards of alpine risk
management and work.
Canadian guides are respected around the glove for their expertise in snow science, mountain rescue and the development of the highest international ski guiding standards.