I first discovered the Cevennes in 1993 when I worked here for an English tour operator, managing their walking holidays in the region. Over the following years I worked in some beautiful corners of Europe but my heart always remained firmly anchored in the Cévennes. Finally, in 2002, I bought a small house in a secluded cévenol hamlet and shortly afterwards, settled here definitively.
I then undertook several years of training to become an ‘accompagnatrice en montagne’ or mountain leader. I took advantage of this period to discover other mountain ranges of France, including the Pyrenees, the Southern Alps and the Jura. These years were a rich source of new knowledge and skills and brought me in contact with many fascinating and inspiring people. I now consider myself very lucky to live and work here in the Cévennes, where my work is now also my greatest pleasure: guiding walkers from all over the world in both French and English and sharing everything that I love about the region with them.
What is an Accompagnateur en Montagne or Mountain Leader?
To be a walking guide in France is a profession that is highly regulated. To guide walks in a mountain area even more so due to the inherent risks imposed by the terrain and weather conditions. The profession of ‘accompagnateur en montagne’ (AMM) has existed since 1976 and demands an in depth knowledge of the mountain environment and serious physical capacities! That is not to say that walking with a mountain leader requires great fitness - part of the job is to create and manage walks for all ages, fitness levels and interests. Many of the walks that we lead are gentle strolls based around certain themes - flora and fauna perhaps, history or simply a general introduction to all that the region has to offer. A key aspect of our walks is conviviality - many unexpected and long lasting friendships are forged through walking. Good people and communication skills are, therefore, also key to the profession.
Whilst leading walks and helping others discover the natural environment, the 'accompagnateur en montagne' ensures, at all times, the security of the group and of all of its members. Accompagnateurs en montagne are qualified holders of a 'brevet d’État' in the field of alpinisme.
More than anything else, accompagnateurs en montagne are drawn to the profession by a common passion for the great outdoors and the many wonders of the natural environment.There is nothing we like more than sharing this passion with others!