There is absolutely no doubt that nature is beautiful, but it can also be very dangerous, especially in the mountains and you really need to keep your wits about you and use your common sense.
Lack of experience can put a trip in jeopardy and even if the participants are really fit, it's best to be accompanied by a Mountain Guide who actually knows the terrain.
The Association of Mountain Guides and Technicians of the Balearic Islands, or AGMIB, which was set up in 2010 has around 40 people with one or more degrees in this field.
Their mountain guides have to complete training cycles in different modalities, such as medium and low mountains, climbing and ravines, in order to become accredited.
AGMIB, Chairman, Francisco Cabrera is 56 years old and has 33 years experience as a firefighter behind him. He’s also a mountain technician and has a professional certificate as a low and medium Mountain Guide from the Ministry of Labour.
"Groups of foreigners sometimes come to Mallorca with a guide who’s not professionally competent and doesn’t have a degree or an Active Tourism registration number," says insists Cabrera. "There are also Associations, Organisations and Sports Clubs that arrange activities and trips to the countryside at a cost of 5 euros for members and 15 euros for non-members, but according to Tourism Law rules, offering activities to non-members is considered a for-profit activity, so these Associations and Clubs must be inspected and apply for the Active Tourism licence,” he explains and emphasises the added value of a professional guide.
“In addition to technical autonomy, they have the necessary training and practical experience to be able to guarantee the safety of people of all ages in this type of environment,” he says. "From my point of view it's better to live in the mountains first, then do the training, than to get your degree first, then go to the mountains, but there are exceptions,” he admits.
Cabrera says he’s never suffered a major accident in the mountains, nor has anyone he was responsible for.
“A good guide keeps up to date in terms of training and has a lot of common sense,” he says. “The greatest satisfaction for me is seeing how much the customers enjoy the experience.”