This profession calls for you to put your life at risk

The judgement of the mountain guide can be called into question when a fatal accident happens in the Alps, like the one this summer when seven climbers lost their lives.  But if there is anyone who risks his life for the safety of climbers it is the one who leads them, says Pierre Mathey, who has been an Alpine guide for more than 25 years. With dozens of peaks over 4,000 metres, Switzerland is an inevitable destination for those who seek high-altitude adventure. Every year thousands of people try their hand at climbing the Matterhorn or the Jungfrau, driven by the desire to conquer a peak. "Someone who doesn’t manage to reach the summit talks in terms of failing. In my view, the only failure is if they don’t make it back home", says Mathey (52), who has been a guide for over 25 years and is general secretary of the Swiss Mountain Guide Association (ASGM). swissinfo.ch: From the stories appearing in the media, one might think that accidents in the mountains are on the increase.
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