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Why are no audio devices suggested on your programmes?

For safety purpose all audio devices are forbidden while you hike. Therefore you are 100% available to hear instructions and warning message from our teams. It is also easier to hear an incoming traffic if you have to walk on the verge of a road.

Pathfinder Challenge provides cellular phones to each team. And also aerials when needed (e.g. 3Ds and GTS programmes).

Does this mean that I have to walk in silence?

Silence is great! You will have plenty of time while at the bivy and/or at lunch break to chat with your mates. When you walk, you think. Your mind walks with your body. You have plenty of time for self-talking. You are aware of feelings and reflections. It is a rare moment of freedom, your mind travels and you observe. Walking makes enough noise but if you are cautious of the way you are while hiking, then you might give yourself more opportunity to surprise wildlife (chamois, deer, big horn sheep, marmot, wild boar, etc).

Why would I start early in the morning?

Weather conditions change swiftly in mountainous area. Cell storms usually build up in mid-afternoon even when you start your day with a bright blue sky. A low depression can overcast very quickly this bright blue sky and make your hike extremely rough.

That is the main reason why being an early bird is better. Besides that, it allows you to reach your daily destination before dark and have plenty of time to settle for the night. And get organized for the next day, having a good meal with your mates, record your day and thoughts into your diary book. A late morning departure means that you might walk under a heavy sun and this is no fun…


DISCLAIMER: Pathfinder Challenge and YouTube

Tittled videos “Pathfinder Challenge”  posted on YouTube do not belong to us. In no way they concern our programmes. Those videos belong to third parties not related to us. Official Pathfinder Challenge Videos are posted on our Facebook page.

What do I really learn when joining Pathfinder Challenge’s programmes?

You will learn a lot about yourself and the way you interact with others. Then you also learn how to manage all aspects of your hikes (safety, food, water, navigation plotting, decision making, teamwork, new skills, etc…). Most of all, that you can perform well and even go beyond your known personal limits and have fun too. With this new insight you discover your ability to expand the limits.


What does your Gifted and Talented Students programme involve?

Our Gifted and Talented Students programme offer to each participant to:

  • discover how he/she operate as well as to define his/her own profile
  • elaborate learning strategies to reach his/her goals
  • assimilate through workshops the use of simple stress management tools to deal with:
    • attention disorder
    • hyperactivity disorder
    • low self-esteem
    • hypersensitivity
    • confusion
    • frustration

Our programmes play a large part in order to give meaning to learning from a project defined in advance or not. Those projects are essentially based on sport activities in mountainous area and/or in water environment. They aim to:

  • surpass failure so that the one who fails can regain control on the activity
  • make some efforts
  • think
  • enter into a learn process

It is through adequate stimulations that we offer a dynamic support allowing a better organization of the work where every one will find its own place while surpassing its own difficulties.

What if I really have a low self-esteem and it scares me to be challenged in joining your programme ?

“The eyes of shame” have no place within Pathfinder Challenge. This look is not ours. We take you from where you are with all your available skills and knowledge. And above all: your potentials, the ones you do not see yet. Then, at the beginning, we hold the space needed for you to accomplish what could be seen as unreachable. And step by step, you are going to occupy this whole space that belongs to you, to express, to use all your potentials because you really worth it. You are unique.

Do I need to be perfect in order to perform well?

Pathfinder Challenge does not stigmatize mistakes. You have the right of being wrong. Besides, perfection is a decoy. It is a mind set leading you to be constantly critical about yourself. It is a big downside creating negative beliefs and/or limiting thoughts about your ability to perform and create. Therefore you are constantly sending to yourself the unconscious message that “you do not deserve”. If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come with anything original. So don’t cut yourself off from any valuable opportunity to learn how to interact with the world around you.

What if there are more Minuses than Pluses in my life? And that ever blocks me to get to the next step?

There is always a gift when you overcome a personal challenge. You gain power. Now regarding your minuses, could you consider the following? That every minus is a half of a plus waiting for the stroke of the vertical awareness. In one level, you have a disadvantage (minus), but the awareness you can add to it is a far bigger picture that helps you to master it.

In your page about “Mike Horn Expeditions”, “Gifted and Talented Students” and “FAQ”, you speak of “potentials”. What do you mean?

Well, imagine you are holding a seed in your palm. What do you see? What is visible and what is not? The visible seed already contains the plant in an invisible way… That is your potentials! They are here but you cannot see them yet. You are like a dormant seed. And likewise the seed your dormancy (your potentials) can be released provided we create enough propitious situations (our programmes) to encourage and to nurture them meanwhile you are with us. Then you are on your own, exploring new aspects of yourself.


What type of equipment and clothes should I bring with me?

Specific equipments such as helmet, harness, life jacket, etc… are supplied by our service providers. About your clothes we do submit a list of suggested items.

How shoudl I do if I do not find what you are suggesting?

We have the possibility to order for you some equipment such as tent, sleeping bag, cooking pot, etc… we do have preferential rates with our suppliers.



How fit should I be to participate to your programmes?

The fitter the better, nevertheless we had, over the last 3 years, some students with very poor fitness conditions and against all odds they made it to the finish line.

Is it hard to complete one of your programmes?

Yes it is sometimes. There are some tears and you will doubt yourself from time to time. But there are more smiles, laughs, fun and in the end, a fantastic natural high that only adventure can provide.

Do students fail?

Yes, it did happen that some students have failed. Not because of their physical or psychological abilities to succeed. Because they did not respect Pathfinder Challenge’s Safety Rules and our Standard Operation Procedures. Putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations and also by putting at risk the life of our Rescue Team.



Our n°1 concern, we pay 100% attention to this aspect. And we keep it very simple, all accommodations, itineraries, means of transport and activities are planned as if it was for our own families. If we assess that it is not safe bringing our families where you are supposed to go, well we do not bring you overthere!

What about my personal safety while I am hiking in the mountain?

All our staff members are CPR certified and in constant communication with our Operations Director. While you are “into the wild” Pathfinder Challenge Staff is around your position. You may not see them or they can come out of the blue without notice but they are watching you even if you can’t see them, to ensure everything goes smoothly.

And what about my personal safety while I am abroad with Pathfinder Challenge Team?

Christian Fimiak, our Operations Director, has spent more than 20 years working as a Field Security Operator in different regions of the world. His expertise encompasses different aspects of what the word “personal security” could mean. For every places and programmes, Pathfinder Challenge carries out in-country risk assessment procedures and safety audits. Besides, all hiking itineraries, bivouac spots, service providers and Pathfinder Challenge’s staff are checked every year. Pathfinder Challenge do also have a crisis cell that could be activated anytime, anywhere there is a need to respond in the most appropriate way may a situation arises.

Is the mountain dangerous during the winter?

It is obvious for us to stay into the safety zone whichever is the season when we hike in the mountains. Winter differs from summer because of the snow, the risk of avalanches, and also the cold. Nevertheless, we do have a lot of fun in the “Great Wild White”. Our hiking itineraries are made to avoid any avalanche corridors and/or hazardous zones. Planning a journey in winter conditions is quite different then. Students are surprised when they come back after a summer experience because they have to completely reassess their needs (gear, food intake, hike plan, etc).

My safety during surf session.

Your safety is provided by your Surf Intructor. And also by the liveguards in charge of the area where your surf trainings take place.