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Our Ski Guides

Our team are all members of the British Mountain Guides Association and fully qualified IFMGA guides. They have chosen to specialise in ski touring in particular during the winter months and the depth of experience, leadership qualities and technical excellence they posess cannot be learned overnight. 
 
Ability alone however, won't guarantee to make a great guide. We always look for people with a patient and cheerful character and good track record before inviting a new member onto the team. From time to time we also bring in other trusted guides, all of whom we know personally and have observed to ensure our standards are maintained.
 
Al Powell - British Mountain Guide
Al Powell
Our head ski guide - who runs most of our off-the-beaten-track ski mountaineering trips.. [read more]
 
Dave Hollinger - British Mountain Guide
Dave Hollinger
As well as ski touring classics, Dave skis in Chamonix, La Grave, the Queyras and Silvretta.. [read more]
 
Neil Johnson - British Mountain Guide
Neil Johnson
Neil comes from a background of outdoor instruction and mountaineering... [read more]
 
Phil Dowthwaite - Britsh Mountain Guide
Phil Dowthwaite
Phil's interest in the outdoors started in the hills of Lancashire & Cumbria where he grew up... [read more]
 
James Thacker - British Mountain Guide
James Thacker
James has climbed and skied in the Arctic, the Himalayas and... [read more]
 
matt stygall british mountain guide
Matt Stygal
Matt grew up in an unlikely place for a guide - the flatlands of Norfolk.... [read more]
 
Edyta Dickinson
Lori - Boris Lorenčič
Piolet D'Or winner and all round nice guy.... [read more]
 
mark charlton british mountain guide
Mark Charlton
A full time resident of the Chamonix valley, Mark has been guiding for over 20 years... [read more]
 
chris ensoll british mountain guide
Chris Ensoll
Chris is a great allrounder - rock, ice, ski - he guides it all... [read more]
 
Jon Bracey - British mountain Guide
Jon Bracey
Jon is one of Britain's foremost alpinists and is also a very keen skier... [read more]
 
James Thacker - British Mountain Guide
Mark Walker
Mark combines two very distinct roles into his working life... [read more]
 
gavin pike british mountain guide
Gav Pike
Gav is based in Chamonix, guiding off piste in the winter... [read more]
 
Admin Staff
 
Rich Cross - British Mountain Guide
Rich Cross
Guide and company director Rich deals with admin and enquiries on a day to day basis [read more]
           
 
What is an IFMGA Guide?  
To quote the British Mountain Guides Website: "Put simply, it means an internationally qualified guide with the knowledge and skills to lead parties in the world’s most challenging mountain environments. IFMGA Mountain Guides are the most qualified and experienced professionals to lead people in the mountains with a training and assessment that takes many years and exceptional skills to achieve. The International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA), is the body that coordinates the standards and mutual recognition of the twenty-six national mountain guide associations."
 
In the Alpine nations, IFMGA status it is a legal requirement in order to practice the profession of a mountain guide.
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Staff Profiles
british ski guides ifmga
  rich cross - british mountain guide   rich cross uiagm ifmga mountain guide  
 

Rich Cross

Guide and company director Rich deals with admin and enquiries on a day to day basis, so is well known to everyone as a key point of contact with Alpine Guides. Although a very accomplished skier, his guiding work is mostly concentrated on the climbing side of the business.

He has been climbing for over 25 years, loving every apsect of the sport from bouldering right through to winter Alpinism. Earlier in his climbing career he went on many expeditions to the Greater Ranges, which included the first ascent of Ama Dablams' NW ridge, for which he was nominated for the Piolet d'Or.

When not guiding or travelling, Rich lives in Sheffield with his wife Liz and their young family, balancing time between home life, Alpine Guides, road biking and local gritstone.

 
 
british ski guides ifmga
  gav pike british mountain guide    
 

Gav Pike

Originally from Manchester, Gav has been based in Chamonix since 2007 - where nowadays he works as a UIAGM Guide, working off piste in the winter and ski touring around the Alps in the spring.

As well as skiing and climbing, he also enjoys trail running and other mountain sports, his biggest motivation coming from the adventurous aspects of spending time in the mountains. In the off season he climbs in bigger mountains around the world, recent highlights including new-routing trips to Alaska and Nepal. In the future, he looks forward to continuing to ski, climb and guide in the mountains above Chamonix, as well as in some of the more remote regions of the planet.

 
 
british ski guides ifmga
  Al Powell - British Mountain Guide   Al Powell - British Mountain Guide skiing  
 

Al Powell

Alpine Guides director Al is our head ski guide and runs most of our off-the-beaten-track ski touring trips. He has raced for the British Ski Mountaineering Team and also builds and maintains the company website.

Formerly a keen winter and expedition climber (several first ascents in the greater ranges) and dedicated mountain runner (elite wins in both LAMM and the OMM mountain marathons, 1st Briton to run the Tour du Mont Blanc - 102 miles, 9000m ascent - in under 24hrs) - he nowadays spends much of his time when back in Yorkshire, orienteering and cyclocross racing on weekends with his growing family.

 
 
  Dave Hollinger - British Mountain Guide   Dave Hollinger - British Mountain Guide skiing  
 

Dave Hollinger

Originally from near Belfast, Dave spends the winter months skiing in the Alps, where in addition to the ski touring classics he has a particularly good knowledge of Chamonix and La Grave, the Queyras and Austria - including the Silvretta, Otztal and Stubai ranges etc.

He has a similar background to Al in both expedition climbing and orienteering (ie a former Irish orienteering champion) - but also has a very strong instruction and training background, having worked at Plas Y Brenin, the national outdoor centre for several years.

In the summer months, he guides in the Alps and runs his own mountain training company back in the UK, delivering mountain leader training and awards.

 
 
  neil johnson british mountain guide   Jonathan Baird - British Mountain Guide skiing  
 

Neil Johnson

Neil comes from a background of professional outdoor instruction and exploratory mountaineering. After studying a sports science degree in Leeds, he started off working with young people, then moved on to working with adults and more specifically future leaders and instructors - spending 10 years working at Plas Y Brenin as a Senior Instructor, where he qualified as an IFMGA Guide.

In the winter months he lives in Chamonix mixing ice climbing and off piste work, as well as ski touring - where he has a good knowledge of Chamonix and the Haute Route, the Queyras, the Silvretta, Otztal and Stubai regions.

In the summer months Neil guides in the Alps, but at other times of year he delivers Climbing Fundamentals coaching seminars for the BMC as well as running his own mountain training company, delivering UK mountain leader training and awards.

 
 
  Phil Dowthwaite - British Mountain Guide   Phil Dowthwaite - British Mountain Guide ski mountaineering  
 

Phil Dowthwaite

Phil's love of the outdoors started in the hills of Lancashire and Cumbria where he was brought up, before progressing on to Scottish hills, the Alps and on to the Arctic and Himalayas.

In the winter months he divides his time between running training courses in Scotland and ski touring - where he has a good knowledge of Chamonix and the Haute Route, the Silvretta and Ortler regions, La Grave, the Ecrins and Queyras in the Southern Alps, as well as having lead a number of ski guiding trips to Kashmir in Northern India.

In a previous life he used to work for Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin national outdoor centres in the UK. His favourite pastimes include bouldering on the Peak grit and taking sport climbing holidays in the sun.

 
 
  matt sygall british mountain guide   Rob Jarvis - British Mountain Guide  
 

Matt Stygal

Matt grew up in an unlikely place for a future guide - the flatlands of Norfolk! His outdoor career started by working in centres in Wales and Scotland, mixing regular visits to the Alps with expeditions to Patagonia, Alaska and Kurdistan.

In the winter he mixes climbing guiding and instruction work, with ski touring work in the Alps - where he has a good knowledge of the Silvretta and Albula Alps, Chamonix, the Queyras, the Haute Route and La Grave.

In the summer months he lives in Chamonix, running training courses and guiding private clients on alpine climbing weeks.

 
 
  james thacker - british mountain guide   James Thacker - British Mountain Guide  
 

James Thacker

James enthusiasm for mountains has taken him to Arctic Greenland, the Himalayas and the "classic north faces" of the European Alps. In the winter months he lives in the Chamonix valley, off piste and ski touring - where he has a good knowledge of La Grave, the Ecrins and Queyras in the Southern Alps, Chamonix and the Haute Route, the Gran Paradiso and Silvretta, as well as having toured in remote regions such as East Greenland and Arctic Norway.

For several years he was actively involved with Mountain Rescue in the Peak District as a member of Derby and Edale MRT's. As such he has developed an interest in altitude medicine and the management of the trauma in the mountains.

In the summer months, he guides in the Alps and runs his own mountain training company back in the UK, delivering mountain leader training and awards.

 
 
  klemen gricar uiagm mountain guide   klemen gricar ifmg mountain guide  
 

Lori - Boris Lorenčič

Winner of the Piolet D'Or in 2007 for his ascent of the NW Face of Chomolhari (7326m) in Tibet with Marko Prezelj, Lori is a world class alpinist and mountain guide.

Based in Maribor Slovenia, where he lives with his family, Lori guides on skis in both the Eastern and Western Alps each winter. A leading exponent of free, alpine style climbing with minimum equipment - Lori has pushed the limits, putting up several new routes in the Himalayas, North America and Patagonia over the last 20 years.

Bringing the same work ethic to his professional guiding as his personal mountaineering, he is diligent and incredibly fit, but also an inspiring teacher and mentor - with an incredible breadth of experience to share.

 
 
  mark charlton british mountain guide   mark charlton british mountain guide  
 

Mark Charlton

A full time resident of the Chamonix Valley, Mark has been guiding for over 20 years - during which time he has been strongly involved in the training and assesment of guides for both the British and Swedish mountain guides associations (all of our other guides have been trained or assessed by Mark at some point in their careers!)

Highly experienced and fun to be with, Mark always enjoys telling a story over a beer or three at the end of a good days skiing. He has worked extensively throughout the Alps and numerous other parts of the world, both on skis and mountaineering.

 
 
  chris ensoll british mountain guide   chris ensoll ski guide  
 

Chris Ensoll

Chris is a great allrounder - guiding on skis, rock, scottish winter and summer alpine. Having spent the last 18 years working as a full time guide, he is highly experienced at balancing mountain safety, with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm on the hill.

Based in the English Lake District, he spends a lot of time guiding across Europe both in winter and summer and is well known for his patience, integrity and positive outlook - in short, he's extremely knowledgable, a great teacher and an all round nice guy!

 
 
  jon bracey british mountain guide   jon bracaey british mountain guide  
 

Jon Bracey

Jon is one of Britain's foremost alpinists and is also a very keen skier, having raced in the British Ski Mountaineering Team at World Championships and numerous other international competitions.

Jon lives in Chamonix with his family year round, thoroughly enjoying the guiding life. He specialises in ski guiding, winter ice climbs, classic rock and high standard alpinism. To quote Jon:

"I have been passionate about the mountains and the environment since a young age. Through guiding I am able to share my knowledge and experience with my clients and help them to achieve their goals. If you're seeking an adventure in some of the most beautiful wildernesses on the planet then look no further!"

Outside the guiding season, he mixes family life with personal climbing and works closely with his sponsors, being involved in design work, brand promotion and product testing.

 
  mark walker briish mountain guide   mark walker uiagm ski guide  
 

Mark Walker

Mark is a super enthusiastic guide, who succesfully blends two very contrasting roles into his professional life. In the Alps, he works on skis in the winter and does climbing work in the summer - whereas in the Uk, he works as Mountain Training England's Development Officer.

In his own words, Mark likes nothing more than "hanging out in remote environments with folk, enjoying good skiing and good hut banter." 

 
 
     
 
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