Ski Guiding Team

Our Ski Guiding Team

We are a friendly, patient bunch of IFMGA ski guides with a great depth of experience between us, spanning Europe and most of the major mountain ranges in the world. In the winter season we are dedicated ski tourers and backcountry skiers with a wide ranging knowledge of European touring regions beyond our seasonal base in Chamonix. Many of us also have a teaching or instructional background, which allows us to deliver clear and well structured coaching and skills based courses.

Take a look through our social media and images to see the depth and variety of ski guiding we undertake, each and every season. We simply love spending time in the mountains and we hope to share some with you soon.

Al Powell

Al Powell


Al plans our courses and guiding itineraries, deals with the company website and maintains our social media accounts, so is responsible for most of the photo and video content that we produce. He has lived in the mountains his whole life, both parents having been keen Alpinists. In his early climbing career he concentrated mainly on winter alpinism and expeditions, climbing several cutting edge new routes around the world during the course of 20 expeditions to the Greater Ranges.

He also kept up a running career, with highlights including winning the Elite course on both the LAMM and OMM Mountain Marathons and being the first Briton to run the Tour du Mont Blanc in under 24hrs (102ml & 9000m ascent – that hurt!) In more recent times he has moved back to orienteering, having won the Veteran Home Internationals for Wales and numerous night orienteering races.

In the winter months he heads up the Alpine Guides ski program and in the summer works in both the Uk and the Alps, guiding trips and leading alpine training courses.

The rest of the year he lives in Yorkshire with his wife Sima and their family, where he works for the company whilst trying to spend as much time riding, running and bouldering as possible.

Guide Categories:

  • Alpine Guiding Team
  • Ski Guiding Team
  • Staff member
Rich Cross

Rich Cross


Rich runs the company on a day to day basis, so is well known to everyone as a key point of contact with Alpine Guides. He has been climbing for over 25 years, loving every apsect of the sport from bouldering right through to winter Alpinism, and has travelled the world pursuing his passion for the sport. 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.

In the winter season Rich specialises in ice fall guiding, Scottish and Norwegian winter climbing, and winter Alpinism. During the summer he loves exploring different regions of the Alps especially if it involves classic alpine rock routes, mixed climbing and north faces – some highlights of his guiding career include the Croz Spur on the North face of the Grand Jorasses, the North face of the Piz Badile, North face of Les Droites, and the West Ridge of the Salbitschen. He also spends each spring and autumn in the UK guiding in the Peak District, Wales, the Lakes, Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, and time on the road bike or personal climbing whenever he can!

Rich lives in Sheffield with his wife Liz and their young boys Sam and Charlie who also love the outdoor life.

Guide Categories:

  • Alpine Guiding Team
  • Ski Guiding Team
  • Staff member
Dee Abrahams

Dee Abrahams


Undoubtedly the most efficient member of our team, Dee keeps the show on the road during the autumn, winter and spring – booking huts, making payments, liasing with our hotels and transfer companies and pretty much everything else! A brilliant organiser and fixer, she provides logistical support to our guides on the hill, so they can concentrate on guiding and keeping you safe and enjoying your trip.

Married to a British Mountain Guide, our old friend Si Abrahams, she speaks fluent French and is a keen skier and outdoor enthusiast.  Dee lives in the Chamonix Valley with husband Simon and their two teenage daughters.

Guide Categories:

  • Alpine Guiding Team
  • Ski Guiding Team
  • Staff member
Gav Pike

Gav Pike


Originally from Manchester, Gav has been based in Chamonix since 2007 – many of Gavin’s early climbing forays were made on the gritstone edges of the Peak District and the sea cliffs of North Wales. Adventures in Scottish winter climbing created an affliction for enjoying icy north faces, a condition that eventually landed him a few years ago in his current home of Chamonix, where he works as an IFMGA Guide.

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.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Lori Lorencic

Lori Lorencic


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.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas


Based in Chamonix working as an IFMGA guide, Mike particularly enjoys ski touring in the mountains to discover more remote and less travelled areas of the Alps. A keen climber since his early teens, Mike has always found the mountains a place to thrive and find adventure!

After studying in the Lake District, his climbing journey and guiding career began to evolve; working first as a Mountaineering instructor, before training to be an IFMGA guide. Mike has climbed and skied all over the world with destinations including; Nepal, India, Norway, America and across Europe. With his strong passion for the outdoors, he pursues his personal interests through mountaineering and climbing.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Kev Avery

Kev Avery


Kev is a full time guide, based in the Chamonix valley where he lives with his wife.  He particularly enjoys ski touring and off piste skiing, as well as technical rock and mixed climbing and as a former teacher, he loves how guiding enables him to pass his skills and love of the mountains on to his clients.  He’s also a magazine gear editor and prolific online reviewer and therefore a great source of knowledge on all things kit!

Kev grew up in Cumbria on the doorstep of the Lake District, taking up rock climbing as a young teenager.  He quickly developed a passion for adventures on the rock, working his way through the Lakes trad test-pieces, and soon moving on to Scottish winter and then Alpinism and skiing. Over the last 25 years he has amassed an extensive ticklist of climbs and ski tours across Europe. Seeing himself as a bit of an all-rounder, he is just as happy pulling hard on the local limestone as he is on a blower powder day.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Guy Steven

Guy Steven


Originally from the Lake District, Guy has spent over a decade planting roots in the Scottish Highlands with his partner Louisa.  His outdoor career started in the UK as a mountaineering instructor and kept progressing to become an Alpine Guide (one of the best jobs in the world!)

Nowadays he balances his time guiding in the UK, Alps and beyond, with personal trips that have stretched as far west as America and far to the East in India.  His favourite aspect of guiding is seeking out new terrain and sharing them with friends, guests and anyone else who wants to join in.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Mark Walker

Mark Walker


Mark is a super enthusiastic guide (and in life generally!) 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 climbing and good hut banter.”

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Ally Swinton

Ally Swinton


Ally was born in Fife in Scotland and learnt the essential skills for skiing and climbing from his father; then at the age of 20, moved to Chamonix where he has lived ever since.  Living in the Alps allowed him to develop a broad range of skills to access the mountains, ultimately leading to a career in guiding.

A keen rock climber, he also enjoys a big North Face Sufferfest once in a while – having climbed in Norway, Yosemite and Patagonia, as well as numerous hard modern classics in the European Alps.

On the ski front, Ally most enjoys discovering new places through ski touring and trying to link up big sections of mountains on skis.  What he enjoys most about guiding is all the different people you meet – whether it be other guides and most importantly the clients he works with. In his own words: “It’s amazing all the different stories you here and facts you learn from meeting so many different people. I think being in the mountains generally brings out the best in people which is why I feel lucky to get to spend so much time in them.”

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Klemen Gricar

Klemen Gricar


It’s no understatement to say the Klemen is a bit of a legend – a Slovenian IFMGA Mountain Guide based in the Julian Alps, he works extensively in the Western Alps with English speaking clients both summer and winter. President of the Slovenian Mountain Guides Association from 2009-2013, he is also head of the National Mountain Rescue Team.

Unbelievably fit (he guides about 150 days a year) and a consumate professional, he always takes great care of his team and makes sure that everyone is able to make the most of their time in the mountains. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his 2 children and also travels regularly and indulges his passion for mountain photography.

Guide Categories:

  • Alpine Guiding Team
  • Ski Guiding Team
Mark Charlton

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 (most of us have been trained or assessed by Mark at some point in our 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 or climbing. He has worked extensively throughout the Alps and numerous other parts of the world, both on skis and mountaineering.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Simon Hale

Simon Hale


Simon is an IFMGA Guide with over 30 years experience climbing and skiing in mountain ranges all over the world.  He has worked at Plas y Brenin, the UK National Mountain Centre, as a Senior Instructor and also has a degree in outdoor education and environmental science, as well as diplomas in ski instruction.

Well known for his dry sense of humour, he ‘s a good guy to spend time on the hill with and has an excellent breadth of knowledge in many areas.  On ski weeks he’s also a qualified instructor, so can help improve your ski technique too!  In another aspect of his professional life, Simon is  the training director of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML), overseeing training and assessment of international walking tour leaders in the Uk.

Simon splits his time between homes in the French Alps and North Wales, where he works and guides year round.

Guide Categories:

  • Alpine Guiding Team
  • Ski Guiding Team
Kenny Grant

Kenny Grant


Kenny is a friendly and enthusiastic IFMGA Mountain Guide, based between Scotland and the Chamonix valley.

Originally from Fort William in the West Highlands of Scotland, Kenny cut his teeth climbing and skiing on the local mountains of Ben Nevis and Glencoe before going on to climb throughout the UK, North America, Norway and extensively in the European Alps.

On skis, Kenny’s passion for powder skiing and touring has taken him to Canada, America and all around the European Alps, where he has good knowledge of the Mont Blanc Massif, the Ecrins, Uri Alps, Ortler, Vanoise, Silvretta, Val Anniveries and the Haute Route – as well as a many other ‘off the radar’ areas.

A keen mountain sports ‘all rounder’, bouldering, sport climbing, alpinism and winter climbing all feature in his Guiding and days off. Any other spare time is taken up with mountain biking where he enjoys trying to keep up with his young son Fraser!

Guide Categories:

  • Alpine Guiding Team
  • Ski Guiding Team
Graham McMahon

Graham McMahon


Since his first adventures in North Wales as a teenager, Graham has gone on to climb and ski in North and South America, Asia, Australasia, Africa and Europe, becoming an International Mountain Guide (IFMGA) in 2001 and still loves it!

Well known for his experience, professionalism and easy going manner, Graham spent many years working as a Senior Instructor at Plas y Brenin (the national mountain centre ) introducing novices to the mountains and helping experts improve. Currently he spends the winters skiing and ice climbing in Europe and the summers mountaineering and rock climbing.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team
Will Harris

Will Harris


Will lives in Chamonix, combining guiding with the pursuit of his passion for all things climbing and skiing. With over twenty years climbing experience he’s still as keen today as when he started. Rock climbing from a young age, he discovered the bigger mountains whilst studying philosophy at Sheffield University, progressing from the Peak District’s gritstone crags to the Alps and then on to the Canadian Rockies, Yosemite, Alaska, Patagonia and the Himalaya. Will is known for his calm approach to life and guiding, firmly believing that enjoying a fulfilling experience on the way to the summit is as important as reaching it.

Guide Categories:

  • Ski Guiding Team