Interview with IFMGA Mountain Guide Christoph Gotschke

  • IFMGA Mountain Guide Christoph Gotschke

Where did you grow up and where do you call home now?

I grew up in a town called Kaufbeuren right infront of the Bavarian and Tirolean alps. I’m very much a cliche, as I grew up in a nature and mountain addicted family. I still live close to where I grew up and haven’t spent much time outside of Germany except for guiding expeditions. I’ve spent much of my time in the Alps.

How did you first start guiding?

I first started guiding as part of a youth group. I obtained my professional certification ten years ago after completing the specified training.

What guiding certifications do you currently hold?

I am a certified IFMGA/UIAGM Mountain  Guide, although one never stops learning. I keep learning via the excursions that I guide, as well as through my experience as the owner of a bouldering gym.

Where do you guide and what activities do you guide?

I pretty much go wherever my work takes me. There’s plenty within 200km of my home, but opportunities in Switzerland and France are prime, too.

What is your favorite route or location to guide?

One of the favorites would be Jubiläumsgrat at Zugspitze, a huge ridge at Germany’s highest peak. Most parties will need around 10-11 hours, but some can take up to 2 days. Guiding it is a great day in awesome surrounding and if the client is strong, we can do it in 8.

What do you wish more people knew about outdoor guiding?

That it´s not anything mysterious or mythical about it. Guiding is a passion, a craft and it requires experience and knowledge.

What tips do you have for someone looking to hire a guide?

If possible meet him in advance. At a minimum have a phone call or email exchange. Having a personal relationship is important if it gets hairy…

What is your next professional or personal challenge that you are most looking forward to?

This autumn I am planning a trip to Yosemite National Park in California. Ahead of that, going strong on trails and hard climbs, and whatever else comes.

What do you do when it is raining outside or when you’re not guiding?

Training, spending time with family, running a gym and my little secret, being a passionate hunter.

What kind of gym do you run?

A bouldering gym. I’ve been in the climbing business quite a long time. First I worked as a route setter and trainer, and then I spent 7 years managing a climbing gym. I’ve owned my own gym, a dream of mine, since 2016.

How did you decide to open the gym and what is owning it like?

I journaled about the idea in 2003 while brainstorming about my professional future during a trip in Bolivia and Peru. Being guide and trainer, and running a bouldering gym and cafe was central in it. Most of the plan went smoothly. Of course, there have been difficult times, too, but still I´m proud and happy of what I made out of nothing.

How do you balance having a business while still guiding?

The key is to have a great team of motivated professionals that run the business very well while I am away. The other thing is that I like to be on fire and I don´t really like off-days. Honestly, sometimes it would be great to have real free days and I need to be well organized and effective in my sports, but it works out well. I knew from the very beginning that I didn’t want to depend on just one thing for income. Especially in guiding, where you are 100% dependent on physical strength and your health, it is a big risk to focus only on guiding. That is something that I would recommend to every aspiring guide: finish any other education and do guiding as one part of a well-balanced portfolio! In fact, I originally applied for the manager position during a forced break because I broke 7 bones in a climbing accident just before the busiest part of the climbing season.

What piece of equipment can you not live without?

PETZl Scirocco helmet, SCARPA Drago climbing shoes, Patagonia Nano puff jacket.

How can people best get in touch with you?

I’m on most social media and reachable via email at cgotschke@web.de, but the best way to reach me is on WhatsApp,
+491711787172

Interview with Argentine IFMGA Mountain Guide Roberto “Indio” Treu

Where did you grow up and where do you call home now?

I was born in the province of San Juan, Argentina and I was raised in a town in the northern part of the province named Tudcum. In this town I spent much time with nature in the mountains. Growing up there marked my destiny in the mountains. I now make my home, have my family and work in El Chalten, a magical place in Argentine Patagonia

How did you start to guide?

I worked and saved enough money to eventually do the guide training courses dictated by the Argentine Association of Mountain Guides. I received my certification as a mountain guide in 2008 and I began to work the different circuits of Glacier National Park, in El Chalten.

What guide certifications do you currently hold?

I am currently a High Mountain Guide in theArgentine Association of Mountain Guides, an association that is endorsed internationally by the UIAGM/IFMGA.

Where and what activities do you guide?

I mainly guide in Patagonia. I spend summer in the town of El Chalten. In the winter I move to the ski resort town of Bariloche in northern Patagonia. In Bariloche I guide more technical excursions that consist of ice and/or rock climbing, as well as the more classic mountaineering ascents. Outside of this time I also guide in the mountains of Peru, Bolivia and in Europe.

 

What is your favorite route or place to guide?

One of the most interesting climbs is Aguilla Guillaumet. It requires all of the climbing techniques: a long approach, glacier transit and ice climbing before finishing with a beautiful rock climb. It takes three days, one to go to the base, then the day of climbing, and then one day back to town.

What advice do you have for someone looking to hire a guide?

Within Patagonia, be flexible with your goal since the weather varies greatly and it can have a strong impact on how successful your attempt may be. A good guide can ensure that you have a positive experience because they will be able to evaluate the weather conditions, your objectives, and other factors to help select the best climb to attempt.

What are your next professional or personal challenges?

I am always looking to help my clients achieve their dreams. I view Fitz Roy as a serious object and a great professional challenge.

What do you do when you are not guiding?

I keep climbing, bouldering, sport skiing, mountaineering, etc. Even when I’m not working I train all the necessary disciplines. Keeping at my highest levels of performance helps me ensure my clients’ safety.

What item can you not live without?

A backpack.

How can people get in touch with you?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roberto.i.treu

Instagram: @roberto_indio_treu

Website: www.patagoniascent.com

WhatsApp: +5492644449633

Interview with Swiss Mountain Guide Nicole Berthod

Where did you grow up and where do you call home now?

I was born in Sion, Valais, Switzerland. It’s kind of a “wonderland” for people who love the outdoors. I travelled a lot for climbing but my home is still the Valais, and it still has my heart.

How did you first start guiding?

I started guiding in the Alps and I still mostly work in Europe.

Where do you guide and what activities do you guide?

My favorite place to guide is the Alps, as we are so lucky to have so many options and  variety around us. I love climbing, especially long tours, either in winter or summer. I also compete in ski mountaineering challenges and trail running races, and I love to help people making their dreams true by coaching them for endurance races such as the Patrouille de Glaciers (PDG – https://www.pdg.ch/), which is a very famous ski mountaineering race.

What is your favorite route or location to guide?

A favorite route? Wow, I guess I have so many! My favorite routes are where I have great memories with good friends! I love the Chamonix area, because of the combination of amazing climbing options and incredible scenery. Unfortunately, in the past few years climate change has impacted this area in a really bad way. One amazing 4000M peak I love is Dent Blanche. It’s a very aesthetic pyramid that offers great ridge climb. You start from the hut with a gentle ridge to reach the snow, then another easy ridge and a snow  traverse to get to the most interesting part of the climb. You have several gendarmes to climb to get to the summit. In 2013, we commemorated the 150th anniversary of this ascent: a team reached the summit using old style material and clothes, and not using a hut. We joined them to cover the event and we left an old hemp rope on the summit. You can still today see it on the cross.

What do you wish more people knew about outdoor guiding?

People are looking to have an enjoyable experience in the mountains, going beyond just the act of climbing itself and being part of the nature. In the everyday life, we are disconnected with our environment and our body, and we live an easy life. A guide can be someone who helps people to challenge themselves, learn more about themselves, and experience nature in a different way. I’m also sure that being outside, feeling that we are small in these big mountains, helps us to connect with the spiritual part inside of us.

What tips do you have for someone looking to hire a guide?

A guide is someone with whom you will share a special experience. We say that we will get the clients that are similar to us. Be sure to choose a guide you feel connected to, because time spent in the mountains is a special time and your guide will probably become your newest friend.

What is your next professional or personal challenge that you are most looking forward to?

My goal for 2019 is to develop a new pluridisciplinary concept to help people to reach their racing goals. We are working together with a psychologist and a nutritionist to offer courses for women to prepare them for ski mountaineering and trail running races.

What do you do when it is raining outside or when you’re not guiding?

The rain won’t stop me from going outside on a run. When I’m not guiding I play with my child, spend time with family and friends, drink cappuccinos, read, write, do some computer work. Of course, even when I’m not guiding I still go climbing!

How has becoming a parent changed your guiding?

It first changed the way I appreciate the mountains; I treasure them as a place to restore my inner strengths and see them as a very fragile place we have to conserve for our kids. Last summer, likely due to climate change, several cliffs gave way and every summer some routes get more dangerous because of stone falls. It makes me sad to think that my child might not be able to do certain routes because the mountains are becoming increasingly dangerous. It also changed the way I do my job as I now share my time between several poles: time family and friends time and time working in the mountains. I choose different activities to allow me to be more present at home and I try to avoid leaving home for more than a week too often.

What do you hope that your child learns from your career as a guide?

I hope he learns that having purpose in life is important, and I hope he learns the values connected to the mountain: friendship, nature, spirituality, community, physical challenge, and that rewards must be earned.

What piece of equipment can’t you live without?

I won’t live without my tea bottle 🙂

How can people best get in touch with you?

People can contact me via e-mail, or through Facebook/Instagram. My email is berthod_nicole@hotmail.com. I am @berthodnic on Instagram. My Facebook pages are https://www.facebook.com/berthod.nicole and https://www.facebook.com/berthodguides.

Anything else we missed?

A big thank you to my sponsors, Exped (www.exped.com) and Petzl (www.petzl.com).

Interview with Former IFMGA President Hermann Biner

Thank you to former IFMGA President Hermann Biner, who still occasionally guides, for answering our questions. In addition to guiding, Hermann Biner studied mathematics and has a professional background in technology. In the below interview he discusses not only his guiding background and experience, but what he has learned from his dual professional tracks.

How did you first start guiding?

I started climbing and skiing well before my career as a guide. I started skiing when I was 3 years old, climbing when I was 7 years old, and I first climbed the Matterhorn when I was 16. I climbed many mountains around Zermatt with my father, and even with my grandfather. Since my first time up the Matterhorn I have have summited 265 times between trips with clients or with my family.

I started as aspirant guide at 19 years of age in 1971 and passed the guides examination in 1974. In the beginning I tried to guide most of the classical routes in the Alps and focused on high alpine peaks. However, I also guided in various mountain areas on all the continents. The challenge for me was not just to climb mountains and do routes, but to guide them with a client, providing the client with a positive experience and, as necessary, the right motivation.

What activities do you guide? Do you have a preference for certain activities over others?

I am mainly focused on alpine terrainin winter and summer. That means in summer on mixed alpine terrain (rock, ice and snow) and on high altitude mountains, including ice walls and classical climbing routes. In winter, I do a lot of off-piste skiing and freeriding, ski touring and sometimes heli-skiing.

You mentioned that you are guiding less now, what still gets you out to guide? How much longer would you like to be guiding for?

I am 67 years old this year. I reduced my guiding activities a little and I stopped guiding long and arduous alpine routes. I do not look actively for new clients, I have enough “old” clients that I have known many years. Of course, sometimes they recommend me to their friends and if I have the time I will take on those new clients. I do not know how much longer I will guide. It depends how fit I am, but at the moment I feel quite good.

What has been your favorite route or location to guide? 

Well I live in Zermatt, so of course I prefer to guide here. One of the best ice-climbs is the North Face of the Breithorn. There is beautiful rock climbing at the Rothorngrat at Zinal-Rothorn. In the winter, the excursion to Schwarztor leads you to impressive glaciers. Of course, we have the famous Matterhorn. It’s a beautiful mountain to look at, but less interesting to climb.

What do you wish more people knew about outdoor guiding or spending time outside?

It is important is to respect the natural world. Stay aware of the dangers while you are enjoying the beauty.

What tips do you have for someone looking to hire a guide?

If you can, find a guide recommended to you by friends. If not, there are guide offices in all the more popular mountain areas. It is very helpful to get in contact with the guide before you start the journey so that you know what equipment is needed, what the costs are, and any other information you might need before arriving to the area.

What do you enjoy doing when you can’t be outdoors?

I like to read a good book. Actually I just read Factfulness by Hans Rosling. It’s a book I recommend to everybody interested in the state of our world.

What piece of equipment can’t you live without?

Sun glasses.

You have a background in mathematics and taught it for several years, as well as significant experience in the private sector. This type of background may surprise many people. What lessons have you learned from both your more traditional education and work background that helped with your guiding and what lessons from your guiding helped in your other professional life?

Mathematics taught me to have a better and objective judgment in the mountains. The mountains taught me to never give up and to wait for “better weather” if difficulties appear in my everyday life.

You served as President of the IFMGA from 2009-2012 and have 45 years as an IFMGA guide. What trends have you noticed in that time and what has stayed the same? How have advancements in technology changed guiding? Where do you think guiding could be improved? What challenges does guiding as a profession face and what suggestions do you have to overcome those challenges?

In the summer, the so called “sport climbing” or “free climbing” was the most important trend and perhaps this is the reason why less people are climbing in alpine surroundings today. Of course, the development of technical tools, mainly in the realm of safety, were an important advance for this kind of climbing. When I was young, we just put the rope around the body and a fall could be deadly; that is unimaginable today. In the winter, wider and better skis now give many more people the chance to do freeriding. Modern avalanche tools have increased safety, but also increased the willingness to accept more risk, what is not always good. I think judging the avalanche risk is the biggest challenge for a guide.

Interview with guide Sam Tyler

Where did you grow up and where do you call home now?

I grew up in Nantucket Massachusetts and I currently call Huaraz, Peru home although I still travel quite a bit for work.

How did you first start guiding?

I first started guiding in Alaska assisting on sea kayaking trips and glacier treks and climbs.

Where do you guide and what activities do you guide?

I’ve been guiding in Peru, Washington, Alaska, and Nepal the past few years. I am pretty nomadic with my work. It helps keep things interesting and diverse.  I mostly focus on mountaineering and alpine climbs, courses, and expeditions.

What is your favorite route or location to guide?

This is a tough one question. Usually if I am guiding something new or in an area I have not been to in a while that becomes something of a favorite because it’s a bit more fresh than something I have guided over and over. I pretty much love anything in Peru. It’s high altitude climbing, usually at a technical level, and the scenery is just amazing. Peru also offers peaks that are quite accessible for their height. You can climb multiple 6,000 meter peaks in a two week period. Most of those climbs a scenic trek, some big glacier climbing, followed by alpine ice, all of which keep things interesting and the group sizes down.

The southwest ridge of Ama Dablam in the Himalaya is an amazing climb. It offers moderate rock and ice climbing in a big mountain environment. The route is fixed and gives a great diversity to those looking to get on a mixture of different terrain. After you arrive in in Kathmandu you take another plane into Lukla which is located in the Khumbu. From there you trek through villages past monasteries and across suspension bridges high above rivers and the valley floor. Base camp has an amazing view of the peak and is on grass which is nice compared to some of the other camps that are rocky and dusty. You use a total of three camps on the mountain and you should plan on 30 days in country.

What do you wish more people knew about outdoor guiding?

I wish more people knew how much work it really is. All the pre-trip planning and packing. It’s not like a 9-5 job where you can just flip a switch and be done at a certain hour. Sure, there’s some tent down-time but it’s a 24 hour a day job. You are there for your clients from the start to the end of the trip no matter the time of day or night. It’s not just cooking, it’s terrain and weather assessment and risk management. Risk management is huge because it’s what keeps us coming home.

What tips do you have for someone looking to hire a guide?

For someone looking into hiring a guide I would look at how many years they have actively been guiding and the type of trips and terrain they frequently guide plus what certifications they hold and training programs they have been a part of.

What is your next professional or personal challenge that you are most looking forward to?

My next big move in my personal life is marriage and in my professional life working on getting a small guide service off the ground.

What do you do when it is raining outside?

Rain is one of those things which depends a lot on how hard and the consistency on which it’s coming down and where I am. Usually if it’s on the lighter side I’ll just throw on some rain gear. If it’s really nasty out hopefully I’m in my tent waiting for it to clear if not usually pushing to get out of it and begin drying off.

What piece of equipment can’t you live without?

My pee bottle pretty much goes with me on every trip.

The best way for people to reach me is by email.

Styler.alpine@gmail.com

Interview with Bolivian IFMGA/IVBV Mountain Guide Jose Camarlinghi

This week we chatted with IFMGA certified mountain guide Jose Camarlinghi, a native Bolivian with experience guiding throughout South American who is currently living and guiding in New Zealand.

Can you talk a little about your background? How did you first start guiding?

I spent my childhood in La Paz, Bolivia. It was a very nice small city with around 300.000 people. The city is located in a wide mountain valley in the central part of the Bolivian “Altiplano”, the high flat land. On the east side, some peaks and mountains of the Cordillera Real can be seen, with Mount Illimani, the second highest peak in Bolivia, being the most prominent. It can be seen from almost any neighborhood. The mountains are ever present but hardly anyone notices them.

I was not very sporty type of kid. I preferred to read books and wander in the hills around the city. My brother and I, along with our German Shepherd, would spent hours walking in the hills to have a better view of the mountains.

My parents used to buy all types of books and which my brother and I eagerly read. I remember once reading an account of Herman Bull on Nanga Parbat. Afterwards I felt a profound dread and could not understand why people would risk their lives going to such places. I decided I would never ever climb mountains.

Some years later my father took my brother and I to the Amazonian side of the country. He thought that there would be an opportunity for a business in Guanay, the center of a gold rush at that time. We took a bus over the Andes and crossed the mountains. Seeing them up close, I fell in love with them. After returning to La Paz, my brother and I started going to the higher peaks. At the time we didn’t understand the big risks we took without having any equipment or any knowledge of mountaineering techniques. Years later we engaged some training organized by small mountaineering clubs.

The early 1980s were a troublesome time in Bolivia and it profoundly impacted our lives. I was at university trying to study a career in Geography and History when the Army took over and smashed democracy. They closed the universities because the students were the main social movement against the dictatorship. The Army reopened the universities in an attempt to give some sense of normality to Bolivian society, and fortunately that government lasted less than two years. Bolivia suffered an embargo as the military government had an alliance with the cocaine traffickers. Unfortunately, the return to democracy after two years of military rule did little to turn the economy around. With the turmoil I lost interest in the ever irregular classes. Fortunately the German government had several programs to assist Bolivians, including a three year program to train mountain guides and instructors. With that I saw an opportunity to continue developing my love for the mountains and the sport.

Where do you guide and what activities do you guide? What is your favorite route or location to guide?

Outside of Bolivia I have also guided in Peru, Chile, Argentina and México. The place I love most is the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz. It is a small, unknown range with very pretty mountains. The southern part is glaciated and the northern end has hundreds of granite peaks, towers and spires. The eastern side of the range has not been spoiled by humans and holds one of the most pristine alpine and cloud forest mountains in the Andes. I go back there every time I can. Unfortunately, as it is not famous, I do not get many clients willing to go there. They don’t know what they are missing.

In the south there are several valleys with road access to quite close to the glaciers. It is possible to set up a base camp and climb several peaks from it, all of them within a day’s journey. And there are several valleys. In the north you can have the best rock climbing in Bolivia. The most visited valley is called Cuchu Mocoya and from it it is possible to climb faces and ridges of more than 500 meters. I would love to live there!

What do you wish more people knew about outdoor guiding? What tips do you have for someone looking to hire a guide?

In Bolivia there is no law to regulate guiding activities. There are many companies and guides who organize treks and climbs but very few have real, professional staff. Their services are inexpensive but lack quality. Often the trips end in failure, or worse, in accidents. Unfortunately,  many tourists are more concerned with saving money than staying safe. Many look for the cheapest options and do not ask about safety or professional credentials. What makes it even worse is that the cheaper companies pay peanuts to their staff, exploiting the guides and keeping their families on the verge of poverty. I wish our government would take on the problem but tourism is the last thing they are interested in.

That is why I try to educate travelers and tourists about the issue. If they hire non-professional, cheap services they support the exploitation of the staff, including not only the guides, but also the cooks, mule drivers, drivers, and others. Bolivia’s Mountain Guides Association (AGMTB) is 33 years old and its school has the recognition of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA/UIAGM/IVBV). Bolivian trekking guides are also members of the AGMTB but are trying to get the Union of International Mountain Leaders Associations (UIMLA) certification. It is a long process but hopefully they will get it soon. People looking for trekking and mountaineering services should ask for those certificates. Of course, some companies will lie about having certified guides, but with the internet it’s easy to check if your guide is properly certified, as both the IFMGA and the AGMTB have websites that list certified guides.

What is your next professional or personal challenge that you are most looking forward to?

As a professional I believe I have succeeded. Many of my clients are return clients and after so many years they have become my friends. Those relationships have become quite special and they endure no matter the distance or the time. At this point in my life my challenges are more personal, not professional. There are places I want to visit and climb and I have other activities I would like to pursue.

What is one piece of equipment that you can’t live without?

I like gadgets and like to try new ones. I find that I love some of them and others I hate and never use again. There is one piece of equipment I make sure I always bring along, no matter if I am rock climbing, trekking, mountaineering, mountain biking or four-wheel driving: a headlamp. Whatever happens, it’s good to make sure you aren’t caught out at night without one, things can go bad quickly in the dark.

You mentioned that you guide mostly in South America but are currently working for a guiding company in New Zealand. Can you talk a little bit about your current guiding work?

In Bolivia you cannot work as an independent guide. You have to work for an agency or an operator. For that reason I have a company in partnership with my best friend. We started climbing when we were 15 and went to Mountain Guide School together.

At the moment I am guiding in New Zealand. I was hired by a local company. I heard that they needed mountain guides for their summer season so I applied to three different companies. To my surprise all three companies offered me a job. At first I didn’t know how to decide on which company to work for. I looked at their websites and read their clients reviews but remained undecided. Finally, I got a phone call from one of the three and had the most particular (and personal) job interview. The questions were about my kids and wife, my dog and so on… I immediately accepted their offer.

I have been in New Zealand for two months and so far I am enjoying it. The mountains are more challenging than the ones I am used to. I have to confess that it took me a while to adapt. Maybe I am a bit old and not as flexible as I used to be?

I understand that you also offer trips focused on photography? How did those come about?

After working as a guide for a few years I decided to go back to university. I got a bachelor’s degree in filmmaking and a masters degree in scriptwriting. At the same time I also studied photography as part of filmmaking. I saw that photography trips were increasing in popularity so I developed a few programs. I know places were my clients can take really very beautiful pictures. I have worked with several professional photographers and filmmakers, too, but my tours are designed for amateur photographers.

How can people best get in touch with you?

I mentioned above that I partnered with my best friend to lead climbs i South America. The best way of contacting us is via our website www.andeansummits.com or at info@andeansummits.com.

Interview with IFMGA/IVBV Mountain Guide Gonzalo Vilches

How did you start to guide?

I have done mountaineering all my life. When I was younger my family liked to go to the mountain every weekend, but I never thought I would be a mountain guide. I never even knew it was an option and in fact, I studied civil engineering. It was at that time, on a trio to the Llaima volcano with the mountaineering club, that a good friend suggested I become a mountain guide. At first he had to explain what a mountain guide did, and that you could be paid as a guide. Once I realized that I could earn a living as a guide I began to take the required courses, spent more time climbing outside and preparing for the guide exam. In the end, I never worked as an engineer.

Where do you guide and what activities guide?

I guide in South America and in Europe. I live in Holland, and yes I know it has no mountains, but it is a great base of operations for me. I am currently in Andorra for the winter season.

What is your favorite route or place to guide?

I don’t have a favorite route. I really enjoy guiding new itineraries and discovering new locations with my clients.

What would you like more people to know about the outdoor guide?

I would like people to understand that mountain guiding is a profession. In South America people sometimes attempt to act as guides without the necessary training which is irresponsible.

What advice do you have for someone looking to hire a guide?

That they hire a professional guide certified by the UIAGM/IFMGA/IVBV or the UIMLA.

What is your next professional or personal challenge that you most look forward to?

I am in the Chilean National Ski and Snowboard School (Enisschag) which is a very good school for ski instructors affiliated with the ISIA (International Ski Instructor Association) certification. I want to achieve the level of alpine skiing coach.

What do you do when it is raining?

I guide in good weather and bad weather. When the weather doesn’t cooperate I will change the routes. I only stay home in storms that would make it unsafe. When I’m not working I enjoy windsurfing and fly fishing. I’m only ever indoors if I’m forced to be.

What piece of equipment can you not live without?

I have a piolet that Philippe Gabarrou gave me which was blessed in a ceremony by an Italian priest in Bolivia. I could lose everything except that ice ax. That ice ax has also accompanied me for many years.

How can people get in touch with you?

People can visit me website www.guiademontana.com for more information or e-mail me directly lonpay@gmail.com.

Gonzalo is one of thousands of guides you could be matched with for your next outdoor adventure. Be it mountaineering in South America or hiking in a National Park, www.AllTheGuides.com is where you can find your next guide.

Introducing AllTheGuides.com

The idea for this platform came about as I chatted with my guide, Sam, on our way down from an attempted summit on Mt. Pisco in Peru. As Sam recalled his years of professional guiding around the world, he also described how relocating to follow climbing seasons made it difficult to establish steady business. As I thought about my own difficulties finding a guide, the idea for a new online platform for guides developed.

I envisioned a place where outdoor enthusiasts could plan custom trips and receive quotes from certified guides. I envisioned a platform where guides could guide on their terms and more easily connect with potential clients searching for a guide with the knowledge and skills to make a dream trip a reality.

Since that day I’ve slowly worked on the idea, first by researching other travel platforms and the travel industry, then through conversations with guides and clients, and finally by finding partners interested in the journey and starting work on the website. Not wanting to wait until I completed he first version of the platform I launched the current version of the site to allow visitors to connect with guides in a more curated process. I also continued to discuss the idea with outdoor guides, guiding agency owners, outdoor industry insurance representatives, and other members of the outdoor community.

The first version of the new platform is nearing completion, but we don’t want to stop there. We envision a platform not only to connect members and guides, but also a place for members to connect with other members and guides with other guides. We want to create a community of outdoor enthusiasts who connect in person through shared passions. We want to enable guides to learn from  and encourage one another.

What that community looks like and how we get there is up to you. First and foremost our goal is to serve you, members and guides alike, so please help us. Share our platform with your networks, sign up to be part of the beta, and give us honest feedback and suggestions. We thank you in advance.