Qualification: NZMGA Assistant Climbing Guide and Assistant Ski Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2014
Born and raised in the winterless north (Auckland), Lewis headed South in his early 20's and quickly found his calling climbing in the Southern Alps while attending University in Christchurch.
General mountain marauding quickly led to an interest in guiding and Lewis got his first dose of the guiding life as a ‘Glacier Slug’ on the rainy and temperate Fox Glacier.
Since then Lewis has pursued his passion with gusto. Highlights including climbs of the Hooker Face of Aoraki Mt Cook, the West Ridge of Malte Brun and the South Face of Mt Sealy as well as some excellent skiing in the glacier nevés.
A couple of seasons working on ski fields in the Southern Lakes and more recently Alpine Trekking guiding and instructing have reinforced his commitment to the outdoor lifestyle.
Lewis is currently knees-deep in his guiding apprenticeship and is committed to continuing his professional development and empowering others to enjoy the pleasures and challenges to be found in the hills.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: UK/NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2009
Dave's English accent gives away his heritage even though he has been resident in NZ since the late 1990's. His chipper good humor and eye for detail complement his skills as a guide and mountaineer.
He started tramping as a "wee fella", which led to rock climbing and eventually lead climbing in '84.
Dave has climbed and skied extensively in the UK and Europe - climbing up to E3 on rock and grade 6 in winter.Work and leisure have taken him skiing and climbing to the USA, Canadian Rockies, and regularly to Antarctica.
Dave has been an active member of volunteer search and rescue (mainly in the Wanaka Queenstown region) almost since his arrival in NZ.
When not working in the mountains or enjoying his many outdoor pursuits, Dave is a connoisseur of cryptic crosswords, and enjoys cooking - which is a bonus for his guided guests!
Qualification: IFMGA Aspirant Mountain Guide Nationality: Roumanian First worked with Alpine Guides: 2017
It is not easy to list the accomplishments of a person like Cosmin, and it is hard to find a more modest chap in the outdoor field.
He hails from Baia Mare in the NW of Transilvania (Romania). Situated in a beautiful valley amongst mountains and hills, lakes and rivers and forests. It was a perfect playground for an adventurous child to develop a love of the outdoors.
From his 'academic days' Cosmin has a BA in Philosophy and Anthropology, an MA in Classical Philosophy, and PhD in Philosophy...
Cosmin was climbing on Mount Cook in 2016 when he met Jane Morris and Dave McKinley and was introduced to Alpine Guides.
In the mountains he has ranged internationally, guiding countless treks, rock and ice routes as well as ski trips in the Carpathians, the Alps, the Himalayas and many other ranges around the world, including: Carstensz Pyramid 4884m, Mt Kenya 5199m, Tharpu Chuli 5663m , Kilimanjaro 5895m , Khhang Shiling 6360m, Pungpa Ri 7200m to name a few. On all but Kilimanjaro, he was the first Romanian to have guided these peaks.
Cosmin speaks English, Romanian, French and Italian and for teaching purposes English and Romanian. He is also a ski Instructor and PADI Divemaster.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 1982
Bill has been alpine climbing since the late 1960's, so if it's experience and battle scars you're after, he's a hard man to beat.
Prepare to be amazed. Anyone who has been on a TMC will know Bill's legendary organisational skills. His courses run with atomic clock precision. It goes to show that practice does indeed make perfect.
BIll has guided independently (as "Sunrockice") in North America, Europe, Asia and Antarctica. He has also climbed extensively on every continent, being part of, or leading more expeditions than we can list on this page.
Since working as an assessor for the NZMGA from 1984, many of the current crop of NZ mountain guides have been put through their paces by Bill at one time or another during their training days.
Bill's dry sense of humour is as well known as his climbing prowess and attention to detail. Be prepared for innumerable stories of the mountains, from the amusing to downright gothic.
Qualification: ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide Nationality: Australian (and UK and Japan permanent resident) First Worked with Alpine Guides: 2016
Damian's passion is backcountry skiing, and these days he spends 9 months a year on snow. He was raised and educated in Tasmania, after which a demanding office job allowed him to move around the world for a while, but utterly failed to capture his lifelong interest.
His permanent base is in Hakuba, Japan, along with his Japanese wife, where he runs his own small guiding operation and published a local backcountry magazine.
He is a professional member of both the Canadian Avalanche Association and is a member of the Japan Avalanche Network. Recently, he successfully completed the ACMG Ski Guide training program is a member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides as an Apprentice Ski Guide, with more training and exam challenges ahead of him.
Besides uncountable powder days in Japan's backcountry, Damian has ski and split-board toured in Europe, Canada, and of course, New Zealand, along with some remote trips in Greenland and The Yukon.
Damian is enthusiastic about the thoughtful planning and professional execution of safe backcountry trips. So long as a trip is safe and fun, he is happy. These are the things that make him tick.
Pablo Borjas von Bach
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: Venezuelan First worked with Alpine Guides: 2017
Pablo was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Since his childhood, he has been passionate about mountains.
Pablo holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Diploma in Adventure Guiding, from the Thompson Rivers University in Canada.
He was a founding member of the Venezuelan Association of Instructors and Mountain Guides (AVIGM). He was a member of the first expedition of “Project Summit” from Venezuela, which successfully climbed Ama Dablam (6.856 m) in 1993.
With decades of experience in national and international expeditions, Pablo has climbed/guided in Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia, Chile, Russia, Nepal, Canada and the USA.
He was only the second Venezuelan mountain guide to possess the IFMGA/UIAGM international mountain guide certification.
Pablo enjoys sharing his love of mountaineering. On every tri, he tries to invest the virtues of patience and the simplicity of living in the mountains - and the value of the tranquillity found there.
Of course, he speaks Spanish. And his English is better than may Kiwi's!
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 1994
Sam has been seen doing 'things' in the mountains since 1989, but he comes from a family tradition in the outdoors. His Swiss father put in some notable first ascents in the Southern Alps long before Sam was but a twinkle....
Sam was a late starter to skiing - really seriously beginning only after beginning his training as a guide. But he's made up for lost time. His climbing career really began through his passion for rock climbing.
He enjoys getting on to quality rock, on long routes, especially in locations like the Darran Mountains (Fiordland)... and any day ski touring in good snow.
Sam has worked since 2001 as a ski guide for both Ski The Tasman and Wilderness Heliskiing at Mount Cook. His International experience includes 2 seasons climbing in Europe and ski touring extensively there over 2000/01. As well as big wall climbing in Yosemite, he has also guided in Antarctica.
These days he splits his time between guiding, working as a draftsman, and heading into the outdoors with his family. If not attached to a rope or skis, Sam's will often be out with his fly fishing gear, in pursuit of wily high-country trout.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 1983
Kevin is a director of Alpine Guides. He began working as a professional mountain guide in 1983, and became a full IFMGA/UIAGM guide in 1985.
Kevin is well known for his boundless energy and enthusiasm for the mountains. He started Methven Heliskiing in 1986 and has directed the operation since its inception. His passion for the area and dedication to providing the best heliskiing service brings return clients back year after year.
Kevin's international experience regularly takes him around the world. He works as a lead guide for CMH Heliskiing, and has been with them since 1989. He is actively guiding heliskiing operations in Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Russia, as well as acting as an examiner and instructor for the IFMGA - in NZ, Japan (he speaks Japanese), Canada and Russia....
Kevin moonlights as a professional photographer and has captured some of Alpine Guides great images. He also has an extensive film industry experience, and has worked with some of the best snowboarders in the world including Terje Haakonsen, Jim Rippey, and Craig Kelly.
Beside skiing and snowboarding, Kevin's climbing career is an extensive one; including first ascents in the Himalayas, NZ, Alaska, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia. He has also been to Kamchatka, the Caucasus, Elbrus Mt. Region.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2007
Mal lives in sunny Wanaka, and mainly works for Alpine Guides during the summer. However, he does run the occasional winter guidng trip, when not on an overseas adventure.
He has a diverse background, with a degree in electrical engineering, and time in the Australian army. Mal also taught outdoor education and rock climbing for 10 years in Australia and New Zealand. This led to his eventual qualification as a mountain guide in 2004.
Mal's climbing missions have taken him around the world, the most recent (2009) being to Lhotse (8,516 metres).
Mal moonlights as a instructor for the NZ Mountain Safety Council and also organises his own international expeditions, mainly in the Nepalese Himalaya.
One of his passions is jumping off mountains... under a canopy. Hardly a week goes by where he doesn't post a new YouTube epic of his latest paragliding or speedflying mission.
Qualification: NZMGA Hard Ice Guide, Assistant Ski Guide, Alpine Trekking Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2014
As a farm kid in South Canterbury, Anna was introduced to the joys of bush bashing and back country huts at an early age. This soon developed into a passion for skiing and snowboarding and through this, a love for the alpine environment and the beauty and challenges to be found there.
Anna has returned to life in Aoraki Mt Cook Village for her second season of Hard Ice Guiding on the Tasman Glacier with Alpine Guides, having worked and played previously for two seasons on the considerably wetter Fox Glacier.
During NZ winters Anna has progressed from 'ski bum' to 'professional ski bum', working as a ski patroller on Mt Ruapehu and at the Remarkables, having also spent several winters in Arthur's Pass. In her spare time she likes to hang out in the sun at a crag, carry her skis through thick alpine scrub or hide away with a strong coffee and a good book.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide, Alpine Guides Guiding Director Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2001
Having the same last name as a very famous mountain has burdened Dave with a nick name that his demeanour doesn't live up to...
Dave took up the mantle of Guiding Director for Alpine Guides in December 2011.
HIs role involves all aspects of guides mentoring and development, maintaining safety standards, training, and most of the work program allocation for our summer and winter guiding.
As far as guides go you'll be hard pushed to find a more enthusiastic and charming chap... or a more popular one. This is no-doubt helped by Dave's service/hospitality training in his previous (tortured) incarnation as a fully qualified (award winning) chef.
Dave escaped the kitchen and began guiding in the late 90’s around the Queenstown area. He has climbed and/or worked all over; including NZ, Australia, Switzerland, France, Alaska, Tibet, and South America.
These days he lives and plays out of Twizel with his lovely wife (formerly an AGL guide), three kids and three dogs.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: Canadian First worked with Alpine Guides: 2011
We are pleased to have James back with the AGL team for summer 2015/16.
For his second birthday James got an old pair of wooden skis, which he spent every waking moment on, skiing around the living room... Growing up in a small isolated town in BC Canada, at 16 James turned to the mountains, with his older brother looking for adventures.
"I grew fond of not only being out there but teaching and taking others with me to experience these great places."
He has since visited Baffin Island, and Alaska as he works his way through the guiding stream. From water ice grade 6 in the Canadian Rockies to the big granite peaks of Auyuittuq National Park, James thoroughly enjoys it all.
When not in the mountains he is busy daydreaming about his next adventure, or trying to recreate favourite family recipies in the kitchen.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2010
Jane began shuffling around the NZ mountains when her parents thought tramping was a great idea for a family holiday.
During her time at Otago University, mountain huts provided a good substitute for lecture theatres and she began exploring the Southern Alps in search of an alternative education.
After spending 5 years as a nomad travelling and working in various mountainous corners of the globe she returned to NZ and worked in outdoor related industries before transitioning to full time mountain and ski guiding in 2010, based in Mount Cook Village.
Jane enjoys the simplicity that comes from being in the mountains and the lessons that can be learned from the environment - Mother Nature is a brilliantly crafted teacher, if we’re open to the subtleties of her lessons!
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: Japanese First worked with Alpine Guides: 2015
Tai grew up skiing in Hokkaido, the island of ‘Japow’ in Japan.
He moved to NZ in 2001 hoping to become an outdoor instructor or guide. Soon after he discovered unique club fields in Canterbury and the Craigieburn/Arthur’s Pass area - which became his backcountry playground.
While woking as a glacier guide on the South Island's West Coast, he explored the endless glaciers and peaks of the Southern Alps skiing and climbing as much as time would allow.
Tai never has a dull moment being a passionate skier, climber, whitewater kayaker, hunter, fisherman and mountain biker.
He is currently working to complete his NZMGA Assistant Climbing Guide qualification on the pathway to becoming a full IFMGA Guide, which he hopes to achieve in 2018.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 1989
Trev started skiing in 1965 (when he was of course, very young), and climbing in 1979. His career in the outdoors began as a "cup head" at Queenstown's Coronet Peak ski area. Unfortunately (for reasons unknown to us) he was sacked during his second season there.
The first route that Trev climbed (with a more experienced 'mate') was a baptism by fire, on the Hooker Face gullies on Mt Cook. He professes to have "enjoyed" it so much that he didn't/couldn't go climbing again for another three years...
As talented on a snowboard as he is skiing, Trevor's international mountain experience spans the globe - from the UK, France and Switzerland, to the USA, Thailand, Greenland, India and Pakistan.
He is the guiding director for Wilderness Heliskiing and Ski The Tasman, and has also recently deposed Kaiser Niki Stornig, to become head guide for Himachal heli-skiing in India. Trev was president of the NZMGA in 2003 and 2004.
When not growing old in the service of Alpine Guides, Trev's often seen amongst the foam and driftwood of North Otago beaches with his surf board.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2000
Jamie still thinks of himself as more of a ski bum than climber, even after working as a climbing guide for a number of years now.
His organised, strong, and decisive approach to mountaineering is balanced with many years of snow safety knowledge, gained from 10 winters working for (and eventually heading) the snow safety team at Mount Hutt (i.e. dropping bombs out of helicopters).
These days Jamie works as both a summer and winter guide for Alpine Guides. He spends most of spend most his winters as one of the lead guides for Methven Heliskiing.
As well as alpine experience here in NZ, Canada, and Nepal, Jamie has rock climbed in Australia, Thailand, France, Canada and USA. He's also enjoyed a season of waterfall ice climbing in Canada.
His overseas work experience includes ski patrolling in Canada (Sunshine Village) and USA (Copper Mountain), heliski guiding in Valdez Alaska, and guiding for Yamuska in 2004.
A man of many talents Jamie has worked with the Peel Forest Outdoor Pursuits Centre, and is a certified kayak instructor. With family based in Methven spare time is often spent day-tripping to Castle Hill with Kevin Boekholt for some local bouldering.
Qualification: NZMGA Climbing Guide Nationality: UK First worked with Alpine Guides: 1998
Paul’s fading Cockney accent and cheeky manner belie once of NZ’s strongest and most accomplished mountain guides and expedition leaders.
He started rock climbing and rambling in the UK at age 17, coming out to explore NZ in 1986. After a bout working in outdoor education, in 1996 Paul completed his climbing guide qualifications.
Paul has climbed and guided extensively all over the world, working in and leading expeditions on to peaks like Everest, Cho Oyu, Aconcagua, Gasherbrum 2, Bugaboo Spire, Uli Biaho and many others.
A passionate ice climber, Paul was one of the pioneers in the famed winter playground of Wye Creek near Queenstown. He directed Adventure Consultants’ winter ice climbing program for many years.
Paul calls Wanaka home, but also appreciates the ‘quiet’ life being a ‘village person” at Mt Cook between his guiding missions.
When not working in the mountains Paul chooses to play there, favouring the Darren Mountains of Fiordland National Park.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2006
Roy was initially into rowing and rugby, but soon saw the light and became hooked on mountaineering.
His first ascent of Mount Cook was a 13 hour Grand Traverse in his second climbing season (now has 23 successful ascents). His second ascent of Mt Tasman was via the Balfour Face, using classic (almost straight) bamboo tools filed at the last minute to make bigger teeth in the tip. This didn't help to grip the ice, but made them look more intimidating!
He began training as a guide training when the NZMGA was formed in 1979. However, few guiding opportunities in those days led him spending a decade working in all sorts: from construction, oil exploration, snowmaking, and school teaching - as well as climbing and skiing in NZ, Europe, and North America.
Roy returned to full time guiding in the late 80’s and now has guided 22 summer and winter seasons in the Southern Alps and Southern Lakes Regions as well as finding time for some guiding in the Dolomites and the Mt Blanc region of the Alps. He claims to know The Haute Route Ski Tour so well that he could guide it blindfolded. You can book Roy's services here.
Mountain biking, roller-blading and surfing is what he enjoys in his spare time as well as hanging out on multi-pitch limestone routes in the sunny Mediterranean (or is it the espresso and pastries?), but he still reckons a good day in the NZ mountains takes some beating.
Qualification: IFMGA Guide Nationality: NZ First worked with Alpine Guides: 2008
Andy, usually known as Tinny is a solid Kiwi Joker; unassuming, straight shooting, and genuine.
He grew up in the local area spending much of his childhood around Lake Tekapo. His first guiding job was kayaking on the Mueller Glacier terminal lake.
He spent a few summers at Fox Guides on the West Coast as a glacier guide, then training coordinator, and lead guide. He also spent 2 winters running a cat ski operation in the Tekapo area.
He has climbed extensively all around NZ (particularly enjoys the Darrens) and has been to Patagonia and through Europe.
Tinny is more of a part-time guide these days, guiding mainly during winter. His day job is actively managing the Aoraki Mount Cook Search and Rescue Team.
If you meet Andy, his partner Lucia insists that you should always test his Spanish skills in preparation for his next trip to South America.
Qualification: ACMG Climbing Guide Nationality: Australian First worked with Alpine Guides: 2008
Abby spent 15 ears in Golden, BC but has moved back home to the Victorian Coast of Australia. She began working with Alpine Guides over the 2007/08 summer, her first professional guiding in NZ. She's also took up the long Mt Cook winter to guide for us on Ski The Tasman and Wilderness Heli over winter 2008.
Abby's quickly become a much liked and respected member of the AGL crew, with her down to earth style, and relaxed, positive attitude that she applies her work, and life in general.
Abby started climbing back in 1988 and has excelled. She's held world speed climbing records and top placing's in competitive ice climbing. Her many achievements are better summarized in an extensive bio on the North Face website.
Apart from guiding professionally in Canada and NZ, she has climbed in Nepal and made first ascents in Pakistan. Out of the hills Abby is an accomplished dancer and gymnast, performing with the Vancouver-based aerial dance company, Aeriosa Dance Society. During winter 2008 she applied herself with gymnastics training for the kids at Mt Cook School.