Guides have been chosen for their dedication, professionalism and attention to client care and satisfaction. Together they bring a collective experience gained from years working for guiding operations in Japan and abroad. They are certified through their individual country’s guiding associations as ski guides, or full mountain guides IFMGA/UIAGM.
Pawel Kunachowicz: “Kuna”
Qualifications: Mountain and Ski guide (IFMGA / UIAGM), Alpine Ski Instructor, Polish Mountain Guides Association member
Languages: Polish, English, Russian
Ski guided: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Norway – Spitsbergen, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, United States - Alaska, China - Pamir, India – Himalaya
Most memorable ski trip: Two weeks ski traverse of Spitsbergen. We were accompanied only by animals: white bears, seals and reindeers. They were watching us with curiosity. I wonder whether they considered us a good dinner. We travelled on skis, dragging sleds with our tents, food and personal gear. We were surrounded by long glaciers, beautiful white mountains and deep blue sea. Never before or after have I been in such a virgin nature.
Most memorable ski line: Ski down from the summit of Muztagh Ata 7546m in Pamir, China. The reward for a three-week expedition. We started last climb on the summit at night in very cold conditions, strong wind and we were demolished by high altitude. The descent though was with perfect weather and powder. We were in high mountains with the spectacular view of Pamir. We skied down all afternoon!
Reason for guiding: Being in nature, meeting people from different peers and nationalities, learning the world, staying active.
Philip Poole: Phil
Qualifications: Mountain and Ski guide (IFMGA / UIAGM), BASI Grade 3 Ski Instructor
Languages: English, German
Countries ski guided: France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Greenland
Most memorable ski trip: I guided a group of 3 clients to climb the 3 highest mountains in the Arctic. We accessed the mountains of East Greenland by air on a Twin Otter to base camp for this two week trip. Several camp moves with pulk sledges enabled us to climb all peaks as well as some first ascents and first ski descents. Not without incident, one team member got an appendicitis, which we managed throughout the trip until he was able to access a hospital in Iceland. He’s a tough lad our Nigel!
Most memorable ski line:I could write about great lines in Greenland, Antarctica or the Alps, but my most memorable line was here in my home patch of South Cumbria. Winter conditions come and go rapidly in the English Lake District, so you have to be on the spot and quick to get conditions when they come. This line was on the NE face of the Old Man of Coniston, 45 degrees at the top and normally full of rocks and boulders. A few metres down, I realised I should have climbed the line first! The top gully was icy and so narrow, that only the tips and tails of my skis were in contact with the snow. An ugly thin blade of rock barred the exit of the gully 50 metres below. A few careful jump turns with heart in mouth, I was below it and whooping down though boulders and rare powder to the lake below. I don’t think the line has ever been skied before or since.
Reason for guiding: Helping people realise their ambitions.
Qualifications: Mountain and Ski guide (IFMGA / UIAGM)
Languages: English, German, Russian, Slovak
Countries ski guided: Slovakia, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria
Most memorable ski trip: Ski trip through the Alps with my family and friends. Two weeks of great powder and many famous ski lines around Chamonix and Zermatt in more like perfect snow conditions.
Ski line: South Face of Combin de Valsorey
Reason for guiding: Life in the mountains and the effort to bring this world closer to other people.
Nationality: Spanish/ Italian
Qualifications and Memeberships: Mountain and Ski guide (IFMGA / UIAGM), Spanish Mountain Guides Asociation member (AEGM)
Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan
Countries ski guided: Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway
Most memorable ski trip: Was in my early twenties, I worked for long periods of time in a high altitude mountain hut in the Pyrenees. My colleague and I would get out on skis every day in any kind of weather to discover every gully and every slope of the region. My best trip was the Vall d'Aran.
Ski line: After a heavy snowfall on Mont Blanc (4.810 m) we left the summit having Europe under our feet and enjoyed an incredible 3.800 m descent with some of the best deep powder snow I have ever skied. It was powder all the way to the Italian village of Courmayeur, about 1.000 m above sea level. How privileged I felt that day!
Reason for guiding: Being able to show people what they don't expect, or help them to do things they didn't think they were able to do, are my main reasons to love this job.
Qualifications and Memberships: Mountain and Ski guide (IFMGA / UIAGM), Skiing instructor (DSLV, Level 3), German Mountain Guides Association member (VDBS)
Languages: English, German
Countries ski guided: Austria, France, Italy, Norway – Lyngen, Switzerland, India – Himalaya
Most memorable ski trip: A one-week Ski and Sail Trip in Lyngen on board of the S/Y Goxheim – a beautiful wooden sailing ship. The weather was harsh but sailing and skiing in the unique norwegian fjord landscape with the deep blue sea, high cliffs and white mountains is unforgetable.
Most memorable ski line: Skiing off Grand Montets via Pas de Chevre - all the way down to Chamonix in perfect powder.
Reason for guiding: Being in the mountains, feeling the nature and experiencing adventures together with different people.
Charles Olbery: Chuck
Qualifications and Memberships: NZMGA Ski guide, Canada Avalanche Association member, Japan Avalanche Network member
Countries ski guided: Canada, New Zealand, America/ Alaska, Norway
Most memorable ski trip: A two week traverse in the South Coast Mountains in British Columbia to climb Mt Waddington. The weather didn’t cooperate for Waddington but the combination of accessing the area by float plane and then sea kiaking for another week out the Bute Inlet made it a great trip.
Most memorable ski line: Mt Francais on the Antarctic Penninsula. A 3,000 meter ski descent to the ocean in boot top powder. Weather was bluebird. The stars were aligned.
Reason for guiding: Enjoying great experiences in the mountains and meeting new people.
Alistair Moore: Al
Qualifications: NZMGA Ski guide, NZSIA ski instructor
Countries Ski guided: New Zealand, Canada, Antarctica
Most Memorable Ski trip: Into the head of the Franz Josef Glacier with a group of friends, had the Centennial Hut to ourselves for 4 bluebird days, dry snow in the shade, corn on the sunny aspects, a 1500m ski down the Fox glacier for a night in the historic Chancellor hut then heli out to Fox Glacier township in the early am for breakfast. Classic
Most Memorable ski line: Hard one that. Skiing off Mount Rolleston into the head of the Waimak or was it the day a low level snowfall enabled me and my wife to skin from the back door where we live in Canterbury
Reason for Guiding: Sharing my love and some knowledge of the mountain environment with other folk