Recommended guides for mountaineering or skiing in the Alps

Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides is a small business and we like it that way. With few exceptions, we guide all of our trips ourselves so we may not be available for the climb or tour you want at the time you want. To help you realize your goals we offer here (in no particular order) a list of guides whom we can endorse without reservation.

There is one common attribute shared by all the guides we recommend for the Alps. They are recognized as, and have the valid license for, a UIAGM / IFMGA Mountain Guide. This is the only guides credential recognized in the Alpine countries. Guides with this credential display the IFMGA logo shown at the bottom of this page. Be sure your guide is IFMGA certified! In most Alpine countries it is illegal to guide without this credential and if your guide lacks it your trip may be unexpectedly canceled.

IFMGA Mountain Guides carry an ID card which must be updated each year. If you have any question as to a guide's international credential, ask. If your guide is legitimate he or she will be happy you did.

Many of the guides listed below work for an established guide service, and use that guide service as their main contact. If you contact the guide service, be sure to insist on either the guide of your choice or another IFMGA certified guide. If you are traveling to an IFMGA member country, do not permit a guide service to talk you into going with a guide lacking the IFMGA credential. Unfortunately, some American companies employ non-IFMGA guides for their programs in the Alps. Be sure to ask.

As you can tell, we feel very strongly about the value of IFMGA certification. We believe not only that guides with this credential have demonstrated a high level of guiding ability, but that the certification process itself builds a stronger profession and is a strong indication that a guide has made a real commitment to his or her profession.

Jean Pavillard
Jean is the Owner/Director of Adventures to the Edge in Colorado. Jean normally guides for about a month in the Alps each summer and does a ski trip or two each spring. Email him at
Mike Powers
Mike lives in Seattle and is currently employed by the American Alpine Institute. Mike's email address is
Bela Vadasz
Bela owns and directs Alpine Skills International based in Donner Pass, California. Bela only occasionally gets to the Alps, but you might be able to talk him into another trip there. I'm sure he'd love to go if he can fit it in among his many responsibilities at home.
Jorg Wilz
Jorg and his wife live in Canmore, Alberta. Jorg is originally German but has been living in the States for many years. Jorg owns On Top Mountaineering.
Marc Chauvin
Marc Chauvin is the owner and director of Chauvin Guides International in North Conway, New Hampshire. Though Marc primarily guides in the Northeast, he occasionally makes the trip across the pond.
Steve House
Steve, another UIAGM guide, lives in remote Bend, Oregon. His best contact is also by email at
Vince Anderson
Vince spreads his guiding around a number of different companies. His best contact is by email at
Karl Klassen
Karl is the past-President of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) and lives in Calgary (though soon to move to Revelstoke, BC!). Karl's email is
Ramsay Thomas
Originally from Colorado, Ramsay now makes his home in the Chamonix Valley with his wife Heather. His email address is
Freddy Grossniklaus
Freddy, and his wife Lisa live in Park City, UT. Freddy spends much of his summer in the Alps. Visit Freddy's web site at
Dick Jackson
Dick is the current President ot he AMGA. He and his wife, Paulina live in Aspen, Colorado. Email him at
Art Mooney
Art lives in New Hampshire. You can reach him by email at
Hans Solmssen
Originally from the USA, Hans now lives in Verbier, Switzerland. His email is
Martin Volken
Martin grew up in Stalden, Switzerland, just down the road from Zermatt, Martin and his wife Gina live in North Bend, Washington. His web site is found at
Michael Silitch
Michael and his wife Nina live in Villars, Switzerland. You can email him at
SP Parker
Our old friend SP, lives in Bishop, California. He is one of the owners of local guide service Sierra Mountain Guides.
Howie Schwartz
Howie is another neighbor of ours in Bishop, home of the greatest concentration of IFMGA guides in the USA! Howie's email is
Dave Cumming
Dave Cumming is a Scottish IFMGA guide living in the Chamonix Valley. Dave has been very kind and generous to both of us in during our time in the Mont Blanc Massif. We seem to run into each other nearly every other day in the busy month of August. Dave works through the AIGMB below. Dave's email is

All UIAGM / IFMGA Internationally Certified Mountain Guides display this logo.