Discover the benefits of heading into the backcountry with professionals…
At Summit Mountain Guides, we provide our guests with professionally certified and experience guides & instructors (IFMGA / ACMG / CAA) who take pleasure in helping you achieve your mountain goals. Our guides and instructors are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and the Canadian Avalanche Association. They are trained in the most current safety standard, mountain rescue and wilderness first aid. On every program you will be guided and instructed by professionals who have many years of working experience in the industry. Below you will find a bio of some of the guides periodically working for Summit Mountain Guides team.
Meet Your Guides
Owner, Manager & Mountain Guide (ACMG / IFMGA)
David’s love for high places has led him to establish a career in the mountains. Initiated to skiing and climbing at a young age, he continued to develop this passion into adulthood and has applied his skills to help others meet their mountain goals. He has been guiding guests climbing, skiing and mountaineering for more than 20 years.
He has successfully guided clients on the highest peaks of Western Canada and Europe. He has successfully guided clients on the highest peaks of Western Canada and Europe. His broad guiding background includes work for the Canadian Cat & Heli-ski industry, numerous backcountry ski lodges, ski & mountaineering programs in remote mountain ranges. As a guide, David looks forward to sharing his skills & passion for adventure with you. He is particularly invested in giving you the means to define and achieve your goals while safely maximizing your experience. When not skiing or climbing guiding, he enjoys exploring first ascents and descents in remote mountain areas. He is fluent in both French & English. He lives in Nelson BC with his 13 year old son.
Ski Guide (ACMG)
Born and raised in Nelson BC, Lila is at home in the mountains. Lila has been guiding professionally for 10 years. Her work as a ski guide has taken her to Northern BC to guide heli-skiing, to the Rockies to lead cadets in mountaineering adventures, and now back to the Kootenays to ski guide. She enjoys connecting with people in the mountain environment through backcountry skiing while providing a fun & safe adventure.
Ski Guide & App. Alpine Guide (ACMG)
Bob has been guiding summer and winter programs since 1980. He is based in Rossland, BC and also enjoys skiing and climbing guiding throughout the Selkirks, Rockies, and the Purcell Ranges. He has guided at Canadian Mtn. Holidays and other operations. Bob’s wealth of experience and passion for safety in the mountains make him a wonderful person to ski or climb with.
Ski Guide (ACMG)
Laura is an ACMG Ski Guide and CAA Professional who has spent her life guiding, teaching and exploring remote landscapes around the world; including North America, Asia, Europe, New Zealand, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. Laura grew up in British Columbia, lived in New Zealand for
ten years and now lives in Nelson, BC.
She is an educator at heart and alongside her international guiding career has taught in the fields of environmental sciences and outdoor recreation, conducted Masters research on high-risk decision making, and held leadership and technical advisory roles in mountain safety and international adventure recreation. Recently Laura was inducted into the Royal Canadian Geographic Society
as a Fellow for her contributions to research, education and
Ski Guide & App. Rock Guide (ACMG)
Stephen loves deep powder runs in the quiet corners of the Selkirk Mountains. He has a passion for long spring ski traverses, the more arduous the better. When the snow melts he likes to explore long alpine rock climbs in the worlds most beautiful places. He has been guiding for the past 8 years and the mountains around Nelson, BC hold a special place in his heart. He lives with his partner Kristen and their petite ginger tabby, Kitty.
Mountain Guide (ACMG/IFMGA)
Jen is passionate about climbing mountains and finding sweet powdery ski lines. She became an internationally certified mountain guida in 2008 through the ACMG. She loves sharing her spirit of adventure with her guests helping them to become self-sufficient and find their own path and skills in mountain travel. Jen has traveled to many remote locations around the world to enjoy first ascents on granite peaks or ice climbs from Pakistan to Alaska. She is residing in the West Kootenays while pursuing a degree in Nursing and exploring the local mountains summer and winter.
Martin (Marty) Vidak
Ski Guide/ Hiking Guide (ACMG)
Marty has been an ACMG Ski Guide for 20 years. His home is in Golden, BC, an excellent base to explore the Selkirk, Purcell, and Rocky Mountains. Marty’s extensive experience includes 18 years as a Mountain Rescue Specialist, and his lengthy guiding career includes snow cat skiing, heli -skiing, and guiding at many of the backcountry lodges in BC. Marty has climbed and skied all over the world for the past 40 years, but his passion is for the deep untracked powder of the Selkirks. He enjoys sharing with guests what he has learned from a life in the mountains.
Ski Guide (ACMG)
Ramin has been a ski guide since 2004 and is also Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. During his guiding career, he has worked with numerous heli, snowcat and ski touring operations in BC’s Columbia Mountains. As a guide, he has been fortunate to lead trips to many of BC’s top ski destinations, and also to the international ski mecca that is Japan. Safety is always the first priority with Ramin.
Trust is fostered with his guests via open communications, inclusive decision making, and the knowledge that the risks and the rewards of travel in the backcountry are shared together. Ramin lives in Nelson BC with his wife and two teenage children.
Apprentice Ski Guide (ACMG)
Raised on the eastern slopes of the rockies, Jeremy brings years of varied experience climbing up and sliding back down mountains. In search of deeper snowpacks, & thicker bushwacks he now calls the Kootenays his home. Having spent the last 6 years in the guiding industry, he is eager to continue learning as well as share his experiences. His relaxed yet enthusiastic demeanour will charm away even the steepest uptracks. Party tricks include skiing his splitboard down just about anything.
CAA level 2 & Professional member
Born in France, raised in Nelson, Douglas loves spending time in the outdoors. He grew up skiing at Whitewater and playing in the mountains of BC, skiing, rafting, mountaineering, climbing, and flying. You’ll find him working as a pilot, photographer, ski patroller, and avalanche worker, as well as volunteering with Nelson SAR. He’s been teaching AST courses since 2017.
IFMGA & ACMG background
The Mountain Guiding profession initiated in the European Alps over 200 years ago. The first ascent of mount Blanc by Jacques Balmat and doctor Michel Paccard in 1786 strongly contributed to an increased interest in recreational climbing and the need for guides. Over time, each country bordering with the Alps developed their own guiding association and professional standards. In an effort to standardize the ever growing profession, France, Austria, Italy & Switzerland created an International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) in 1965. One of the IFMGA mandated would be to promote the most uniform & professional training possible, in order to facilitate the practice of the mountain guide profession abroad. Today the IFMGA has more than 20 member countries world wide.
Why you should hire a certified guide
The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides is the only internationally recognized governing body for professional climbing, hiking, backcountry skiing & mountain guides in Canada. ACMG guides have been examined to the highest level and are required to maintain their standard with Continuing Professional Development each year. In Canada, active guides spend over 100 days each winter ski guiding and instructing in avalanche terrain and upwards of 50 days each summer climbing guiding in the Alpine environment. ACMG guides are an incredible resource with a rich mountain background and wealth of knowledge. They are passionate about all mountain discipline and enjoy sharing their experience while working with individuals with various background and goals.
There are specific terrain & professional guidelines that apply to every ACMG guides based on their certification level. Generally speaking, assistant guides do not have the same ability to guide independently like fully certified Ski, Alpine or Mountain guides do. The type of terrain or trips assistant guides can do is normally shorter and less involved unless they are working under the direct supervision of a fully certified Ski, Alpine or Mountain guide.
Professional guides who support this system tend to be members of the ACMG. To ensure that your guide is a member of the ACMG, you can search for them on the ACMG member list. Only active ACMG members appear on the list and only active members may use the association logo. If your “ACMG certified” guide does not appear on the list then they likely do not possess the permits to guide in the National and Provincial Parks and are probably not adequately insured!