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Alpine Exploratory's People
Meet the team at Alpine Exploratory!
Organising our trips
Simon worked in London as an economist before making the move to the mountains. He is a member of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML).
In 2012 Simon helped with our Tour du Mont Blanc recces before the season as well as being out and about on our UK routes!
Chrissie deals with many of our accommodation bookings in the Alps and the UK, plus the other tasks involved in running our trips. She is a familiar voice (in French too) to our hotels and B&Bs.
In 2012 Chrissie visited Italy to review our new Alta Via 1 trek and its fabulous mountain huts, plus recces closer to home on our Lakeland and Yorkshire routes.
A geographer by training, Lucy is in contact with our hotels, huts and B&Bs as we plan our trips and plan ahead for future routes.
In 2012 Lucy was welcomed into the Alpine Exploratory team! Lucy headed to the Tour du Mont Blanc to help with our updates, plus further research in the UK.
Ailsa's environmental experience covers the fields of planning, conservation, local environmental quality and climate change. Ailsa spent a summer on the Isle of Skye while researching deer and forestry management for the John Muir Trust.
In 2012 Ailsa spent much time in the Alps in winter, including the Dolomites and the French Alps, as well as the Lake District and elsewhere in the UK.
Leading our guided trips
All of Alpine Exploratory's guided trips are led by a fully qualified International Mountain Leader (IML). As well as holding this award, our leaders are personable and friendly. The intention is that you'll greatly enjoy spending time with them in the mountains.
Most summers Pete can be found working in the French Alps and he has become an expert in the region around Les Contamines, a village on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Outside the summer, Scotland is a favourite destination - Pete has climbed all 283 Munros, the highest Scottish peaks - or Tenerife for a dose of winter sunshine.
In 2012 Pete climbed Everest! We are thrilled at Pete's achievement, especially as it completed the Seven Summits; the highest peaks in each continent. We're delighted that in 2012 Pete led more guided treks including the Walker's Haute Route (Guided) in July and August. Please join Pete on his superb treks.
Stewart has completed a ski-mountaineering traverse of the Alps from Austria to the Mediterranean. He is a member of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML), a teacher of mountain navigation, and was a member of the Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team in the Lake District.
In 2012 Stewart brought his all-round experience in the mountains to our Tour du Mont Blanc (Guided) trips among others. Stewart also masterminded our first season of Navigation for Trekking courses in the Lake District, where we welcomed our first clients. Please join Stewart in 2013 for some superbly led treks.
Like all our leaders, Allan is an International Mountain Leader (in BAIML). Allan is also an Accredited Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (APIOL). He teaches outdoor First Aid and is a member of the Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, both in South Wales.
In 2012 Allan contributed to our Tour du Mont Blanc (Guided) programme as well as helping in our Alta Via 1 pre-season research. New for 2012, our First Aid for Trekking programme was introduced by Allan. Please join Allan on these trips and benefit from his engaging company and phenomenal experience in the mountains.
In 2012 Keith led on our Tour du Mont Blanc (Guided) programme and others. Please join Keith for superb company on trek and for inspiration about the mountains and their flora and fauna.
Checking our routes
We research and check all our routes. Trails change over time. This can be due to official re-routing or to convention, or due to natural phenomena such as landslip. Local facilities along the routes change too, such as local shops, bus routes and cable cars. We're lucky to have highly proficient route checkers. Attention to detail is of course key. Equally crucial is the ability to describe a route both straightforwardly and unambiguously.
In 2007 Anna-Maria took 3 months off to bag Munros, the highest peaks in Scotland, starting with Ben Lomond (the most southerly) and finishing with Ben Hope (the most northerly). Before long she found herself chasing 4,000m peaks in the Swiss Alps. Anna-Maria has a keen interest in the specific challenges that women face in outdoor pursuits and in sporting endeavours in general.
In 2012 Anna-Maria has led an exciting revision to our Tour of the Three Peaks trip, that will take effect in 2013, as well as planning for our 2013 Lake District treks. Anna-Maria has also worked on our Dales Way and Coast to Coast programmes this year.
Chris is an obsessive landscape photographer and his hard drive is full of mountainous scenes, from the Scottish Highlands in winter to the French Alps in summer. He’ll get up early to catch the sunrise or the morning light and stay up late to catch shooting stars.
... and directing our dog-friendly holiday research...
As part of our regular recces on each UK route, we check the path's suitability for dogs. You are welcome to bring your dog on any of our UK holidays. For parties with dogs we book our dog-friendly accommodation.
The IML award
The IML is the professional qualification for leading trekking and mountain walking groups worldwide. When Alpine Exploratory began, we decided that all our guided holidays would have an IML as a leader.
The IML is one of two main internationally recognised mountaineering awards, the other being the UIAGM Guide. In the UK the IML holders are represented by the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML). Until early 2005 the IML was known as the European ML in the UK and the Accompagnateur in France.
The trend in the walking and trekking industry is towards leaders having qualifications, principally the IML award. However, the majority of walking holiday companies have traditionally used amateur leaders typically with no mountaineering qualifications. Alpine Exploratory's approach of using only IMLs ensures for our clients the highest standards in leadership, safety and environmental awareness.
Guided and Self-Guided Holidays - see them all
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