Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.
Our ongoing mission is to explore and interpret the Alps and the mountainous areas of Norway and the UK. We are systematic about our exploration and the result is a thoroughly human service that interprets trekking trails for our experienced clients. We call this the Exploratory system.
We run everything from our office in Edinburgh. We place great importance on a friendly and positive approach to organising our holidays.
What makes us tick?
The Exploratory system
Our exploration comes first; our trips flow from this research. We explore, interpret and update all our routes ourselves. We explore with a trekker's eye. We produce our own detailed routecards and notes. We update regularly with the aim of giving the foremost service of information on each of our treks.
The Exploratory system
It's a pleasure each year to get to know new clients and to get to know better our returning clients.
We take pride in the friendly relations we've built up with our partners including hoteliers, hut wardens and others who help us run our trips.
We promote good practice in the mountains. This applies to the environment, equipment, technical skills and every other element of our walking holidays, and to both our self-guided and our guided holidays. All of our guided trips are led by our International Mountain Leaders (IMLs) and all of our routecards are drawn up and checked by our IMLs.
What is it like to trek with us?
Human, personal interpretation of the trek
Our early contact with most clients involves discussion of the best itinerary. On all of our routes, there are many approaches possible and we apply our knowledge to what will suit each group best. We consider this stage as important as anything we do in the sequence from initial enquiry to finished trek.
Your self-guided trip can start on any date you choose within our season; we don't have set start dates.
Nor do we have set schedules, so we are always pleased to book trips in your chosen style. This could mean shorter or longer, more or less luxurious, or with extra stages or rest days.
For our guided trips, we offer our scheduled trips on fixed dates and with set itineraries that people can join, and also our private guided trips which can start on your choice of date.
On our guided walking holidays we take up to 8 trekkers. Added to your 1 leader, this means a group of up to 9 people walking together. We feel this is large enough; larger groups compromise quality for each client and impose a burden on the trail and accommodation. Smaller groups mean a greater role, better safety and more choice for each client.
Sympathy with the mountains
Our mountains are where we find our enjoyment, our relaxation, our thrills, and some of the best times of our lives. We seek to understand the mountains and protect them. A conscientious approach to the environment is a key part of each of our holidays. Our groups' aims are to travel to and through the mountains causing as little environmental impact as possible; we aim to promote best practice whether through your leader on a guided holiday or through the materials we give you on a self-guided holiday.
The Alpine Year - month by month, life in the Alps!
Alpine Exploratory's history
Alpine Exploratory was established in London in July 2005 by Simon Stevens and Ailsa Gibson, who are the company's Directors to the present day. We are writing a little about each year:
Alpine Exploratory's history - year by year
A neat woodpile in the Aravis region of the French Alps
Alpine Exploratory Limited is a privately held company registered in England and Wales, with company number 5521173 and VAT number 995904461. UK Exploratory and Exploratory are trading names of Alpine Exploratory Limited.
In February 2015 we moved our working office from Settle to Edinburgh. Please find us at Alpine Exploratory, 63A George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2JG, United Kingdom. Having incorporated the company in England and Wales, we must maintain our registered office in that jurisdiction as opposed to Scotland. Thus our registered office is in West Yorkshire, England, at Alpine Exploratory, Ground Floor, No. 4 Warehouse, The Wharf, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 2AG, United Kingdom which is a business address in Simon's family.
In May 2016 we took over the web domain 'exploratory.com' from the previous owner The Exploratory, a hands-on science centre that operated in Bristol from 1983 to 1999. The Exploratory's web page continues at www.exploratory.org.uk.
In keeping with Alpine Exploratory's ethos we keep things simple: we don't collect or store information that we don't need for the running of your trip. We comply with the UK's Data Protection Act 2018 which applies the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
For subscriptions to our email newsletter Exploratory News we share with our email provider your email address and, if you wish to enter them, your first and last names. We don't send any marketing emails except Exploratory News to those who have signed up for it.
For enquiries we will use your information to reply to your questions. We might ask for more details if it would help us to recommend the right trip.
For bookings and information given to us during the organisation of your trip including our pre-trip form, we use your information for internal administration of your booking. We need to give certain information to our partners (e.g. hotels and baggage partners) in order to run your trip. We use widely trusted cloud applications to organise the information. We keep your information for a certain period after your trip in case an issue occurs.
In an emergency we might have to give your contact, medical or other information to the emergency services or others.
After questionnaires and your comments on the trip, we use your information to improve our trips and to discuss with you any issues. We only put your comments on our website with your permission.
If you send us photos of your trip, we love to look at them in the office and would ask your permission before using them on our website. On a trip, if you prefer other Alpine Exploratory clients not to photograph you then please ask them or your group leader. If there is a photo of you on our website that you would prefer us not to show then please ask us and we will take it down straight away.
If you'd like to know what information we hold about you, or to update it, please ask us at email@example.com. Thank you.
Please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Guided and Self-Guided Holidays - see them all
The Alpine Exploratory team
Meet Ailsa, Allan, Anna-Maria, Chrissie, Hannah, Joy, Kathy, Keith, Lucy, Ollie, Pete, Phil, Rachel, Rob, Simon, Steph, Suze and Tim!
Our base in Edinburgh
We are based in the centre of Edinburgh, a train ride away from Milngavie for the West Highland Way, and with the Highlands just up the road.
The Alpine Exploratory year follows a seasonal pattern. Please see our calendar for what's happening:
Ways to keep up to date
Photos from trips
After our research trips we make a page of photos, and this has become our blog.
|Facebook for photos|
|Instagram for photos|
We send email newsletters each season with details of new explorations and new routes.
Every Alpine Exploratory guided trip is led by one of our team of International Mountain Leaders, members of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML).
Our Yorkshire roots
For 5 years based in Settle in the Yorkshire Dales, we certainly were exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park! Moving to Edinburgh in 2015 has shifted our UK focus to the Scottish Highlands but our roots remain in Yorkshire and the Lake District.