OnTop is owned and operated by Jorg Wilz, internationally certified Mountain & Ski Guide (UIAGM / IFMGA), who also guides many of the trips. Jorg’s wife Heather and their friend Kirstine manage office administration and logistics. With almost 25 years in business, OnTop specializes in courses and trips that involve mountaineering, rock & ice climbing, trekking, hiking and backcountry skiing in the mountainous regions of Europe and Canada. Being a small operator, our service is very personalized: Most of our guides have been working for us for many years and if you call our office we usually remember your name.
OUR TRIPS consist of a wide selection of scheduled programs/courses as well private guiding and customized trips and range from non-technical treks to extreme mountaineering and climbing adventures, from introductory backcountry skiing trips and avalanche courses to technical ski descents and heli-skiing. Our itineraries are designed to sample the highlights of each destination. For lodging, we mainly select family owned B&Bs, hotels, lodges and huts with local ambiance and home cooked food.
OUR CLIENTS are mainly English speaking, with the about 40% coming from the US, 20% from Canada, 10% from Australia, 10% from the UK,15% from other European countries and 5% from the rest of the world. With a return rate of over 70% many of our longtime clients don’t mind to be contacted to give a second opinion on trips that you might be interested in or give references for our guides.
WHY BOOK WITH US
Jorg and almost all OnTop guides hold UIAGM / IFMGA certification – the highest certification available internationally for mountain guides. At times, we also use Assistant Guides or “Guide Aspirants” who have passed exams on their way to full UIAGM / IFMGA certification. If so, we adhere to the supervision and terrain guidelines of the Canadian Mountain Guide Association (ACMG) and the UIAGM / IFMGA. For non-technical trips (hiking / backpacking) we also use ACMG hiking or backpacking guides or in Europe non-certified guides if they are under close supervision by fully certified mountain guide.
All European alpine countries as well as Canadian National and Provincial Parks require commercial mountain guides to hold UIAGM / IFMGA certification to ensure public safety. Guides that have not completed their full UIAGM / IFMGA certification must be supervised by a fully certified guide. Many guide services, namely in the US, largely violate the certification requirement outside of the US, which could lead to a rather abrupt end of your trip, if you were out with the wrong guide. Ask your guide for his/her valid UIAGM / IFMGA guide’s card. Our guides have it!
You know your Guide
Your guide is the single most important factor for a fun and safe trip. We gladly put you in touch with your guide / course instructor early on in your trip planning to discuss trip details and to ensure compatibility. We also encourage our clients to obtain references from former clients by e-mail or phone before committing to a trip.
We don’t mind the extra effort to e-mail or call back and forth to make sure a trip is right for you or a custom itinerary meets your expectations.
Local Knowledge/Foreign Languages
Our guides are local experts, with many years of experience in particular areas. Consequently, they are well familiar with local culture, language and mountain conditions as well as suitable alternatives, if ever the conditions dictated a change of plans.
Our guides hold valid liability insurance through their professional guides associations.