Jörg Wilz

Jörg is the owner and head guide for OnTop. He grew up in Heidelberg, Germany and has been mountaineering and skiing in the Alps since early childhood. He has climbed and guided many “classics” in the Alps (Complete Peuterey Traverse and Freney Pillar on Mont Blanc, Tempi Moderni at the Marmolada, Dolomites), extensive ski traverses as well as fast Big Wall ascents in Yosemite (Salathe on El Capitan at age 18)  and in the Himalayas (Nameless Tower, Yugoslavian Route, 2nd ascent).

Internationally certified as a mountain and ski guide (UIAGM / IFMGA) by the Technical University of Munich in 1986, he was granted reciprocity by the American Mountain Guides Association(AMGA) in 1997 and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) in 2000. He also holds CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association) Level 3 certification and a blasting license for avalanche control in B.C. The UIAA Expedition Commission appointed him twice to lead their International Mountaineering Camps, 1993 in Pakistan and 1997 in China. In a former life, he took advantage of his graduate business degree and a CPA diploma by working for an international business consulting firm in Frankfurt and Chicago.

Jörg bases himself for most of the year in Canmore in the Canadian Rockies. He can also be found quite often in the Alps, in Colorado or in Revelstoke BC, where he is putting in first tracks as a helicopter-ski guide for Canadian Mountain Holidays. He speaks German, English, French and Italian.

Walter Andrighetto

Walter Andrighetto grew up in Meran in the German speaking region of South Tirol, Italy. He started skiing as soon as he could walk and got into climbing and mountaineering at the age of 16. Although he also has a degree in environmental engineering, Walter prefers to test the mechanics of snow in the field as a full time mountain guide, which he practices since he received his full IFMGA / UIAGM certification in 2007.

Walter now lives in Brunegg / Brunico, from where he has quick access to his beloved Dolomites as well as all the other ranges along the main divide of the Alps. Walter is very popular with our clients for his patience and high client care standards. He speaks native German and Italian as well as very good English.

Philippe Pouts

Philippe  “Poutsy” Pouts is a fully certified mountain guide (UIAGM / IFMGA) from Chamonix. Philippe has been a full time mountain guide for well over 20 years with extensive experience all over the Alps and Internationally. Before guiding full time commercially, Philippe was part of the famed PGHM mountain police and rescue group as a professional mountain rescuer. Aside from his native French, Philippe speaks English very well. “Poutsy” is ever popular with our clients for good humor and great energy! He lives in Chamonix with his wife and son.

Thomas Exner

Thomas grew up in Mittenwald in the Bavarian Alps of Germany, skiing and climbing from the day he could stand straight. With the Austrian border being only a stone’s-throw away, he ended up going to the University in Innsbruck, where he graduated with a master degree in Meteorology as well as his UIAGM / IFMGA mountain guiding certification.

Thomas moved to Canada in 2005, where he spend his first years doing avalanche control work for the ski resort in Jasper AB and guiding for Yamnuska Inc. His interest in avalanches lead him to pursue a Ph.D. in applied avalanche science in the engineering department at the University of Calgary. Subsequently, he worked and published as a member of the famed safety research group of the German Alpine Club in Munich. Thomas recently moved to Kamloops, BC, where he took on an instructor position in the outdoor guide adventure program at Thompson River University (TRU), where he still holds out to be the only vegetarian Bavarian in Western Canada. Thomas also still spends a lot of time in Europe, where he continues to guide OnTop clients in his old hunting grounds.

Gery Unterasinger

Gery (a.k.a Gerhard) grew up in Lienz in the Tirol province of Austria, only a stone’s throw away from the Dolomites and within eye sight of the nation’s highest peak, the Grossglockner. A full-blood mountain guide for well over 20 years, Gery has not lost a bit of enthusiasm when it comes to skiing and mountaineering. Like few others, he still pushes himself and can routinely be found cranking 5.13 on rock or WI 6 on ice during his time off.

Gery came to the Canadian West in 1994 working as a heli-ski guide for Canadian Mountain Holidays, a position that still keeps him busy for most of the winter. He is also an active instructor and examiner in the Austrian mountain guide certification system, where he passes on his wealth of experience to the younger generation of mountain guides. Gery lives most of the year with his wife and two young children in Canmore AB but can also be found anywhere in the Alps, mainly during the summer. Gery speaks English, German and some Italian.

Till Kramann

Till Kramann is originally from the town of Koblenz in Germany but he lived for the longest time in Heidelberg, where he also studied to be a school teacher, eventually graduating with a PhD in Pedagogy. An avid mountaineer since childhood, Till concurrently pursued his IFMGA mountain guide certification at the Technical University of Munich, which he finished about 10 years ago. Till is moving around a lot lately between mountain guiding in the Alps during the summer, sometimes skiing in Canada and otherwise living with his wife and young daughter in the Blue Mountains of NSW / Australia. Till speaks native German, very good French and English with a Aussie accent.

Christjan Ladurner

Christjan Ladurner is a fully certified mountain guide from Meran / Merano in Italy’s South Tirol Province. Christjan has over 20 years of experience as a mountain guide including many years as a  heli-ski guide for Canadian Mountain Holidays in the Canadian west, where he still spends most of his winters. He is also a licensed helicopter pilot, a well published photographer and guide book author. His Dolomites Via Ferrata guide books are the best on the market! Christjan speaks German (native) and excellent English and Italian.

Sebastien Fourure

Sebastien is a young mountain guide from the “Hautes Alpes” region of southern France, where he still lives for most of the year in the shadow of the Ecrins range. “Seb” finished his French guides certification (IFMGA / UIAGM) in 2014 and mainly guides for us in Chamonix and the Western Alps. Following his banker’s advice that mountain guiding is a passion not a “profession” Sebastien has travelled extensively in the mountains of the world to follow his calling.

Christoph Hummel

Christoph was born in the Bavarian Highlands and still lives south of Munich, just a stone’s throw from the Austrian border. Originally a certified high school teacher, Christoph earned his full credentials as a certified mountain and ski guide (UIAA / IFMGA) from the Technical University of Munich in 2013. Aside from guiding he is an instructor in the youth training programs of the German Alpine Club and a member of their safety research group (“DAV Sicherheitsforschung”). Christoph speaks excellent English and has spent an a long stint in the Canadian Rockies in his earlier years! An allround alpinist, Christoph is particularly passionate about rock and ice climbing and working with young people.

Rinaldo Borra

Like most of us, Rinaldo is on the move a lot. A native Swiss from Stalden, (just down the road from Zermatt) he has made the Canadian West his second home, where he spends a large part of the winter in Revelstoke, B.C. as a helicopter-ski guide for Selkirk Tangiers. However, a busy guiding schedule makes for several transatlantic trips a year from his home in Grindelwald right below the Eiger North Face, where he lives with his wife and three young kids.

Rinaldo has an impressive list of guiding and skiing related certifications to his credit: Internationally certified (UIAGM / IFMGA) as a mountain & ski guide in Switzerland in 1992, certified ski instructor in 1993 and snowboard instructor in 1996. He is also an active instructor and examiner in the Swiss mountain guide certification process. Rinaldo’s climbing resume stands for diversity: Aside from countless peak ascents and ski traverses in the Western Alps, he summitted Gasherbrum, Mount Logan, did remote ski traverses in the Cascades and enjoys hard rock climbs anywhere in the world. Being Swiss, he speaks (Swiss-)German, French, Italian and of course English. His friendly, ever cheerful personality gets him through even in places where he doesn’t happen to speak the language

Arne Bergau

Arne grew up and still lives in Regensburg, Bavaria / Germany, a small town close to the famous crags of the Frankenjura. Not surprisingly, he started his rock climbing career as a teenager, which was then gradually extended to the Alps and the mountain ranges of the world over the years. Fascinated by mountainous landscapes not only from the climber’s but also from a scientific perspective, he earned a graduate degree in Geo Sciences. After a couple of years of working the field as a researcher, Arne decided to turn his true passion into his profession and he earned his full accreditation as an IFMGA / UIAGM Mountain Guide from the Technical University of Munich in 2012. A life-style decision he has yet to regret!

Philipp Stromereder

Philipp is a young mountain guide from Fuessen in the Bavarian Alps’ Allgaeu region just a stone-throw away from the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Philipp has been climbing and skiing since the early days of his childhood and finished his IFMGA guide certification in 2014 in Innsbruck / Austria. He is also in the final stages of finishing a Master Degree in Psychology from the University of Innsbruck, which comes in handy in the guiding profession more often than one might think! His international travels also took him for one year to the Canadian Rockies, where he appeared on our radar and subsequently rented our basement suite. Philipp is a very keen skier, rock climber and alpinist and according to ALL our clients simply “super-nice”!

Paul Haas

Paul Haas a.k.a. “Hackl Paul” is a child of Neustift in the Stubai Valley of Tirol in Austria. Growing up in one of the high places of skiing and mountaineering in the Austrian Alps, it goes without saying that Paul has been climbing and skiing just about as long as he can walk.

He has been a fully certified mountain guide (IFMGA / UIAGM) for well over 20 years and has been guiding full time all over the Alps. Paul has also been an active instructor and examiner for the Austrian Mountain Guide Certification Program.

Paul is also a certified ski, cross country ski and snow board instructor as well as a fabulous cabinet maker. Whenever he is not traveling the mountains of the world, Paul lives with his wife and three children in Neustift, Austria.

Paul Vidalin

Paul Vidalin is yet another long time friend, who is a lifetime mountain professional. Starting out as a safety and rescue specialist for Alberta Mountain Parks he quickly became certified as a Mountain Guide (IFMGA / UIAGM) in the 90s. By now, Paul spends most of his time in the services of Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), currently as the manager of the Monashees Heli Ski Lodge in Mica Creek, BC.

Aside from his native Rockies and Columbia Ranges, Paul also regularly guides for OnTop in the Alps, namely in the Dolomites. Paul is notorious for his practical jokes and sense of humor. He lives with his wife and dog more or less on the other side of the creek from us in Canmore AB.

Markus Beck

Markus is a Swiss native who, like many Europeans started climbing and skiing in his early childhood. He moved to the Colorado Front Range in the mid-nineties and became one of the early “Americans” who earned his full mountain guide certification through the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) in 2003. He also holds Swiss Ski and Snowboard Instructor certification.

Markus is a true cosmopolitan, who speaks six languages and feels equally at home in Colorado and in Europe. He has climbed, skied and guided all over the world but he is always drawn back to the Alps for at least one extended guiding stint every year. Like few guides, Markus manages to easily bridge the cultural gap between our international clients and the often very traditional European environment. Aside from being an excellent guide, he is a great communicator and fun to climb with!

Geoffrey Arvis

Geoffroy Arvis has been a fully certified mountain guide (UIAGM / IFMGA) for well over 15 years. He has a wealth of experience in the Western Alps, namely in the Mont Blanc area and the southern ranges of the French Alps, not only as an independent mountain guide but also from his former career as an officer with the PGHM, a police department that is responsible for mountain rescues in the French Alps. Geoffroy is popular with our clients for his patience and perseverance, which is important especially given the challenges guides face on our Mont Blanc ascents. He lives with his partner close to the Lake Geneva and his English is excellent.

Joern Heller

Joern has been a certified mountain guide (UIAGM / IFMGA) for more than 15 years including many years as an instructor / examiner for the German Alpine Club. Jörn has a Masters Degree in education and lives with his family in Freiburg in the south western part of Germany, very close to the borders of Switzerland and France. The Valley of Chamonix has become his second home and – no wonder – he has been on the top of the Mont Blanc more than sixty times.

Jörn is an excellent technical climber with an impressive international resume including Cerro Torre and Cerro Standhardt in Patagonia.

Martino Peterlongo

Martino is a true climbing aficionado from his early youth on. Born and still at home in Trento, northern Italy, he calls the Dolomites and the mountains around the Garda Lake (Arco) his home turf. Nevertheless, Martino is also well familiar with the western Alps and particularly the Mont Blanc range, where he climbed many of the hard classics, such as the Hyper and the Supercouloir at the Mont Blanc. At home in the Dolomites he managed a free ascent of the “Weg durch den Fisch” at the Marmolada South Face in the Dolomites – still one of the hardest alpine rock routes in the Dolomites.

Martino has also a Masters in Sociology, however since he gained full IFMGA certification in 2000, he works full time as a mountain guide, either in the Alps or in Canada, where he has spent two summers in the services of Yamnuska Inc. Most recently, Martino also joined the guides instructor’s team of his home province, the Trentino. Aside from his native Italian, Martino speaks English and German fluently.