Alpine Mountain Guides
Alpine Mountain Guides are adventure specialists. We provide guiding and courses in alpine mountaineering, climbing and skiing throughout the European Alps and beyond. Based in Chamonix and formed by Tim Blakemore, an IFMGA British Mountain Guide, Alpine Mountain Guides offer a personal, flexible and friendly service with client satisfaction as our priority. We offer guiding at all levels: from introduction to alpinism to grande courses throughout the year as well as cascade climbing, off-piste skiing and classic ski tours throughout the winter and spring . We hope you can join in the adventure!
Alpine Mountain Guides is directed by Tim Blakemore. His outdoor career has spanned over twenty years and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Alpine Mountain Guides (the trading name of Northern Mountain Sport Ltd).
Tim has a varied background which has taken him to all of earth’s continents and he continues to travel widely. He has worked for the British Antarctic Survey, Plas y Brenin, Outward Bound and was a former Deputy Head of Dukeshouse Wood Centre. In the UK Tim acts as a Technical Advisor to many organisations and was a Mountain Training (England) Provider for all their awards for many years. He has been published in many magazines and journals including ‘Summit’, ‘Scottish Mountaineer’ and is a regular contributor to the BMC’s website. He’s also co-delivered the BMC’s Winter Safety Lectures in England and Wales over a three year period. He is a past Director of the British Mountain Guides and is currently involved (he sits on the BMG Training Committee) in the mentoring, training and assessment of (mostly!) younger guides. He does worry that he is now forgetting more than he knows.
Tim is an IFMGA Mountain Guide and holds the Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC). He’s climbed many of the Alpine North Faces and ‘Grande Courses’ (mostly with a slow and heavy approach), too many Scottish winter routes to remember to grade VIII, and still enjoys struggling on rock climbs in the UK. Skiing is also a passion and he enjoys touring in wilder, quieter areas.
He has climbed new routes in the UK, Norway, Antarctica and Alaska (and attempted others in the Himalaya). Much exaggerated accounts of these adventures have been published all over the net, in alpine club journals, in various climbing magazines (in different languages) and have even attracted recognition from the Piolet d’Or award. He’s led many ski and sail expeditions, including Arctic Norway, Svalbard, Greenland and the Antarctic Peninsula skiing new lines and peaks. He is recognised as an expert on mountaineering and skiing on the Antarctic Peninsula, working for individuals on private yacht charters and heli-operations.
A committed environmentalist, he puts his (and your) money where his mouth is and has been a member of 1% for the planet since 2007. Currently, Northern Mountain Sport Ltd has donated over £4600 to various individuals and environmental groups and is currently sponsoring projects in Africa.
He is father to Michael who is growing older considerably faster than his dad.
Alpine Mountain Guides is also lucky enough to have a wealth of talent to choose from among friends and colleagues in the British Mountain Guides who share our client centred philosophy.
The vast majority of our work is with small private groups, families and individuals. We work at all levels (novice through to expert) and specialize in custom, bespoke trips. We won’t pair unknown people together. We believe that your time is important and strive to maximise your experience in the mountains.
Based in the Chamonix valley of France we are perfectly placed for your alpine adventure.
I will be attempting a new route in Alaska during May. If it goes to plan it will involve alpine and big wall climbing. I’m also taking a road trip and skiing the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains – updates in June.
Update – Our expedition to the Thunder Glacier suffered poor weather throughout. We managed to get to the glacier almost immediately (I flew in to basecamp after a short night in Anchorage – Alaska can be excellent for access!). After that we were pinned in with limited options due to weather, avalanche and serac conditions. We got lifted out in a clearer spell and waited more poor weather out on the ‘Kahiltna’ basecamp (Denali starting point). We then ‘bumped’ again in a Single Otter to the West Fork of the Ruth Gorge where we hoped there may be better options. Well, there may be but again we were pinned in and other than momentarily ski around for a recce we didn’t leave the tent! Disappointing for us as ‘apparently’ we had just missed a large high pressure system. Many thanks to the Mount Everest Foundation and the BMC for their support for this expedition.
For the remainder of the month I visited the Denali park and Fairbanks on a small road trip (seeing my first Grizzly bears). I then took a road trip based loosely on Joe Stock’s skiing guidebook to South Central Alaska. We visited Hatcher Pass (skiing Marmot and Hatch peak), Thompson Pass (Valdez), by far the most impressive terrain and skied the Worthington Glacier and skied in the Chugach around Crow Pass (Jewell Glacier). I had a look at, but didn’t ski the Front range as I was unimpressed by snow cover/conditions/how busy it was! For most of the trip we had warm, isothermal snow with poor re-freezes due to cloud cover. I saw a lot of avalanche activity on old faceted layers ripping out in the Spring thaw.
Getting Alaska right is difficult in my experience. It’s an expensive place and it has its fair share of weather but when it comes together it’s world class. It won’t be my last trip I hope.