Markus Beck, Founder & Owner
AMGA/IFMGA Head Mountain & Ski Guide, Avalanche Safety Instructor
Markus' passion for the mountains stems from his Swiss roots. A Swiss native, he grew up roaming the mountains from an early age on forming an intuitive understanding of the mountains. A highlight in his career, Markus accomplished the first snowboard descent of Tharpu Chuli in the Nepal Himalaya. Eventually, he turned his passion into his profession by becoming a certified, full-time ski and mountain guide and founded Alpine World Ascents in 2000.
One of an elite few guides in the U.S. with both AMGA and IFMGA certification, Markus has passed rigorous trainings and certifications in Alpine Mountaineering, Rock and Ice Climbing and Ski Mountaineering. He is a Swiss-certified Level 3 Ski and Snowboard Instructor and Instructor Trainer, an AIARE Level 2 avalanche lead-instructor, a backcountry observer for the CAIC and holds Wilderness First Responder medical training. Markus has a Masters Degree from the University of Bern in Switzerland in Education and Sports and speaks six languages.
At home in the mountains anywherea around the world, Markus accompanies his guests to many different places- popular, exotic, new or even unknown ones. With his infectious love and passion for the mountains, he carries the adventurous spirit through in his guiding on the world's great climbs and ski tours.
Alpine Word Ascents draws from a select pool of hand-picked guides who display exceptional expertise, compassion and professionalism with their work.
Local Guides and Avalanche Instructors:
AMGA Rock & Ice Guide
Gary’s passion and grace for climbing begun in his infancy. Born in Northern England to a climbing family, he grew up on the traditional crags of the UK and classic mountains of Western Europe. A self-proclaimed “Coloradan”, he has resided in the outdoor Mecca of Boulder for the past 25+ years. Gary’s accomplishments stretch from being a late 80’s World Cup rock competitor to the X-Games Bronze Medalist ice climber of 2000. He holds Wilderness First Responder medical training and is AMGA certified in rock and ice. “I’ve lived a climbers life… that’s an awful lot of experience, a ton of stories, and just as many hard learned lessons.” As a climbing guide Gary feels fortunate to share a wealth of fun times with his clients. He’s a character…. don’t miss the chance to go climbing with him.
Avalanche Instructor, IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
Mark started out with a degree from the University of Colorado in Geography. Since his infant years he has been drawn to the mountains and dreamed of making it his profession. Now a full time climber and skier, he works as a ski patroller in the Winters and as a mountain guide in the Summers. Mark has completed all AMGA guide trainings and is one of a select few with also IFMGA certification. He is an AIARE Level 2 lead instructor. Mark’s enthusiasm for the mountains easily transfers to his students.
Avalanche Instructor, AMGA aspirant Ski Guide
Donny is passionate about all things skiing, and he's very good at it. He started out as a level 3 ski instructor, then notched it up to become a ski instructor examiner. Since then, his focus has shifted more and more to skiing the backcountry and the mountains of the world. An accomplished skier, Donny is an AIARE level 1 lead instructor and is also pursuing AMGA ski guide certification. An exciting addition to the AWA staff, he has established himself as a solid avalanche instructor and ski guide.
Avalanche Instructor & Forecaster, Ski Patroller
Colin is an enthusiastic backcountry skier and looks back on a long career as a ski patroller. He also attended AMGA ski guide courses and is pursuing AMGA ski guide certification. Colin also is an AIARE level 2 lead instructor and more recently took a job as avalanche forecaster in Chile during our summer months. Colin takes great care in delivering thorough avalanche education and won't rest until everybody in his course feels comfortable with the materials.
Avalanche Instructor, AMGA/IFMGA aspirant guide
Rob grew up climbing and skiing in Colorado. Later in life he discovered the European Alps – better coffee and tram rides instead of long uphill hikes – which he calls paradise. Rob has taken most AMGA guide courses and is close to achieving full IMFGA certification. He’s also a level 1 avalanche instructor. A dad of wild twin boys and hubby to a great wife, he divvies his busy life between family and the mountains. Rob is pleasant to be around with and incredibly funny and can tell his jokes even in French and Italian.
Avalanche Instructor, AMGA ski guide
Paul first started out backcountry skiing in 2001 as an avalanche course student with Alpine World Ascents. He since then has diligently taken his education to higher levels through additional avalanche courses and customized trainings with both Alpine World Ascents and the AMGA and now is an AIARE level 2 instructor. An enthusiastic backcountry skier, Paul's practical approach relates well to his students. An asset to our staff, Paul takes pride to provide a lively and insightful experience to his clientele.
Avalanche Instructor, Alpine Rescue Team
Justin is an accomplished instructor, telemark skier and rock climber bringing a diverse expertise to our avalanche program. He is a graduate of both AIARE as well as the National Avalanche School, serves with Alpine Rescue Team and is an AIARE level 1 lead instructor. Justin's other job as a music producer takes place inside his studio "The Hook Factory", where he keeps rocking away when he needs a break from playing in the mountains. Justin brings a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm to his avalanche courses.
Avalanche Instructor, Ski Patroller
Dr. Zarter, as we like to call him, has been tele skiing since early childhood and yet somehow has managed to get a PhD in Biology. Though he liked his job as a biologist, he returned back to Ski Patrol Duty after being off the hill for just 100 days claiming his brain was getting oxygen deprived from being indoors all the time. Instead, he dedicates his smarts to teaching avalanche safety. Quickly, our clients find themselves captivated by Dr. Ryan's eloquent and to the point teaching style.
International Guides from the around the world:
IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide (Switzerland)
His greatest passion is to carve through untouched powder down big and steep mountain faces. A knack for the extreme, his accomplishments include ski descents of the Matterhorn East Face, the NE faces of the Fletschhorn and Lenzspitze in the Alps. In pursuit of his passion, Lutz travels the world in search for the best powder but always comes back to his snowy home base in the Loetschental. When not in his ski boots, Lutz is also comfortable in rock and alpine terrain and enjoys these diversions from the cold smoke. This makes him a very versatile guide, and paired with his native german humour, simply a great companion to be out in the mountains with. Lutz is a fully certified IFMGA guide and is fluent in three languages.
IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide (Switzerland)
Rinaldo is a Swiss Native from Grindelwald who lives right there below the Eiger North Face with his wife and three kids. Rinaldo's diverse climbing and guiding resumee includes expeditions to the high mountains of the Himalayas and the remote peaks of the Alaskan and Andean ranges, heli skiing across the globe and numerous ascents and descents in the Canadian and European Alps. He is a fully certified Swiss IFMGA mountain and ski guide and has spent many years as a member of the instructor/examiner pool of the Swiss Mountain Guides Association. Being Swiss, he is fluent in five languages, and his friendly, ever cheerful personality gets him through even in places where he doesn’t speak the language.
IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide (Germany)
Till has always had a soft spot for the mountains, though his first career took him to school: As an elementary teacher, he fascinates his young students and prepares them for life's challenges. He soon realized that a life without the mountains was not possible so he became an IFMGA certified guide. Till has climbed the mountains around the world, little and high (as high as Lhotse), low angle and steep. He is an ambitious ultra marathon runner and climbs hard rock routes with his typical happy grin. He now splits his profession between school and guiding. Till leads his clients with passion and calm demeanor and ensures that every day out with him becomes a fine adventure.
IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide (Canada)
Jorg grew up in Heidelberg, Germany and has been mountaineering and skiing in the Alps since early childhood. He has climbed and guided many hard "classics" in the Alps, the USA and the Himalayas, and completed many ski traverses around the world. After achieving a graduate business degree and a CPA diploma, he changed his lifestyle ditching office chair for fresh mountain air to become an IFMGA certified full time mountain and ski guide. After moving to Canmore, Canada, he founded OnTop Mountaineering. In addition, he is a veteran heli ski guide with CMH. Jorg speaks fluent German, English, French and Italian. With his worldly demeanor, friendly and easy going personality as well as his versatile guiding expertise, Jorg’s clients always appreciate his company in the mountains
IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide, Aconcagua Specialist (Argentina)
A certified AMGA/IFMGA Guide for many years and a former Technical Committee member for the American Mountain Guides Association, his guiding profession has taken him to the mountains around the world: He has guided extensively throughout the European Alps, the US and South America, has led numerous expeditions to wild and remote places like Alaska, Antarctica, Patagonia and the Andes and high altitude expeditions to Xixapangma and Cho Oyu in the Himalaya. He is the Founder and Head Guide of Aventuras Patagonicas and Powder South Heli Ski Guides splitting his home base between Argentina and Boulder Colorado. Rodrigo fluently speaks English, French and Spanish.
Bhutan Specialist (Bhutan)
Lotay holds a MA Degree in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, USA. In his previous life, Lotay worked as a budget analyst in the Ministry of Finance of the Royal Government of Bhutan. Tired of big numbers and following his calling, he chose a different path marrying work and passion. As a social entrepreneur and an enviropreneur, he has special interests in community development projects, particularly those linked to the environment, renewable energy, tradition & culture and youth empowerment. A licensed travel guide since 1999, he has teamed up with his brother and launched a sustainable travel venture “Bridge To Bhutan”.