CMH Guides - Dedicated Professionals
From the start, guiding has been serious business at CMH. Our founder, Hans Gmoser, set this standard with his values of respect and awe, humble moderation and understanding while in the mountains.
CMH is the largest single employer of mountain guides worldwide, employing over 100 fully-certified, professional guides at peak season. Collectively, our guides represent over 700 years of guiding experience. Approximately 70% of our guides are Canadian; the others come from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, USA, France, New Zealand and Italy.
Our 100+ member guiding team averages 14 years of guiding experience. The majority of CMH guides are fully certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) or the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), a process that takes eight years on average. All guides take ongoing refresher courses in avalanche hazard evaluation and management, weather analysis, and emergency first aid.
Within each area, our guides work as a team, maintaining continuous radio contact with each other and the lodge throughout the day. Further communication occurs with the rest of the CMH Heli-Ski areas each evening, as guides compare avalanche, snowpack and other important field observations. As well we share daily observations with over 100 subscribers to the Infoex, an industry information exchange managed by the Canadian Avalanche Association.
Want to know more about our guides' qualifications?
Read Becoming a Mountain Guide (59 KB PDF)
Guide Bios - Everything you wanted to know!
Roger Atkins: ACMG Ski Guide, SnowBase Guru
Roger was born in Utah and although he loves all outdoor activities, his most favourite is powder skiing. Roger started working as a Heli-Ski guide for CMH 10 years ago after 8 seasons working with Wasatch Powderbird Guides in Utah. He is an ACMG ski guide and "a closet Nerd" with a degree in physics and a special interest in snow science. For the past couple of decades he has spent his "Nerd" time developing computer systems for data management and access to information pertinent to snow and avalanche conditions, culminating with the SnowBase program used in the CMH areas.
For Roger, the best part about guiding is that he gets paid to do his favourite activity and to share his passion with so many interesting people. And he particularly enjoys finding obscure and challenging routes through mountain terrain.
Pat Baird: IFMGA Mtn Guide
Pat grew up in Calgary and has been a keen skier as long as he can remember. He initially started climbing to learn how to use ropes so he could ski steeper pitches. Pat has worked for CMH since 1998 as both a summer and winter guide. In his spare time he likes to fish, downhill mountain bike and is our resident surfer-dude, who chases waves and warm water all over the world. A highlight of guiding for Pat is helping guests accomplish something – a challenging climb or a new line on a steep run – that is beyond their expectations.
Jeff Boyd: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Consultant Physician
Jeff was raised in the desert of Australia which triggered a liking for things cool. He guided in New Zealand, performed post-graduate research in physiology in Antarctica and migrated to Whistler as a professional avalanche controller. Jeff became a mountain guide with the IFMGA in 1978 and was involved in the development of the CMH avalanche safety program in its formative years. After working with CMH since 1978 he took time out in the late 80's to develop the Emergency Medicine Program in the Banff Hospital, which included building a new Emergency Department, and certified helipad. Jeff has returned to CMH and the beloved mountains of Canada as one of the heritage staff. A highly specialized asset on our team, Jeff also loves to talk about the Himalayas and offshore sailing.
Ernst Buehler: IFMGA Mtn Guide
Ernst grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 1969. Ernst is a fully certified IFMGA guide, managed the Cariboo Lodge for over 20 years and has worked with the summer hiking program since its inception. Ernst is known for his incredible charm, patience and wonderful sense of humour.
Steve Chambers: ACMG Ski Guide, Revelstoke Mgr
Steve was born and raised in southern Ontario where he was first introduced to the outdoors as a white-water paddler and rock climber. He migrated west in 1987 to attend the Outdoor Pursuits program at the University of Calgary.
Steve started working with CMH in 1995, was appointed assistant manager in Revelstoke in 2004, and after a year as acting manager in 2007, became area manager in 2008. He has guided predominantly in Revelstoke during the winters and spent many of his summers guiding in the Adamants and Bobbie Burns. Steve is part of our fall promotion team and is now an official representative for CMH in southern California.
In 2001, Steve moved to California to pursue his two loves -- Megan and surfing. He spends most days off in the water, travelling around the world in search of warm tropical waves or with their daughter, Devon.
Dave Cochrane: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Bugaboos Mgr
Dave studied physical geography in his hometown of Montreal, PQ. He moved to Western Canada in 1976 and obtained his full guide status with the IFMGA in 1980. Dave has been working with CMH since 1979. What Dave really enjoys is guiding people, learning from others and sharing their accomplishment.
Ken France: Ski Guide, CMH K2
Ken was born in Canada and raised in the Okanagan Valley of B.C. He has worked as a heli-ski guide for 24 years. Ken started working with Kootenay Heli-Skiing / CMH Kootenay (now CMH K2) in 1984 and for the past 15 years has been the area manager. Ken loves to show the guests the best ski lines we have to offer and "Thoroughly enjoys the look on guests' faces when they experience and appreciate our backyard for the first time."
A man with many interests, Ken is an avid fly fisherman, and has guided fly-fishing for Steelhead in BC Rivers. He is also an aviation fanatic and has built and flies an experimental aircraft from Nakusp airport.
Dave Gauley: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Cariboos Asst Mgr
CMH guide, Powder Personality and Cariboos assistant manager Dave Gauley was a professional extreme skier for 10 years, during which time he traveled all over the world in search of first descents. When he became a certified guide, he moved to Chamonix, France, where he guided steep skiing, as well as doing most of the classic lines. At CMH, he started at the Cariboos, and then toured around, working at most areas. Note that Dave was nominated one of North America's top 50 skiers by Powder Magazine.
Dan Griffith: IFMGA Mtn Guide
Daniel Griffith, a guide in the Monashees, made Canada, the Canadian Alpine community, and CMH proud by setting an incredible world record last year. Dan summited the highest peaks on each of the seven continents within 187 days, which put him in the Guinness Book of World Records. This record has since been broken, but the achievement remains impressive. Another notable achievement: at 55, Dan became the oldest Canadian to have conquered Mount Everest.
Dan's quest to climb the highest peaks began on May 24, 2006, on the summit of Mount Everest at 6:30 a.m. (Nepal) and was completed on November 27, 2006, on the top of Mount Vinson at 4:20 p.m. (Antarctica). He climbed three of the seven summits in record time with his 26-year-old son Luke -- also a CMH guide! -- and was joined on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa by his entire family.
Todd Guyn: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Mtn Safety Mgr
Todd Guyn, CMH's Mountain Safety Manager (MSM), has been mountain guiding for 22 years, 17 of them with CMH. Prior to becoming the MSM in 2011, he was a ski guide and Assistant Manager at CMH Revelstoke.
Todd is very active in the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) and is the past Technical Director of the association. He spends part of each year training and examining new guides.
Born and raised in southern Alberta, Todd was first introduced to the outdoors as a cattle wrestler and rock climber. At Capilano College in Vancouver he earned a diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management and spent the next 7 years developing his rock climbing and ski skills before pursuing a career as a Mountain Guide. ACMG/ UIAGM Mountain Guide certification was obtained in 1997.
As part of his new job, Todd will be regularly found at the operating areas this winter. He's looking forward to the exchange of methods and ideas with my fellow guides and managers, and especially with seeing longtime guests from Revelstoke.
Bruce Howatt: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Bobbie Burns Mgr
Bruce has guided with CMH for over 20 years. A passionate mountain guy, who hails from the flat lands of Edmonton, Alberta, he passed his first guides course at the age of 19, eventually becoming a fully certified IFMGA mountain guide. Bruce is one of CMH's most accomplished climbers, having spent many years climbing extensively through Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
When not up at the Bobbie Burns, Bruce spends time with his two kids, Shep and Sara, who have inherited his passion for the mountains. He is also an avid B-boy and can be found in the fitness room working on the latest break dance moves.
Roko Koell: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Powder U Dean
A CMH employee since 1989, Robert "Roko" Koell is a fourth-generation mountain and ski guide from the alpine village of Matrei in Austria's magnificent East Tyrol Region. Roko is the Deam of Deep Powder, involved in both Powder 101: The Intro and Powder 707: The Masters programs. He holds the rare distinction of being a fully Austrian-certified ski instructor and alpine ski coach.
Prior to joining CMH, Roko worked as an assistant coach with the Austrian Alpine Ski Team. The broad range of skills he brings to the program ensures that all participants benefit from leading edge ideas on skiing and ski technique. But says Roko, "That's only one of the programs goals. Learning and skiing should be fun and that's what our powder improvement programs are all about. We want to celebrate and enjoy the excitement of discovering new skills and the exhilaration of the ultimate powder nirvana and the very special environment in which we ski, here in the land where real winters are not a faint childhood memory, but part of daily life."
In the summer Roko guides with the CMH Summer Adventures program.
Roger Laurilla: IFMGA Mtn Guide
Raised in Rogers Pass and Revelstoke, BC mountains have been a constant factor in Roger's life since day one. Climbing, skiing and photography are his main source of inspiration to live and work in the mountains. Roger began working with CMH in 1979, and in 1989 he became a IFMGA mountain guide. His guiding and photography adventures have taken him all over the world.
"Exploring the mountains is a source of great happiness."
Roger was the manager at the Monashee Lodge for 7 years (until 2008) where he claims the best thing about guiding is knowing that every day presents something new to see and experience.
Peter Macpherson: IFMGA Mtn Guide, CMH K2 Mgr
Our true 'Bluenoser' grew up on the east coast of Canada in Newfoundland and New Brunswick. After graduating with a BA in History and Political Science from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, he moved west to pursue his passion for skiing and hiking. A committed student, Peter received a diploma in Adventure Tourism from Thompson Rivers University and then turned his focus towards becoming a mountain guide.
Peter started with CMH in 1997 as a hiking guide and passed his full guide exams in 2005. We think this makes him the first, and possibly only, fully certified Newfie Mountain Guide…so go easy on the jokes. A long time Bugaboo'ee, Peter stepped into the assistant manager role in fall 2007.
John Mellis: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Cariboos Mgr
John grew up amongst a family of skiers in Vancouver. He claims his family dragged him to Whistler and other local mountains every weekend from the time he was two. At the ripe age of 17, John moved to Lake Louise where he was influenced by a number of mountain guides and developed a passion for mountain travel. He worked at Lake Louise for 12 years -- first as foreman of the trail crew and then as team leader of the avalanche control and public safety program. During his time at Lake Louise he climbed and traveled the Rockies and Columbia Mountains, guiding friends and co-workers to new heights and abilities.
After twelve years of mountain achievements and boot camp-like guide exams, he attained full mountain guide status. John joined CMH in 1992 and hasn't looked back. He is passionate about educating and guiding skiers and climbers from around the globe, and is always keen to show off the majestic mountains in his own backyard.
Konrad Scheiber: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Adamants Mgr
Konrad comes from the small town of Obergurgl at the end of the Otztal Valley in Tirol Austria. After finishing technical engineering school he became a fully certified ski and snowboard instructor. He became a mountain guide at the age of 20.
In 1997 he started working for CMH at the Adamants Lodge. Konrad has had the opportunity to work at many other CMH areas over the years, but has spent most of his time at his favorite lodge, the Adamants. For the first 10 years with CMH, he spent the winters in Canada and his summers guiding all over the European Alps. His love for the mountains brought him to places like South America, Africa and the Himalayas. Konrad has also worked several winters and summers as an examiner for the Austrian Guides Association.
In 2008 he took on the job as the Assistant Manager of the Adamant Lodge and moved into the role of Area Manager in 2010.
Danny Stoffel: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Valemount Mgr
Danny is from Saas Grund, Switzerland where he developed a passion for the mountains at an early age. Danny is a fully certified IFMGA guide who first came to North America to study languages – he speaks English, French, German and Italian. For over 10 years he was actively involved in guide training and certification courses in Switzerland and he enjoys sharing his expertise and passion with aspiring young guides. Danny has guided in North America and in the Alps – with over 50 trips up the Matterhorn!
In 1985 Danny began working for CMH with Ernst Buehler at the Cariboo Lodge and since 1994 has been the manager at Valemount Lodge. Danny is one of those fortunate people who consider his job his hobby. He is positive and well known for gently guiding and encouraging guests at every level and ability, with inspiring confidence. Beyond guiding Danny loves to spend his time outdoors continuing to do what he loves -- mountaineering, skiing, and rock climbing.
Erich Unterberger: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Mgr Guiding Operations
Erich, originally from Austria, moved to Canada in 1988. He has worked with CMH for over 10 years and was been the manager of the Adamant Lodge for 8 years before taking on a larger role of Manager of Guiding Operations in 2010. He is a fully certified IFMGA guide. Whether he is with a group of climbers or nature walkers, Erich's personality and professionalism will provide an enjoyable and interesting day.
James Vickers: ACMG Ski Guide, Gothics Mgr
James is a native Albertan who grew up in the mountains skiing, climbing, and canoeing. He holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a major in Outdoor Pursuits from the University of Calgary. He spent many years in Canmore AB working as a guide and now lives in Revelstoke BC.
James has worked with CMH for 10 years and loves to share his passion for skiing and the mountains with all the great people that come to the Gothics Lodge.
When not skiing, he enjoys long canoe trips with his wife Janette and two young daughters, Hannah and Lillian.
Paul Vidalin: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Monashees Mgr
Paul is a Canadian born guide, raised in southern Alberta. He started his CMH career in the Monashees in 1997 after leaving the Parks Service where he was involved in wildlife work, mountain rescue and avalanche forecasting. Now Area Manager at the Monashees, what Paul loves about guiding is working with interesting people from all over the world and being able to take them places they would never get to on their own.
Mike Welch: IFMGA Mtn Guide, Galena Mgr
Growing up in a small farm town in Alberta, Mike happened upon skiing by accident through a school field trip to Paskapoo in Calgary, which is now Canada Olympic Park. He was 15 at the time and immediately fell in love with skiing. In 1984, after finishing school he moved to Banff to work at Sunshine Village Ski Resort. As a patroller he met several people who were into guiding and they piqued his interest and encouraged his education into backcountry travel.
In 1990 Mike started working for CMH as an assistant guide in the Cariboos and moved on to Galena in 1993. He became a full mountain guide in 1995 and has been the manager at Galena since 2000. For Mike, guiding and working for CMH gives him a tremendous amount of freedom and allows him to spend most of his time outdoors being active. When not guiding Mike likes to mountain bike, fly fish and play hockey.