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Amazing smiles, unforgettable memories

Tomas IchasoJuly 14, 2016

Since January 2016, more than 250 mountain enthusiasts booked a trip proposed by mountain guides listed on Read, from their own words, the awesome time they spent in the mountains, and discover all what they learned with their guides. You might be the next one!

Rock climbing in Barcelona, hiking in the Mercantour National Park in the Alps, powder skiing in Hokkaido, or reaching the top of Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina: These are only some of the fantastic adventures mountain lovers enjoyed after booking a guide through Explore-Share.

From the beginning, our main mission is to encourage as many people as possible to go out to the mountains. Being outdoor enthusiasts ourselves, we believe in the positive impact this kind of experience has on people. And not to mention the huge added value that going with a certified mountain guide has. Not only in terms of safety, but also taking into account all they have to teach and share about techniques, nature, culture and great stories that they experienced.

That’s why we are proud to share some of the feedbacks our users sent us after going to the mountain with a guide part of the Explore-Share community. But before, we must warn: after reading this you’ll probably feel an irresistible impulse to live one of this adventures!

Ice climbing with Isabelle - Picture by Hugo Vincent Photography®
Sophie ice climbing with Isabelle in Italy – Picture by Hugo Vincent (c)

Following the mountain dreams!

Becky, an experienced skier from the UK, went ski touring in Finnmark with Fred. After a week there, this is what she had to say: “Fred organized each day’s itinerary to best suit the snow and weather conditions. This ensured 6 full days of glorious sunshine and some of the best powder I have ever had the privilege to ski on!”

Ski touring in Finnmark with Fred
Charlotte, Bénédicte and Quentin ski touring in Finnmark with Fred

But she wasn’t the only one happy to go with Fred. Jesper, who went skiing in Sweden, said: “I spent an astonishing ski touring week around Kebnekaise. Conditions were varied but thanks to Fred’s everlasting enthusiasm and knowledge of the area, we managed to lock in some memorable runs.”

Ski touring in Kebnekaise with Fred
Jesper ski touring around Mount Kebnekaise with Fred in Sweden

On the other side of the world, another popular skiing destination among Explore-Share users was Japan. Aubrey and Marie, from Canada, explored Rishiri Island guided by Toshiya: “The terrain in Rishiri can satisfy the whole specter of riders. The options go from loaded snow fields to steep chutes: this place is the ultimate playground! And Toshiya is the kind of guide with whom you have so much fun that at the end of the day you feel like if you spent it with a group of good old friends.”

Backcountry skiing in Rishiri with Toshiya
Aubrey and Marie backcountry skiing in Rishiri (Hokkaido) with Toshiya

But they weren’t the only couple who chose to ski in Japan. Cedric and Stéphanie went there for their honeymoon! They spent 10 days around Hokkaido with Daisuke, local IFMGA mountain guide: “He directly understood very well what we were looking for: a full immersion in the Japanese culture, the discovery of a fine cuisine, the rituals of the onsens (hot springs) after every skiing day and above all, the best ‘untouched skiing spots’, looking constantly for the best quality snow!”

Powder skiing in Hokkaido with Daisuke
Cédric and Stéphanie powder skiing in Hokkaido with Daisuke

And talking about people who travel from one side to the other following their mountain dreams, we can go over Chenxi’s story. He is from China, and went to the Alps: “It has been a fantastic week to fulfil my dream of climbing Mont Blanc, with extra reward of the experience of ascending Gran Paradiso. Both mountains are amazing and we were blessed by very good weather. And thanks to Jan and my guide, who were always there to encourage me during the hardest moments.”

Chenxi on top of Mont Blanc
Chenxi on top of Mont Blanc thanks to the Namaste Mountain Guides’ team

Alain, on the other hand, chose the Mont Blanc range but for ski touring and freeride skiing. And he ended very happy with Julia’s work as his guide: “I very much appreciated her professionalism, her involvement and the way she dealt with safety. Her natural aptitude to exchange, share and advice were a major highlight of this trip. Her constant smile reassured me in this very impressive mountain environment. I will keep fantastic memories of this 3-day ski touring in the Mont Blanc range with Julia.”

Ski touring in Mont Blanc range with Julia
Alain ski touring in the Mont Blanc range with Julia

But not only individuals came to Explore-Share looking for a guide. Kap-Azimut, a student group, contacted Quentin to organize a ski trip different than the usual. They went to La Grave for 5 days with a group of 70 students and 7 guides: “Quentin and the other guides did a wonderful job. Thanks to them we had access to things we would never have reached, like a refuge that opened for us and spots where the snow was the best. Their expertise, knowledge of the mountain, snow and weather made everything easier, and without them all these would have never been possible.”

Kap Azimut trip to La Grave with Quentin and his team
Kap Azimut trip to La Grave with Quentin and 6 other guides & mountain leaders

Also in Europe, but off-the-beaten-tracks, Philippe and his friends went on a hiking trip to Iceland. Guided by Bjartur, they spent 5 days in Hörnstrandir nature reserve: “The trip was simply amazing. We not only walked through beautiful Fjords and stood upon massive cliffs, we have also seen Northern Humpback wales, sealyons, Puffins, and many foxes! The stunning scenery, great weather and chill guide made for a perfect trip!”

Philippe and his friends hiking in Hörnstrandir, Iceland, with Bjartur
Philippe and his friends hiking in Hörnstrandir, Iceland, with Bjartur

Another mountain classic that received special attention was rock climbing in Spain. Angel shared the experience he had with Carlos: “The three days we spent together have been a very constructive experience. He is an easy going person who has a good skill for sharing his knowledge. On the top of this he knows very well all the spots and routes in every sector. I highly recommend him.”

Rock climbing in Spain with Carlos
Angel rock climbing in Spain with Carlos
Via Ferrata in Barcelona
Via Ferrata in Barcelona

And Kristina and Eric, from the US, hired Carlos to guide them on a Via Ferrata trip in Montserrat close to Barcelona: “The trip itself was handled very professionally and he was both a personable and experienced guide. We felt that we were in truly capable hands and he made sure we were safe, having fun and challenged. He went out of his way to pick us up from our hotel, starting the day early so that we could have a fun filled and long day.  We would love to do another trip with Carlos and highly recommend him!”

But in Europe the absolute star was Mt. Triglav, in Slovenia. Mitja, IFMGA local guide, received tons of requests from people looking to climb it, or ski around it in winter and spring. One of them was Marie, who said: “Mitja had a perfect organization which allowed us to see breathtaking landscapes and to enjoy beautiful slopes, going up and down. Don’t hesitate too much and sign up for a ski tour there!” And Thomas, who also went to Triglav, added: “I am still puzzled how little ski touring is popular in Slovenia so far, which allowed Mitja to lead us to many amazing places without running into other skiers.”

Ski touring in Slovenia with Mitja
Thomas and his friends ski touring in Slovenia with Mitja

Across the ocean, the Andes range was also an impossible-to-resist attraction for adventurers. Without thinking it twice, Oleksii flew from Ireland and went straight for the highest challenge: Mt. Aconcagua. It was tough, but he made it to the top: “When I reached the summit, I felt the most powerful emotion in my life”. And it’s not a minor detail to mention that his guide there was Gastón, a legend among South American mountaineers.

Oleksii on route to Aconcagua summit
Oleksii on route to Aconcagua summit together with Gaston

In Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz is the main destination for mountaineering. Andrés and his brother travelled from Costa Rica to ascend Mt. Vallunaraju with Juventino: “He has been the best guide I’ve had over the past years and I have made a lot of hikes and climbing over the world. He is a very talented and experienced guide. He took care of us very much and made sure safety is first. If you want a guide to feel safe and have the best experience possible go with the legend Juventino!”

Climbing Vallunaraju with Juventino
Andres and his brother climbing Vallunaraju with Juventino in Peru

And these are just some of the examples we selected, a sample of the adventures our users have chosen. But there are many we had to leave out: Ineta’s trip with Ilia to Mt. Kazbek, in the Georgian Caucasus; Tanya’s ascent to Mt. Perdido in the Pyrenees with Luis; Oliver ski touring exploration of the Aosta Valley with Elis; Noemi’s ski trip above Courmayeur, also with Elis; Sophie’s ice climbing experience in Cogne in Italy with Isabelle; Matias’ ascent to Hvannadalshnjukur in Iceland with Ivar’s guides’ team; Bruno backcountry skiing days in Valais with Raphael…

So, after reading this it may be hard to stay seated in a chair right? So don’t waste more time! You can start wondering around Explore-Share, explore possible destinations, guides and trips. And once you find one that you like, just contact the guide and start organizing. Yes, it’s THAT easy, and you won’t regret it!

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