Guides and Trip Leaders

Great Guides Make the Difference

Our clients tell us that our trip leaders "make the trip." Alpenwild trip leaders have a wealth of experience in the Alps, are skilled adventurers, capable leaders, and really a lot of fun. They're also willing to talk with you in detail about the trip so that you'll be prepared for the perfect adventure. Their encyclopedic knowledge brings a richly rewarding dimension of history, geology, wildflowers, and local alpine culture into sharp focus. All are trusted outdoor leaders with advanced education and college degrees in relevant areas of expertise. Whether you're hiking the Haute Route, exploring the Jungfrau, eating cheese in Appenzell, or relaxing in Zermatt on our Best of the Swiss Alps tour, they are your key to a great adventure. Alpenwild trip leaders, employees, and office staff are empowered to do whatever they can for our customers and guests—before, during, and after the tour.

 

Greg Witt Alpenwild Owner

Greg Witt, Chief Adventure Officer

Greg Witt, adventure guide and author, lives the adventures he writes about. His explorations have taken him to every corner of the globe. He has led mountaineering expeditions in the Alps and Andes and paddled wild rivers in the Americas. He has dropped teams into golden slot canyons, trudged through deep jungles in Africa, Central America, and Asia, and guided archaeological expeditions across the parched Arabian Peninsula. He lives most of the year in the Swiss Alps, near the border of France and Italy. He is as at home on the Haute Route as he is hiking in the Jungfrau, or eating apple strudle in Zermatt. Some weeks, Greg hikes more miles than he drives, which means he wears out his boots faster than he wears out tires. He has crossed the Grand Canyon on foot more than a dozen times, climbed Colorado's three highest peaks in three days, and while guiding in the Alps in a typical summer hikes over 700 miles, gaining nearly 100,000 vertical feet-the equivalent of climbing Everest nine times. In the summer of 2017 he hiked and guided on all four of the great Alps Treks—the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route, the Bernese Oberland Traverse, and the Eiger to Matterhorn trek.

He is a Wilderness First Responder, a Fellow with the Royal Geographical Society, and a Certified Switzerland Specialist. His passion for the Alps always focuses on sharing the experience with others through guiding, and his engaging writing and presentation style. Alpenwild's roots go back to the summer of 1970, when Greg first visited and fell in love with the Swiss Alps as a teenager backpacking through Europe. As an avid world traveler with a hunger for adventure travel and off-the-beaten path corners of the world, he returned to the Alps many times. In 1986, he started the travel company which enabled him to share his love of the Alps with Europe-bound travelers. Greg is the author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City and Off the Tourist Trail (US Editor) and Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travel. His featured releases for 2010 included Exploring Havasupai: A Guide to the Heart of the Grand Canyon (winner of the National Outdoor Book Award) and Best Easy Day Hikes: Salt Lake City. He is the author of Alpenwild's Best Hikes in the Swiss Alps (2012). His 2014 release is 50 Best Short Hikes in Utah's National Parks. His popular video series, Haute Route Essentials, has earned him the title "Mr. Haute Route."

During the summer of 2010 he became the first North American to receive the Alpsteinpass award for his expertise in hiking and guiding in Appenzell's Alpstein range. He was the 2015 recipeint of the Goldflower Award from Switzerland Tourism in recognition for Alpenwild's high standards in it's Switzerland tours. 

"Greg is very intuitive in planning and maximizing our time based on weather, energy level and scenery. It’s clear that he’s thought hard about what works and what doesn’t work. We had an amazing experience."        – S.H., Indiana

"Greg’s knowledge and love for Switzerland just enhanced every aspect of the tour. He’s extremely flexible, and is able to adapt each day’s activities to our needs, and the weather." – S.M., Alaska

   

Nicki Preece

Nicki Preece, Trip Leader

Nicki is a native of nowhere and, as a result, feels at home just about anywhere. She has lived in 7 different states and 5 different countries. Her favorite place to be is in the mountains, especially in the Alps,, where she has guided on the Chamonix -Zermatt Haute Route dozens of times over the last ten years. She also hikes in the rugged mountains of Corsica and leads Alpenwild trips on that beautiful Mediterranean island. Nicki has spent years in and around the Alps living in Grenoble and Annemasse in France, and in Geneva, Switzerland. With her fluent French and functional German she loves chatting it up with the locals and enjoying European food (especially Swiss cheese and chocolate), culture, history, and humor.

Nicki is an avid runner, with 9 half marathons under her belt, and has led groups through the high peaks of the Alps and the low red rock crevices of the Utah desert. She has a masters degree in World Languages from the University of Utah. She loves getting to know people in the simple, yet stunning settings the great outdoors has to offer. She calls Salt Lake City, on the western edge of the Rocky Mountains "home" where she enjoys exploring all the recreation that rich area has to offer.  

"Nicki took a personal interest in each one of us and by the end of our 12 days together we felt like family."  – M.F., California

"I was blown away at the attention to detail this trip provided.  Honestly, I would go just about anywhere Nicki wanted to take us." – T.L., Colorado

   
Ella Alpiger

Ella Alpiger, Trip Leader, Certified Swiss Hiking Guide

Ella grew up on a small cow farm with 13 cows in the Swiss Alps. She spent the summers milking the cows in a small alpine hut and exploring the nearby mountains. After a 10-year career as a professional World Cup ski racer for the Swiss Ski Team she became a ski and Telemark instructor and UIMLA mountain leader. She studied Outdoor Sports Management and loves to be guiding in the mountains. She spends 4 month each year in Patagonia, teaching ski courses to future mountain guides and guests from all over the world.

In November and December Ella guides bike and trekking tours trough the wild Patagonia and is back to Chamonix for the winter season. Chamonix is her European home base. In her free time there, she loves to climb and ski tour with her boyfriend, an Argentine mountain guide. You'll love meeting Ella on Alpenwild's Tour du Mont Blanc and on the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route.

"Our guide, Ella, was fabulous—a truly lovely person, professional, Swiss-native, mountain wise, fount of knowledge, super-vigilant and constantly cared for our comfort and safety." – D.D., Washington

"Ella is exceptional! She was highly professional, personable, funny, informative, organized, and always did everything to ensure the safety and comfort of every client; we would trek with her again anywhere." – R.C., Virginia

   
Rene Welti

René Welti, Trip Leader, Certified Swiss Hiking Guide

Born in Basel with 16th century Swiss heritage, raised in California, and now dividing his time between Luzern and California, René Welti perfectly bridges Swiss and American culture. His varied travel career has been divided between Switzerland and the US with airlines, destinations, hotels, and travel companies. In addition to hiking, skiing, and biking around the Lake Lucerne area, he swims in the annual 1km "Swim across Lake Lucerne" event with a current personal best time of 29 minutes. His longest swim is a 2.5km swim across Lake Uri from the William Tell's chapel to the tiny pristine village of Bauen. In his spare time he writes on Switzerland and the Lake Lucerne region for magazines and travel books.

René served as the Swiss Olympic Team Attaché for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He is a Charter Certified Tour Planner, Certified Hospitality Educator and winner of the Travel Industry Association of America,s International Marketing Award. A Certified Swiss hiking guide, René is the top-rated hiking guide in the Lucerne area. In addition to guiding the Lucerne tours, René guides Alpenwild's Scenic Alps by Rail tour and the Christmas in Switzerland tour.

"It was our "wow" vacation, as every day was a "wow" day seeing the many beautiful villages/towns and mountains. René's knowledge of Switzerland and his scheduling and organizational skills were perfect. We would love to do it all over again!" – A.H., Florida

"René knows the locals and makes great suggestions to make the most of your day. Our group dined together in the evening and all our dinners were wonderful. Without René we could not have figured out the trains and buses. It was the best vacation we've ever had. Flawless and Fun." – T.R., California

   
Chloe Georges

Chloé Georges, Trip Leader, UIMLA Certified International Mountain Leader

Born in Chamonix at the base of Mount Blanc, Chloé grew up in the mountains. Her earliest childhood memories are on the snowy slopes and rugged mountain trails. She is passionate about sharing "her" mountains and the traditions of mountain life.

Chloé has a deep knowledge of the region, including nature, wildlife, weather, and culture. Her background includes being a world class downhill ski racer; she concluded her racing career at the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver. Following the Olympics and years of intense competition on the slopes, Chloé shifted her focus to mountaineering and outdoor recreation. She became a qualified UIMLA Mountain Leader, fitness coach, and Pilates teacher. Her life emphasis is now on helping clients achieve optimal health and wellness.

Chloé enjoys the peace and serenity of high mountain trails and shares that with each guest she leads on the trail. Her passion for the mountains, vast knowledge of the region, commitment to healthy living, and leadership skills make her an ideal guide in the Alps.

"Chloé is a fantastic person. As an Olympic ski athlete, she was able to help anyone in trouble and bound back to the front of the group like a gazelle. She was particularly good at spotting tiny or distant animals hidden along the way, which added to our photo opportunities!" – M.M., Washington

   
Lauren Michaels

Lauren Michaels, Trip Leader

Lauren cites a childhood spent exploring the forests of rural Ohio as the humble beginning of a lifelong quest for adventures in wild places.  Despite pursing a Zoology degree on the decidedly flat campus of the University of Florida, she managed to spend over a thousand hours leading backcountry hiking trips in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she would later return to lead wilderness therapy expeditions following her graduation.  Among assorted adventures, over the past few years she has bungee jumped over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, been diving in bioluminescent waters of Cambodia, become a certified W-EMT, and led sea-kayaking and hiking expeditions under the midnight sun in Alaska. 

After an Autumn spent working on farms and vineyards throughout France, she found herself completely smitten with European culture, food, hospitality and joie de vivre. She will never forget hiking with the cows and eating endless varieties of cheese while slowly learning French on her host family’s farm in the Pyrenees Mountains.  Lauren believes the only thing better than experiencing the beauty of the mountains is to share it in good company, and hopes to hike with you on the Haute Route this summer! 

"We have traveled a lot, but this was, without question, one of the best hiking trips we’ve ever experienced.  That’s owing, in no small part, to Lauren’s efforts.  She went the extra mile, literally and figuratively, to make it memorable." – V.K., California

"I loved Lauren’s sense of fun and awe but I also really appreciated her attention to safety and organization. It was the perfect match."  – S.H., California

   
Paul Zeller

Paul Zeller, Trip Leader, Certified Swiss Hiking Guide

Who better to introduce you to the beauty and charm of Appenzell than someone who was was born there and grew up hiking in the beautiful Alpstein range? Paul Zeller is a Certified Hiking Guide in Switzerland, and guides not only in the Appenzell Alps, but in other favorite areas of the Alps, including the Engadine, Jungfrau, and Austria's Tirol. Professionally, he teaches languages and history in Appenzell, so with his impeccable English he loves to share his knowledge of the Alps and the rich culture and history that surrounds them.

"As a local and someone who has spent a lifetime hiking in the Alps, Paul is filled with a love and passion for what he does. He’s funny, observant, and always ready with a smile." – S.H., Indiana

   
Elain Witt

Elain Witt, Trip Leader, Certified Switzerland Specialist

An avid hiker and culinary explorer, Elain is passionate about the food of the Alps. She’s the perfect trip leader if you’re looking for adventure, food, and fun—alpine style. Elain combines her extensive outdoor experience with her contagious joie de vivre to help create an ideal experience each day. University degrees in History and Mass Communication, and 15 years of teaching at the university level have contributed to her breadth of knowledge and her animated storytelling style. And she loves hearing your stories, too. While raising her family, Elain discovered that delicious food, often inspired by her travels, was a great creative outlet and launched a career in the culinary arts.

She started a cooking school, ran a catering company, was a professional food stylist, and was featured on live television cooking segments. She loves connecting Alpenwild guests with their food through authentic and participatory experiences. With Elain you’ll have unforgettable experiences like hunting fresh truffles in the forest, making Alp cheese over an open fire, creating chocolate ganache with a master chocolatier, or crafting crackling-crusted bread in a 200-year-old wood-fired oven. Elain handles cuisine-focused tours for Alpenwild and often leads  Cheese, Chocolate, and the Scenic Alps. She’s kept busy with private groups who want a custom tour in the Alps that pairs majestic outdoor settings with great food. You'll enjoy her expertise on our Swiss Bliss Tour.

"This tour was the dream of a lifetime. Elain has extremely close relationships with all locals we encountered from our beautiful lodgings to our exclusive tour and breakfast at an Alpine dairy farm. I truly hope to travel with Alpenwild again. My only fear is that it would be nearly impossible to beat this experience." – S.M., Alaska

   

Erica Bonnet-Laverge, Trip Leader, Aspirant French Trekking Guide

Erica spends most of her time trekking throughout the world and working for humanitarian and development organizations. With a Master’s Degree in International Organization, she is an expert in project management, needs assessment, and operations coordination for international humanitarian field missions—so meeting the needs of a few hikers in the Alps is a snap for Erica. In France, when she is not enjoying her time in the nature around her home village of Saint-Bon located in the French Alps, Erica loves sharing her knowledge and love of the mountains with anyone who will listen. She’s passionate about ski-touring, paragliding, and hiking. Erica is currently training to become a  certified French trekking guide. She loves helping Alpenwild guests discover the richness of the Alpine landscapes, the history, and local cuisine.

"A beautiful journey, and a very positive trip thanks to Erica—a very competent guide. Always ready to help and very organized. I have only one desire, traveling with Erica again for new discoveries." – R.A., Nice, France

   
Danny and Katy

Danny Boyd & Katy Carboneras, Trip Leaders

Danny and Katy met in Switzerland after having both worked and lived in Bern for over 5 years. Living in Bern gave them unique opportunities to explore and play practically every weekend in the nearby Berner Oberland, home to the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch. Now married, they continue to be avid hikers, returning to Switzerland as trip leaders to share their love of the Alps, and personal insights into Switzerland, its culture and people. Danny, a native of Washington has climbed Mt. Rainer, Mt Baker, and 4,000 meter peaks in Switzerland.  He has also completed the Jungfrau Marathon and a solo trek of the Haute Route. 

Danny speaks fluent German. Catalina, a native of Spain has hiked the Camino de Santiago, and along with Danny the Europa Way, Tour de Monte Rosa, and numerous other hikes in Switzerland. Katy speaks fluent Spanish and French as well. Both Danny and Katy enjoy downhill skiing, cross country skiing, mountain biking and sailing during their free time. Together, Danny and Katy bring a wealth of insight into the rich culture of Switzerland, and along with their language ability and experience living and working in Switzerland, offer a unique opportunity to explore the intimate treasures of the Swiss Alps.

"Danny's leadership, trail expertise, and ability to read the group and adjust was just amazing." - T.L., Washington

"I really appreciated how Danny was able to accommodate the different skill and endurance levels in our group so that each of us were truly able to enjoy our trip." - T.D., Washington

   
Kate Hulme

Kate Lewis, Trip Leader, Certified Switzerland Specialist

Kate brings her youthful exuberance to every trip in the Alps. Introduced to the Alps as a child by her native Swiss grandparents, she is an ideal hiking companion to hikers of all ages. Whether she's encouraging a weary youngster, hiking the Haute Route with seasoned veterans, or sharing some meringue glace in the Jungfrau, Kate is eager to help you have the experience of a lifetime. She's English-speaking, but fluent in Swiss-German, having lived in Switzerland and Austria. Her time is divided between summers in the Alps, traveling the world, and completing her university degree—and she still finds time to ski, rock climb, canyoneer, and hike. Her most recent adventure was a successful and speedy climb of the Matterhorn. She is a Wilderness First Responder and a Certified Switzerland Specialist. She can't wait to share her expertise and love of the Swiss Alps with you.

   
Mitch Grosofsky

Mitch Grosofsky, Trip Leader

Mitchell attributes the start to his outdoor adventures to numerous weekend backpacking trips and multi-day canoe trips with his local Boy Scout troop despite living in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York.  Since having earned the rank of Eagle, he has expanded his adventures from the Adirondack and Appalachian mountains to new levels.  He has backpacked the Annapurna region, trekked to Machu Picchu, spent hours marveling at the artistic and architectural wonders of numerous European cities, and spent countless hours laughing, eating, and exploring the world with newly formed friends,  Mitchell has spent the past few summers in Europe guiding on the Haute Route with Alpenwild and accruing hundreds of trekking miles throughout Switzerland, Italy, and France.  He is thrilled to share his love of cheese, chocolate, and adventure with you in the prettiest country in the world.

Mitchell is also a certified Wilderness First Responder and works during the trekking off season as a math teacher and published artist.  He spends his free time rock climbing, exploring nature, learning, and planning future trips.  You'll enjoy Mitchell's companionship, humor, and leadership on either the Tour du Mont Blanc or Haute Route.  His goal is to make this a trip you'll remember for a lifetime!

"Our guide, Mitch, was outstanding—knowledgeable and helpful." – J.M., New Jersey

   
Sarah Clark

Sarah Clark, Mountain Leader, Certified Swiss Hiking Guide

Originally from Great Britain, but now at home in Switzerland for 30 years, Sarah loves to share her passion for the Swiss mountains. Having completed a rigorous training with the Swiss Mountain Guides Association, this qualified leader is in the mountains every weekend, organizing and guiding hikes for clients, friends and groups from the Swiss Alpine Club. Sarah speaks English, French, German as well as a reasonable amount of Schwyzertüütsch and Italian and has many years experience of seeking out the most inspiring Swiss hiking routes, especially in her favourite cantons, the Grisons and the Valais. She's  guide in the Bernese Oberland and the  Haute Route.
Sarah loves guiding groups, getting to know people from all over the world, and sharing her infectious enthusiasm for the alpine environment , its stunning views of snow-covered peaks, lakes, glaciers and alpine meadows (and the local produce, cheeses and wines!). You’ll also find her enthusing about some less-obvious gems — from the wonders of marmot hibernation to the secret life of innocent-looking carnivorous plants, from the history of a 150-million-year-old rock to the amazing exploits of the early mountaineers.

Being British, Sarah always carries an umbrella in the mountains and often a mysterious plastic tube.  Expect to experience a British sense of humour… but not too early in the morning! Sarah lives in Lausanne, working also as a consultant, facilitator and trainer to support teams and managers in thinking and communicating clearly about what matters to them and in working together effectively. In this, she particularly enjoys using visual thinking tools and mountain landscapes — both real and metaphorical — to connect people and create space for dialogue, insight and inspiration. So the Swiss mountains find a place in every part of her life.

   
John Froerer

John Froerer, Trip Leader

John Froerer has been exploring the world’s backcountry for the past 25 years. Having grown up in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and southern Utah’s desert, he has explored many landscapes including high altitude mountains and deep, red sandstone canyons. John loves teaching and guiding. He has taught rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and high-angle rescue courses for many years. He has professionally guided groups around the world for the past 15 years. He can be found on any continent or in any beautiful location around the globe, but specifically he spends most of his time in the Swiss and French Alps, Nepal’s Himalayan Range below Mt. Everest, and throughout all of South America. John's exert leadership and experience bring out the  best in every participant on the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route. John loves uncovering the off-the-beaten-path museum, castle, fortress, garden, architectural masterpiece, or  historical site and sharing the rich culture of Europe with those he guides.

"Our guide, John, was exceptional. He took great care of us and helped us over the scary, and exhausting parts, while helping us celebrate every moment of beauty and accomplishment. You could not ask for more." – T.S., Connecticut

"From our first briefing with John at the fabulous Grand Hotel Des Alpes I instantly felt I was in good hands and grateful for choosing this wonderful company." – S.H., California

   

Alex Kay, Trip Leader

Growing up in the heart of Snowdonia, among the beautiful and breathtaking mountains of North Wales, Alex, our Welsh mountain goat, is no stranger to big days in the hills. Scouting & camping trips in his youth and sporadic traveling in his teens saw Alex's passion and love for the outdoors and adventure grow rapidly. His career choice came down to either applying his university education as a forensic scientist or following his passion for the outdoors. And the siren song of the mountains won—propelling him into the career he will pursue for as long as his body can allow. 

Alex doesn't stay in one place for very long, venturing to new places with every season.  For the last few years Alex has travelled the world, working and playing in equal measure. A normal year will see him guiding on high altitude peaks in Africa, preparing people for the harsh conditions of Scottish winter, leading canoeing and kayaking expeditions on classic rivers in Wales and Scotland, to instructing climbing and mountaineering in his home of Llanberis.

As an aspiring International Mountain Leader, Alex is adept at looking after people in harsh environments and has led treks all over the globe, from the jungles of Borneo to the rainforests of Costa Rica. Alex has guided on two of the '7 summits' - Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania and Mt Elbrus (5642m) in Russia - as well as other high altitude peaks.  Alex has spent the last few years exploring the Alps in both summer and winter and is keen to share his passions with you on wonderful journeys such as the Haute Route and the Tour de Mont Blanc.

Alex is truly at home when he's outside, even more so when in the mountains. Alex has completed some demanding solo expeditions, finding solitude and peace in the remotest of places. Alex lives to have fun and make long-lasting memories in awesome places; Enthusiastic, encouraging, sociable and empathetic, Alex will always go the extra mile to ensure your experience is a positive and memorable one. Alex is there when you need him most, reassuring in times of need or for when you need a friend to lose yourself with in a good game of cards. Go on, ask Alex to teach you his favorite card game: Irish Snap. Just don't expect the room to remain quiet once the game has begun!

"Alex is a fantastic, approachable, experienced and energizing leader with great awareness of group dynamics and morale building, while also reassuring and making the team feel supported and safe." – R.M., London

"Alex was amazing—his energy and positivity were a huge boost and he is a very big part of me actually making it to the top. Thanks, Alex!" – L.B., London

   

Isabelle Johnson, Trip Leader

Isabelle was born in the UK but has lived in the Dolomites since 1999 working as a trip organizer, leader, and translator. She is married to a local man and living near Cortina d’Ampezzo. She has fifteen years ofexperience in setting up, organizing, and leading small group walking and special interest tours in Italy, both for several UK and American hiking and walking tour operators and independently. As an Oxford history graduate she has a special interest in the history of the Dolomites and of the First World War Dolomite Front in particular. She also has a passion for alpine flowers. She has walked extensively in Italy and the UK and loves long distance trails in particular.

"Isabelle is an outstanding guide. She knows this part of the world intimately and provided a great deal of historical and natural background info which really did add an extra dimension to our trip." – J.C., Melbourne.

   

Richard Etellin, Trip Leader, Certified Hiking Guide, Certified Cross Country Skiing/Biathlon, Hiking/Snowshoeing and Mountain Biking Instructor

Born and raised in Chamonix, Richard has had a passion for endurance sports for as long as he can remember. He has over 20 years of experience working in the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps, and is a qualified instructor in Cross Country Skiing/Biathlon, Hiking/Snowshoeing and Mountain Biking. He is fluent in French and English. When not guiding Alpenwild guests, he is a sports coach at the high school in Chamonix for students pursuing their ‘Biqualification’ – Ski and Mountain training. During his military service, he had the opportunity to be part of the military French Ski Team and participate in many Nordic ski and trail races. In his spare time, he enjoys long distance trail running and has successfully completed many different endurance races: including the Mont Blanc Marathon and the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix Ultra Marathon. He also continues to compete in some of the most demanding cross country ski races like the 80km Marathon de Bessans, and the 76km Transjurassienne.  Daily Yoga practice and stretching also play an important part in his fitness routine. In 2003 he designed and built his own chalet in Les Bossons, a small village on the outskirts of Chamonix, where he lives with his wife and two boys. They keep chickens, grow their own vegetables and spend as much time as they can outdoors, exploring the spectacular wilderness that surrounds them.

"We had a wonderful day touring the alps with our guide! Knowledge and kind. A perfect way to see highlights on a short visit!" – L.M, Alberta

"Excellent guide for our tour du mont blanc walking. We had an amazing time, couldn't ask for more. Our guide was approachable with fluent English and an unparalleled local knowledge of the area." – R.R, London

"Richard was friendly, competent, well-informed, and funny. I thought he was great." – R.D, British Columbia

   

Louis Waterman-Evans, International Mountain Leader

Born in London, Louis has used every opportunity to escape to the mountains. From an early age he has been an avid hiker: he got to know the trails of Chamonix intimately when he was a teenager, and has explored the extensive Swiss hiking network in detail in recent years. His travels have seen him live all over Europe: Germany, Czech Republic, and now Scotland. 

Louis' background is in education. Upon graduating with a degree in Economics, he trained to become a secondary Maths and Economics teacher. After a year in the classroom, however, he decided that textbooks and teaching in such a confined environment were not for him. He retrained to teach English as a foreign language, and added outdoor qualifications as another string to his bow. In recent years, Louis has combined English teaching with outdoor sports, so runs outdoor education camps in the Austrian Alps when he is not guiding for Alpenwild. He is a trained Mountain Leader, Outdoor First Aid qualified and intends on developing his guiding skills further in the future.

Louis speaks fluent German, and has a passion for learning new things. His most recent fascination is in learning everything there is to know about Alpine flowers, so feel free to quiz him about his knowledge!

You'll find Louis with his running shoes on most mornings. He spent a few years running on unrelenting flat roads in the city, so running up beautiful Alpine trails is an absolute delight for him. As the old saying goes, the more the merrier, so do get involved if you fancy an early morning run before the day's hike.

"Our very knowledgeable and friendly guide on the Bernese Oberland Traverse, Louis, helped make the experience a memorable one for everyone. Louis' outgoing personality and enthusiasm for the Swiss mountain life was contagious, and his able assistance and attention to detail certainly enhanced everyone's  enjoyment of the trek. We felt fortunate to have him as our guide." – B. L., Colorado

"Louis' enthusiasm for life and nature, his ability to easily connect with all of us, his language skills, his knowledge of wildflowers, his probing curiosity about nature made this a wonderful trip. He went out of his way to meet any of our needs." – J.D., Colorado 

   

Romain Laussac, Trip Leader

Born and raised in the French Alps, Romain has childhood memories of harvesting edible mushrooms in the forest with his parents. And at an early age he was snowboarding whenever he got the chance. Since that time, he’s always felt at home in the mountains. He continues to spend as much time as possible in the forests and mountains to expand his knowledge of nature and the natural environment.

His university studies in archeology and anthropology led him to South America to explore Inca history and cultures and led him to organize treks to Machu Picchu and Choquequirao.

Recent endeavors have taken him from Nepal to Norway, through Laos, Finland, Iceland, as well as the US and Canada. In guiding treks around the world he’s been a dog sledding guide in Lapland, climbed Mount Blanc, and has done some exciting high-altitude treks in the Himalaya and the Andes. He’s also an avid climber, diver, runner, and cyclist. Romain is currently qualifying to be a certified hiking guide in France, where you’ll find him regularly hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc and the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route 

"What and amazing trip! A beautiful, sporting, and human adventure! Romain knew how to inspire confidence in each participant, which allowed everyone to make the most of it. If you love nature and you want to live a great adventure, you can’t go wrong with Romain!" – C.L., Paris

"A tip of the hat to our very professional guide Romain, always listening, with great expertise, which he happily shares as we hike and discover new territories" – C.M., Colombes, France

   

Jennifer Stretton, Trip Leader

Jen grew up about as far from the mountains and nature as you can get—in Birmingham, UK. When she first visited the Alps on a university climbing trip, she immediately fell in love with the place. After graduating with a degree in Geography, Jennifer spent the next few years travelling the world, volunteering with conservation charities and freelance marketing to fund her adventures. In 2015 she settled full time in the Chamonix Valley and began training to become an international mountain leader.

An avid climber and environmentalist, Jen’s passion for the mountains and the natural world is contagious. When she’s not guiding, Jennifer spends her free time climbing, skiing, travelling and trying to keep up with her dog on trail runs. Sociable, caring and always smiling, Jen is the perfect guide to keep you laughing and motivated on your journey. She looks forward to meeting you next summer!

“From the first day of our journey, you expertly led us on a dream vacation. But more importantly, you welcomed us into your life and seamlessly became our friend. And for this, I cannot thank you enough.” – K.W., London

   

Support You Can Count On

 

Tessa Cramer

Tessa Cramer, Certified Switzerland Specialist, Haute Route, Reservations, Payments     

Equipped with a university degree in Geography and Urban Planning, Tessa is the quintessential trip planner. She spends as much time researching her adventures as she does adventuring. As a Certified Switzerland Specialist she’ll help you create a comprehensive itinerary that will be the adventure of a lifetime. She has a knack for assisting Alpenwild guests in planning the intricate logistics and seemingly minute details of a trip, right down to what kind of cheese you’ll be enjoying for lunch in St. Luc or when the last funicular of the day descends to Zermatt. She honed her outdoor skills during a summer at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon followed by four months hiking through the Holy Land. Tessa now works her magic in Alpenwild’s Utah offices and on the trail in the Alps.

"Tessa was amazingly kind and helpful in my choosing a trip and incredibly patient with my millions of questions. She assisted with my pre- and post-trip travel plans as well as answering my minutia questions of what to wear, where to eat, and where I could buy a real cowbell! She was exceptionally accurate with her trail descriptions and difficulty ratings. Tessa, you Rock!" –S.H., California  

"Tessa could not have been more helpful and friendly in setting up all travel, transfers and accommodations. When I landed at Geneva airport, every aspect of the trip, from start to finish, was taken care of." –  J.M., New Jersey

   
Tari McKell

Tari McKell, Certified Switzerland Specialist, Switzerland Tours, Custom Departures, Reservations

Armed with a degree in Geography and a minor in Business Management, Tari is well equipped to handle the travel needs of Alpenwild’s upscale international adventure travel clients on self-guided/custom and private tours. With roots in the Pacific Northwest, Tari enjoys mountain scenery and exploring the outdoors. She loves researching new places to visit and especially travelling with her family in her free time. She’s a Certified Switzerland Travel Specialist and works in the office planning and booking Alpenwild’s tours. She loves being organized and paying attention to detail, so planning tours in Switzerland has become a passion for her. 

"Our trip has been amazing to say the least. The planning and transfer, accommodation, meals, luggage transfer and sights have all been amazing. We couldn't have planned such a varied tour with ourselves. Thanks for your part in organizing this." – B.R., Australia

"Just got back from our self-guided Alpenwild tour of the Bernese Oberland. It was fabulous - great hikes, hotels and food. Have to give a shout out to Tari for being a moment-by-moment support when our flight into Switzerland was delayed and the last train to Lautbrunnen stopped due to 'fire on the tracks.' She was not only super-efficient and helpful but sympathetic to two tired travelers who only wanted to go to sleep. You're the best, Tari" -- S.F., Florida

   

Wen-Di Adair, Certified Switzerland Specialist, Haute Route, Bernese Oberland Traverse, Reservations, Payments

Wen-Di is a recent graduate in Geography with an emphasis in Tourism Studies. She was born in China, but grew up primarily in the mountainous hearth of Utah. Having easy access to many beautiful trails and being immersed in breathtaking scenery has only increased her appreciation for the outdoors and hiking. As a Certified Switzerland specialist, she spent time in Switzerland and loved every second exploring the amazing Alps. It’s her passion, love of traveling, organization, and firsthand knowledge of the Alps that makes her the perfect person to help plan your next trip to Switzerland. Wen-Di’s primary focus is on the Deluxe Haute RouteChamonix-Zermatt Houte RouteBernese Oberland Traverse, and Eiger to the Matterhorn trekking routes. With a strong fascination in the Swiss culture and food, she’s excited to share all she knows with anyone willing to listen as well as learning new things from you. Wen-Di works as an active member of the Alpenwild team based in Utah while also spending time in the summer season out on the trails in the Alps.

   

Chelsea Escobar, Food Tours, Certified Switzerland Specialist

Raised in the mountains of Idaho and Utah, Chelsea grew up hiking beautiful forested trails in search of hidden lakes and waterfalls. With summers spent on her grandfather’s farm, her appreciation for dairy cows, milk, cheese, and farm life increased each year. Over time, she developed a taste for authentic regional flavors and began to explore the world of farm-to-table cuisine.

Her path eventually led to high-end training at the UVU Culinary Arts Program where she graduated from their rigorous curriculum. While there, her love for authentic flavors and international cuisines was heightened and she began creating dishes of her own.

After spending time as a private chef and catering manager, Chelsea looked beyond the borders of the US toward Europe. She has brought her culinary expertise to the Alpenwild team as she plans Discover Swiss Cuisine tours and tasting adventures throughout the various cultural regions of the Alps. 

Her background helps her introduce guests to the top food experiences that Switzerland has to offer—including fragrant breads, air dried meats, regional pastries, artisan cheese, and, of course, the best Swiss chocolate. Her love for Switzerland and the distinctive cuisine of each region makes Chelsea an innovative tour coordinater as well as an expert guide.

   
Pascal Zacherl

Pascal Zacherl, Certified Switzerland Specialist, Marketing Manager

Pascal has always loved the outdoors. He grew up in a remote town near Munich, Germany, where he learned to love the majesty and beauty of the Alps. The close proximity to the German Alps made it easy for him and his parents to go on weekend family trips, climbing one mountain after another. You'll find him on our Exploring the Jungfrau tour.

Throughout his life, he was always drawn to activities and sports that would push him to his very limits. During High School, he played semi-professional volleyball and trained to become a decathlete at the same time. In addition to his excellent fitness and adventure driven character, he speaks three different languages: German, English, and Russian. 

Currently, Pascal is attending Brigham Young University in order to receive a Bachelor in Global Supply Chain Management. He has recently received his Switzerland Travel Specialist Certificate, which will make him a valuable addition to our office.

"Pascal was consistently upbeat and organized, making our experience exciting and carefree." – J.U., Maryland