Our Guiding Team
We are well qualified as well as passionate about our region.
We choose passionate staff from all walks of life, although most of our team have extensive outdoors experience or an adventure tourism background and bring a lot of skills with them.
Our rigorous guide training programme takes several weeks before our new guides begin an apprenticeship with senior staff. Training, reviews and assessment are ongoing for all staff, no matter how long they've been in their role. All of our guides complete first aid training before they are able to lead a group and carry a first aid kit with them on each trip.
All our guides hold their HIG (Hard Ice Guiding) certification or are working towards it. This certification is conducted through the internationally recognised New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (NZMGA). Our business along with other New Zealand glacier guiding companies were key drivers in developing the glacier guiding qualifications pathway, in collaboration with the NZMGA.
Each day prior to the first commercial tour, our guides inspect the glacier and cut large step-lines and walking tracks. As you pass through the unique terrain and impressive ice formations our experienced guides will be monitoring your movements carefully, ensuring that you are always safe on the ice.
Meet Our Guides
Our British guide Romina says “if it excites you and scares you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.” Romina has been guiding in multiple industries across the globe from the Appalachian trail of the USA to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. With a passion for instruction, climate change awareness and encouraging people to lean out of their comfort zones, she thrives daily to pursue these on the Franz Josef Glacier.
You will likely find Cale paddling down a West Coast river or skiing high up in the neve of the glaciers. His heart lies within the West Coast bush and will be the first to identify the unique flora and fauna of the local area. His favourite aspect of glacier guiding is meeting people from every corner of the world, whilst sharing common ground with them. If you are lucky enough to have him as your guide, you will learn about the history of the Franz Josef area and how the pioneering guides have led us to the path we follow today.
Hailing from North Carolina, Drew fostered a taste for the outdoors and moved West to Alaska where he developed a passion for glacier guiding. As a Lord of the Rings fan, he flew to New Zealand to explore the infamous peaks home to Mordor. On his roadie he came across Franz Josef Glacier and found his new home! Fun fact, he can play the violin! Some also say he looks like Brad Pitt…
Jimmy recently joined Franz Josef Glacier Guides after spending multiple seasons ski patrolling in Canterbury. Whilst attaining extensive knowledge in snowcraft, he brings an array of mountain savvy skills to the team and is ready to sharpen his new axe for a summer on the ice. He has already mastered the art of step cutting and is a natural when it comes to conversing with internationals and creating a warm family welcome on the glacier!
Originating from Florida, Jon deems the West Coast as the "mecca of adventure". He is the ultimate go-getter when opportunity presents. Although his original sport of choice is surfing, living in Franz Josef has allowed him to foster further passions such as diving, snowboarding, mountaineering and fishing. “Franz Josef is where it’s at" and we agree! He also has the best guide jokes.
Our friendly Canuck! Moving to the deep south confirmed his love for all things outdoors. He kick started his guiding career as the local kayak guide but always longed for the hills, spending free time hiking and climbing. He eventually made the move to guiding on the glacier where he endeavours to pursue the mountain guide pathway. Watch this space!
One of our senior guides, Phill finished his Outdoor Adventure studies before joining our team and has become one of our longest reigning glacier guides. Previously, he also worked on a sheep farm in Cardrona! His favourite trip to guide is ice climbing, where you can benefit exploring the ice in small groups at a relaxed pace whilst trying something new. Phill also loves hiking and skiing on his time off!
Meet Michael (aka Rooke). He moved to the coast from Motueka and started working as a guide in 2010 and instantly fell in love with the ruggedness of the West Coast. Soon after he got married dressed as a pirate to the Daughter of the business owner (sorry ladies!) and is a huge nerd who loves Star Wars and Marvel. If you’re lucky enough to get Rooke as your guide, there certainly will be no shortage of interesting stories to accompany you along your journey through the ice!
This is Andrew, our dedicated and friendly American! He moved from Florida 6 years ago and has been with us ever since! When he’s not on the glacier, you might catch him ripping around on his quad bike or surfing at the local. Clients will often say he has great wit and brings a great sense of adventure to the trip.
Her sense of adventure is fostered by a healthy indifference to what others find normal. Over the past 5 years, she has acquired a strong appetite for inspiring people to find beautiful moments in life and to step outside of their comforts. Whilst carrying a ‘sky is the limit’ attitude, reflected both in her storytelling and passion for the outdoors, she consumes challenges like a child opening presents at Christmas. Her favourite? Step cutting!