Guides at Skiers Lodge La Grave 2013-2014.
Our Guides hold the highest internationally recognised qualification for instruction and guiding in rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and off-piste skiing and ski touring- the coveted IFMGA carnet. This badge, recognised throughout the mountaineering world is your guarantee of their professional training and competence in all aspects of (IFMGA ), followed, along with increased training and rigorous assessment.
This membership, shared at present with guides from sixteen other countries, gives all the Guides at Skiers Lodge absolute equivalence with Guides in Alpine countries and throughout the world. The award of the International Guides Carnet demands the highest standards of skill and professionalism in all aspects of mountaneering. All our Guides are qualified IFMGA/UIAGM (International High Mountain Guides).
They speak English, French, Swedish and German.
Swedish Mountain Guides, France Syndicat National des Guides de France, American Mountain Guide Association, Germany Verband Deutscher Berg- und Skiführer, British Association of Mountain Guides.Pelle Onol Lång (Sweden) UIAGM/IFMGA Licensed Guide
Wherever Pelle Lang has put his ski-boots down has been his home. Leaving Sweden some three decades ago searching for good adventure skiing in the mountain ranges in the world the ”search” is over. Being the owner and founder of the Skier Lodge made him settle down in La Grave. His dream was to create a lodge owned and operated by skiers for skiers. In 1989 this dream becomes a reality. The Skiers Lodge Guide Service, for which Pelle works daily as the chief guide, represents the ski part of the concept.
He spends his summers in Bodrum, Turgetreis together with his four years old triplets “K3” and when time off goes windsurfing or climbing in Kalymnos Greece.
30 years experience of off-piste skiing in Chamonix and La Grave, France, Alaska-Valdez, Canada, USA, Russia, Italy, India and North part of Sweden/Norway. He is a fully qualified IFMGA mountain guide with the French Brevet d´ Etat d´Alpinisme, Diplome de Guide de Haute Montagne. Pisteur-SLAO. Pro Am mogul racer. Nordic ski extreme racer. Winner of the Derby de la Meije ind/team.
Eric Mossiere was born and raised in Grenoble close to the Alpes and the massif de Vercors. He likes both the city life and the mountains and finds living in a small village near the town of Briancon optimal since he can not forget his city habits living closer to civilisation than La Grave. He got great knowledge of the secret skiing spots in Serre Chevalier and Montgenevre area and calls the Lodge early every morning to tell about the snow conditions on his way drive towards La Grave.
He is in contact with the ski patrol in Serre Chevalier or Montgenevre by phone or radio to get the best inside information “French Connection” of today’s snow pack. We forgive him for his city habits.
He has worked for the Skiers Lodge, and Pelle for sixteen years, right from the beginning of his guide career and shares the roll of chief guide. He enjoys powder of course but also has a big passion for ski touring. His other job is paraglide instructor. He likes mixing both activities: climbing Mont Blanc and flying from the top is one of the best! He got another main job now being a father!!! His daughter is born 15 months ago. This is his new adventure for the coming years!!! Now he will wake up even earlier in the mornings when he smells a deep powder day!
He is a fully qualified IFMGA mountain guide with the French Brevet d´ Etat d´Alpinisme, Diplome de Guide de Haute Montagne UIAGM. He is also a fully qualified parapente instructor.
Cyril live in La Grave and is a fully qualified High Mountain Guide and a member of the guide syndicate of La Grave. He started as a climber and became a member of the French young alpinist national team in 2008-2009. After a lot of hard climbing in the Alps, Norway, Maroco, Bolivia, Peru, Patagonia, Slovenia and USA. He received the Diplome de Guide de Haute Montagne UIAGM. He arrived in La Grave 5 years ago and he never looked back, he spent many ski days so he know the place very well!
He very grateful to have the chance to live in one of the best places to ski and to guide clients in his “secret garden”.
Cyril will also attend to the “commision de sécurité” composed of local guides in case of a significant change in the avalanche risk. It will follows a risk management protocol for recommending, according to the snow conditions, whether it’s possible or not to open the cable car. An announcement is made to the municipality who makes an official decision for the opening or the closing. I believe this commission is something unique to La Grave. It is always a highlight of local life.” Cyril will share the inside information “French Connection” to the lodge guides so they can provide full support in planning, safety and co-ordinating and gives flexibility of an early morning start to find the most optimal back-country ski terrain to ensure all have a successful day.
Rasmus has always liked the nature and outdoor life. He studied to be a wilderness guide and is a UIAGM certified mountain guide. Cross-country skiing was always a big interest in his family and he started out in the sled being pulled by his mother before he got his own skis at the age of two. As a teenager he started snowboarding and soon found Finland with its highest point 1323 meters too flat. He started doing regular trips to the alps and northern Norway.
In the Alps he quickly discovered the advantages of skis, but as a true Scandinavian he started telemarking. After skiing in Verbier for a few winters he got a job as a ski guide in Engelberg where he spent three seasons.
In 2008 he came to La Grave for the first time and immediately fell in love. Since then he divides his time between La Grave in the winter, northern
Scandinavia in the spring and Chamonix in the summer. He likes to spend his free-time outdoors, making the most of the conditions, weather it is skiing, ski touring, ice or rock climbing. Rasmus is now living in Les Terasses, a small village above La Grave with his family. His two-years old daughter already has a pair of cross-country skis.
Joe “PRO” Vallone is a fully certified American UIAGM/IFMGA Licensed Guide The phrase “in the moment” could have been invented for Joe. Colourful, focused and energetic, Joe’s qualities shine through in both his personal interactions as well as his accomplishments: He’s an IFMGA internationally certified guide, a professional drummer and a professional free-skier. Joe possesses a unique ability to instantly shift his undivided attention to the task at hand. Joe graduated from Colorado State University with a BA in Music.
He’s climbed and skied throughout the Alps, Canada, Alaska and the lower 48, has appeared in major and minor ski films, Ford and Chevy commercials, competed in USSA Bumps and Aerials, Judged 5 X-games and was a member of the Copper Mountain Freeride Ski Team for five years. Joe lives for skiing and will ski just about anywhere on anything with anyone just for the love of skiing.
Joe has been guiding professionally for 14 years throughout the world, from the pristine granite alpine spires of Rocky Mountain National Park, the jagged peaks of the French Alps to the 6000 meter glaciered summits of the South American Andes. He’s spent a bunch of time working as a Heli guide in Alaska, but now prefers the winters in France working as a professional ski and mountain guide based in what he calls “the steep skiing mecca of the world” La Grave. This season marks Joe’s 10th season in La Grave. Joe is dedicated to guiding and guide’s education, and also spends time working in the instructor pool of the American Mountain Guides Association training the next generation of aspirant mountain guides. Anyone that has had a chance to ski with Joe will tell you first hand, Joe strives to not only guide you, but to make you better and to help you learn the techniques it takes to master steep skiing. There is no better place then to experience Joe in his true element then on the beautiful steeps of La Meije! When not skiing in La Grave Joe can be frequently found in the K2 pub sharing stories and hosting La Grave’s best and only Open Microphone. If you see Joe in the pub tell him you want to sing a song from the book!
Thomas was born in the Hautes-Alpes and always lived in the Southern French Alps. He started climbing and skiing when he was a young teenager and his passion quickly became a way of life. He spent all his time skiing, climbing and mountaineering and explore the Alps and some parts of the world ( USA, Alaska, Australia, Morocco, China, Europe… ) to live and share his passion. He became a member of the French young alpinist national team in 2009-2012. He lives now in Briançon and guiding in Ecrins massif all year. Timothy Connelly (UK/USA) UIAGM/IFMGA Licensed Guide
Tim has been around the world block a few times and with his 13 years of mountain guiding he has found himself helping people full-fill their dreams from Alaska to Patagonia, from the Himalaya to the Alps to Antarctica with many a stop in between. Fully licensed UIAGM and the 2006 recipient of the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) ‘Outstanding Guide of the Year’ award as well as numerous honours from Denali National park in Alaska for services beyond need for help with search and rescue operations have shown that Tim…
is recognised throughout the guiding world for his expertise and passion for the peoples and experiences to be had in the mountains.
Skiing in Alaska, Utah, the Sierras of California and the Franch Alps have led Tim to La Grave and the surrounding environs which have a strong pull for him with its many diverse facets, ‘ there is no other place that I’ve found quite like it for introducing and excelling ones skills in the steeper ski terrains; there is of course the mechanical ascent advantage here. Can there be too much fun?
Keith Garvey now enjoys wearing ski boots as much if not more than his surfing boots, even after 16 year of snowboarding. “If it wasn’t for the snowboard, skiing would still be a stale, straight and narrow sport.” Some fat skis and a little shape is what brought him back and now he claims it to be his favourite sport. He spent the last three seasons skiing and guiding in Valdez, Alaska, and in the lower 48. Keith began guiding nine years ago in the U.S. working for the Colorado Mountain School.
In the off season he has led expeditions throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Alaska, Mexico and Nepal
He is one of the few UIAGM licensed mountain guide in the states and also works for the American Mountain Guides Association teaching and examining U.S. aspirant guides. He is passionate about guiding, loves the challenges it presents and strives to deliver, in this case good powder. “Here there are diverse challenges for advanced to expert skiers is well known for the couloir skiing, massive glaciated terrain, long vertical, and often amazing powder. This place will change the way you view off-piste skiing! And it will change the way you ski”.
Martin Svensson is a fully certified mountain guide from Sweden with a dedicated passion for mountain sports. Possessing a quiver of mountain skills, including big-mountain skier, alpinism, big wall and sport climber. Martin says: “It is great to be able to practise and try to perfect different disciplines in a changeable mountain environment. It keeps “the flame burning”. Martin started skiing in 1976 in the Telemark region of Norway, neighbouring a small village called Rjukan where modern telemark skiing was born.
He has spent winter seasons in the French Alps since the beginning of the 90’s exploring skiing’s ‘steep & deep’ and seeking new climbing challenges.
“Today I look at mountains from a different perspective. The passion for adventure skiing remains but I can appreciate the mountains for what they have to offer on a broader level. As a guide I have the opportunity to work with people in a very fragile, environment, where it is important to pass on to people the sense of what a fantastic but fragile world we have. Three decades since his first turns he will continue to work as a guide in La Grave this upcoming winter, which he ranks as one of his favourite spots. But in spring time the ski touring in the land of the mid-night sun “calls him home” to tour in the remote areas of northern Norway and Sweden to explore more snowy reaches and new aesthetic granite lines.
Tyler grew up in the mountains of Idaho in the United States, where he knew at a young age that climbing and guiding would be life for him. Since then, Tyler has achieved his full guide certification in the disciplines of Ski, Rock, and Alpine. This currently makes him the youngest American internationally recognized as UIAGM/IFMGA licensed guide through the American Mountain Guides Association. Tyler has been on thirteen expeditions to the Alaska Range, including solo trips, several notable ski descents, and an ascent of the Cassin Ridge.
He as also skied first descents on Mt. Shakara in the Republic of Georgia, climbed the Nose of El Capitan (Yosemite) in a day, and spent several ice seasons in the Canadian Rockies. He currently splits his guide time between the alpine guiding in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Wyoming, and ski guiding in La Grave, France. Tyler says “After my first trip to La Grave my whole perspective of living and guiding in the mountains changed. The concept of lift access of over 2,000m of skiing is the best you can get”. Needless to say it’s the highlight of his guiding schedule each year. Tyler enjoys sharing his broad range of skills, stories, and humor with his clients. His professional demeanor and passion for learning and teaching make for great experiences in the mountains anywhere in the world. While not guiding Tyler says “I continue to pursue my love of new experiences, and enjoy them through spending a lifetime in the mountains.”
Born in Sweden in 1974 and hade his first skiing experience some 5 years later. Andreas is a Certified UIAGM Mountain Guide and UIAA Climbing Instructor but also a product developer with a patent on his merit list. Loves skiing and climbing and has spent a lot of time exploring different ski resorts in the alps and ski touring in the wilderness of the Scandinavian mountains. “The first time a came to la grave my mind went “Wow, I want to ski this”. Now after several years as one of the mountain guides at Skiers Lodge I still get that wow feeling every time I arrive in La Grave. Julien Marie (France) UIAGM/IFMGA Licensed Guide
Julien Marie was raised and born near the sunny region of Marseille. As a teenager his passion for the mountains grew so he settled down in the mountain range of the Pyrénées very close to Andorra. He quickly became fascinated of cross country skiing, ski touring, alpine and freestyle skiing that finally lead of many years in competition as a member of Rossignol Freestyle Team. After years of improving his ski technics he passed his ski instructor diploma and worked in Montgenevre France. He is a member of the local alpinist team and a sport teacher.
The passion of the mountains environment and trying making all year living became a natural push towards to become a certified mountain guide. Through guiding I am able to share my knowledge and experience with my clients and help them to achieve their goals. He dedicate his life for this and passed his exam 2013 and received the coveted UIAGM/IFMGA badge.
It hold the highest internationally recognized qualification for instruction and guiding in rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and off-piste skiing and ski touring. He lives in Briancon with his wife and two children and does not mind the 50 minutes drive with a smile and come home to his new born child with a smile too. In brief, the life that he always dreamt of (!) Skiing and being in the mountains has given my life so much! “As a guide, I enjoy to share the beauty of nature with my clients and passing on the Alpine Spirit.”
The mountains are Josef´s everyday office. Surrounded by nature, with senses heightened, he feels alive. Josef has been working with outdoor activities since 1999. He is an Authorised Mountain Guide (UIAGM) and guide throughout the Alps and Northern Scandinavia. His home base is in Pietarsaari, Finland, where his wife and two daughters live. Josef is one of the instructors at the Outdoor Academy, a two year occupational education within outdoor pursuits and leadership. He has also worked seasonally as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in both the USA and Mexico.
Jurgen Kreiger (Germany) UIAGM/IFMGA Licensed Guide
Jurgen Kreiger was born 1966 in Freiburg, Germany and started skiing at the age of three together with his parents in the Ausrian Alps and skiiing became a big part of his life. It would lead him to ski most of the parts of the Alpes and great adventure skiing from the top of Mount McKinley/Denali in Alaska. He became a fully certified guide 1997 and the same year started his own guide service PICOS together with Alois Vienhöve and Philip Jaersky brought them to La Grave – La Meije.
I was was born 1964 quiet far away from the Alps. Starting skiing rather late with 11 it neverless became my favourite way of moving around the mountains. His first job as a chef gave me the oppurtunity to spend many seasons in the best ski resorts around. Skiing hard the day – fine meals at the evening. This is still the strong connection and motto with and for the skiers Lodge where i started guiding in 1997. This is same year where I finished my guide exam, from there on I started my own guide Service PICOS Berge und Mehr with my partner Jürgen Krieger. In these day´s I still love to ride La Grave and the surronding mountain chain as well as special trips like sking and sailing in Isand
Tom Merkel (Germany) UIAGM Licensed Guide
Tom has been skiing La Grave since 2001 and has worked regularly for Skiers Lodge ever since. He is one of the fortunate few who turned their passion into a profession; Tom did it even twice during his prolific career: first as professional Ice Hockey player and later as professional Mountain Guide. Today he is exploring the mountains of the world on trail, rock, snow & ice. You will often find him mountaineering and skiing at ultra-high altitudes, e.g. on the Shisha Pangma (8027m) or the Muztagh Ata (7546m).
The Skiers Lodge – run by the amiable couple Ayse and Pelle – is for him one of the best base camps for big mountain adventure in Europe. Always on the quest for the run with the best snow, Tom is an expert in steering clear of choppy conditions on the downhill. The same is true for his attitude towards risk management: “I have great interest in staying alive – why should I expose my clients and myself to avoidable risks?”“