About Us

Internationally experienced, professional and qualified guides

The mountaineering achievements of the Aspiring Guides team combine with a comprehensive knowledge of guiding and instruction. These are the fundamental ingredients in providing a safe and enlightening connection between our guests and the mountain environment. While our activities are centred from our base in the Mount Aspiring region, our permits and experience extend throughout the Southern Alps including Fiordland, Westland and Mt Cook National Parks. This is a vast area diverse in geography.

Your safety is our priority.

We have 'hand-picked' specialist guides from NZ and overseas.  Nothing affects the enjoyment of a trip more that the people you are with and we pride ourselves in matching discerning clients with proffesional, experienced and personable guides. Our mountain guides are qualified to international IFMGA standards through the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association or equivalent national associations.

Our high level of expertise, comprehensive logistics support and refreshing personalities are the basis of Aspiring Guides' internationally renowned reputation for providing a quality and personalised service.

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Meet our team:

If you are interested in joining the Aspiring Guides team look here for further details.



Tim Steward

Tim originates from the UK but has called NZ home for the last 10 years.  He has climbed throughout NZ, UK and European Alps and has lead and guided moutaineering, rock climbing and trekking trips to Nepal, Peru, Russia, Africa, China and South East Aisa.

Tim orignally studied engineering before embarking on his outdoor instruction and guiding career and has been guiding throughout the Southern Alps since 2010 and taking over as Chief Guide for Aspiring Guides in 2016. He has been an active committee member for the NZMGA for the last 5 years and the Chair of the Technical Sub-Committee since 2016. He is also a member of the Wanaka Alpine Cliff Rescue team.

Currently he is enjoying a bit more time at home helping look after his young family, occasionaly being let out to the crags and hills for a rest. Looking forward to getting out on some family mountaineering adventures soon.

A  trad climber at heart, the more adventurous the better, his favorite spot in NZ include is the Darrans for alpine rock or winter climbing and Castle Hill for a spot of bouldering. 

Chief Guide, IFMGA - New Zealand


Andrea Bruni

Andrea is originally from the Dolomites, in the eastern Alps, where he grew up skiing and climbing but has spent most of the last 4 years living and working in New Zealand.

Andrea studied Forestry and Environmental Sciences and certified as an IFMGA Guide in 2009. He has an impressive list of travels and expeditions including Australia,  Alaska, Patagonia, Chile, Madagascar, Cuba.

Andrea is a popular guide and instructor with a calm and methodical approach and enjoys "beautiful places, people ... and the food (after all, I'm Italian)."

Senior Guide, IFMGA - Italy/New Zealand

Nicolas H

Nicolas Honegger

Nicolas joins us for the 2017/18 summer season from France. He has previously worked in rope access before focusing on mountain guiding and instruction since 2014. He has undertaken personal trips to Patagonia, Russia and Africa as well as impressive ascents in the European Alps. 

So far this season Nicolas has got stuck into exploring NZ and it's mountains and has already notched up a number of ascents of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mt Aspiring. He is proving to be a popular guide and instructor with clients praising his patience, ntensiveness and leadership.

IFMGA - France


Chhiring Sherpa

Chhiring joins us for the 2017/18 summer season and has already racked up a number ascents of Mt Aspiring and Aoraki/Mount Cook. He has an impressive guiding resume including many significant peaks in Nepal including Cholatse, Ama Dablam 4 times, Everest twice, K2 and Cho-oyu and will shortly be departing for Kanchenjunga. He has instructed in the Khumbu Climbing Center has competed nationally in climbing competitions. 

IFMGA - Nepal

New Zealand Ski Tour

Roy Smith

Roy has been guiding for over 30 years with over 25 summer and winter season in NZ. He has extensive experieince as snow safety officer and guiding for heliski opperations and regularly assesses on mountain guides exams.


Senior Guide, IFMGA - New Zealand

Whitney Thurlow

Whitney Thurlow

Whitney, originally from Jackson Hole US, has and climbed and skied throughout New Zealand since 1979. After living and working in here for over 20 years, together with his partner, decided to create a high end backcountry travel experience and hence Wild Walks NZ was created.

Whitney is a former Chief Guide of Aspiring Guides and Training Officer of the NZ Mountain Guides Association. He has over 50 ascents of Mount Aspiring and countless Southern Alps adventures. In 1990 he won the  World Telemark Giant Slalom Championships and has also won four North American Telemark Championships. He takes pride in cooking fluffy rice in adverse conditions. Whitney has also skied, trekked and climbed throughout the world, more recently on a number of European ski tours.

When he is not in the mountains he is normally haning out on the wild south coast or Peru, surfing with and without his kite.

There will only ever be one Whit. If you have ever met him in a mountain hut, you will have experienced  his hospitality. If you’ve ever spent a bit longer in a mountain hut with him, you might even have gone round the loop on his extensive repertoire of stories, anecdotes and w[h]itticisms.

Senior Guide, IFMGA - New Zealand

New Zealand Ski Tour

Nick Cradock
Nick is one of NZ's most prestigious alpine climbers and experienced mountain guides. He has been working as a qualified IFMGA guide for over 30 years and was a founding director of Aspiring Guides.

He has pioneered ski guiding in India as well as in Russia and Greenland and more recently establishing many new rock routes around Wanaka and the Darrans. 

Senior Guide, IFMGA - New Zealand


Dan Phillips

Growing up in Perth, West Australia, Dan worked Outdoor Instructor for a few years leading rock climbing, kayaking and bushwalking trips. He soon discovered snow and ice in New Zealand and was hooked on being in the mountains. He is a passionate skier and rock climber.

In 2008  Dan began work as a ski patroller on the ski hills and guiding on the west coast glaciers. He has spent the last 3 summers as a Team Leader for Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Search and Rescue team and Snow Safety Officer for Mt Hutt Ski field during winters.

Dan has also spent time climbing in Europe as well as Ski Patrolling and Cat Ski guiding in Canada.

In his spare time Dan enjoys hunting, fishing and 4WD-ing in his big red  60 series Landcruiser called 'Helga', listening predominantly to Led Zeppelin on vinyl and watching a few modern classic movies. Sometimes even the odd round of golf.

NZMGA Aspirant Mountain and Ski Guide

Tai Naka

Tai grew up skiing in Hokkaido, the island of ‘Japow’ in Japan.

He moved to NZ in 2001 hoping to become an outdoor instructor or guide. Soon after he discovered unique club fields in Canterbury and the Craigieburn/Arthur’s Pass area - which became his backcountry playground.

While woking as a glacier guide on the South Island's West Coast, he explored the endless glaciers and peaks of the Southern Alps skiing and climbing as much as time would allow.

Tai never has a dull moment being a passionate skier, climber, whitewater kayaker, hunter, fisherman and mountain biker.

NZMGA Ski Guide and Aspirant Mountain Guide


Backcountry skiing New Zealand

Steve Schreiber
One of NZ's most experieinced ski guides, Steve is back in 2019 for his second season based in Wanaka. 

With over 20 years experieince in the ski industry in NZ and the US with roles heli-skiing,  ski touring, snow safety and ski instructing , he is also a qualifed  EMT instructor.


NZMGA Ski Guide


Mark Evans
Mark has an extensive ski and winter background working as a Ski Patroller at the Remarkables and more recently on the avalanche programme for the Milford Road.

NZMGA Ski Guide

New Zealand Ski Tour

Dave Lundin
Dave has an extensive experieince ski patrolling in the Craigieburns and has spent the last 3 winters working as a tutor on Tai Poutini Ski Patrol training program in Wanaka. He spends his summers doing rope access work or ski guiding in Japan. In the past he has guided kayaking and Wild Walks. 


NZMGA Ski Guide

Black Peak Hut sunset

Paul Nicholson
Paul joins us for the 2017 winter season

NZMGA Assistant Ski Guide


Anna Loomes
Growing up in rural South Canterbury, Anna was introduced to the joys of bush bashing and back country huts at an early age. This soon developed into a passion for skiing and snowboarding and through this, a love for the alpine environment and the beauty and challenges to be found there. 

Following a year at Aoraki Polytech in her early twenties, Anna went to spend winters at the remote club ski fields and summers on the west coast glaciers. For the last few years she has been working as a ski patroller on Mt Ruapehu and the Remarkables in Queenstown and as a glacier and trekking guide in the Aoraki Mt Cook area. More recently she has qualified as an assistant ski guide and looking forward to applying her guiding skills and mountain knowledge in this new area.

In her spare time Anna likes to be biking, scrambling, carrying her skis through thick alpine scrub or hiding away with a coffee and a book.

NZMGA Assistant Ski Guide and Alpine Trekking Guide, Hard Ice Guide


Tom Willmott

“Tom loves all things snowboarding and sharing his passion for surfing the mountain with all those around him.  He has been based in Wanaka for the past 17 winters and when not guiding works for Snowsports NZ as the Head Coach of New Zealand’s Freeski and Snowboard teams travelling the globe from one training camp or competition to the next.  A former World Cup competitor and 3-time Olympic coach, Tom juggles his time between coaching in the halfpipe, guiding in the backcountry and spending time with his young family.”

NZMGA Assistant Ski Guide



Jessica Marriott

Jessica ("Jess") is not only the Aspiring Guides General Manager, she also gets out into the field to spend time with our clients.  Jessica has NZOIA Senior Instructor Rock 2, Bush 1 & Alpine 1 qualifications.  When she's not organising everything that goes on back at Base, or guiding on our Wild Walks treks, she escapes to climb some seriously high grade rock climbs. Quick with a giggle, Jess has a relaxed but caring manner that builds confidance with all her clients.

Trekking Guide & General Manager

Tim Hudson

Tim Hudson

Tim descibes himself as tall, bald and hansom with glasses. Tim was raised as a navy brat and when he stepped off the bus in Wanaka in 1998 and realized he was as far from the sea as he could get, he decided "this is the place". Tim's passion is traveling anywhere that requires a backpack-from Utah to Scotland and the Himalayas, his favorite spot is Mount Ararat. Tim is at home in the mountains and if anyone can ever manage to get him upset please let us know because we have never seen it. He does, however, react badly to flying in helicopters.

Trekking Guide


Michael Hoare


Trekking Guide


Bruno Geldermans

What can we say about Bruno ...?  Whatever we want, evidently.
Otherwise know as the high altitude account.

Trekking Guide

Administration Team


Dave Hardy

Dave Hardy

Dave has returned home to Otago after 25 years of travelling the world and latterly living in North Canterbury. My background in sales and management  is slightly different to our other team members but my passion for the outdoors and love of the mountains makes the transition to Aspiring Guides and the Adventure Tourism industry an easy fit. My interests include Skiing, Tramping and Running and after years of being confined to a desk I can't wait to experience some of our amazing products first hand. I look forward to continuing the amazing service offered by the previous owners and feel privileged to be part of such a professional team.



Jessica Marriott

Jess has come all the way from the tropics of Darwin and she has a passion for rock climbing and mountaineering. She’s got a degree in Music and a diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Management. She loves to guide and instruct in the outdoors and holds NZOIA Rock 2, Alpine 1 & Bush 1 qualifications. When away from the office Jess is usually out climbing, biking or skiing.

General Manager

Ski Touring New Zealand

Ross Sprung
Ross, originally from Canada, has now spent enough time in NZ to be considered local. Especially as he will soon be father of his own little Kiwi.

He has worked as an outdoor instructor, and bike, trekking and canoe guide in NZ as well as stints in the wine industry and managing snow snow blowing testers.

He has discovered there is a steep learning curve assocaited with being part of the Aspring Guides team but has consistently persevered with his friendly,  warm mannered and energetic approach.


Operations Manager


Carla Strong

Carla was brought up in the South Island and after spending years adventuring around the world has landed in Wanaka and started calling it home.  She loves the outdoors and has instructed and lead trips in NZ, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Tanzania, Nicaragua,  Costa Rica and Ecuador.   Her time off is spent in the mountains, running and biking around the local tracks or dreaming up her next adventure!

Bookings & Adminstration

Sarah Loader

A REAL LIFE Wanaka local! Sarah hit the ground running after growing up in Wanaka, and hasn’t stopped since! Her love for the outdoors and energy to burn has taken her on many an epic mission, from climbing Mt Fuji in Japan, to iceclimbing in Canada and backcountry mountain biking in New Zealand.

Sarah has over 10 years of experience working in sport, and in the adventure tourism industry, and her passion for the outdoors and adventure has been known to be infectious! 


Bookings & Inquiries

"Whatever the season -
summer or winter, the
New Zealand Southern
Alps provide a breathtaking
venue for adventure. Let us
share our passion for the
mountains with you."

Tim Steward
Chief Guide, IFMGA/ UIAGM

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