neil warren ski guiding

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Neil actually be my Guide?

Yes. I guide 100% of my trips. Some Guides, with private guiding companies, choose to farm out a lot of their courses and trips to junior guides. Not here. So much of a positive and long-lasting Guide/Guest relationship relies on both personalities getting along. If you met me, skied with me, or heard of my services and my style in the mountains you can relax knowing that I will lead your trip.

In the event that I am unable to guide your trip (illness/injury) I give you the option to cancel with a FULL refund, reschedule, or I can have a Guide that I personally know and like, take my place.

Is my ski trip safe?

All backcountry skiing activities have some level of risk.

Your safety is always my primary consideration in all of my decisions. Having an ACMG guide leading your trip can reduce your risk tremendously, but there is still risk. The ACMG certification process is one of the most rigorous in the world. I apprenticed under a leading north american Mountain Guide for 9 years before starting my ACMG exam process. ACMG guides are incredibly good mountain risk identifiers, assessors and managers. We are held to incredibly high mountain safety standards and have on going CPD. I personally feel quite strongly that one must have great respect for the power of the mountains and must possess the humbleness to know that the mountains don't care that you booked your trip 2 years in advance and that the weather all week was shitty and now on the last day of the trip you really want to ski that big line. On the flip side, one needs the confidence to go for it when the time is right! Simply put, I want to have the most amount of fun with the least amount of risk and go home to my wife and daughter at the end of the day.

How good of a skier do I need to be? How fit do I need to be?

If you are confident skiing blue runs at the ski resort and follow a regular fitness routine, you will be able to enjoy backcountry skiing!

Some trips are advanced and require a higher level of fitness. If this is the case, it will say aso in the course/trip description.

Can I snowboard?

Heck yes! Split board designs have come a long way and are a great tool to explore the backcountry on. A Snowboard on your back with snowshoes is not an acceptable mode of transport; you will have a much more enjoyable day on a splitty.

I want to buy my own gear, but can't afford all of it at once, What are the top three things to buy first?

  1. Properly fit, comfortable boots that do not give you blisters.
  2. Properly fit, comfortable boots that do not give you blisters.
  3. Properly fit, comfortable...well, you get the idea.

But seriously, happy feet make for an enjoyable day; blisters will absolutely ruin your trip.

We are going to a commercial ski touring lodge and want to bring you (Neil) as our Guide. How do we make that happen?

I am always humbled when folks request to have me guide them at their favorite lodge. There are 2 ways of having me guide you at your ski touring lodge of choice.

  1. If you have a full group (9-14ish people-exact number is lodge dependent) we can bookout the entire lodge. You would then act as group coordinator and organize your group. I would book and deal with the lodge directly. We are then 'on-the-hook' for paying for the entire lodge.
  2. If you do not have enough people to book the entire lodge, then we can select a lodge that I have worked at before. I would then contact that lodge and tell them that I have X-number of guests that want to sign up for a trip, and that their signing up is conditional on me being the Guide. The lodge would then fill up the trip with other guests who sign up independently. All of the lodges I work at love having me work for them and would jump at this kind of opportunity. I have worked at Icefall Lodge, Powder Creek, Selkirk Lodge, Hilda Hut, Valkyr/Naumultin Lodge, Whitecap Alpine and Sentry Lodge. I am of course willing to guide you at lodges that I have not worked at before.

My son/daughter is under 18years of age (19 in B.C). Can they come on an NWSG trip/course?

Yes, they can. If the trip is in a National Park, there will be special guidelines that we will adhere to. These are mandated by Parks Canada. A Parental consent form will need to be signed.