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 will hire a Guide that I personally know and like to 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 8 years before starting my ACMG exam process. I have been an ACMG Ski Guide since 2008 so I have 20+ years of experience.   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 two kids 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.

I notice that your NWSG Lodge trips are slightly more expensive than the average.  Why?

1) I have 2 Full Guides on all my lodge trips (most lodges do 1 apprentice and one full Guide). This gives us excellent freedom to operate as 2 groups, if needed, to ensure everyone gets what they're looking for out of the day.  Chill folks don't feel rushed, and the keeners aren't held back. This means more wage costs.  2) I pay industry leading wages to my staff.  I have always felt that Guides and cooks are underpaid.  In return I make sure they understand that my guests deserve priemium level service. 3) I hire the best cooks and Guides(to work with me) in the industry.  In order to entice these fine folks, I need to pay them more.  4) Pre and post trip service.  When you book on my trips I take care of you.  Helping you find transportation, accommodation, pre-trip dinner reservations, arranging micro brew kegs for your week, tracking down places to fill your avi pack canisters, ETc, Etc.


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

Yes they can, provided their parent or legal guardian is with them in the field.  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.