Guide Colleagues

I always try to guide every course I offer and take great pride in that. 
Sometimes however, I cannot be in two places at once and therefore revert to trusted guide friends to run a specific course for me.

Guiding is serious profession and I would never allow a course to be guided by a guide I do not know personally.
I use the simple question - would I trust my family with that person?

I am pleased to introduce Alberto de Giuli - a trusted great friend, guide and family man from the stunning Dolomites. He is always up for the task and is additionally great fun to be around.
Check him out here - Alberto de Giuli

Albi clowning around at 5am...

Albi clowning around at 5am...


Francis Kelsey

ifmga / uiagm ski & mountain guide


I am the first American guide to have obtained International IFMGA/UIAGM certification. This is the highest professional qualification available in mountaineering. UIAGM certification is mandatory to guide in the Alps. I am dedicated to providing you with safe, professional, quality climbing and skiing programs whether you are a novice or an expert. Guiding is a very old tradition here in the Alps and guides take their job very seriously. I  have lived in Europe for more than 30 years, I speak 4 languages, I did all of my guide training in Europe and passed my exams in Chamonix, France at the ENSA. It wasn’t given to me – I earned every single part of it.
I know my profession inside and out. This isn’t about my vacation climbing trip – I’m here to help make sure it’s all about you. I won’t spend all my time asking the obvious questions on where to go or how to get there. I’ll take us straight to the goods – unlike many “foreign guides” who are (amazingly) clueless…
Guiding is what I do. It is not a part time activity nor a hobby, but more a way of life and most certainly a passion!

So what makes hiring me special?
Most people realize that by hiring a mountain guide you reduce the risks involved with mountain related sports. You can also take advantage of climbing and skiing in places where you probably would not go alone. But did you also know that an enormous amount of climbing and skiing can be packed into a holiday in the company of a mountain guide. Trying to resource all the info and beta on your own in a foreign country can be a daunting task. If you are looking to optimise your time here – and not miss the weather window – hiring a guide can be well worth the expense.

If you end up only doing a small percentage of what you wanted to – what is the better choice ? Optimise your time here, and make tracks instead of following them…
I mean most guides find this alone to be a massive challenge.


About me

Name: Francis Kelsey

Age: 51

Birthday: March 16

School: ENSA - Chamonix, France

Favorite vacation: I’m always on vacation

Favorite book: Guide books 

Favorite type of music: I enjoy discovering all types

Favorite movie: Anything that involves mountains

Favorite quote: Detends toi, ca va bien se passer -
Relax, everything’s gonna work out

A little history

I am a professional mountain & ski guide. I have been guiding now since 1992. I have always been into the mountains – skiing at age 4 and secretly sneaking away for overnight bivouacs in the mountains behind my parents house. At age 13, I decided to pursue my airy scrambles for something that looked a bit more fun. I went to work as an assistant bringing out other young teenagers on exciting hiking and more importantly to me, climbing outings. One thing led to another and before I knew it my world evolved around the mountains. At the age of 18 I moved to France to pursue my passions, later becoming actively involved with the French Alpine Club in Dijon and organizing outings and putting up climbing routes here and there in Burgundy. In 1992, I entered the infamous ENSA or French guides school in Chamonix and became the first American to receive international certification (UIAGM/IFMGA) through this prestigious school. Since then I have been making my living as a full time professional guide, climbing and skiing in many of the worlds great mountain ranges. I speak fluent French, some Italian and I am now learning German.
Previously I have worked as a technical consultant for Petzl, and Grivel. 

Ski Extreme

I have a great passion for steep skiing. and for a number of years I guided with Stages Vallençant guide bureau. Unfortunately, they are no longer in existence.
The office was founded by the late extreme skier, Patrick Vallençant and some of his friends in 1977. 

Some climbs I have guided :

Eiger: North Face Lauper route; the Mittellegi Ridge, West face.
Mönch: Nollen Route
Dent Blanche
Matterhorn: the traverse, Hörnli Ridge, Zmutt ridge.
Grandes Jorasses : Shroud and Hirondelles ridge.
Mont Blanc: various routes (more times than I can remember) including the traverse from the Aiguille du Midi, the Grands Mulets and the Gouter, Brenva Spur, Innominata ridge, Aiguilles Grises…
Grand Capucin : Bonatti route.
Les Drus : Traverse.
Les Courtes: Swiss, Austrian & NNEast routes.
La Verte : Couturier couloir, Whymper couloir.
Aig. du Midi: Frendo spur, Mallory, Tournier…
M Blanc du Tacul: Supercouloir, Gervasutti pillar.
+ 100’s of other routes throughout the Alps.
Aconcagua: the Polish Glacier and the Normal Route.
Sierra Nevadas, Colorado, Utah, Washington state….

Some ski descents I have guided :

Eiger : West face.

Tour Ronde: North Face, Gervasutti couloir.

La Verte: Whymper couloir.

Les Courtes: NNEast route.

Aig. de Blaitiere: Spencer couloir.

M Blanc du Tacul: Couloir du Diable.

+ 100’s of other crazy, wild stuff….

Some other ascents I have made (for the fun of it) :

Eiger : North Face.

Matterhorn : North Face – classic route.

Grandes Jorasses : 3 different routes on the NF.

El Capitan: the Nose.

Mont Blanc: Peuterey Ridge.

Les Droites: North face classic route, Tournier spur.

Les Drus: the Bonatti Pillar