On our first mountain trip, Marco surprised me by saying ‘Let’s have an adventure’.  

I’ve heard guides say: ‘Let’s have a safe trip’, or ‘Let’s be sure to be back in time for supper’.  Very occasionally I’ve even heard: ‘Let’s have a fun day’.  But never has any guide suggested, particularly if I was in the party, that any limit might be pushed.

However, since meeting Marco, there have been adventures:

  • A crystal-sharp September day on a snow and ice-clad Victoria.
  • Another crystal sharp September day on a very snow-laden Aberdeen. (I still swear that’s not 40 degrees).
  • Watching the snow blast around our very-sheltered camp site on an unsuccessful late-season attempt of Joffree.
  • Spectacular April skiing on Macarthur, Emerald Pass, and the President.  I can never forget the sight of Marco cutting the break in the cornice to allow us to ski to the President-Vice President col.  Nor the thigh-deep snow-feathers that protected the presidential summit.
  • Spotting and somehow avoiding two sumo-wrestling grizzlies deep in the Kananaskis backcountry.
  • Ridge-travelling on a grey, wet day amongst the Bugaboo spires (we’ll be back).
  • Smooth-flowing pitches on the Mt Louis Kain Route.

Each of these was a very safe trip, each was fun, and each maximized the daylight hours.  Most importantly, each was an adventure designed for my skill set and interests.

Marco deserves top credit.  I’m a hiker.  I’m not super fit.  My technical skills are, at best, ‘occasional’: it’s been thirty years since I have done anything significant.  But because of his leadership, skills, patience and good humour, I’m able to travel amongst our most-wonderful summits. 

And next year?   Well I might just try that ice-climbing.  And of course, more skiing, more rock days, and more summit attempts. 

Judy Gifford
Calgary AB



Marco is truly the classic mountain man. Born and raised in the mountains, Marco has been climbing and skiing from a very young age. The pursuit of a guiding profession was a very natural progression in his life and career and is very suited to Marco’s personality. His many years in the mountains have exposed him to vast experiences which have made Marco a very well rounded individual and a delight to ski with. To join Marco on the Selkirk Lodge trip was a privilege.

Andrea Pintaric
Calgary AB



I have skied with 10 different Canadian guides in the last few years. All of the guides are certified as competent, and most are friendly and want to ski. Marco, however, is my first choice because he is remarkably genuine, friendly, and down-to-earth. He will also break trail and ski to my heart’s content!

Blake, from Boulder, Colorado



I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Marco climbing in the Rockies this summer. As a guide Marco leads quickly and safely over interesting terrain in the mountains, including classic routes like the east ridge of Mt. Temple. Not only is Marco very competent technically but he is also a pleasure to spend time with. Marco, thanks for a great trip and let's get out to the mountains again.

Mike R.
Calgary, Alberta

Marco is the salt of the earth. A top drawer guide who loves to climb
and ski so much that he does them on his days off! Get out with the man, you won't be disappointed, and you will always hear his booming baritone over the wind, through the storm, it will rise like the sun.

Barry Blanchard
Fellow Mountain Guide and Alpinist
Banff, Alberta



Marco is an exceptionally safe mountain guide with a very friendly and sociable personality. When climbing with Marco, I have been very impressed with his meticulous attention to safety and minimizing risk in the mountains. Because of his personality, I have enjoyed some outstanding fun-filled mountain experiences. I have no hesitation in recommending Marco as a mountain guide.

Dr. Nigel R. Watts P.Geol
Calgary, AB



I just wanted to thank the both of you for such an awe inspiring
week at Fairy Meadows. Can't thank you enough for the great skiing, food, and spending time with such good friends such as you two. I feel so very privileged to be able to spend time in the mountains with you both, and truly count our times together as some of the best of my life. Each year keeps getting better, and this last trip was the best so far!

Thanks again for everything, and look forward to seeing you later in the year down our way.

Tim Ambrey
Ogden Utah



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I was fortunate to be able to ice climb with Marco in February 2004 whilst I was staying in Canmore. He guided me up two excellent routes. Moonlight in Kananaskis and Heineken Hall, Mt Dennis. At all times he was careful, considerate and checked that I was able to cope with the climb. I felt very secure with him and was free to concentrate on the climb without worrying about my safety. Furthermore, he was good company.

Marjorie Allen,
Pinfold House, Denby Lane,
West Yorkshire, UK




Marco personifies alpine joyfulness.  He embodies the freedom of the hills.  He'll help you push yourself to the limit, but he'll also keep you safe.  I was on a Marco-led ACC expedition to Mt. Logan in 2008, by the King's Trench route.  We got spanked by the weather, came nowhere near summitting, and nevertheless had a fantastic experience. Go out with this guy.  He'll make you a better climber, and a better human being.  

Steve Slemon

Professor, University of Alberta 

ph: (403) 609-5580       cell: (403) 609-1074    email: marco@greatdividemountaineering.com