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Esprit Heliski
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HELICOPTERS AND GUIDES

The best heliski in Europe
 
 
 
 


 

Our Team


 

 The mountain guides, with whom we have been working for many years, are qualified and highly experienced: they know and understand the heliskiing activity and the territory of "Valle d'Aosta", especially the Valgrisenche area. They are constantly in radio contact with the helicopter and the base.

 
 
 
DANILO GARIN


"Mountain Guide since 1981, I have since always specialized myself in off-piste skiing. I have a 35-years experience in the Helisk Base in Valgrisenchei and I have been managing the Base for 18 years, from 1998 to 2016. In 1998, I had the chance to work in the most famous Canadian heliski Base (CMH) for several months, improving my knowledge of the snow layer and of off-piste skiing. 
In winter 2001 I organized a heliski trip in Kyrgyzstan to discover its beautiful mountains, while in winter 2002 I was in the Caucasus.
 My constant thirst for new adventures and for discovery of new countries and cultures has brought me, and still does, to travel around the world across mountains, organizing treks and expeditions, both in winter and summer: from Nepal to Africa, from South to North America and from Asia to Russia!
 But skiing is always back in my life: after two years of exploration of the territory together with my Swiss friend Thierry Gasser, in 2003 I was co-founder of the heliski base of Ayder in Turkey, of which I was responsible and leader for six years, from 2003 to 2009.
 In leisure time, today I dedicate myself with tranquility and serenity to my passions: living and travelling across mountains, climbing, mountainbiking and walking to discover new paths!"


Heliski Experience:

  • one year experience as Mountain Guide at CMH Heliski Base in Canada, in 1998;

  • 33 years of experience as Mountain Guide and in safety management in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche, from 1982 to 1996 and from 1998 to 2016;
  • 15,800,000 vertical drop meters skied in Valgrisenche and other heliski Bases in the world
  • 18 years experience as Leader Guide and Base Responsible in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche from 1998 to 2016
  • co-founder of Ayder's heliski base in Turkey after two years of exploration of the territory in 2003
  • 
6 years experience as Mountain Guide and Lead Guide in Ayder Heliski Base in Turkey, from 2003 to 2009
  • 3 years experience as Mountain Guide in the Heliski La Thuile area, from 2014 to 2016

CORRADO GONTIER
 
UIAGM-UVGAM Mountain Guide since 1998.
"For more than 30 years I have been riding the mountains all over the world, but my passion is still as in the first days. I am curious by nature, I love to get new experiences and my profession as Mountain Guide, which I have been doing as main job since 1996, allows me to live life as I like it ... across mountains!
Skiing and climbing on rock are the activities I prefer and if there is a nice slope to climb up with ice axe and crampons... that is my ideal day!
Ever since I became Mountain Guide, I have always worked at the Heliski Base in Valgrisenche, combining this activity to classic off-piste skiing and ski-touring; in spring I like to visit new skiing spots, and I have therefore explored many valleys and mountains in the Western Alps, Morocco and Iceland. I have also been in Peru, Argentina (where I climbed Aconcagua), Pakistan and Nepal for trekking and expeditions.
In my free time I love climbing, riding on MTB and help my wife manage our B&B Gran Paradiso.
This is my world, I like to live in a simple way and from life I ask for freedom and serenity. "

Heliski Experience
  • 18 years experience as Mountain Guide and as snow data expert for safety management in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 2 years experience as core manager and leader Guide at the Heliski Base in Valgrisenche
  • more than 1,000,000 vertical drop meters skied in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • snow data expert and observer in charge at the Avalanche Office of Aosta Valley Region since 2006

 ALEX CHABOD
 


UIAGM-UVGAM Mountain Guide and local weather and snow data expert in charge since 2004,   technician in the Aosta Valley mountain rescue since 2007. Instructor in the local mountain rescue, in charge since 2016.


 
"My profession and the innate love for mountain have led me over the years to retrace some of the most beautiful rock, ice and mountain alpine ways, to make my skis slide down the most fascinating slopes of our mountains and those beyond the Alps, without forgetting the wonders kept on our big islands  (Sardinia and Sicily) and just beyond the border.
 I'm a great "connoisseur” of the whole Aosta Valley, where I was born, including the little valleys, but I do not deny what other regions (Bernina, Dolomites, etc.) and the foreign mountaineering can offer."

 
Heliski Experience:


  • 12 years experience as Mountain Guide in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 50,000 vertical drop meters / year skied in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 2 years experience as Mountain Guide in the Ayder Heliski Base, in Turkey

  • excellent knowledge of the territory in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • President of the local Avalanche Commission in Valgrisenche
  • 
snow data expert and observer in charge at the Avalanche Office of Aosta Valley Region since 2007
  • 5 years experience as snow data observer and expert for safety management in the Heliski Valgrisenche resort

EDY CERISE

UIAGM-UVGAM Mountain Guide since 2006
Commercial helicopter pilot since 2016

"Born in Aosta in 1978, I lived in a village in the Gran San Bernardo valley, where since childhood I started moving my first steps in the mountains behind home in summer and winter. Mountain Guide since 2006, I love high mountain and ridges, wild and solitary lands are my favorites. 
In winter skiing is my main activity, from classic skitouring to great spring raids. I practice heliski in Aosta Valley for over 10 years and Valgrisenche, La Thuile and the small area of Ollomont are the terrain I know the best. 
Snow and meteorological observer since 2005, the knowledge and the constant data collection on the terrain are for me an essential safety requirement in any off-piste activity.
 Hopeless flying enthusiast, I am glider pilot since 2010 and commercial helicopter pilot since 2016. "
 
Heliski experience:
  • 10 years experience as Mountain Guide in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 200,000 vertical drop meters skied in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 10 years experience in the Team for safety management in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • active member of the Avalanche Commission in Ollomont

PATRICK RASPO

UIAGM-UVGAM Mountain Guide since 1994
National Instructor for Mountain Guide Training Courses in Aosta Valley since 2001
National Canyoning Instructor since 2011
Active member in the Aosta Valley mountain rescue since 1995

"Free climbing enthusiast since always, I took part in numerous Italian clambing races and equipped  many natural and indoor walls. In free time I love travelling around the world looking for new climbing walls, from France to Spain, Thailand, Mount Kenya and to the mythical walls in the USA, where I had the chance to climb the great Salathé route on El Capitan together with Massimo Bal. 
Water is another natural element I am in love with: canyoning is a passion that led me to create, together with two colleagues, the Canyoningcentre and to organize canyoning excursions exploring the beautiful paths of the lower Aosta Valley.
The transition from simple mountain passionate to mountain guide has not only been a professional change but a real school of life, thanks to the courses organized by UVGAM which, besides teaching mountain safety, made me experience values ​​such as "communion" among mountain peoples.

During winter snowboarding and off piste skiing are my passions: freeride, snow-cat and heliski are daily bread for my boards!"
 
Heliski experience:
  • 

20 years experience as Mountain Guide in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile

  • 1,000,000 vertical drop meters skied in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 20 years experience in the Team for safety management in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile

GIOVANNA MONGILARDI

UIAGM-UVGAM Mountain Guide since 2006

"Along the years my "mountain hunger" has led me to many wonderful places such as Kalymnos, Sardinia, Sicily, Mallorca, Verdon, Ceuse, Buoux, Siurana, Margalef, Albaracin, Antalya and many other fantastic spots as for rock climbing. 
However, my mountain passion is at 360 °: from the highest and fascinating peaks of our mountains (Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Rosa, Gran Paradiso, Bernina, Dolomites) as for classic routes, to some ascents in Peru (Cordillera Blanca) and Northern India with regard to foreign mountaineering and rock climbing at high altitude.
 And last but not least, in winter, when fingers suffer on the bare stone (at least in Aosta Valley), imagination can be expressed on the magnificent snowy slopes or on the fantastic ice falls that our Valley offer.”
 
Heliski experience:
  • 10 years experience as Mountain Guide in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile

  • 400,000 vertical drop meters skied in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile

  • 10 years experience in the Team for safety management in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • active member of the Avalanche Commission in Valgrisenche since 2015
 
 
MASSIMO BAL
 
UIAGM-UVGAM Mountain Guide since 1994
National Instructor for Mountain Guide Training Courses in Aosta Valley since 2004
Active member in the Aosta Valley mountain rescue since 2009

"Mountain Guide since 1994, I have approached mountains in a very self-taught way. Climbing is my great passion and over the years I devoted a lot of my free time to free climbing, attending racing circuits at any level and travelling the world by climbing. Thanks to my passion, I had the chance to attend some small expeditions in the USA, such as in the fascinating Yosemite Valley, lined with walls up to 1000 meters high and I climbed the famous routes such as Nose and Salathè on El Capitan, the Regular on the Half Dome, the Salathè Steck on the Sentinel Rock together with Patrick Raspo.
Living in a region Aosta Valley, I have always had the opportunity to live mountains at 360°, either with clients and or friends and get experience in every field: heliski, ski touring, free ride, ice climbing, dry tooling and free climbing. Today in leisure time I dedicate myself to discover new crags, expanding and equipping old sectors and discovering new ones.”


Heliski Experience
  • 21 years of experience as Mountain Guide in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 350.00 meters vertical meters skied in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 10 years experience in the Team for safety management in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile

MARCO CAMANDONA

Mountain Guide UIAGM - UVGAM since 1996.
ISTA Former (International Snow Training Academy) since 2015.
Federal Ski Touring Trainer.
Member in the Mountain Rescue in Aosta Valley.

"I'm a mountain guide, alpine ski instructor and federal ski mountaineering trainer: mountaineering and ski alpinism have always been my great passion, and for more than 15 years I have been the technical director of the international ski mountaineering race "Millet Tour du Rutor Extrême".
I climbed the most classic and challenging routes in the Alps, from Mont Blanc to Dolomites, accompanying my regular customers. From 1996 to today I had the chance to take part in more than eighteen mountaineering expeditions, undertaking adventure trips all over the world and climbing five of the highest mountains on every continent."

Heliski Experience:
  • 18 years of experience as Mountain Guide in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 600,000 vertical drop meters skied in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
  • 15 years experience in the Team for safety management in the Heliski area of ​​Valgrisenche and La Thuile
Marco in 2015 devoted himself to a humanitarian project in Nepal, creating, together with his team, the Onlus SANONANI, which in Nepalese means Little Child. Their help is intended not only to the children alone, but also to those families who cannot give support to their numerous children: the wish is to create a real family home where those in need can find a hot meal, a bed and all the necessary support.


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