West Coast Mountain Guides

Alan on Mt Cook 2005 Bruce Poll

West Coast Mountain Guides aims to help people interested in visiting mountain regions do so with both confidence and enjoyment. Providing quality advice, instruction and guiding with sensible and friendly encouragement West Coast Mountain Guides approach means everyone can extend their horizons and develop their individual skills.

With 25 years experience, the Company is now a well recognised mountain brand and values good customer service on and off the mountains. We are happy to provide general advice as well as help you in organising those trips to achieve your aspirations out on the hill. 

Alan Kimber ran West Coast Mountain Guides until April 2013 when he handed over to his good friend and fellow instructor and guide, Bruce Poll. Since getting involved as a teenager, Bruce has been fortunate enough to enjoy many aspects of the outdoors over the years and has skied, climbed, paddled, paraglided, sailed and run around many mountain areas of the world. His passion for all forms of enjoying the great outdoors has remained undeterred for over 25 years and we hope to share this enthusiasm with you.  West Coast Mountain Guides is supported by quality instructors and guides who also have years of quality outdoor experience to guide you in your adventures.

The Scottish winter programme is an important part of West Coast Mountain Guides and is an ideal first step for those who wish to explore Alpine courses, both in the summer and winter. Scottish scrambles and opportunities to explore Skye are also on offer and we are working on developing a programme of .  ski touring and off piste ski courses for those who prefer the exhilaration of a faster descent.

Many of West Coast Mountain Guides clients return for more experiences and we look forward to welcoming more of you in the future. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.



The Instructors and Guides

Photo by Tom Poland

Instructors and Guides in the British Isles will be experienced and suited to the particular activity on which they are involved. Many instructors and guides you will meet spend their year traveling, climbing and working on mountains throughout the world. This experience brings a rich breadth of knowledge, which they will share with you. Some employees are British Mountain Guides (BMG) and members of the International Federation Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA). IFMGA Mountain Guides are the most qualified and experienced professionals to lead people in the mountains with a training and assessment that takes many years and exceptional skills to achieve. Others will be members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) as highly experienced mountaineers who have undergone rigorous training and assessment to qualify under the Mountain Training UK (MTUK) Mountaineering Instructor Scheme. Mountains are potentially dangerous arenas and safety is our prime focus for all our instructors and guides. The experience and quality of the instructors and guides, whether trainee or fully qualified should be your guarantee of attention to detail, safety, enjoyment and success.

West Coast Mountain Guides realise that work experience for instructors moving up through the UK and international awards structure is vital and we pride ourselves in the fact that numerous trainee instructors and guides have worked with us successfully over many years, before attaining their full IFMGA or AMI qualifications. 

All our guides working on our alpine courses are members of the IFMGA. This is required by law in many alpine countries so please make sure that if you are exploring using companies they are also able to offer appropriately qualified guides. Using a non IFMGA qualified guide in the Alps may invalidate your alpine insurance policies.

Our Programmes

Summit ridge of Castor, Swiss Alps Spartan Slab, Glen Etive, Scotland

The programmes of instruction and guiding will vary in content and length. Anything from a single days instruction to a two week alpine holiday. The aim is to be flexible in order to meet the varied demands of customers. Activities take place throughout Britain and Europe on a yearly basis. More detailed information of the courses is shown at different parts of this site. If the activity or dates you are interested in does not appear please ask. Customer-led packages are always a possibility. Courses are run with small numbers in order to follow normal sensible mountaineering traditions and give maximum benefit to those taking part.

The programmes cover all mountaineering activities from Hill Walking and Scrambling to summer and winter Climbing and Alpinism. A progression is maintained and many customers return for a taste of different activities at a higher level or new location. Novice, intermediate and expert are welcome. Many people harbour personal ambitions and these are carefully catered for, whether it be a simple walk, the Aonach Eagach or Tower Ridge, the Inaccessible Pinnacle, Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn.

Many of the courses and private guiding are based on Scotland's west coast in the town of Fort William. In particular the winter weeks/weekends are very popular, as are the spring and summer rock climbing and scrambling. For people who would like a course run in England or Wales, this is also possible, thus saving time and expense of traveling north. For many the Alps provide a logical step on from Scottish winter courses. Wherever there are mountains or cliffs, we can be there.

All levels of ability are catered for. Many customers return for a course set at a higher level , being keen to invest in further instruction which will broaden their horizon of skills and confidence. Matching the fitness and ability of course members is given a high priority. Please be assured that the programmes are not only set for super fit people whose sights are firmly focused on a steep and forbidding north face. In fact most folk have ambitions of a lesser nature, thank goodness!