Mark is a skier and a well-respected professional New Zealand ski guide. He is a humble character with a calm nature and a passion for powder snow.
He has worked professionally as an expedition leader and guide for Adventure Consultants in the Himalaya, Chief Ski Guide for Harris Mountains Heli Ski in Wanaka NZ, ski touring guide for Bills Trips in Kashmir, India and ski guide for Ice Axe Expeditions in Antarctica. He is a respected avalanche forecaster and has taught guiding and avalanche courses at all levels, from beginners to professional guiding qualifications. Mark is an examiner for the NZ Mountain Guides Association ski guides courses and is one of the few guides who has done exploratory heli-skiing in Antarctica and the Himalaya.
Mark is also an author, photographer, filmmaker and guest speaker. His adventures form the basis of his creative life, documenting expeditions and storytelling in various forms. He is the founder and Director of the NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival, New Zealand’s premier adventure film festival, celebrating adventure sports and lifestyles.
During his adventure filled career Mark has accumulated an eclectic logbook of achievements and expeditions:
• Mark was the first person to climb and ski all 18 mountains over 2,500m in the Queenstown Lakes District; this included several first ski descents. This adventure was documented in a film Mark filmed and produced called Kora Ma (White Gold).
• Mark has guided 20 Himalayan ski and climbing expeditions including summiting Mt Everest.
• Mark is one of the few New Zealanders who has climbed the Seven Summits, which is the highest mountain on each of the continents; Mts Everest (Asia), Vinson (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America), Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia), Elbrus (Europe) and Kilimanjaro (Africa).
• Mark has enjoyed 13 ski and climbing expeditions to Antarctica. Mark captured his most recent Antarctic expedition as the cameraman for the film ‘Spectre Expedition – To The End of the Earth’ by producers Leo Houlding and Alastair Lee. The project included an epic 55 day, 2,000km kite ski and climb of the Spectre Mountain in the Gothic Range of the Transantarctic Mountains.
• Mark wrote and contributed photography for a book called Classic Rock Climbing in NZ, he also co-wrote Adventure Consultant’s Climbers Guide with Guy Cotter
• Mark has guided in Europe, Scandinavia, Greenland, Alaska, the Arctic, the Antarctic, South America, Indonesia and extensively in New Zealand amassing around 40 full time winters on skis. He likes to seek out different places to ski such as India, Iceland, Canada, Morocco, Europe, Greenland and Argentina.
• Mark was a finalist in the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year for his Antarctic photo essay on the Spectre Expedition.
• Mark has completed over 20 first ascents on rock and ice in NZ and Antarctica.
Mark lives in Lake Hawea, near Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand. In his spare time you will find him climbing the hills to paraglide home, kitesurfing in Peru, on his bike or taking photos, filming or writing to capture this adventurous lifestyle.
See below for a more extensive work history….
– Heli ski guiding since 2001 for Harris Mountains Heli Ski in Wanaka. Currently employed as Lead Guide.
– 2013 to 2019 working for Bill’s Trips in Kashmir, India.
– 17 years working for Adventure Consultants as expedition leader/guide all over the world.
– Guide for Ice Axe Expeditions in Antarctica since 2015.
– Mountain and remote photography/cinematography.
– 2012 exploratory heli-skiing in Kashmir, India.
– 2004 to 2012 Operations Manager for Adventure Consultants Ltd in Wanaka.
– 18 seasons experience as Mountain Medic (Ski Patroller).
– New Zealand high Mountain Guiding & Instruction. Over 30 successful guided ascents of Mts Cook/Aoraki (3754m), Tasman (3497m), Sefton (3151m), Aspiring (3033m).
– International Mountain Guiding: Mark has led and guided over a dozen successful expeditions to Nepal including 4 trips to Ama Dablam, Everest, Cho Oyu (2), Lobuche East, Island Peak (3) Mera Peak and several trekking trips. He has also guided the volcanoes in Ecuador, Aconcagua in Argentina, Denali in Alaska, Antarctic Peninsula yacht based ski and climbing expeditions (5) and also on Elbrus, Carstensz Pyramid and Vinson Massif (5 summits).
– Lecturing and Directing 7 days Otago Level One Avalanche Management Courses yearly since 1996.
– Lecturing and Directing on Otago Level Two Avalanche Management Courses, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 2011 and 2012.
– Ski lift evacuation system design and training.
– Experienced in the use of Avalauncher, Helicopter and Hand bombing for Avalanche control work. Wrote the first NZ SOP’s for explosive control.
– Avalanche Atlas design and development.
– Training technical high angle search and rescue techniques.
– Rigging ropes for high angle work/safety.
– Customized avalanche and mountain skills courses.
– Freelance Photojournalist and Co-writer of ‘A Climbers Guide’, a mountaineering manual.
– Writer and photographer for NZ Rock, a table top photosgraphy book on NZ rock climbing, published in 2007.
– 10 years as Senior member of Mt Ruapehu’s Alpine Rescue Organisation (RARO).
– Organiser/Director of the annual NZ Mountain Film Festival since 2002.
Climbing and Skiing CV:
– 25 first ascents on rock routes in the Wanaka and Fiordland regions.
– First Ascent of ‘Durasic Adventure’ WI4 R/X and the ‘$100 Route’ WI5. (two ice routes in the Wanaka region).
– Ten 600-1000m big wall rock routes in Yosemite, Red Rocks and Zion, U.S.A. Up to five days each and up to grade A4.
– Rock and alpine climbing in Australia, Spain, France and the U.S.A.
– First ski decent of Mt D’Archiac, Mt Cook National Park.
– First Ascent of Surreal Insomnia, Balfour Face of Mt Tasman, NZ Alpine Grade 6+. 600m ice route.
– First Ascents on the Antarctica Peninsula.
– First ski descents of Mt Ian, Mt Maori Ri, Mt Edward, Mt Headlong and Mt Huxley in the Wanaka region.