The International Mountain Leader Award is the professional qualification for individuals who wish to lead trekking parties to all mountain areas except on glaciers, or where the techniques or equipment of alpinism are required.
The qualification is held by both Lindsay and Julia, the founders of Tracks and Trails.
The British Association of Snowsport Instructors is the British organisation which trains and qualifies snowsport instructors.
Only fully qualified BASI Nordic Ski Instructors or Teachers are employed to instruct clients of Tracks and Trails.
Who are we?
Tracks and Trails has been created by Lindsay Cannon and Julia Tregaskis-Allen. As co-founders, and Directors of Tracks and Trails our mission is quite simply to provide holidays for those who wish to enjoy the mountains in whatever form and by whatever means, be it walking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, running or biking. We work with a specialised team of guides and instructors who share our values and goals and who will ensure you get the most out of your trip.
Lindsay is one of life's enthusiasts, and it is her passion to introduce our guests to the mountains and all that they offer. She has spent nearly twenty years exploring the Alps and during that time has collected a huge wealth of knowledge about all aspects of mountain life. Be prepared to stop and chat to farmers and shepherds along the trail as she catches up with her friends! Lindsay is a fully qualified International Mountain Leader, BASI Nordic Ski Instructor, Nordic Walking Instructor, Trail Cycle Leader, and Yoga Teacher. When not in the mountains she works for BBC television as a Producer on adventure racing programmes. Her BBC career spans two decades and has enjoyed a worldwide audience. As a television Presenter, she has been filmed doing a huge range of outdoor activities from ice climbing, to caving, and kayaking.
Julia has worked in outdoor education and on expeditions worldwide from Africa to the Himalayas. She is passionate about a variety of sporting activities, regularly competing in running, triathlon and cross country ski races. Like Lindsay she enjoys 'people' and the company of those of our guests who share her passion for the outdoors. Those who don't will soon be gently persuaded to see the error of their ways, and believe us, she has a long list of converts! Julia is a qualified Personal Trainer and Triathlon Coach; so if you feel that improving personal fitness is a major part of your mountain holiday, then she is ideally qualified to give advice on how to reach your goal. Julia is also a qualified International Mountain Leader, BASI Nordic Level 3 ISIA National Ski Teacher, Trail Cycle Leader and Nordic Walking Instructor.
We are both fortunate to have a job that we love and look forward to sharing time in the mountains with you. Our aim is to provide you with a professional, high quality service to ensure that you will return to Tracks and Trails.
Much as we would like to guide absolutely every trip ourselves, we simply can't do it! So, we have a team of some of the best guides and instructors in the Alps to help us out. Carefully chosen for their expertise, skills and enthusiasm for the job, as well as an innate love of the mountains, and a passion for adventure.
Alex is a great example of the kind of guide we like to work with. Always a smile, and a fabulous attitude when it comes to encouraging and helping our guests to get the most out of their trip. Like all our guides she is a fully qualified International Mountain Leader with skills and expertise to make sure you have an enjoyable, and safe time in the mountains. She divides her working life between the Alps, the UK and far flung corners of the world, such as the Himalaya and Africa where she has lead various expeditions. When she is not working outdoors, Alex is also a registered Osteopath and has a small practice at home in Derbyshire. She is also a dedicated mountaineer enjoying the Alps in summer and skiing in winter, thoroughly enjoys rock climbing in the sun with her husband and has been known to do some trail running, having completed the full UTMB in 2006 & 2007.
He's a legend in his own lunchtime! Larger than life, and with a laugh to match, Mike is the only British International Mountain Leader who is a member of the illustrious Compagnie des Guides in Chamonix, France. He speaks fluent French, and fluent Lancastrian, being a north of England lad from Rochdale, but has lived in Chamonix for 27 years. In terms of knowing the 'patch' he is personally acquainted with every rock on the trail, and has a wealth of local knowledge to share. He has been a qualififed guide for 23 years and has worked with people from all around the world, and in many parts of the world. Before moving to France he was a PE and Outdoors teacher for sixteen years. When not in the mountains he is to be found in Greece enjoying time on his 42ft sail boat.
Joy is passionate about mountain adventure and has over twenty years of personal experience rock climbing, trekking, skiing and mountain running. Pursuing these passions has taken her to North America, the Indian Himalaya and the Karakorum, Pakistan, as well as closer to home in Europe and Norway. Originally a Chartered Physiotherapist in the UK, the pull of the mountains was too strong and in 2002 she relocated to Chamonix. Now an experienced UIMLA International Mountain Leader, she is enthusiastic about sharing her love of the mountains to enable our guests to experience the excitement and beauty of the mountain landscape.
Al has spent the past decade devoted to climbing and running in the mountains and has a great passion for the outdoors in general. He is a qualified International Mountain Leader, and works on our hiking trips, as well as our Trail Running camps. Al has worked as an expedition leader around the world, and is currently working towards his Swiss Athletics coaching certificate. An avid racer of distances on road and trail from 5kms-168kms, Al has pushed his limits to achieve a number of top 10 finishes in many mountain races in the Alps. But don't let his 'fit as a flea' reputation worry you, if you join Al in the mountains either on a hiking trip or running camp, he will support, encourage and inspire you!
Phil has been known to describe his work as an International Mountain Leader as "an enthusiastic hobby that's got out of hand". For as long as he can remember he's been passionate about the great outdoors, independent travel, and sharing that passion and experience with others. After 18 years of fitting this around a conventional life and a desk job, it was inevitable that eventually he would change to making mountain leading part of his career. As well as guiding hiking tours in the Alps, Phil has led several youth development expeditions to developing countries in South America, Africa and Asia, and is equally enthusiastic about winter sports, both working as a snowshoe leader, and ski touring for fun. Phil splits his time between the French Alps and Oxfordshire in the UK, where he lives with his wife and works as a freelance management consultant.
Neil works as a Coach on our Trail Running Camps, and is virtually a legend in Chamonix. He's the man with the magic hands, and the first person we ring when our bodies need some TLC. He is Director of the local Clinique du Sport and has worked for more than ten years as a Physiotherapist in the world of elite and international sport, including various Olympic and Commonwealth Games. He is a clinical specialist in Musculoskeletal sports injuries with a Masters in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Science. Apart from running his clinic, Neil is currently working with elite climbers, cyclists and runners in a coaching capacity by helping them with their training programs. So whether you need help with an injury, or are in need of a sports massage, require nutritional or training advice Neil can help.
Keith is the 'Geordie' with the wicked sense of humour, originally from the north of England, he retains the dry wit of a northern lad despite many years in the Alps. Before becoming one of the first ever British International Mountain Leaders, Keith was a Physical Education teacher. He began his mountain career in the English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, before gravitating to the Alps where he ascended many of the classic Alpine peaks. Further afield he has led expeditions to Arctic Norway, the North African Atlas, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Tetons and Wind River ranges in the Rockies as well as guiding in the Pyrenees, Picos d'Europa, Sierra Nevada's and Corsica. Winters in recent years have been spent cross country ski-ing and ski-touring in Norway. Likes nothing better in his 'down time' than flogging himself in mountain marathons and has several notable results in some of Europes most prestigious alpine races. Keith's wife, Judith, often works alongside him organising the logistics for alpine trips, and working with our partner agencies she does indeed provide the essential 'back up', we'd be lost without her. PS Watch out for 'Barney' the Border Terrier who is always to be found with one of the Robsons!
Fran is based in Scotland but comes to us this summer fresh from the best part of nine months in Antarctica and New Zealand. Now she's the right way up again, she will be working for us as a walking guide this summer. A qualified IML she is passionate about being in the mountains both in summer and winter, particularly ski touring, walking and mountain biking. She is a dedicated people person and her background in outdoor education and ten years working for the Cairngorms National Park gives her a broad knowledge of mountain areas and the issues they face world wide. You probably won't find her competing in an ultra marathon, but you will find her getting excited about mountain flora and fauna.
Blaise, who is French, started his Nordic skiing career at just 8 years old, learning his skills on the famous Vercors plateau. He qualified as an instructor when he was 18 years old, one of the youngest ever to do so. He has been teaching skiing since 1981, and living in Chamonix, France, since 1986, and knows the Mont Blanc range extremely well. He has a wealth of information about the peaks and valleys, culture and history of the area you will be skiing in. He started cross country ski racing at 14 years old, and went on over the years to race in the famous events such as the Marcialonga 70km, and the Marciagranparadiso, 42km. His best performance was 8th position overall in the French Ski Teachers National Championships. He is also a fully qualified International Mountain Leader, and in the summer months guides the long distance walks across the Alps. He has a great sense of humour and speaks fluent English, and fluent Italian.
Ewen Martin is one of our most experienced ski instructors and ski guides, becoming a ski instructor in 1985. He has a great sense of humour and it is a real pleasure to share time in the mountains with him. Ewen, who is a Trainer for BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) is one of the highest qualified Nordic Skiers in the UK. He is also a Telemark and Alpine Ski Instructor. He holds the International Mountain Leader award which means that he has worked as a guide in mountain terrain around the world. In addition he is a Heeresbergfuhrer, the German Army equivalent of a Mountain Guide. So as you can see he is well qualified to be leading you on your ski trip, and has indeed led many ski tours and expeditions in Norway. Ewen speaks fluent Norwegian, and has lived in Norway for the last 15 years. He will be well able to share his knowledge of Norway, its people, and culture.
Originally hailing from Hungary, Robert, works for Tracks and Trails as both an International Mountain Leader and BASI Nordic Ski Instructor. Robert began his sporting career competing in orienteering representing Hungary at National and World Championship level becoming 5 times National Champion. This passion took him on to coach athletics and orienteering and find his love of trail running. This along with his Bachelors Degree in Education, Masters in Sports Science (specialising in high altitude physiology) and string of other outdoor qualifications means that he's most likely to be found guiding on our trail running trips and camps. Robert's vast experience guiding on expeditions around the world and his natural affinity with the mountains makes him a true asset to the our team.
Jon is well known in the mountaineering world as a professional alpine climber and IFMGA mountain guide, and like Neil Maclean-Martin, Jon works on our Trail Running Camps. He uses trail running for both pleasure and racing during the summer months and as 'cross training' to enhance his ski alpinism racing. Jon's mountaineering experience is vast and his enthusiasm for sport is truly inspiring. He gets great pleasure offering structured training tips and advice whatever your goal may be. He's the guy who always has a big smile :-)
Four years ago, Emma’s passion for sport and love of the great outdoors spurred her to leave the hustle and bustle of London behind and move to the beautiful French Alps - and she has not looked back since. Emma has a wealth of experience working in the not-for-profit sector and since living in Chamonix, she has also worked in the luxury chalet industry. Emma joins the team at Tracks and Trails to help us with bookings and administration, looking after our scheduled and bespoke departure trips. During the winter months, Emma loves early-morning runs in the snow and ski-mountaineering. In the summer season, you will find her road cycling, open-water swimming and maybe even taking part in a long-distance triathlon every now and then!
Rebecca, 'Bex', works along side Edyta and helps with administration and finance. She has lived in Chamonix for the past 11 years with her husband and 2 small children. She is a keen trail runner during the summer months and enjoys exploring new trails though out the alpine areas. In the winter she takes to the cross-country ski tracks where she works to improve her skating techniques as well as enjoying ski touring with her friends. Rebecca has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years and has run her own Luxury Chalet business in Chamonix since she arrived. She knows how to provide excellent customer service, is highly organized, enthusiastic and dedicated.