Northern Alpine guides is a guide service run by certified guide Seth Hobby and his wife Maren Eek Bistrup. We have a tight group of professionally trained guides who will unlock your potential and give you the security, safety, and skills to travel safely in the mountains. We lead trips for guests of varying skill levels and experience. All our programs are run at low ratios in order to insure quality in service and safety.
All our guides are hand picked and reflect our standard of professionalism. We also hand pick the objects and activities we offer, and we are passionate about human powered adventures.
We have an amazing Base Camp at Nyvågar in Lofoten with easy access to all the activities and facilities you can dream of in Lofoten. Here we also offer full board accommodation and events with amazing facilities. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime!
Quality and Professionalism is the approach we bring to the planning, organization, and execution of every trip run by Northern Alpine Guides; wether its an Alaska Range expedition, climbing big ice in Norway, skiing in the Lofoten Islands, climbing a technical high altitude peak, or trekking lost valleys of the Nepal Himalaya. We never marginalize the resources needed to provide you with the first-class experience we promise you when you book with us. Business ethics driven by Quality and Professionalism is the best way we know of repaying the trust you place in us.
We strive to make your entire Northern Alpine Guides trip a safe, enjoyable, and successful experience without rushing you to the summit and back. All of our trips are customized and tailored to your dreams, objectives, and skill level. We listen to you first and then develop a personalized trip for you. Our company is focused on you and your experience in the mountains.
Small Ratio Programs
We pride ourselves on safety and success in the mountains. A small group size is not only safer but allows for more one on one instruction, more time spent climbing, and more fun. Obviously the ratio or group size that we can guide affects our prices. You may find companies offering lower prices but they will always have higher climber-to-guide ratios than us. We feel that larger groups and higher ratios compromise the safety, enjoyment, and success of individual participants. We take our job seriously and believe we cannot offer the best experience for you if we don’t manage our group sizes correctly. On soft adventures like hiking and other triviell activities we manage bigger groups.
Northern Alpine Guides has made a commitment to reducing our impact in all aspects of our business. We travel to some of the most beautiful and pristine areas in the world and do our best to minimize the physical and cultural footprints we leave behind. All of our expeditions practice the Leave No Trace code of ethics and we strive to make other business choices that will help make our planet an even better place to live.
All our guides are certified through IFMGA or qualified in the IFMGA guide training program. They have impressive technical ability, strong decision making skills and judgment, nevertheless their ability to teaching is what sets them aside from the rest. We will spend the extra time to make sure you get the most out of your trip. Our instruction focuses on skills, techniques, and the proper application to the terrain. Our guides love to teach you the skills you need to unlock your climbing ability from within.
IFMGA is an international organization that set the standard for the highest education of mountain guides in the world. In Norway its the national guide association called NORTIND that is responsible for the education. The education includes climbing, skiing, glaciers and will train the guides to be able to handle complex terrain and situations in the alpine
Read more about IFMGA here: IFMGA
Read more about NORTIND here: NORTIND
Staff and Guides
We are a company of extremely experienced guides. All the guides who work for Northern Alpine Guides have gone through extensive training in the art of guiding. Mountain Guiding is a profession we believe should be taken very seriously. Continued education, accreditation, and certification is important to us and we choose our guides accordingly. Although certification is important it does not assure you that one is a great guide. We have worked with all of our guides for nearly a decade now and have very close friendships with our crew. Being a small company it allows us to be selective the guides for our trips. It doesn’t get any better than the crew of Northern Alpine Guides!
Seth is a full time professional mountain guide, owner of Northern Alpine Guides, and a persistent alpinist in his free time. He grew up in the foothills of the rugged North Cascades in Washington State. Seth chose guiding as a career in 2001 at the age of 21 after completing many technical ascents in the North Cascades, Alaska Range, and British Columbia. He brings a solid background in all disciplines of climbing. A natural leader and teacher, he has lived a nomadic lifestyle taking him to some of the greatest alpine playgrounds of the world.
Seth has guided technical ascents throughout the Alps, Alaska Range, Waddington Range, Bugaboos, Canadian Rockies, Cascades, High Sierra, San Juan Mountains, Nepal Himalaya and Norway’s Fjell. While working as a guide he earned a bachelor degree in Natural Resource Management specializing in glacial monitoring from Western Washington University. Seth is an IFMGA, UIAGM, IVBV internationally licensed mountain guide holding certifications in Rock, Alpine, and Ski Mountaineering Guide through the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA). In addition to his qualifications as a guide, he holds Avalanche certifications, a Wilderness First Responder medical certification, and is a Master Educator in Leave No Trace backcountry travel techniques. Seth can speak fluent Nepali and is learning Norwegian with his Norsk Family.
«Seth is American, but after living and working as a guide in Lofoten for 7 years he knows the terrain, weather and snow conditions here as well as a forth generation fisherman knows the sea, the currents and winter storms.» Torkel Karoliussen
Maren is part owner of Northern Alpine Guides and has found her paradise in the village of Kabelvåg, Lofoten. She loves the easy access to the amazing terrain in Lofoten with plenty of options to climb and ski. Growing up in Norway, she has enjoyed both the coastal and mountain life, something that maybe has resulted in the choice of living where the mountain rises from the sea. Marens love for nature, adventure and traveling has taken her all around the world. She is a titled KaosPilot with a bachelor in Innovation, creativity and business development. When she does not have her hands full working with projects or is out on a private adventure she spends time with her daughter Nora and her dog Nanook. Maren guides selected trips.
Sjur has been an active climber and skier for over 20 years. He is a full time employee in Northern Alpine Guide and an IFMGA Mountain Guide. Sjur has extensive training and courses from the military like medic (level 3) and has a lot of winter training that includes avalanche and survival in the mountains. He moved up to Lofoten to spend even more time on what he likes best; steep outdoor activities and he always travel with either, skis, climbing shoes or axe and crampons. Over the years he`s been climbing and skiing in both the Andes, the Caucasus, the Rockies and the Alps several times. But he says nothing beats the combination of the magnificent mountains, oceans, and the nice people you meet in the Lofoten Islands. He is also an active member and a great resource for Svolvaer Alpine rescue team, and he always share his expertise and enthusiasm.
Dylan joins our team from Bellingham, Washington. Dylan guides in Washington, Alaska, Nevada, the Alps, Norway and in the South American Andes. Dylan holds an AIARE Level 3 Avalanche certification, and he is a fully certified UIAGM/IFMGA Guide. Originally from Colorado, Dylan grew up with an obsession for rock and alpine climbing and skiing. His love for the mountains led not only to exploring, but also a Masters Degree in geology. Between guiding adventures, Dylan finds time for his own personal climbing and skiing expeditions to places like India, Afghanistan, Patagonia (establishing several first ascents), and Alaska (completing several first ski traverses). Dylan lives in Chamonix and is also an avid photographer. You can occasionally spot his images in the outdoor media and in catalogs.
Mark grew up in Washington State and started climbing and skiing in the North Cascades in his early twenties. He is fully certified by IFMGA and divides his full-time-guiding extensive alpine, ice, rock and ski trips in the Washington, Alaska, Colorado and runs annual programs in Western Canada, Western Europe, and Norway. Additionally, Mark has led successful expeditions of the high altitude alpine climbing in great ranges of the Himalaya, the Andes, Patagonia, the Wrangle St. Elias, the Alaska Range, Eastern Tibetan Platue , and Antarctica. Mark’s personal interests are exploratory alpinism and ski mountaineering descents in remote areas. His academic background is in geology and he is a Level I&II AIARE avalanche instructor. Presently an ambassador athlete for Outdoor Research, Petzl, and Julbo and was nominated for the Piolet d’ Or in 2013 for his exploration of the Lacuna Glacier and ascent on the Mastodon Face of Mount Laurens of Denali National Park. Mark loves coffee, taco trucks, and harvesting seafood with his family.
Doug Workman (grandskiing.com) is a mountain guide based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he has guided many skiers off the the summit of the Grand Teton and other Teton peaks. At home he also guides backcountry skiers from the Tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and from the helicopter with High Mountain Heli Skiing. Sail/Ski trips are some of his favorite adventures—he has led numerous guided sail/ski expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, Svalbard, the Lyngen Alps, and Iceland. Doug has also worked as a rigger and safety consultant for National Geographic Television, Camp Four Productions, Jimmy Chin Photography, Chris Davenport Productions, Teton Gravity Research, and Warren Miller Entertainment. He has climbed all over the World including expeditions to Alaska, China, and Pakistan where he has established new big-wall climbing routes. He has worked with Seth Hobby and Northern Alpine Guides in Svalbard and the Lyngen Alps.
Erin Smart is a Seattle native who is now based in Chamonix, France. She grew up skiing and climbing all over the Cascades of Washington State, and holds several first ski descents in her home mountain range. She has spent several winters ski mountaineering in La Grave and Chamonix, France. Erin graduated magna cum laude from Western Washington University with a degree in Natural Resource Management. She has been guiding since 2010, is an AMGA certified ski guide and assistant rock guide, and is pursing the full AMGA/IFMGA license. As well, she is a qualified AIARE avalanche course lead instructor. When not guiding, she writes for outdoor publications, rides her bicycle, attempts to surf, and works as an athlete for Mammut North America.
Alan has climbed and skied throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe including ascents of Denali, Moose’s Tooth and multiple trips to the Alaska Range, the Bugaboos and many trips to the interior of British Columbia on extended ski tours. Alpine rock climbing throughout North America, water ice in Colorado and Montana’s Hyalite Canyon and skiing and climbing in the Tetons, including ski descents of Grand Teton, are some of the many facets of mountain travel that are central to his life. Also has extensive training in technical rescue systems and a particular interest in Mountain Medicine. In addition to guiding he is also a board certified and practicing Emergency Medicine Physician and is the Medical Advisor for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA)
Caroline was born in the heart of the Swiss Alps to French-American parents who were total climbing/traveling/adventure junkies. They planted the seed. After competing in the ice climbing world cups while in law school and climbing big north faces in the Alps (Eiger, Matterhorn, Drus, etc.), she decided that becoming an IFMGA mountain guide would be a great way to give more meaning to her passion by sharing her love of the mountains with people and to feed her addiction of being in the mountains as much as possible. Caroline is also a professional alpinist and travels the world. Over the last couple of years, Norway has found a special place in her heart because of the unique ice climbing it offers and the magical feeling that comes from skiing from a summit to the ocean. Caroline lives in Chamonix, France and guides all fields of guiding as well as racing ski mountaineering competitions with clients. But working in Norway is by far and away her favorite place to work! On her time off, Caroline likes to spend time rediscovering the world through the eyes of her little girl Olivia.
Chris is a licensed IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide and sponsored alpinist who splits his time between obsessions with climbing, skiing, and eating. His most recent fixations have been with climbing in the Himalaya and exploring Asia, which have led to the first ascents of hard new routes and a lasting love for Thai fried chicken. Chris grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains before finding climbing in college, and has been hooked ever since. Chris has climbed, guided, and skied across the world from the Western US to Nepal, including Alaska, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Nepal, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, and Canada. His climbing achievements include everything from the crags of Central Oregon to Yosemite big walls and virgin summits, and his guiding career has taken him from Ouray to Denali, and up and down Mt. Hood too many times to count. Chris is a recipient of the Mugs Stump Award and American Alpine Club Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award-funded expedition to attempt the six-thousand foot North Pillar of Nepal’s Teng Kangpoche (21,282′).
Guiding since 1996 he has found himself helping people fulfill their dreams from Alaska to Patagonia, from the Himalaya to the Alps to Antarctica with many a stop in between he has been around the world block a few times. Tim is a fully licensed IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide and the 2006 recipient of the AMGA’s Outstanding Guide of the Year’ award. Tim is recognized throughout the guiding world for his expertise and passion for the peoples and experiences to be had in the mountains. Tim’s experience and expertise are brought to bear on our European Alps, Mont Blanc and Matterhorn expeditions. Tim speaks French,Spanish and English.
Danny is an IFMGA licensed Mountain Guide and really excited to guide, climb, and ski in some of the most amazing places around the world. His home base is Chamonix, France where he guides alpine climbing and skiing. Dannys previous guiding work has been focused in Antarctica, Yosemite Valley, Bolivia’s Cordillera Real, the Alaska Range (Denali), and all over the continental US. He guided extensively over the Antarctic continent. That work took him to the South Pole, many locations within the Trans Antarctic Mountains, and the remote Marie Byrd Land; often for months at a time. Danny is always smiling, playing the guitar and telling jokes.
Iraitz Ezkergain grew up in San Sebastian, Basque Country (Spain). He is an aspirant UIAGM guide and a passionate climber and skier. He learned to climb in the Pyrennes mountain chain, where he works as guide when he is at home and Andorra, Baqueira, Formigal is his playgrounds. Since 2009 he has been a SKIBUM in La Grave, French alps, were he has opened some new ski lines. After 5 years of guiding in Norway, he knows the terrain Lofoten well, he has also been ski guiding in the Lyngen Alps, Senja and Tromso. In the summer time he works guiding alpine&rock climbing in Lofoten and the Stetind area. Iraitz has been on the summit of Norway’s beautiful national mountain Stetind more that 55 times!
Sami Modenius was born in Finland and started skiing age of 3 and made his first skiingtrip to the alps when he was 16. He’s been hooked ever since.
Over the years he’s lived long periods in the alps, and travelled all over the world, to climb and ski.
At some point he realised, that if he wishes to do his passion, it’s better to make a job of it. Being a IFMGA mountain guide (since2015) he is now able to share those experiences with people who also have love for the mountains. Based in CHamonix, North of Norway and sometimes in Finland.
Morgan has always been a focused skier and did his first ski season in the Alps at the age of 18. Chamonix, France is were he has spent the past 6 years going on adventures in the mountains and getting a lot of experience both climbing and skiing. He has also done his fair share of adventures in the northern parts of Scandinavia and in March 2015 he was the youngest Swede to ever get the IFMGA status.
Chamonix and Northern Norway is probably where he spends most of his time these days chasing couloirs, peaks, trails, cracks and boulders. Morgan is a very energetic, strong, and positive team player who also finds time to read and play chess.
Erica is a full time professional mountain guide and connoisseur of the adventure lifestyle. She is a passionate climber and skier with a diverse background in rock, ice, ski mountaineering and high altitude expeditions. Erica hails from Washington State, where she was raised with a backpack and orders to not come inside until dinner. With good humor, she took those orders seriously and earned a degree in Environmental Science, working in forest ecology and commercial fisheries before launching her guiding career 10 years ago. Over the years, Erica has skied, climbed and guided throughout the American West and Alaska, Nepal, Tanzania, Russia, the Italian Alps, and South America. Erica is one of only handful of American women fully licensed as an IFMGA Mountain Guide. She is also an instructor trainer team member with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).
Charlie is an ACMG Rock Guide from Squamish,British Columbia, Canada. In 2005 Charlie started climbing, since then he has climbed in many parts of the world including the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, and Wales. As a guide, Charlie has helped his clients achieve their goals in Canada and Norway. In 2014 Charlie was awarded MEC’s expedition support. He holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, SPRAT Level 2, and IRATA Level 1, and Advanced Wilderness First Aid. In his spare time Charlie can be found climbing new routes, cooking good meals, and adventuring with his girlfriend and dog.
Nanook is a two year old Samoyed, a polar dog from the northern Siberia. She is amazing in every way and is our crew mascot. She patrols the Lofoten Ski Lodge area with her playful and free spirit. She is always up for a game of fetch or a run on the beach. Nanook means Polar Bear in Inuit and she for sure looks like one, but is way softer, cuter and friendlier.