Alpine Recreation logo
Alpine Recreation logo

Guides & Staff

Our friendly team at Alpine Recreation

Whether it's a friendly voice at the end of the phone or guiding you in the mountains, our enthusiastic team is here to look after you and provide advice. We pride ourselves in being a small, family-run business with high standards - many of our clients return year after year. Many of our guides speak a second language. Wir sprechen deutsch!

The New Zealand Mountain Guides Association, NZMGA, has international accreditation with the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations, IFMGA / UIAGM.

Anne Braun-Elwert

Anne Braun-Elwert


Director & General Manager

Together with husband Gottlieb Braun-Elwert, Anne helped set up Alpine Recreation in 1981 and was codirector with Gottlieb until his untimely passing in 2008. She now continues to run the company, supported by a loyal team of guides and family. Anne considers herself a tramper rather than a climber, but climbed Aoraki Mount Cook in winter and joined Gottlieb on many ski tours and on two Patagonian Ice ski traverses. After their climb of Mt Blanc via the Brenva Spur in 1978 they decided to marry! She has a BA in English and was formerly a secondary school teacher.

Elke Braun-Elwert
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Elke Braun-Elwert


Assistant Director

IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide

Elke's passion is ski mountaineering, alpine climbing and mountain biking. She has climbed and skied throughout the New Zealand Alps for most of her life, spent numerous seasons ski instructing in Switzerland, has ski guided in Japan and climbed in Peru. When not guiding, Elke helps run Alpine Recreation - this can involve anything from web design, IT support, marketing and advertising, to logistics, hut restocks and staff training. Elke is also an internationally qualified ski instructor and has a Masters degree in Computational Biomechanics.

Dave Alderson
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Dave Alderson


Chief Guide

IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide

Dave is our new Chief Guide, he was previously a lead ice climbing guide with responsibility for the training and development of guides on the Franz Josef Glacier before gaining IFMGA mountain and ski guide status and is also currently the training officier for the NZMGA. He has climbed extensively in the European Alps, the United Kingdom and throughout New Zealand.

Axel Reiser

Axel Reiser


General Manager, Hiking and Nordic Ski Guide

Axel has a Masters degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management along with many years experience as a tour operator, bike tour guide (road and MTB), triathlon coach and ski instructor. For 3 years he was a university lecturer at Lincoln University in outdoor recreation, sport management and leadership. Originally from Bavaria, Axel's passion for skiing and the mountains is evident in all his work for Alpine Recreation. A successful triathlete and ironman competitor, he thrives on challenges! He climbed Denali with Gottlieb and was part of the team, who filmed the Symphony on Skis traverse of the Southern Alps. He is currently working towards his NZMGA ski guide qualification.

Paul Aubrey
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Paul Aubrey


IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide

Paul takes an active role in mentoring our younger guides. Paul has a huge depth of experience as an international mountain and ski guide, with ascents of Denali, Aconcagua, Mt Vinson and in Europe and Canada. In New Zealand he has done several first ascents in the Southern Alps and worked for many years as Director of Snow Safety at Cardrona Ski Area.

Wolfgang Maier
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Wolfgang Maier


IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide

Wolfgang has been guiding summer seasons for Alpine Recreation since 2007 and oversees the safety of our team in the field and the training and supervision of trainee and assistant guides. Wolfgang has guided extensively throughout the European Alps where he has guided full time over some 20 years. He is a passionate rock climber and ski tourer.

Jonathan Hattrell
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Jonathan Hattrell


NZMGA Alpine Trekking Guide & NZOIA Rock 1 Instructor

Jonathan first started guiding groups in the Tasmanian wilderness in 1996 and his enthusiasm for sharing the outdoors with people remains undiminished. He moved to New Zealand in 1999 to be closer to the mountains. Here, he completed a B.A. in English literature, then trained as a primary school teacher but could not escape the lure of the outdoors! Several seasons of guiding on the Fox Glacier culminated in a role as HR Manager for Fox Glacier Guiding. Jonathan has taught ice climbing, rock climbing, outdoor education, rope rescue courses, and for several years he has been a volunteer member of his local Search & Rescue team.

Gideon Geerling
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Gideon Geerling


NZMGA Alpine Trekking Guide and NZOIA Alpine Instructor

Gideon's experience includes multiple seasons living in Antarctica as a guide, field trainer and science support, over 15 years working in NZ as an alpine, rock and bush craft instructor for tertiary institutions and the NZ Army and Air-Force. Gideon regularly teaches Alpine and Avalanche courses for the NZ Alpine Clubs and is a listed technical advisor for the NZ Alpine Club. His other experience include outdoor education management, rope rescue training, industrial and wilderness medical and risk management education and training here and overseas. Caffeine is a close friend and he lives in the South Island with his wife and 2 boys.

Lewis Ainsworth
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Lewis Ainsworth


NZMGA Assistant Climbing Guide

Born and raised in Auckland, Lewis headed South in his early 20s to study history and politics and quickly found his calling climbing in the Southern Alps. General mountain marauding quickly led to an interest in guiding and Lewis got his first dose of the guiding life as a 'Glacier Slug' on the rainy and temperate Fox Glacier. A couple of seasons working on ski fields in the Southern Lakes and more recently Alpine Trekking guiding and instructing have reinforced his commitment to the outdoor lifestyle. Since then Lewis has pursued his passion with gusto, highlights including climbs of the Hooker Face of Aoraki Mt Cook, the West Ridge of Malte Brun and the South Face of Mt Sealy. When not in the hills Lewis can be found on the frisbiee golf course, cooking a delicious meal or strumming a reggae tune on his guitar.

Anna Looms
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Anna Loomes


NZMGA Assistant Alpine Trekkingand Ski Guide

Growing up on a South Canterbury farm, Anna was introduced to the outdoors at an early age and began skiing and snowboarding as a teenager. This soon developed into a passion for skiing and snowboarding and through this, a love for the alpine environment and the beauty and challenges to be found there. Following a year at Aoraki Polytech in her early twenties, Anna went to spend winters at the remote club ski fields and summers on the west coast glaciers. For the last few years she has been working as a ski patroller on Mt Ruapehu and the Remarkables in Queenstown and as a glacier and trekking guide in the Aoraki Mt Cook area. More recently she has qualified as an assistant ski guide and is excited to be applying her guiding skills and mountain knowledge in this new area.

Jane Morris
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Jane Morris


IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide

Jane began trawling around the mountains during Otago University days in 1994, where mountain huts were a good substitute for lecture theatres. After a number of years working in outdoor related industries, in 2010 she began working full time as a mountain and ski guide, based out of Mount Cook Village.

Jane enjoys the simplicity that comes from being in the mountains and the lessons that can be learned from the environment - Mother Nature is a brilliant teacher!

Bia Bouchinas
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Bia Boucinhas


NZMGA Assistant Alpine Trekking Guide

Bia was born and raised in Brazil, but her desire to travel and explore the great outdoors soon took her overseas where she she has climbed and lived in South and North America, as well as Europe and Australasia. Before becoming a guide, Bia worked as a horse trainer and equestrian instructor as well as a language teacher. Her new classroom is now located in the mountains of New Zealand, where she shares her passion for the snow capped mountains she so much loves. Bia has fulfilled multiple roles working in the alpine environment - from supporting science in Antarctica as a Field Safety Officer to spending time glacier guiding in Iceland or instructing polytechnic students here in the South Island - her permanent home since 2010. In her spare time Bia enjoys all types of climbing, hiking, rafting, horse riding, caving, photography and reading.

Martin Hess
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Martin Hess


NZMGA Alpine Trekking Guide

Martin first joined Alpine Recreation in 2006. His role involves guiding and instructing on our Ball Pass operation. Other employment has seen him glacier guiding on the west coast, working for the Department of Conservation and Australian Antarctic Division, instructing for many polytechnics and companies as well as supporting personal development. Martin has worked with adults of all ages, families, groups and individuals from all continents. His passion is encouraging people of all ages to understand the importance of our outdoor environment and inspiring them to safely explore and protect it. Home is the rural Central Otago, in his spare time he can be found anywhere around the world climbing, trekking, meeting new folks or cooking up storms.

Tom Stubbs
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Tom Stubbs


NZMGA Assistant Alpine Trekking Guide

Originally from the northwest of England, Tom trained and qualified as an electrician. After been on a climbing trip to New Zealand he fell in love with the place he now calls home. Tom wound up living on the west coast working for Franz Josef Glacier Guides for many years. More recently working as a ski patroller for Mt Hutt ski area. The summer months working as an Alpine trekking guide/instructor and ski guiding in Hokkaido, Japan. Tom is also an active member of the Alpine cliff rescue team in South Westland and Canterbury. When not in the mountains, on the rock or in the ocean, Tom can be found drinking coffee, listening to vinyl and riding his fixie.

Henriette Beikirch
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Henriette Beikirch


NZMGA Assistant Alpine Trekking Guide

After roaming the Black Forest in her native Germany, Henriette has spent the last decade working as parks ranger, ski patroller, glacier guide and river guide. She has been living in New Zealand for over twenty years. Her favourite pastimes are mountaineering, rock climbing, ski touring, sea kayaking, aviation, photography, and reading. Henriette enjoys extended journeys into the remote backcountry, with her two longest expeditions to date a nine-month high-alpine Southern Traverse (2012-2014), and a six-month sea kayaking journey through Fiordland in 2017. Previous incarnations have included biologist and commercial fixed-wing pilot.

Peter Munro

Peter Munro


Trekking & Snowshoeing Guide

Pete has guided for Alpine Recreation over a number of years having had a long association with the company. He has taken nordic skiing and snowshoeing trips, as well as summer treks and has very good local knowledge and experience. Pete is a well-qualified outdoor instructor with NZOIA qualifications in Alpine, Bush, Kayak and Canoe and loads of experience in skiing, rock climbing and expeditions. He likes nothing better than to getting out in the hills, especially following his passion for hunting and fishing.

Steve Tulley

Steve Tulley


Trekking & Snowshoe Guide

Stephen has been working for Alpine Recreation for several years now doing snow shoe tours in the winter and hiking in the Two Thumb Range over the summer. He runs his own beekeeping business but still finds time to head into the hills be it ski touring in the winter months or weekends away in the Southern Alps over the summer. Motorcycling is another passion for Stephen with a recent trip across the deserts of central Australia.