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Finding the best mountain guides & instructors - Richard Smith
Friday May 15, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

They are not all the same. A new service, launching next winter, aims to take the risk out. Step forward Richard Smith from Ongosa.

Every year it was the same for me.

20 odd days annual leave, subtract the family summer holiday, a long weekend or two, a friends wedding and I was left with one week at most to 'ski for me'.

When I say ski for me, I mean the trip, something new and exciting, away from the crowds and the hit and miss snowpack of France.

We were cat skiing in Utah, powder hunting in British Columbia, and having our après ski in Onsens in Japan, then back to work with 51 weeks to wait for the next hit.

That was until I met Micky, a local Aosta Valley mountain guide.

A hard fought find, lucky, even after considering how much time it took us to find this local legend. 

Summiting Everest twice without oxygen.

He is the real deal. 

After receiving half a meter of snow over the few days leading up to meeting him at the lift station in Alagna, Italy, we were excited, very excited.   

At the top of the Passo dei Salati Indren lift we waited for the crowds to dispel before putting on skins and starting a 60-minute skin up.

Hard work, but much more pleasant than the long-haul flights I'd been taking over the years in search of fresh snow, new views and new friends.

After abseiling down a 40-foot wall I stood above the largest powder stash I had ever seen, completely untouched and completely ours. 

Alagna, ItalyAlagna, Italy













Alagna, ItalyAlagna, Italy













The rest reads like soft porn for powder skiers.

Needless to say our tracks are still my phone's home screen. 


Alagna, ItalyAlagna, Italy














At that point I realised I didn't need the long-haul flights once a year, with multiple days travelling, to get what I wanted.

All I needed was a good local guide, someone who understood what I was looking for, my ability, and could translate that into the right trip on the right day.

It could be achieved on a long-weekend trip.

But this wasn't easy.

It meant finding a local legend, on the best power day, who you clicked with every time you head to a new resort.

That's why I founded, because it is what I want, what I need, to make the most of my dedicated skiing time.

To be able to connect with the professionals that can make my dreams come true.

The guides and instructors listed on Ongosa are all at the top of their game. 

Selected for their experience and passion to provide a quality service. 

We focus on personality after that because that's the next big thing that will mean the difference between an experience and the best experience.

We launch in September with a focus on key European mountains and some hidden gems. 

Our mission is to make adventure sports more accessible on the principle that making information more available will enable enthusiasts to pursue their next dream.

Ever wanted to try split boarding, hut to hut ski touring, freeride skiing?

It's all there.



Whatever you want to do, your next best experience is waiting for you.

Alagna, ItalyAlagna, Italy












For more details the seen here.

For the spirit of the mountains

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