Photo: Chantel Astorga

Photo: Chantel Astorga

Hello we are Dougal Tavener and Danny Uhlmann and this is our company First Light Mountain Guides. We are Mountain Guides (IFMGA) based in Chamonix, France. We started this company to give my guests the best mountain experience possible. Guided mountain trips are very personal affairs and are a collaboration between the guide and the client. Therefore we only offer trips for individuals or private groups. After over a decade of experience guiding all over the world we know a few things. First, your money is best spent with a guide you know and on a trip of your own design. We work with all our clients to ensure they are an integral part of the planning and execution process of the mountain trip.

We commonly work with clients on a long-term basis to help them achieve life-long goals and progress through specified training. The point is not just to bag summits but to improve. Collectively we grew up ski racing, professional rock climbing, and doing high level alpinism, and feel at home doing challenging objectives with clients. Favorite guided ascents include Half Dome in Yosemite, the Grand Capucin, Les Droites, and the Eiger in the Alps, as well as any good rock climb. Together with clients we have done first ski descents in Norway and in a support role with the National Science Foundation in Antarctica I have helped to achieve cutting-edge geophysical and structural geological research.

Danny’s personal career highlights include rock climbing to 5.13b (8a), first ski descents in Afghanistan, expedition to Bhaghirathi III in Garwhal Himalaya, El Capitan in-a-day via Zodiac,, and a link-up of Astroman and Rostrum (20 pitches of up to 5.11+ Yosemite climbing). Lifelong goal is to freeclimb El Cap via the Freerider, a goal I am currently working towards. I'd love to help you with your goals as well.

I have worked with absolute beginners, professional and champion skiers, world-class endurance athletes, Everest no-O's summiteers, and everything in between. I pride myself on keeping a good level of fitness and capability because, first and foremost, I love climbing and skiing in the mountains, and secondly, it allows me to work with a wide variety of clients and their differing goals.


What to look for in a guide

In addition, it is in your best interest to hire a guide who is licensed, qualified, and trained for what they are doing. The only internationally recognized training credential for high mountain guiding is granted from the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA). You should only go with guides who hold this license. In general it takes between three and eight years to earn and ensures that the person responsible for your life has a high level of experience and personal skills to handle the mountain environment safely. No matter in which country a guide has earned their IFMGA "pin," the process is rigorous, broad, and ensures that the guide you hire has a basic level of competence to keep you safe.

Guiding, and being guided, is a very personal process. If for some reason I do not seem like the best fit for your adventure, I can help you find someone who is better suited for the job.

Throughout my career I have detailed expertise through guiding and personal trips in the following locations:

French, Swiss, and Italian Alps


Yosemite Valley

Denali, Alaska

Bolivia's Cordillera Real

Afghanistan's Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains

Cascade and Sierra Ranges in US

Norway's Lofoten Islands and Lyngen Penninsula