About

French Alps Treks is run by Dr. Darren McAulay - a professional outdoor activity provider since 1995.

 

BIOGRAPHY: 

  • Darren has been actively enjoying the outdoors all his life through a passion for rock climbing, mountaineering, trekking, skiing, snowboarding and paragliding.
  • Having completed a PhD in geology and physics (at UMIST/University of Manchester in 1992) Darren went on an 18-month round the World climbing trip. Subsequently he then decided to pursue a career in the outdoors. Scotland provided the initial location for alpine skiing and climbing instruction (at Aviemore and Isle of Raasay), closely followed by multiple winter seasons on Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand and Mammoth Lakes, California. 
  • Darren has accrued many instructional certificates along the way. These include both alpine skiing and snowboarding levels with UK, New Zealand and USA associations as well as the Mountaineering Instructor Award and Winter/International mountain leader awards in the UK.
  • In the summer of 1999 Darren started guiding freelance under the name Hebridean Pathways, based on the Isle of Skye. Here he provided specialised mountaineering instruction/guiding services in the Cuillin mountains and rock climbing on the superb sea cliffs of northwest Scotland (with many first ascents in the process).
  • Work horizons have constantly widened with the result that Darren has spent time wandering the globe - guiding in Antarctica*, the Chilean and Peruvian Andes, French Alps, Nepal and of course back in Scotland!
  • In June 2006 Darren joined the Union of International Mountain Leaders Association (UIMLA) and is currently a member of the Syndicat National des Accompagnateurs en Montagne (SNAM) in France.

Darren is now based in the southern French Alps in Le Chazelet, La Grave in the beautiful Parc National des Ecrins. Having first visited the region in 1989 and following further visits he decided to move to the Ecrins Alps in 2004 where he started French Alps Treks.


Preferring to guide small groups on bespoke treks and adventures away from the commercially exploited and over run places/tours fits well with this region of the French Alps. Darrens knowledge of the southern French Alps combined with a passion for geology, flora and fauna means he provides informative as well as enjoyable mountain treks and adventures.

* Darren has visited Antarctica on six occasions working for Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE) providing both ski and mountain guiding. Highlights include multiple ascents of Mt. Vinson (highest peak on the Antarctic continent), skiing the Last Degree to the South Pole on two occasions, leading a 250km ski traverse through the Ellsworth mountains as well as first ascents and ski descents of various peaks.