Rob Jarvis

Rob is the founder & director of High Mountain Guides and an International Mountain Guide (IFMGA) and British Mountaineering Instructor (MIC). He has had a great enthusiasm for adventures in the mountains from the late 1970’s and has worked full time in mountain guiding, training & outdoor education since 1999.

With a B.Sc degree in Ecology and Environmental Science he has also worked for all the major providers of Mountain Training and Guiding in the UK. He is now based in the French Alps, near Chamonix Mont Blanc, where he specialises in designing & providing mountaineering & ski adventures & training experiences in the Alps.

  • Rob has had a long and traditional mountaineering apprenticeship and has visited many of the fantastic venues in the UK for rock and ice climbing. He’s climbed a wide variety of extreme British rock routes from the Hebridean uber-classics ‘A Prophecy of Drowning’ and ‘Voyage of Faith’ to the Welsh mountain and sea cliff classics like Great Wall and Right Wall (Cloggy & Dinas Cromlech); Suspense and Trevallen Pillar (Pembroke) and ‘Run Fast Run (not) Free’ and Hunger at Gogarth.
  • Rob was a keen regular on the Scottish winter scene having spent nearly every season since 1993 climbing and guiding there and making ascents of hundreds of ice and mixed routes throughout the Highlands up to grade 8.
  • He has also climbed extensively throughout the French, Swiss and Italian Alps with over 100 Alpine routes including the North Faces of The Eiger, Les Drus, Droites, Italian Face of Mont Blanc (Eckpfeiler), Grande Jorasses, Sans Nom, The ‘Supercouloir’, Grande Rocheuse, Aiguille du Midi, Argentiere, Courtes etc.
  • 15 International expeditions (to the Indian and Nepalese Himalaya, Pakistani Karakorum and Hindu Kush, Kyrghyz Tien Shan, Argentinian Andes, Moroccan high Atlas, Chinese Pamir, Colorado Rockies) on peaks up to 7500m including numerous first ascents, mostly whilst guiding. Ascents of the well known summits of Ama Dablam and Khan Tengrhi as well as various less technical peaks such as Mount Vinson, Acconcagua and Mera.
  • Rob has spent nearly 2 years of his life living, working and climbing in Antarctica. This includes both looking after scientists conducting research on behalf of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and guiding clients up peaks like Mount Vinson for Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). He has also guided a ski expedition to the South Pole (ski the last degree).
  • Extensive off piste & ski mountaineering experience throughout the European Alps and Antarctica.
  • Rob formally gave the annual British Mountaineering Council safety lectures, ‘The Winter Essentials’ and has given talks at a variety of venues from universities to the National Mountain Training Centre to New Scotland Yard (Home of the London Metropolitan Police Force).
  • Rob also has a good background in endurance sports including cycling, triathlon and trail running and has used this sports & training experience in order to develop his approach to making long and physical ascents in the mountains carrying relatively light gear and moving relatively quickly.
Rob & guest, Ellen, enjoying some sunny rock climbing in the Italian Val d’Aosta

Paul Tucker, Chamonix Mountaineering & 4000m Peak Ascent, July 2021

I’ve done two trips guided by Rob this year and I must say both experiences have been excellent.  The first time I took my son and brother in law (both novice climbers) to climb the Gran Paradiso, unfortunately due to Covid restrictions this wasn’t possible but Rob gave us a fantastic alternative at short notice and we achieved all of our objectives. My son (16) struggled at times but Rob was really encouraging and patient with him which enabled him to gain a huge amount of confidence and a big sense of achievement. The plan was pitched at exactly the right level.

The second time was again at short notice, Rob planned a trip with a couple of days notice and all the objectives were met. This time climbing Costore at 4228m. A fantastic experience in great company.  I’ve been guided before in but what I really enjoyed the most about Rob was the time taken to explain safety procedures and indeed the reasons behind all aspects of mountaineering. We all learnt a lot and you don’t always get this!   Not only did I have a great time but I now have a plan for future climbs to progress on my mountaineering journey.

Pete Cavanagh, Aravis Ski Touring & Evasion Off Piste, Feb 2020

Big thank you for a great Ski Evasion Aravis week. The course was exactly what I was hoping it would be – some refreshing of knowledge and techniques combined with some wonderful ski tours– all delivered with a highly professional and friendly approach. I would thoroughly recommend the course and the Aravis region to others.

James Carr, Italian Val d’Aosta Intermediate Ski Touring Weekend, Feb 2020

Hi Rob, thanks for the photos, link and your guiding. Another great weekend in the mountains. Big thumbs up for the Bonatti hut! – Was nice to explore the other side of MB.

Richard Flint, Matterhorn Ascent, Zermatt, September 2018

Forty eight hours on its finally sunk in and I must say what a superb job you did psychologically and physically getting me to the top. Your very nuanced preparation about what to expect where and when both beforehand at a large scale and on the mountain itself yard by yard made a massive difference to me. You somehow managed to get a naturally cautious person who was feeling genuinely apprehensive to keep moving steadily up and down, particularly in the down stage when the adrenaline had run out along with my energy. Your technical skill (even to the inexperienced) is obvious but your blend of attention to safety and your willingness to explain what’s happening and what needs to be done and to involve me in the decision making, even under pressured circumstances, was exceptional. So chapeau to you!!

Richard Flint, Matterhorn Training, Zermatt, October 2017

Great trip to Zermatt with Rob Jarvis in preparation for a future go at the Matterhorn. Rob’s accumulated experience gained from guiding all over the world makes being in the mountains challenging, safe and a great laugh. A real professional with a low key approach who wants you to learn and get to your goal.

John and Jean Spencer, Off Piste Skiing In St. Gervais & Les Contamines, Jan 2016

Rob – thanks for an absolutely incredible couple of days – the memories will live for us forever, and I doubt we’ll get conditions like that again. Nonetheless, we’ll be back in January next year and I’ll start thinking about some mountaineering ambitions which might still fall within my modest capabilities…Thanks once again – an absolutely brilliant experience!

Rob Sutermeister & Joe Hunter, Chamonix Mountaineering & Matterhorn Ascent, September 2015

I’ve had 3 good guides in the past, but Robs guiding approach is at a different level altogether – Thoroughly professional, relaxed and fun. If you are searching the net looking for the right guide company, go for these guys. Our weeks Matterhorn course was outstanding. Thanks a lot Rob

Awesome week. The preparation was key. Before we went to the Alps Rob recommended some routes in the UK. Tower Ridge being one on Ben Nevis. This coupled with an exciting 3 days in Chamonix made our ascent of the Matterhorn possible. The ascent and descent of the Matterhorn is awesome. The pace is full on, footwork needs to be good and the movement with the guide spot on. Concentration is also very important as there seems to be so many ‘things’ happening at once, ropes, anchors, loose rocks, other climbers, fatigue! Rob and Owain were superb in their direction and guiding. Especially in the positive communication they gave us throughout the whole experience. If you want to do any ‘expeditions’ in the Alps Rob is your man. Great trip, brilliant memories that will be with me for ever. Joe

Paul Antrobus, Grandes Jorasses, Mont Blanc & Matterhorn Ascents, plus many other alpine ascents with Rob

I am pleased to report that at sunset last Friday, I completed the 12in12 Challenges against Cancer with the 12th and final challenge,  the  ascent of Mont Blanc. The climb took nearly 14 hours and was made without lift support  from the valley floor to the summit at 4810m in a single day.  This was a memorable end to the year, as the attached picture will hopefully show! If anyone would like to read the story of the summit day, I attach a post from the blog:

Thanks to everyone who has supported me on this wonderful journey. The climax was everything I could have hoped for. Now I just need to try to collect the promised donations and hope we can get close to the $250,000 target!!