Jan Neuspiel first dropped his bags on Vancouver Island in 1989. At the time, he was guiding in Nepal, but he quickly fell in love with the unique beauty of the island mountains. The wild spaces and untapped terrain have always drawn a special cross-section of adventurers, creating a distinct mountain culture and a strong sense of community. 

Over the years that followed, Jan increasingly shared his time between Canada, India and Nepal: guiding climbing and trekking trips in Nepal, running a helicopter skiing operation in India, and taking on passion projects in the “Island Alps” and BC Coast Range whenever the opportunity presented itself. 
In 2006, following a year of big life shifts and a career change, Jan returned once more to Vancouver Island – this time with the intention to stay. 

Island Alpine Guides was born out of a desire to call the island home, and Jan’s desire to share the love of these truly wild spaces with others. In 2006, Jan partnered with fellow ACMG guide, Cliff Umpleby, to start what has since grown to become Vancouver Island’s premier mountain school and guide service.
Since the inception of Island Alpine Guides, Jan’s vision has always been rooted in the idea of taking a local, community-based approach to deliver outstanding experiences at the highest international standard. Although our business has now grown to reach clientele well beyond our island haven, we remain a small operation at heart; one that is devoted to staying in contact with the distinct community and unique spaces we operate in. 
Despite 35 years working as a guide, Jan is still driven by his passion to share his experience, knowledge and appreciation for the mountains with others – a passion which is reflected by the playful professionals who make up our team. 
Our mission is to foster individual potential, strengthen a sense of community, and develop an appreciation for wild spaces through shared mountain experiences and education.