We understand that its nice to know who you will be exploring the trails with during your Alpinehikers adventure. My name is Eryka Thorley and I work in the Alpinehikers office as well as guide in the Alps. This is the first of a guide bio series that will introduce you to our fantastic Alpinehikers staff in Europe. Enjoy and we look forward to hitting the trails with you soon.
It can be difficult to pinpoint Hayden Buck. If he’s not in the Alps guiding for Alpinehikers, he is chasing powder on his snowboard in Japan or BBQing in Munich. Luckily we were able to track him down for a quick interview about his start as a guide, formidable years as a child growing up in the woods of Canada’s British Columbia, and favorite Alpinehikers tours.
Me: Tell me about growing up as a child in the forests of Canada.
Hayden: I spent my teen years on 5 acres of forest that had deer in the front yard and bear and wild salmon in the backyard. Everyday I would wander the woods with my dog, but the real adventures began with my 12th birthday gift, a mountain bike. Once I had wheels, all I wanted to do was go farther into the woods and mountains of my native British Columbia. Then in the 11th grade I began snowboarding and along with it came the drive to climb higher. What goes up, has more fun coming down. As I got older, I started to enjoy the up as much as the down and would ideally spend everyday on the mountain with my snowboard.
Me : How did you get into guiding?
Hayden: I got into guiding the long way round. After working in the mountains of North Vancouver for four years in the late 90’s I took a job as an English teacher in Hokkaido, Japan. I really enjoyed teaching English but I always was looking out the school windows. After 9 years of window eyed teaching and a relocation to Germany, it was time to head back outdoors. With my knowledge and experience with Japan and Japanese mountains, I began ski guiding in Hokkaido. From here, I took my mountain experience into all seasons, gaining my ACMG Assistant Hiking Guide license and began my career as a full time guide.
Me: What’s an Alpinehikers tour that really stands out to you?
Hayden: The Dolomites Traverse. It is the perfect blend of Italian culture, cuisine and mountain life. If there is a bad Espresso in the Dolomites, I’ve yet to find it.
Me: If you had a 10 day break where would you go?
Hayden: If I had a 10 day break I would choose The Grand Tour. It takes you through the three most beautiful regions of the Swiss Alps. The trip begins in Mürren, a peaceful town that rests above the stark and beautiful Lauterbunnen Valley. In the morning you awake to your own personal panorama of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau before heading out into the quiet Bernese Oberland. The next stop on the trip positions you at the bottom of arguably the most famous peak in the world, the Matterhorn, which overlooks the small village of Zermatt. Finally, things slow down in Pontresina where it feels like time stands still.
Me: What keeps you busy when you’re not leading Alpinehikers tours through the Alps?
Hayden: For the rest of the year, my main residence is Munich, Germany. When I am not ski guiding in Japan, teaching snowboarding in Engelberg or guiding treks in Switzerland I am enjoying a BBQ by the banks of the Isar river in Munich. Of course I’d like to do that everyday, but my wife doesn’t want her husband always smelling like smoke so I still head to the mountains close to home where I run, take photos and enjoy the fresh air.