Whether it’s reaching a summit in Nepal, hiking off-the-beaten-path in the Alps or making turns on untouched powder snow in Japan, Explore-Share.com aims to help make your dreams a reality by connecting you with the right mountain guide. This online booking platform lists more than 2800 mountain trips in more than 50 countries, all of them led by over 750 certified mountain guides.
Created in 2015 by two mountain enthusiasts and former management consultants, Explore-Share’s mission is to make mountain experiences available to a broad public: from avid rock climbers to powder addicts, and from first-time hikers to families with children. There is something for everybody.
Because safety is a top priority, only professional, certified guides are featured on the platform. Most of them are IFMGA-certified (International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations), widely accepted as the most rigorous certification in the world. So you’ll be in safe hands!
We often found it difficult to get in touch with qualified mountain guides when travelling outside mountain towns like Chamonix, which is a paradox because there are plenty of extraordinary and truly professional guides out there. So we set out to fix this! We created Explore-Share.com with the goal of providing easy and direct access to professional, certified mountain guides,” says Gauthier Poncelet, who co-founded the site with his long-time friend Nicolas Vandepaer.
Adventure tourism on the rise
With active holidays experiencing exponential growth around the globe, Explore-Share aims to fulfill this growing demand for adventure and exploration. “Our #1 goal is to dramatically improve contact between mountain enthusiasts and mountain guides in every corner of the world. We also aim to promote mountain activities among people who don’t generally practice them by highlighting their enriching and fulfilling potential”, says Nicolas.
Trips booked through the platform vary substantially in style, activity and duration: from classics like the ascent of Mont Blanc, to climbing famous volcanoes like Cotopaxi in Ecuador, to guided freeride skiing holidays in the Alps’ best ski resorts.
But, even more interestingly, the site also lists many off-the-beaten-path adventures, including hiking tours in in the easternmost corner of Russia (Kamchatka), ski tours in the northern Japanese island of Rishiri, backcountry ski trips in Iran or mountaineering trips in the Ala Archa valley in Kyrgyzstan. A Mount Triglav ascent in Slovenia is currently Explore-Share’s best-selling program.
Explore-share.com in numbers
Both Gauthier and Nicolas are originally from Belgium but the company now operates from Buenos Aires (Argentina), Chamonix (France) and Belgium, of course. Nowadays, most of the platform’s users live in the US (18%) while the rest is shared between the UK (11%), Belgium(6%), France (5%), Japan (4%) and many other countries. Europe is also the top destination, followed by South America and Asia.
The number of requests received through the platform has increased five times during the last year. But Nicolas and Gauthier are even more ambitious when it comes to the future: they are projecting a tenfold growth for the next 12 months.