Alison Cardinal

ACMG Ski & Hiking Guide



Alison Cardinal - Cloud Nine Guides
Alison Cardinal - Cloud Nine Guides
Alison Cardinal - Cloud Nine Guides

Alison has been in the Bow Valley, since 2002, growing up in Northern Ireland, she attended University in Glasgow. She came to Canada and married a Canadian.19 years and two kids later, Alison is still in the Bow Valley area after raft guided for two summers and ski patrolling at Lake Louise and Norquay.

Alison ended up attempting her ACMG exams. It has been 15 years since her first hiking guide exam and 13 years since the apprentice ski exam.

Alison's experience at Glasgow Uni was where the mountaineering journey started. With the opportunities given through the great mountaineering club, Alison spent every single weekend and holiday rock and ice climbing. Summers in Chamonix, the Dolomites, and every amazing climbing venue in the UK had her hooked.

When she was 11, a family skiing trip to Scotland (pretty unusual for someone from Northern Ireland) found Alison waking up at 6 am and dragging her parents to the ski hill so they were lined up ready for the first chairlift of the day, and she would enjoy it so much that they would be last ones off the mountain every day of the holiday. 

Alison, unfortunately, has no downtime, when she isn't guiding she has two boys 10 and 11, to entertain and look after.  But if Alison found some time she would be running or reading.

What Alison enjoys most about working in the mountains are the views and the changing weather. Trying to figure out how to make the day safe, fun, and also flow. Alison absolutely loves skiing, the feel of the skis sliding uphill, the "craic", the chatting, and then the down, when the turns are easy and the snow is deep.  Steep, 40 degree, old growth tree skiing in waist deep powder......that's what excites her.

Throughout a day of guiding Alison, enjoys the challenge of trying to figure out how to teach something simply, so folk understand and remember it. There's something to be learned every single day.

You will find Alison guiding on our Avalanche Courses, Private Ski Guided days and our hiking programs. If you would like to book Alison in for a day, please email


  • ACMG Ski & Hiking Guide
  • CAA Operations Level 2
  • Interpretive Guides Association Basic Certification
  • 80hr Wilderness First Aid Course