Isabelle Santoire


As a French Canadian, Isabelle grew up in the extreme winters of Quebec. It wasn't until she came to Switzerland, 20 years ago as a teacher, that she discovered the high mountains. Since those first steps, her life has taken a dramatic change. Whilst finishing a Masters degree in Adult Education in Geneva, she found herself drawn ever closer to the rock walls and snows of the European Alps.

Her extensive adventures around the world include: traversing the Alps on telemarks, experiencing the high altitude of Aconcagua, Denali and Ama Dablam, battling spin drifts in Alaska and exploring the mountainous regions of Peru and Bolivia. This motivated her to pursue her passion as a career. She is now one of just 16 women in France to have made the mountains her home as a professional mountain guide and member of the UIAGM. Based in the Chamonix valley, Isabelle has become a local icon with her contagious smile. She can point out most summits and tell you a story about a climb she has done or a North Face on which she has shivered on.

Being the proud mum of 2 young children, Isabelle had to adapt her mountaineering aspirations. She continues to live in the constant search for perfect balance enabling others to achieve their alpine dreams safely and spending time with her family. Climbing, mountaineering and skiing remain a source of inspiration to her. Whether on rock or ice, in the mountains or sports climbing, she relishes these forms of creative expression. She needs daily challenges, the search for a solution to the seemingly impossible.

That is what makes her an inspiring athlete and unique teacher. She loves to share this vertical world she is privileged to live in. Her goals are to encourage others to experience the same and to go beyond their own perceived physical and mental limits.