Isabelle Santoire

Ambassador

Hometown

Chamonix, France

Hometown

Chamonix, France

Ambassador

Mountaineering

Isabelle Santoire is a conduit – things happen through her. Connections are made between people, thanks to gatherings or mini events she’s organized. People discover new aspects of themselves, thanks to her hospitality and warmth as a guide. She knows how to move at a pace that enables her clients to expand into opportunity, rather than contract and hyperfocus, helping people connect more powerfully with the mountain environment. Born in Quebec, where she trained as a teacher, Isabelle has lived in Chamonix for 25 years, and was the twelfth woman to qualify as an international mountain guide through the region’s elite Syndicat National des Guides de Montagne (SNGM.) Isabelle is not afraid of a challenge - indeed, being told that she was too female, too petite, and too foreign to become a guide, fuelled her determination to blow those misconceptions away. She has the confidence to approach things her own way, and brings a freshness and zest to everything she does – whether it’s ski-touring, telemarking, ice-climbing, rock climbing, mixed climbing, or exploring how painting, carefully curated playlists, or moments of mindfulness make a mountain experience even more transformational.  A natural facilitator and connector, she’s been an instrumental shaper of the Arc’teryx Alpine Academy in Chamonix from its outset. Alongside husband Rick, she’s raising two beautiful kids (who she’s indoctrinated joyfully with her mantra that “energy generates energy”), and is less interested in pushing people out of their comfort zones, than giving them other ways to look at things, including their own capabilities. She’s channeling her COVID-amplified interest in well-being and the importance of community into We Momentum, an offering of weekend initiatives in the mountains inspired by Radolphe Taverne’s words: “Alone we go faster, together we go further.”