Guy's whole life has been spent in the mountains - in New Zealand, the Himalayas and many other mountain ranges around the world. Born in southern New Zealand, he was introduced to the outdoors at an early age where a fascination for the mountains was fostered. He feels these days spent as a young explorer were a solid foundation for his future climbing career.
His passion for the mountains eventually saw him focus on a career as a mountain guide where his skills earned him a position working alongside fellow Kiwis Rob Hall and Gary Ball when they established their Everest guiding company; Adventure Consultants in 1992 . Guy excelled as a high altitude guide and, along with Rob and Gary, led the team to the summit that year on the first commercially guided expedition on Everest.
After Rob Hall was lost in the tragic events on Everest in 1996, Guy purchased Adventure Consultants from Rob's wife Jan becoming Director and CEO. For more on the History of Adventure Consultants, click here.
In addition to guiding, Guy's skills are in demand as a high altitude cameraman, running film projects in the Southern Alps (or on the Seven Summits), training corporate groups and meanwhile ensuring the list of exciting destinations for Adventure Consultants' clients is always growing!
For Guy, the pleasure of the adventure business lies not in the financial rewards but rather in helping clients achieve their dreams.
- Climbed 7 x 8000m peaks; Everest (1992,1997, 2006, 2007), Cho Oyu (1997), Gasherbrum 2 (1997), Makalu (2001), Manaslu (2012), Lhotse (2013), Dhaulagiri (2017).
- Completed the Seven Summits including Carstensz & Kosciuszko - 2005
- First ascent of a new route on the Balfour Face of Mt Tasman - 2003
- First ascent, Mt Slaughter, Antarctica 3600m - 1998
- First Westerner to guide and climb three 8000m peaks in one year - 1997
- Awarded CMC/Macpac New Zealand Mountaineer of the Year - 1997
- Summitted Everest, guiding for Adventure Consultants alongside Rob Hall and Gary Ball for their first commercially guided expedition of Everest - 1992
- Third ascent of Uli Biaho Spire in the Karakoram - 1989
- One of first New Zealander's to climb Dhaulagiri along with Dean Staples and Lydia Bradey - 2017
Q & A
What do you love most about guiding?
- I share a passion with the team here at Adventure Consultants to be the best we can be at what we do. We all get a lot out of seeing our clients have the best experience of their lives.
It’s that look of elation and seeing them evolve as personalities through the mental challenge of mountaineering that gets me.
Outside of climbing how do you like to spend your time?
- I'm based in Wanaka, NZ, which is close to Mt Aspiring National Park and set on the shores of beautiful Lake Wanaka. With several ski resorts, lots of crags, rivers, paragliding, mountain biking galore; Wanaka offers everything I could ask for in providing an adventurer’s daily fix.
I try to balance my time between steering the company and fulfilling my love of rock and mountain climbing as well as mountain biking and photography. Every now and then I take a complete break, disconnect from the modern world, and head to the south west coast of the South Island to go fishing and diving from my dingy.
- Summits – 1992, 1997, 2006, 2007
- Team turned around at South Summit, 100m shy of the top due to weather and late hour - 1995
- Descended from South Summit high point assisting exhausted team member - 1993
- Was leading Everest Expedition in 2015 when the 7.8 earthquake occured, causing widespread devastation in Nepal and the cancellation of the expedition.
- Lead guide - 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
- Climbed and filmed Annabelle Bond as part of her 7 Summits in one year program - 2004
- Lead guide - 2003, 2009
- Guide and cameraman. Summited via the West Buttress - 2005
- Attempted via West Buttress, weather prevented summit - 1990
CARSTENSZ PYRAMID 4884m
- Guided first AC group since 1995. Team of five all summited including Barb Gurtler, age 71 and Karla Wheelock, the first Latin American woman to complete the Seven Summits - 2005
- Climbed and filmed Annabelle Bond - 2004
VINSON MASSIF 4892m
- Lead Guide - 1994, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2006
- Lead guide. Summitted via the Falso Polish route - 2001
- Lead guide on the first AC Lhotse expedition. Sixth 8000m peak - 2013
- Lead guide on the first AC Manaslu expedition. Fifth 8000m peak - 2012
- Lead guide heavy snow and avalanche danger prevented summit - 2015
- Summited with Sherpa Lhakpa Dorjee (first person to climb Makalu twice) and Takashi Ozaki who was summiting his seventh 8000m peak. Fourth 8000m peak - 2001
- Attempted Dhaulagiri on an AC expedition with Veikka Gustafsson and Ed Viesturs. Expedition was turned back due to heavy snow conditions - 1998
- Climbed Dhaulagiri in 2017, first New Zealander's to summit along with Dean Staples and Lydia Bradey.
GASHERBRUM I 8080m & GASHERBRUM II 8035m
- Summitted Gasherbrum II. Third 8000m peak - 1997
- Attempted Gasherbrum I - 1997
CHO OYU 8201m
- Lead Guide. Second 8000m peak, Everest was his first - 1997
- AC Guide - 1995
MUZTAGH ATA 7545m
- Leader of reconnaissance expedition for a proposed ski ascent and descent - 1998
- Lead Guide. Expedition abandoned when Rob Hall’s Everest expedition ran into trouble. Guy then assisted with rescue at Everest Base Camp - 1996
AMA DABLAM 6828m
- Lead Guide, Summitted - 1996
SOUTH GEORGIA - SHACKLETON CROSSING
- Guided a group across South Georgia, following the footsteps of renowned Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton - 2016
SKI THE LAST DEGREE
- Led a group to the South Pole, where the team was flown to 89 degrees south, and then trekked for 10 days to the pole - 2010
- Lead guide. Expedition completed several first ascents - 2006
MT KENYA 5199m
- Climbed via the Nelion route - 2007
MONT BLANC 4810m
- Summitted - 2009
NEW ZEALAND ASCENTS
MT TASMAN 3497m
- Climbed the first ascent of a new route on the Balfour face of Tasman, one of New Zealand’s most difficult and remote alpine faces - 2003. Read about the epic climb here.
- Solo ascent via the left hand buttress -1981
AORAKI/MT COOK 3724m
- Guy’s first ascent at age 17. He has climbed Mt Cook numerous times since - 1981
TRAVERSE ARTHURS PASS TO MT COOK
- At age 15 Guy made the traverse with three companions including Rob Hall, age 16 - 1977
MT ROLLESTON 2271m
- Summitted at age 11 with father, Ed Cotter - 1973
ROCK & ICE
- TUOLOMNE MEADOWS, Yosemite, USA - 1990
- ULI BIAHO SPIRE 6109m – 1989
- Summitted South Pillar - third ever alpine style ascent of this Karakoram spire.
- SALATHE WALL and the NOSE on EL CAPITAN, Yosemite, USA -1981-1984
- Arapiles Australia - 1981-1984, 2010
- Wanaka, NZ - multiple first ascents, 1984 onwards
- Wye Creek, New Zealand - repeat visitor whenever possible each winter!
- Cogne, Lillaz, Italy - 2015
- IFMGA MOUNTAIN & SKI GUIDE. Trained and Assessed under the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association. Completed 1990.
- NEW ZEALAND PRE-HOSPITAL EMERGENCY CARE COURSE (40 hours), last revised in 2015, current until 2018.
- STAGE 2 AVALANCHE QUALIFICATION - New Zealand Avalanche Institute.
- NEW ZEALAND ALPINE CLUB - Life Member
ADVENTURE CONSULTANTS, Wanaka, NZ
- Director/CEO 1996 – Present
Guy was a guide on the first Adventure Consultants Everest expeditions in 1992,1993 and 1995 and purchased Adventure Consultants from Rob Hall’s wife, Jan Arnold in June 1996. He continues to lead expeditions as well as performing hands-on work as a Safety Manager, Locations Manager, and consultant for major film productions around the globe. He also gives lectures for everyone from burgeoning mountaineers to corporate groups.
Since 1996 Guy has grown the company to a diverse operation spanning all the continents. From initially only running four expeditions annually the company is now offering over 50 expeditions operating in the Himalaya, South America, the 'Seven Summits' and the Arctic / Antarctic along with busy Climbing Schools in New Zealand and Europe. He leads a team of the world's best mountain guides and the client base of the company come from all corners of the globe.
- Expedition Guide 1992 - 95 on Everest, Cho Oyu and Vinson
HARRIS MOUNTAINS HELI-SKI, Wanaka, NZ
- Film Crew / Private Charter Co-ordinator 1995
- Directed Avalanche & Mountaineering Courses 1995
- Snow Safety Officer 1994 - 95
- Ski Guide 1984 - 94
NEW ZEALAND ARMY, AATC, Waiouru, NZ
- Chief Mountaineering Instructor 1991 - 92
MT ASPIRING GUIDES, Wanaka, NZ
- Founded with associates Paul Scaife and Nick Cradock. 1989
- Guide - mountaineering ascents, instruction courses - 1989 - 1996
ALPINE GUIDES Mt Cook, NZ
- Alpine Guide 1984 – 94
Worked at ski resorts Australia and the USA 1981 - 84
'Everest' - WORKING TITLE (2013/14)
- Key Alpine Advisor - Mountaineering Advisor
- Lead Mountain Safety for mountain locations in Nepal and Italy
- Guy Cotter role in this movie played by Sam Worthington
BEYOND THE EDGE, General Film Corporation (2013)
- Locations Scout/ Mt Cook
- Mountain Safety Coordinator
- Advisor to script, props, wardrobe etc.
- High altitude Everest photographer
- Everest filming director
GAP - New Zealand Photo Shoot (2010 – 2013)
- Line producer
LOUIS VUITTON - New Zealand Photo Shoot (2012)
- New Zealand producer
VARIOUS COMMERCIALS - Film/photo (2005-13)
- Locations Scout
- Helicopter Coordinator
ANNABELLE BOND - 7 SUMMITS IN ONE YEAR (2004)
- Climbed and filmed UK woman Annabelle Bond on Kilimanjaro and Kosciuszko as part of her 7 Summits in one year program which AC also coordinated.
LAST SAMURAI, Warner Bros. (2003)
- Locations Scout, Queenstown
NO MARGIN FOR ERROR, Road Rules Production Limited (2003)
ECO CHALLENGE, FIJI (2002)
- Lead Rigger
ECO CHALLENGE, NZ (2001)
- Chief Guide
X FORCE– National Geographic Documentary (2001)
- Mountaineering Science
EVEREST BASE CAMP – Documentary (2000)
THE VERTICAL LIMIT, Sony Pictures (1999-2000)
- First Unit Safety Coordinator
- Climbing Coordinator
- Advisor to Production, Script, Art Department
- Talent (featured as himself)
- Aerial Coordination
MT EVEREST, Nova - Everest Special Feature, High Altitude Physiology (1997)
- High Altitude Camera Operator – filmed summit ascent
ANY PLACE WILD, PBS (1997)
- Safety and Locations
CHANNEL 3 NEWS, NZ – Everest (1996)
- Interview footage
MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA, TVNZ John Gadsby (1995)
- Safety and Locations
NOTO SKIS, NZ (1987)
- Safety and Locations
VARIOUS HELI-SKI PRODUCTIONS, NZ (1985-99)
- Safety and Locations
- Ski Model
This Southern Antarctic season Guy will be leading our Vinson Massif #2 Expedition, from December 4 - 19, 2017.
In the News...
AC Blog March 2017 - Fixing Everest
Guy Cotter writes about some of those issues facing commercial expeditions to climb Everest. Check out his expository piece here.
Alan Arnette March 2017 - Interview with Guy
Everest Blogger Allan Arnette interviews Guy Cotter on his recent article 'Fixing Everest' and his philosophy behind the running one of the world's best high altitude mountaineering companies.
NZAC July 2016 - Sustainable Summits Interview
Organisers of the Sustainable Summits Conference interview Guy Cotter with key questions around mountain sustainability ahead of the conference.
Action Asia Jan 2016 - At Home in the Himalayas
Action Asia article on Guy Cotter - Jan 2016 We recently caught up with Guy Cotter of expedition guides, Adventure Consultants, and asked about his involvement with the movie 'Everest' and the rebuilding of Nepal post-earthquake.
Men's Health Oct 15 - Peak Performance
It's a razor-thin line between life and death on Everest. After facing his own tragedy on the mountain, Guy Cotter emerged a more capable man. Read Aaron Scott's article.
Guy talks about the Everest movie to Huffington Post
Co-founder of Hall's Adventure Consultants and fellow Kiwi -- not to mention close mate -- Guy Cotter (Worthington) was leading his own expedition on a neighbouring mountain when the storm started to roll in. As conditions started to deteriorate, Cotter remained in contact with Hall and became involved in the rescue efforts.
Now, Cotter is the CEO of Adventure Consultants and has been heavily involved in the production of "Everest" as a key advisor. Check out our exclusive Q&A with him in this Huffington Post article.
Guy Cotter Official Everest movie interview
Sam Worthington to Play Guy Cotter in Universal's Everest
Universal Pictures has set Sam Worthington and House Of Cards’ Robin Wright to the ensemble cast of Everest... Pic is shooting right now in Nepal on the base of Everest, as well as the Italian Dolomites and Cinecitta Studios in Rome and Pinewood Studios in the UK...Universal will release the film September 18, 2015, and it’s a co-production between Universal, Working Title and Cross Creek Pictures, in association with Walden Media.
Everest March 2013 - Boss and Climber
Everest Blogger Alan Arnette catches up with Guy Cotter just as he was leaving for Nepal to lead the 2013 Adventure Consultants Lhotse and Everest teams. Read the interview here.