Hiddleston Scaife Commemorative Trust



The accident that resulted in the tragic loss of David Hiddleston and Paul Scaife on Mount Tasman in December 2003 is strongly felt by so many of us. Our wish is to honour the memory of these two inspirational guys who enthused everyone with their deep love of climbing and the alpine world! What would they have wanted?

The Hiddleston-Scaife Commorative Trust offersawards of up $500 as contribution towards course for candidates applying for their final IFMGA course. A formal application and interview process is undertaken by guides who wish to apply.

The Board of Trustees - Hugh Barnard, Jean Kenney (Clairmonte), Nick Cradock and Grant Fyfe invite David and Paul’s friends, former clients, sponsors and people in the mountaineering fraternity to contribute to the Trust. We believe this is a worthy cause and your enthusiastic support is welcomed.

Tributes to Dave and Paul follow on after the “Trust News” below.

To donate please complete and post this form back to us 2010 donation form.pdf

To apply for funding please email

Trust News

January 2018
Taichiro Naka is enrolled in the next summer guides course and has been granted $500 towards his course. Good luck Tai!

"I started the IFMGA Pathway in October 2014 and I have my final exam coming up in February 2018. Ihave been guiding for Alpine Guides for 4 years now"
Taichiro Naka

March 2017
James Hamilton has been granted $500 towards his final course. Good luck James!

James Hamilton

I went down the New Zealand Mountain Guides pathway and sat my first guides course in 2000. Leading up to the course was very intimidating because I had never experienced a 2 week long guides course. I had heard that there were two grumpy old assessors running the course and I was the youngest by about 10 years. Anyway, it turned out to be fine, the weather wasn't, though. This was the start of many guides courses and many dream guiding jobs and amazing adventures to many parts of the globe. Finally, I'm sitting my last course!

Hip and Paul would be saying "about bloody time" from the top of their mountains.

Thank you Hiddleston-Scaife Commemorative Trust!

January 2017

Penny Goddard is enrolled in the next summer guide's course and has been granted $500 towards her course. Good luck Penny!

Penny Goddard

Receiving this award means a lot to me. Dave and Paul were both instrumental figures during my early days as a young polytech student in Wanaka. I was lucky enough to tag along on a couple of "Scaifey" guided trips and experienced his kindness and patience. He truly loved sharing his mountain paradise with those around him and was calm and smiling in whiteouts and dripping bivvies.

I'll always remember Dave's flashing grin as he warned me against some of the "nutters" I might encounter as a rock guide working for his company, Wanaka Rock. I could tell by the way he said it that "the nutters" were some of this dear friends. He was full of support and encouragement as I started out in the outdoor industry and always had a smile.

Thanks to Paul, Dave and the Trust for your support. It all helps carry me forward.

September 2015
Dave Alderson has been granted $500 towards his final guides course with a successful result. Congratulations, Dave.

Dave Alderson

The past two weeks have reminded me what I love about NZ guiding. The journeys, the challenges, the laughs, the characters, the team spirit, the hut banter. The beauty of the NZ mountains - nature the finest sculptress. The fall of snow flakes from the clouds and their journey down snow field, glacier and river to the sea.

August 2014 
Andy Cole is enrolled in the next summer guides course and has been granted $500 towards his course.  Good luck Andy!

Andy Cole
My first exposure to mountain guides was working with John Entwisle while I was still in the air force. I guess you could say he was the inspiration to change tacks mid career and enter the guiding world. Some years on; I think what keeps me guiding is the incredible Espirit de Corps within the guiding community. There are not many industries where you get the level or support, advice, information sharing and friendship that you do in guiding. I always look forward to seeing who is "in the hut" to catch up with, to learn from, to poke fun at, and to share a giggle with. 

24 November 2013

The Trust is please to offer funding to two guides Mike Madden and Jane Morris.

Jane Morris                        

 NZ has a respected guiding community which has benefited over the years from having ambassadors like Dave and Paul. 
I met Dave when I was a recreational climber and was impressed with his openness and professional manner.
This is now something as an aspirant guide I value greatly and attempt to uphold in my work.
I have had a variety of mentors over the years, directly and indirectly, which have helped me arrive at this point now. 
And I can see the tables shifting slowly to being able to offer support and mentoring to others, even if its simply a passing conversation in a hut or on the neve.
Guiding is something I would like to be doing for many years to come.
Its an amazing office and an honour to have such supportive and inspirational colleagues.


Mike Madden

 I started my IFMGA training pathway and qualifications just under 6 years ago after an apprenticeship of climbing in the New Zealand's Southern Alps. I have had some great adventures over the past 6 years, visiting and working, climbing, and skiing in many different places around the world on the pathway towards completing the IFMGA qualification. 

The best part of guiding has been the people and friendships I have made in and around the mountains with other climbers, skiers, and guides. I think that mountain people are a special kind... I did not know Dave Hiddleston and Paul Scaife but you guys were my kind of people!

Thank you to the Hiddleston Scaife Commemorative Trust and board of trustees for the donation towards completing my guiding qualification.


7 October 2012

Marty Schmidt has been awarded $500 from the Trust towards his upcoming guides course late November.  " I would love say thank you to the Trustees running this Hiddleston-Scaife grant towards furthering the education of Mt/ Ski guides of New Zealand. I am honoured to pick up this torch and carry it with me whenever I head out into the hills. I knew both of these amazing guides at their peaks and will strive to have them smile upon all of our progresses in the mountains. Cheers, Marty."  May the force be with you Marty!"

12 March 2012

  The Trust has granted $500 to Mark Austin who is packing and planning for his guides course going to the Darrans 18th March 2012.  The weather forecast is excellent, not to mention the superb location for this course.    Mark commented on his application form "I have a passion and respect for the alpine environment. I have enjoyed sharing this passion with both clients and my friends. I have enjoyed acting as an informal mentor to my friends and would like to be able to continue this in the more formal roll of a supervising guide. I have always felt that if you start down a training pathway that you need to work towards completing it. There have been a lot of family and financial sacrifices in training to be a guide and a grant would be a great recognition of this."
    Good luck Mark !

16 September 2011

The Trust has granted $500 to Tim Robertson who will be under the ski guiding microscope for the next two weeks.  Tim writes "I was fortunate enough to have David Hiddleston as an assessor on my  first climbing guides course. His comfort in the Alpine environment was inspirational. Paul Scaife was also one of the first guides I worked with. I have found the guiding profession rewarding in many ways, it is very satisfying to be able to help people realise their dreams. The culture among most guides is very enjoyable and most will freely give their time to colleagues to help them achieve a successful trip." 
  Good luck Tim !




Stefan Sporli has signed up for the December Guides Course. The trust has donated $500 to him. Good luck Stefan!
"As an Aspirant Guide working in Wanaka, the memory of Paul Scaife and David Hiddleston has a strong presence. I experience it through the stories that are told of them, from climbing routes they authored, and from the lessons that can hopefully be learnt from their accident. In my own journey through the mountains, and through the NZMGA training scheme I aspire to leaving a trace as positive as the ones they left for us upcoming guides."



Davie enjoys a spot of cray diving on his time off.

Wanaka local guide Davie Robinson will be attending the next ski guides course September 20. The Trust donated $500 towards Davie's course fees. "Aspiring guides was my first employer after I passed my climb 1 exam. I've continued working on and off for Aspiring guides over the years and have fond memories of guiding with both Paul and Hip. As senior guides they were very supportive during my early years of guiding. I learned a lot from both of them. Beyond guiding they both had a fantastic outlook on life and were always leading from the front when fun was to be had. It's not uncommon to find myself sitting in some hut laughing with other guides as we trade Scaife and Hip stories. They are sadly missed but still enjoyed."



Here's a photo of Woody on Mt Everest May 2007

Mark Woodward of Queenstown successfully completed his second ski guides course and has been granted $500."Woody" who is now guiding Mt Everest wrote just before he left NZ, "Thanks to the Trust for the grant of towards my ski guides course in September ’07. I’m sure both Scaife and Hip would be pleased to see guides getting that helping hand in finishing off their courses. I was happy to pass the course and enjoyed the time and great conditions that we had.I have many good memories of the guiding and climbing trips, especially the bivi’s! I had shared with Paul.I find that I think of the boys often when topping out on mountains they knew and loved. Cheers Scaify and Hip."


Lisa Auer of Albert Town, Wanaka, has today been donated $500 towards her final IFMGA guides examination early next month.She writes......."Thank you very much for the $500 donation to help towards my final summer guide course. I am honoured to receive this donation. Dave Hiddleston was a source of inspiration and great encouragement to me towards my guiding goals.I will carry his smile onto the upcoming course!This contribution will help me achieve my dream of becoming a fully certified international guide, that I have been working towards now for close to ten years.Thanks again."Lisa



James Hamilton  has been accepted on the next Winter Guides Course scheduled late Sep 2007.A donation of $500 has been paid to James from the Trust - all of the best to you James for your Winter 2 !
(Congratulations James !  yes he passed and is well on his way to the next stage of becoming fully qualified)


The Fun Run on Dec 31 2006 provided 26 entries. Only one person wore fancy dress. The weather was chilly in the morning and warmed up to a scorcher pretty soon afterwards.Some people showed up with competition numbers on their legs from a triathlon the day before! The sponsors were generous - almost every entry won a prize. The main prize of a day of local rock climbing for two with Aspiring Guides was won by local doctor Suzie Meyer. Thanks to Milo Gimour for organising and donating the proceeds to the TRUST.


Congratulations to Jamie Robertson who is employed mainly by Alpine Guides at Aoraki/Mt Cook village, who has been awarded $500 towards his guides course. The course is currently somewhere between Centennial and Pioneer huts on the West Coast.


The Hiddleston-Scaife FUN RUN is scheduled for Dec 31st 2006. Participants to walk or run carrying an uncooked egg up Rocky Hill and back. The egg must remain intact, and is provided by sponsors. Fancy dress is optional. Pre-registration at Aspiring Guides office is a good idea, entry costs only $10.

Mountain Guides have been notifed of the Trust's aim. Aspirant status guides are to apply for funding for upcoming courses.

The TRUST has now setup up a credit card facility (Visa, Mastercard) to allow easier transfer of donation funds, especially for those residing internationally. A secure web credit card facility will be up and running shortly from this web-page. In the meantime, please use the donation form to manually post your cheque or credit card donation. Please click here or email us for a copy.

The Fun run organisd by Milo Gilmour on Dec 31st on Rocky Hill was enjoyed by 48 entries. A further cash donation of $20 was given by a friend. Best costume was EGGMAN of Wanaka who had a silver cape and dressed like an egg. Unfortunately the egg fastened to a dome on top of his head hit a branch and his egg broke. He won a battery-less torch as a prize for best costume. What was the point of the egg ? Each participant had to carry a raw egg (provided), to the summit and back, and the point was to do anything you like as long as you look after your egg. Andrew Town did the run top to bottom in 39.5 minutes. Spot prizes were plenty and extravagant. The Earth-Sea-Sky Traverse jacket was won by Jules Scaife. Simon Scaife won the family rock climbing day with Aspiring Guides. We were delighted by out of town guest appearances : Dave Hiddleston's cousin (Sam Morrah); Mark and Sally Dossor. Thanks to all sponsors and friends. The first donation to the Trust was made today $500 ! Photos of the Fun Run

The Hiddleston-Scaife Commemorative Trust has been registered and aims to raise a minimum of $150,000 from contributors to enable sponsorship of at least two Aspirant guides each year. A formal application and interview process will be undertaken by Aspirant guides who wish to apply. Details on how to apply for a grant will be advised shortly.

The Board of Trustees - John Hiddleston, Hugh Barnard, Jean Clairmonte, Nick Cradock and Grant Fyfe invite David and Paul's friends, former clients, sponsors and people in the mountaineering fraternity to contribute to the Trust. We believe this is a worthy cause and your enthusiastic support is welcomed.

LOCAL news in Wanaka: A fundraising event for the Trust has been organised by Milo Gilmour of Aspiring Guides. A FUN RUN or WALK on Rocky Hill Dec 31st at 8am will bring locals and friends of Dave and Paul together for a fun event. Participants will carry an egg to the cairn at the summit and back, to be in the spot prize draw. Entry is $10 and can be made on the day or in advance from Aspiring Guides' office. For more details click here or email us.



About Dave Hiddleston by Dave Vass
The rain’s coming. Dark sheets move down the lake, building for a long time, coming at last.

The evening circus lights brighten as the gloom deepens. First fat warm drops pop dust into the air, soon beaten down and swamped. Summer smells, childish excitement; “ take your seats folks…”

Rain at last.
A long standing westerly brings this rain. It started the day they died. Long banners of storm cloud stretch from the mountains to us, for days, gold sunset lit, wind shaped. Always beautiful, always reminding.

Everything is a reminder. The circus acrobats – strong, confident, athletic. Kids; everyone with children has a ‘Hip’ story. The mountains, always there, the wind seethed lake. He seems everywhere. Perhaps he is.

We finish hacking out the bivvy site from a spectacular razor blade of snow. It turns out good – atmospheric and comfortable. The days climbing has gone well, no dramas, big grins.

The crux was Daves’. Unable to reach the holds above from a small ledge, he slapped and teetered up a blunt arête; powerful and off balance moves. I’d wondered if he was going to fall off.

Seconding, I just reach up, grab the flake and carry on. It drew some laughs.

After settling in Dave pulls out the phone. It’s party night in Wanaka; preparations in progress, small talk with lovers. Our little crest seems even more homely. We talk, relax, revel in the closeness. The west face of Tasman seems a long way from the dance floor. Winter stars, big universe.

The Hawea foreshore looks like a brochure for the tropics. The little yellow boat throws a fine curvy wake, cut across by the twisting lines of a surfer. Hip, in his street pants, hair dry, effortless.

Monty tries hard at taking off. Hip puts the time in, feeds him energy, enthusiasm, stoke. He gets up, he does it, he’s proud.

The sun bakes. Hip tries on my new sunglasses; “makes everything look like a movie”. He sits and watches it for a while, smiling as always. This is his home, as most places are. Life is contentment.

The rope lengths above the bivvy are absorbing and sustained, crampons scratching on solid rock, sun warmed early.

We savour the height gained, the fall- away below. Glacier becoming ocean.

The top of the buttress is a mini summit. We take photos. I become a poster pin-up. I recall we laughed some more.

Luck. Good luck, bad luck. Randomness. Violent death.
Skill and intuition; the stuff of experience. Luck completes the triangle.

Today, the idea of my life hanging on the thread of luck seems unbearable. I’d convinced myself that luck is what you make it; be careful, be good at what you do, you’ll be ‘lucky’. Stop believing in your mastery and luck will fail too.

So what now? They were masters also. I need to know that they made a mistake, one I might not have made.

Or, I have to accept whatever share of ‘luck’ comes my way. Where to go from here?

The exit pitch climbs around a spectacular cleft in the ice of the North Shoulder, a dramatic finish to the route. The top is expansive, relaxing, a quiet buzz.

The ridge is firm, cold winter snow, ideal for the descent. We face in, front pointing down and across, the climbing simple enough but the exposure a constant force. Conditions are stable, the wind breathless.

Or maybe just holding its breath; we cross the place where, three years later, Daves life will be taken. But this day, this perfect day, we feel masters of our destinies.

The descent is a joy. There is no pressure, just concentration. No worry, only awareness. We soak it all up.

From the deck of the hut, we watch the sun sink into the sea, blood over water.

It was beautiful. Thanks Hip




A tribute to Paul and Dave  by Guy Cotter
We in the New Zealand mountain guiding community are attempting to come to terms with the tragic events on Mt Tasman on New Years eve which saw a small avalanche take three mountain guides and their three clients 500m down the side of the mountain resulting in 4 fatalities.

As an industry, we have always been very aware of the risks involved in our professional activities as most of us have lost friends in the mountains. The training to become a mountain guide is rigorous and the qualifications difficult to achieve. It generally takes an aspirant guide about 7 years to achieve their full international qualification.

With 120 years of guiding history in this country there have been very few guiding casualties with the only fatality prior to 2003 being Dave McNulty in an avalanche in 1989 and one other earlier in the 1900s. Considering the perceived risks of the occupation this is a remarkable record and is a testament to the professionalism and risk management that is essential to any guide.

Paul Scaife and Dave Hiddleston were an integral part of the climbing and guiding community in Wanaka. Dave Gardner was new to the industry yet had a long history of climbing with significant ascents to his credit.



Paul Scaife

My guiding career started when I came to Wanaka in 1984 and met Paul Scaife. Paul had been running his fledgling business, Harris Mountains Heliskiing (HMH), for just a few years and was becoming established as the major heliskiing operation in New Zealand.

Paul was chief guide, chief administrator, marketing director, helicopter coordinator and just about everything else for the company in those days and it was a real family operation. His mother Marg, and Jules, his wife, made the heliski lunches and we drove the clients around in Paul’s fathers Landcruiser.

In the 10 years I worked with Paul and HMH, the company grew into an operation that employed up to 30 guides and had 2000 skier days in a season. Paul’s contribution to the skiing and guiding industry played a considerable part in the success of Wanaka and the Southern Lakes as a skiing destination. Promoting Harris Mountains internationally figured highly on Paul’s travel itinerary and the promotion resulted in HMH gaining good coverage overseas with the major film crews like Warren Millar Productions who came here specifically to film Paul at work in the hills.

A heliski holiday with HMH became the highlight of many a clients year and most seemed to really gravitate towards Paul and he became fast friends with many of the guests.

Paul was also instrumental in the professional development of many of us as guides and HMH became an icon in the snow industry worldwide and many of the guides who passed through his door have gone on to be industry leaders in this country and mountain ranges around the world.

Eventually though, Paul decided to release himself from the manacles of self employment as he recognized that his lifestyle had been compromised by the long hours and excessive stress which often comes hand in hand with establishing a new tourism venture. He sold HMH in 1997 and went back to working as a mountain guide in the New Zealand mountains and in Canada.

However, never one to sit still for long, Paul set up a mountain guiding company, Mt Aspiring guides, with Nick Cradock and myself in the late ‘80s. I eventually moved on to direct Adventure Consultants and Martin Hawes and Dave Hiddleston became directors at Aspiring guides.

Last year Paul embarked on a traverse of the Southern Alps along the tops of the highest peaks in the Mt Cook region to raise money for ‘Save the Children’ along with his old friend and business partner Martin Hawes. Martin was forced to pull out due to health problems but Paul carried on with the project in his usual tenacious manner, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends he could cajole into accompanying him for a short section of the journey.

Paul had done the traverse in the 1980’s with his old friend and climbing partner Dave McNulty and Paul felt that even though he’d turned 50, that he was as fit as he’d ever been and really content to be spending a lot of time guiding clients in the mountains.

Paul will always be remembered for his infectious enthusiasm and the passion that he put into his mountaineering and his life; he taught us all a lot and will be surely missed.

Dave Hiddleston
Dave moved to Wanaka in 1992 after traveling the world to work at Treble Cone on ski patrol over winter. The following summer he began his career as a mountain guide at Mt Cook. Soon Dave too was employed by Paul Scaife at Harris Mountain Heliskiing.

It soon became apparent that Dave, or Hip as we called him once we knew him better, was a climber of the highest caliber. Once he’d set his sights on becoming a guide, and a better climber, he trained and practiced religiously until he was performing acts on the rock faces around Wanaka at as high a level as anyone in the country was achieving at the time.

In 1996 Dave joined myself and Chris Jillet on an expedition to Nepal to guide a group up a peak called Pumori near Mt Everest. We had not long been there when Rob Hall and Andy Harris were beset by a storm high on Mt Everest and we stepped up to assist with the rescue. Selflessly Dave and Chris abandoned their own attempt on Pumori so they could help with the rescue of people from Everest. Both Dave and Chris were both assisting the beleaguered climbers Beck Weathers and Makalu Gau down from the mountain when we managed to organize the helicopter rescue from the top of the Khumbu icefall.

In 1997 Dave joined me to guide the worlds sixth highest mountain, a peak called Mt Cho Oyu in Tibet. It was immediately obvious to me that Dave had a huge amount of strength at high altitude and he was a lot of fun to share a tent with. Dave had that curious mix that is required in a high altitude climber of being very good at relaxing when beset by weather or just acclimatizing, yet he could get out of his tent at 2.00am the following morning at –40 degrees Celsius and be completely ready to give it his all.

Dave went on to guide another 7 expeditions in the Himalayas for us at Adventure Consultants over the next five years and at 30 years of age he was leading expeditions himself. That he could accept the responsibility was testament to his focused drive and maturity at a young age and after every trip we would get glowing reports from Dave’s clients who emphasized his caring yet direct way of caring for them. The Sherpas also really gravitated towards Dave and he made many firm friends on his travels there. He was always helping them in any way he could and when we traveled together he was always stopping to talk to some of the children we met along the way. Dave always had a soft spot for kids and he spent hours playing with his friend’s kids who all thought he was marvelous.

When we went to Everest in 2000 Dave decided to turn back at the South Summit, only 100m vertically from the very top but, due to recent snow, it was potentially some hours there and back. For Dave to turn back even though he was so close must have been hard, but it was a tough decision he made for the right reasons. He refused to be seduced by the summit being so close.

Two years later, Dave was on Everest again guiding a group of clients and this time he went all the way to the top. What was remarkable about the ascent was that Dave had had reconstructive surgery to the ACL ligaments in both of his knees five months prior to the climb. Dave devoted every moment of the day to his recovery and astounded everybody by the speed of his recovery and the diligent way he went about his rehabilitation.

In the last few years Dave had started running expeditions to the mountains of Peru in South America, heliskiing in India and focusing on business and his house back home at Lake Hawea with his partner Anna. He also gained a lot of pleasure from surfing and kite surfing, sports which he quickly picked up and performed to a high level in a short time which was typical of Hip.

I will always remember Dave as a ‘human dynamo’. He was ball of focused energy with a twinkle in his eye, always positive and loyal to his friends.

Both Paul and Dave leave a huge void in our lives and in the guiding community that will never be filled but we will always remember them and feel privileged to have known them.