Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Mountain Guide Latest IS Victim

Herve Gourdel, a 55-year-old French mountain guide, was beheaded by a faction of IS while on a trip to northeastern Algeria.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Hervé Gourdel, a 55-year-old mountain guide from Nice, France, has been beheaded by a faction of the Islamic State after being captured on a personal hiking trip in northern Algeria.

Gourdel was abducted on Sunday, September 21, by Jund al-Khilafah, a militant Islamic group that had recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State. According to the BBC, friends said he was on a hiking and reconnaissance trip to the northeast Kabylie region.

The Guardian has said he was seized in the Djurdjura Mountains, in the Kabylie region, part of the Tell Atlas Mountains.

On Monday, the jihadist assemblage released a video threatening Gourdel’s execution in 24 hours if France did not stop airstrikes against IS.

Algerian forces organized a massive manhunt in an attempt to rescue Gourdel. Yesterday Jund al-Khilafah released the video of his beheading.

Photo from Gourdel's FacebookAccording to Gourdel’s website, he had wanted to be a mountain guide since he was a teenager and traveled to the Maritime Alps with friends. In 1987, with other guides, he established the company Escapade Les Guide Du Mercantour. The company led rock climbing, canyoneering, ski touring and hiking trips, mostly in the Nice region and Mercantour National Park north of Nice. Gourdel also trained mountain guides in Morocco, Nepal and Jordan, according to the BBC, which also reported that his friends said he had visited Algeria previously.

He had led trips in the Tell Atlas Mountains in Morocco for 20 years, according to the BBC.

Gourdel was also a lifetime photographer. He wrote on his website (translated): “I started making pictures in mountains when my father took me to my first peaks in the Mercantour around the age of ten years…I made pictures with my clients to give them a memory. I have long liked to shoot landscapes in the wild as it was those places that inspired me and where I spent most of my time.”

French President François Hollande has said the airstrikes against IS will continue. He and President Obama condemned the killing.

French flags will fly at half-staff on Friday and Saturday to mourn Gourdel.

Among many condolences posted on Escapade Les Guide Du Mercantour’s Facebook page, one read (translated), “It’s a whole country crying today for your tragic loss.”