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Plan with confidence using our experience and pro tips.

Safety & Awareness

Safety from day one and aware from the moment of consciousness that the playgrounds we love so much can be devastating when underestimated or disrespected. APEX is founded on the principals of safety, fun, and learning. Since the first year of opening our doors we have actively set out to protect and inform our community through the formation of Amigos y Montañas a local free series of seminars that help form good practices in the pursuit of backcountry bliss. We have been local leaders for Andes Consciente each year in large gatherings that promote avalanche awareness on a larger scale across Chile and Argentina. Most recently with the help of NFS Avalanche Forecaster Ryan Lewthwaite we formed the first public avalanche bulletin in Chile named the Araucanía Avalanche Advisory with the goal of expanding throughout Chile and creating platforms in each of the regions where snowsports are practiced.


  • The activity of your choice will be lead by one to two professional guides who have dedicated their careers to sharing the mountains with guests while managing risks and hazards.

    APEX Backcountry Guides are certified in avalanche hazard evaluation management, emergency wilderness first aid, glacier travel/rescue techniques, and customer care. With an average of 15 years experience guiding in the mountains and ranging from an AMGA member to ANGM Mountain Guides our accredited team is committed to safety and continued professional development.


    APEX Backcountry Guides has the largest team of certified guides in the Araucanía and have chosen them due to their experience and commitment to executing first class customer service en route to realizing guest elation in the Andes.  

  • Backcountry skiing/ snowboarding, touring/splitboarding is wilderness skiing and riding in uncontrolled and wild mountain terrain. Terrain is unmarked, ungroomed and includes myriad of potential hazards of which you will be notified at the trailhead and reminded throughout the day by your guide.

    Your guides are constantly evaluating the terrain, the conditions, group dynamics, and other factors. This allows them to reduce potential hazards and to make the best decisions up to and possibly including complete route changes. 

    Despite the most diligent efforts to reduce hazards, incidents can still occur. These could include: 


    During your mandatory trailhead safety meeting, you’ll learn what to do if an avalanche occurs. You’ll also review and practice how to use a transceiver, probe, shovel and radio, which every APEX guest and guide carries with them in a backpack. If you are booked into a program this will include a more detailed and extended training session.


    Uncontrolled Falls

    Falls are rarely intentional but that you control them is important. In deep snow conditions falling head first can lead to similar asphyxiation and in exposed areas a fall could lead to serious injury or death. You are responsible to ski in a controlled manner throughout each day, failure to do so may lead to the conclusion of your activities for the day.


    Kila & Tree wells

    Kila or Quila is a bamboo like hazard that can be found at lower elevations where the snowpack is not so deep. They may be doubled over in a rainbow form and hook the tips of your skis or board. Tree wells are a hazard when riding and skiing in forested areas. Tree wells form when snow falls around the tree but leaves a hollow space around the trunk. Both hazards will be discussed in the trailhead safety meeting.

    While we recognize that there are always risks in the places we operate, our intention is that every guest returns home safe and healthy. It is the basis of APEX Backcountry Guides and something we are proud to do very well. 

  • As a guest, it is your responsibility to help minimize the risk involved in backcountry skiing and snowboarding


    You are expected to: 

    • Provide a truthful assessment of your skiing or riding ability during booking process

    • Listen to and follow the instructions of your guides

    • Bring and know your safety equipment

    • Ask for clarification if needed

    • Communicate freely if a concern arrises

    • Always ski/ride with a partner

    • Always ride/ski under control

    • Arrive healthy and fit for your adventure


    All guests must sign a Waiver & Release Agreement prior to commencement of activities and participate in mandatory safety sessions. 

  • At the forefront of safety equipment and technology, APEX guides are always training, testing skills, and leveling up our safety practices and products. We hope that you are keeping current and replacing your transceiver every 5 years.

    We can supply mandatory safety equipment (notify us upon booking) but prefer that you bring your own due to your familiarity with the use and function of your transceiver.  


    Every APEX guest is provided a two-way radio as an added layer of connection and safety. This means you’re always able to communicate with your group and guide, no matter where you are on the run. 


    Everyone who skis and rides with us is to have a backpack with dedicated probe and shovel pockets. This should be a low-profile (30L+/-) backpack so as not to impede your movements, but large enough to carry your daily touring gear and rescue tools in the case of an emergency. 

    Shovel & Probe

    Everyone who rides or skis with us must carry in their backpack a probe and shovel.


    Digital transceivers must have at least 2 antennas, 3 antenna configurations are preferred as they are statically proven to offer a higher victim recovery rate. Your transceiver will be checked to ensure that it is working properly in both transmit and emit modes.

    Safety Pack

    APEX can rent to you all of the safety equipment required for your adventure, please let us know if you will require a safety pack including a BCA backpack, transceiver, shovel, and probe. Be sure to notify us at the time of booking to secure your safety pack. 

    Backcountry ski tour and splitboard tour guests must have required safety equipment or will not be eligible to participate.

  • We dedicate a hours each day to monitoring snow safety. From the first snowfall of the season to the last we know what is happening in our snowpack. More so we dedicate days each week to snowpack studies that reveal the nature of what is occurring beneath the surface of the snow.

    Generally speaking with have a dry maritime snowpack meaning that the snow quality is high during and immediately after storms but settles out quickly reducing the formation of persistent layers that lurk for extended periods of time. 


    When it is decided that avalanche dangers are not tolerable in the high alpine we always have safe zones that equal the magic of the big mountain arena without the risks. 

  • Our guides closely monitor all available weather and snow condition information to shape their decisions. 

    One of the ways we’re able to make safety-minded decisions and find the best snow to ski and ride is by using data collected from weather stations and pins we have placed in zones that allow us to make more accurate estimates.


     Furthermore, our guides and associates contribute to the Araucanía Avalanche Advisory with valuable observations that are taken from real time measurements and studies in the mountains.

  • In the rare occurrence of a rapid emergency response occur and your guide needs additional assistance, we have three options that are unique to APEX:

    1. We have access to a helicopter from July-August making Heli-evacuations possible in minutes rather than hours.

    2. Apex relies on snowmobile support from highly trained professional during no fly weather periods and at night.

    3. All guides carry a satellite communication device guaranteeing support will be notified quickly. 


    We also maintain strong relationships with fellow guide agencies who can be called upon if needed. 


    Medical support 

    If you experience an injury or medical situation during your trip, our guides or local doctors will assess you and help decide the best steps for your unique circumstances.

    In addition to the wealth of wilderness first aid knowledge our guides have, we work with doctors and a German Kinesiologist  They advise our team as to the best course of action regarding all emergencies.

    He also conducts annual training with all CMH guides on current first-aid and mountain rescue best practices. 


    Note: Mandatory Travel Insurance can drastically reduce the costs incurred due to cancellation/interruption and medical complications in the event of a medical emergency or other trip interruption. 

  • We ask that all guest arrive free of illness.

    Due to close contact in enclosed environments and lodging situations it is necessary to prevent outbreaks.

    Please contact us prior to traveling if you are feeling ill or as if a sickness is coming on, we'll work with you on rescheduling or canceling your scheduled activities.

    If you happen to fall ill while staying with us we will bring you to the doctor to have you evaluated and to form a plan as to how to contain the illness up to an including asking you to change lodging to private accommodations if necessary.

    • We ask that you arrive fit and healthy for your activity with APEX, for your enjoyment as well as that of those in your group. 

    • Muscular and cardio training in the lead-up to your trip will help you have the best experience possible. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you have the stamina to comfortably ski and ride all day or for consecutive days in a row. 

    • When you are ski-touring or splitboarding, if you do begin to feel tired or your muscles are wearing out, tell your guide immediately so that they may make adjustments to the planned itinerary if needed. Rest and rejuvenate drinking plenty of water and avoid alcohol so you can get back on-snow feeling refreshed and strong the following day. 

    • Our trailhead safety meetings give you some time to loosen up before striding into the mountains where your guide will be attentive to the groups needs by considering pace and altering objectives if needed. 

Please familiarize yourself with the following:

Your Safety is Our Priority

Please contact us today if you are unsure about any of the details listed on our site, we are happy to converse with you to remove all doubts and leave you with a clear understanding of how we operate and what we expect of you in conjunction. Thanks!


Questions? Call us.

Backcountry Guided Tours with the Best Guides in Chile.


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