GABRIELA VELASQUEZ

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  Gabi: Lead Guide, WFR, AAIRE I, LNT, Basic Mountaineering, Ecoturism Management, CASI Level I

Co-Owner / Co-Founder

 

  I was born and raised in the small Southern city of Osorno, Chile. As a little child my father always took me out for hikes and camping, and later on to climb small mountains and volcanos close to home. So it was easy for me to realize what I wanted to do with my life because I always knew that my happiness was "out in nature." After finishing my studies as an Ecotourism administrator where I received certifications in “Leave No Trace" NOLS and Basic Mountaineering Techniques, ENAM, I started with the “never summer" life working at different ski resorts, moving up from Lift Operator to Snowboard Instructor to Marketing Manager. After a couple of years doing back-to-back winters, I met the love of my life in El Colorado, Chile, and from then on the adventures have gotten bigger and more exciting. Even today, it's crazy for me to think that my husband from another country introduced me to this awesome zone surrounded by volcanos, rivers, beautiful forests and great people, named Malalcahuello. I upgraded from snowshoes to a splitboard, and since that moment I’ve become more and more passionate about the backcountry, taking courses, gaining certifications, and learning about all the things we need to have in mind when in the backcountry so that we can have a safe and joyful day. 

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Forrest Schmidt: Lead Guide, Snowmobile Guide, WFR, AAIRE I, LNT, AASI III, AASI Freestyle III, Motorized Avalanche Rescue, Co-Owner / Co-Founder

 

 My 17 years of experience in deep backcountry tours, knowledge of avalanche risk management, certifications in wilderness medical evacuation, and an intimate understanding of the Araucanía Andina’s peaks allow me to combine my passion for splitboarding and the big mountains to the full potential. Being a natural-born explorer from the countryside of Upstate, NY, the small resorts and terrain at hand weren’t enough to feed my adventurous soul and big dreams. Upon earning my Level III AASI certification and competing in the local freestyle series a move to Mammoth Lakes, California in pursuit of a professional career changed my life. I pushed my park skills to the top, winning multiple contests en route to competing on the big stage but grew tired of the park's manmade features. Steep blower pow turns, fast descents, and natural senders captured my attention so dropping off the resort into the side country became my routine. Going deeper each time to build my confidence, experience, and knowledge became the focus of my snowboarding. After years of honing my craft on backcountry split missions and snowmobile adventures, I jumped at the opportunity to ride Chile's grand mountains. Exploring the Andes North to South for several years led me to the Araucanía where I was won over with magical trees, steep spines, perfect faces, and endless volcanic views. I am extremely proud of the routes my wife Gabi, the boys, and I have developed for you and can’t wait to see the gracious smiles they produce.

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