Gabriela Velásquez

Born and raised in the little southern city of Osorno, Chile. From the time I was very young my father always brought me hiking and camping and as I grew he brought me to climb small mountains and volcanos near home. Thanks to those experiences it was easy for me to decide what I wanted to do with my life because I had always known my happiness was in nature. After finishing my studies in Administration of Ecotourism where I received certifications from NOLS LNT and Basic Mountaineering Skills, ENAM I began a “never summer” journey working at different ski areas. I began by swinging chairs and moved up to certified instructor before focussing on client service and finally marketing knowing that at some point I would find my calling. After a few years doing consecutive winters I met the love of my life at El Colorado, Chile and ever since the adventures have become bigger and more exciting. Even today it is hard for me to believe that my husband from another country introduced me to this impressive zone around Malalcahuello with volcanos, rivers, beautiful forests, and great people. I gave up the ski lift for my splitboard and from that moment I have become more and more passionate about the backcountry, taking courses, studying, practicing, obtaining certifications, and learning everything that needs to be considered in order to have safe days filled with the joy in the mountains!  

Forrest Schmidt

Exploring the Andes from north to south for several years led me to the Araucanía, where magical trees, pristine faces, and infinite volcanic panoramas captured my attention. Blessed to be born in the countryside, raised on organics and game. Through no influence of my own, my name is as connected to my passion as the binding threads are to your jeans fabric. I grew up with an open door policy that allowed me free range over the entire valley so long as I returned in time for dinner, there was not a deer trail or stream that I didn’t follow. I fell in love with the sensation of sliding on snow at a young age and upon reconnecting with that exhilaration during my first year of college I realized I wasn’t long for the books. I snowboarded every single day first chair to last, I was obsessed and quiet frankly I still am. After earning my AASI Level III credentials and mastering board performance on ice I moved to the deeper pastures of Mammoth where I quickly fell in love with the side country and then the backcountry. I am a student of the mountains continuously studying since day one in order to process and manage the myriad of “what ifs” that exist each day. With 17 years of experience traveling in the backcountry, knowledge of avalanche risk management, avalanche certifications, rescue certifications in remote areas and an intimate understanding of the mountains of the Araucanía Andina allow me to combine my passion for splitboarding and the volcanic ranges of the Andes to the full potential. From the first snowfall to the last I have a deep understanding of what is going on in our local snowpack from months spent filtering numbers and performing quantifiable field tests. I am extremely proud of the routes we have developed for you and can’t wait to see the smiles plastered on your face all day! 

Javier Embry

Born and raised in the buzzing city of Santiago, as a boy I was always a restless sports fanatic. My father brought me to camp with his friends and later on I became a scout, from that moment on I found my love for being surrounded by nature and living a simple life. When I graduated I went on to study Ecotourism, once again I was brought back to the spark in my life, the mountain! During my studies I came to know the world of rock climbing and mountaineering which has allowed me to live unique experiences and has given me the opportunity to travel the length of Chile and the world searching for new areas in which to develop. I studied with NOLS for a semester and I specialized in LNT practices, glacier traverse courses, rock climbing, and hiking. Through this course I learned the importance of leadership and teamwork. Later I entered the work field as a hiking and mountaineering guide traveling from Arica to Patagonia. I also worked as a professor in Duoc for Ecotourism and adventure tourism. In the last years I have been rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering in Argentina, Chile, Peru, España, and Canada. For more than a year I was a via ferrata guide in Canada where I also did lots of skiing and obtained my AST 1 and 2. Upon returning from so many experiences it was time to formalize a profession and I decided to enter and study in the ANGM to become an accredited Mountain Guide.  Since 2020 I have been based out of Malalcahuello guiding mountaineering and hiking throughout Chile while specifically focussing on the classic volcanos of the Araucania including Lonquimay, Sierra Nevada, Tolhuaca, Llaima, and Lanín.