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Gabriel Chez

Affiliation: American Alpine Club Members, AMGA, NOLS Alumni, Wilderness First Responders, AIARE, ExpertVoice Ambassador
Occupation: Outdoor Adventure Guide
Location: United States
Joined ExpertVoice: 2020

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Gabriel “Gabe” Chez is an expert in skiing, especially backcountry skiing. He spends 50+ days earning his turns every winter, has his Professional Avalanche Training (AIARE Pro 1) certification and is an outdoor guide for Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides. But skiing didn’t always play a big role in Gabe’s life.

ExpertVoice sat down with Gabe, an ExpertVoice Ambassador, to learn about his journey from growing up in Arizona to mentoring others in the snowy Rocky Mountains.

What first drew you to skiing? 

“I became a skier several years ago when I was pursuing my outdoor education degree. I took some ski classes as part of my degree and fell in love with it very quickly. Since then I’ve just kind of leaned into it really hard and become more advanced with every year doing harder runs, doing more challenging terrain, and I found that it’s something that I’m really passionate about. I’m from Arizona, there’s one resort in the whole state and their powder days are a few inches instead of a few feet, so skiing was never really in my blood. But I realized, like, ‘Wow, I love this.’ I can never snowshoe another trail again — I have to be on skis.”

What makes you an expert in backcountry skiing?

“I would say I’m an expert in skiing because I get a lot of days, at least 50 plus out in the backcountry each season. I’m really passionate about avalanche education and snow science. That’s something I really like getting into — so, getting out in the snow and digging pits is something I love.”

What’s a recent achievement you’re proud of?

“One achievement that I’m proud of accomplishing recently is — when I first started my ski experience, I was driving by an area called the East Wall outside of Arapahoe Basin located in Colorado. And it always looked so out of my league, so impressive and intimidating. And I thought to myself that I really want to be able to ski that someday. Fast-forward a few years and I was able to accomplish that. I was able to send the runs on the East Wall safely and cleanly, and I was proud of myself for achieving that for sure.”

What products helped you with skiing the East Wall?

“Some gear that I relied on was my DynaFit setup, specifically my DynaFit TLT 6 Boot. There’s a saying where you date your skis and marry your boots, and I am married to those boots. I also use the MAMMUT Barryvox beacon and the Himali Altocumulus puffy.”

Gabe’s picks: DynaFit TLT X Boot (the latest version of Gabe’s go-to, the TLT 6), MAMMUT Barryvox avalanche transceiver and Himali Altocumulus Down Jacket 2.0.

What tips do you have for someone who wants to get into skiing? 

“Have a passion for it. There’s a lot of cold days, early starts, uncomfortable environments, but if you really love what you’re doing, it allows you to really excel at that and you will find that you learn pretty quickly. The moves become intuitive. You learn how to read the snow, and it allows you to really deepen your experience when you’re out there.

Another tip is to take care of yourself physically. Skiing is a pretty high-risk sport with a lot of injuries and making sure that you’re fit and healthy will also help you ski for longer and harder.”

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