MEET OUR TEAM


15Matt Appleford | Owner & Founder of The Adventure Project

Denver, CO

My love affair with skiing started when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I tried skiing for the first time on a plastic ski slope at Loch Rannoch in the Scottish Highlands. Two hours into my first ever ski lesson and I was hooked. The following winter we took a trip up to Aviemore and I got to ski on real snow for the first time. It was amazing. That was the start of my life as a skier!

In 2000, I took my first job as a ski instructor at Killington in Vermont and loved it. I tried out for the Mt.Hotham ski school in Australia the following summer and that was the start of 9 years of back to back winters teaching skiing. In 2004 I started skiing in the backcountry and fell in love with powder skiing. I ended up teaching skiing all around the world, in Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Colorado and California.

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In 2008 I visited Gulmarg ski resort in the Indian Himalayas for the first time. It was such a huge mountain with amazing terrain and abundant powder snow, it was amazing and I was completely blown away. The skiing was world-class, but it was the people of Kashmir and the whole experience that made it so special.

In the summer of 2010, I started The Adventure Project and Gulmarg has become our first commercial destination. Our goal is to take people on powder-fueled adventures all around the globe, from Japan, South America and New Zealand to Russia, Iceland, Georgia, Azerbaijan and other exotic destinations in the upcoming winters.

The Adventure Project has enabled me to combine my passion for teaching skiing, adventure travel and guiding others. There are so many amazing ski areas in exotic locations that most Westerners don’t even know about. I want to take people off the beaten path and help them explore some of these hidden gems. Our trips are not only about riding as much untouched powder as possible; they are also about meeting friendly locals and immersing ourselves in their culture.

Come with us and experience life elevated!

Click here to see me ski – then you’ll really get to know me!


 

BrennanBrennan Lagasse | Ski Guide

Lake Tahoe, CA

I’ve skied all 7 continents and earning turns around the globe has been my passion  for years. As much as the skiing matters, the people, place and overall experience is something that I truly enjoy, gravitate towards, and love sharing with people as much as possible. Along with working with The Adventure Project, I guide internationally, in the Chugach Mountain of Alaska and in Antarctica and Greenland.

I love how The Adventure Project has an understanding of the uniqueness that comes with global ski travel. After a ski expedition to India via the Kullu Valley, I realized India and the Himalaya are truly one of the most unique places to ski and ride in the world. People that are as stoked about sharing a powder day as they are about respectfully engaging and sharing in another culture through travel, are the kind of folks I want to work with – that’s why I’m fired up to work with TAP.

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I love what I do because I feel it’s an absolute gift to be able to spend time in the mountains, specifically on skis. Skiing has given me so much in life, and although I’ve been on skis since I was two, I still feel this undefinable giddy, excited energy every time I slap my skins on, or rip them off and get ready to drop in. Of course it’s all about powder, and couloirs are my favorite type of natural terrain to ski, but honestly just simply skiing on snow is still so much fun to me that being able to share that experience with others with sincere passion is why I love working as a ski guide as much as I do.

Get to know more about me, my photography and writing, at my site – State of the Backcountry.

 

derek2Derek Lennon | Ski Instructor & Guide

Big Sky, MT

After decades of playing in the mountains, I started my professional ski career as a ski instructor in 2004 at a small resort called Vail. I recently moved to Big Sky, Montana to continue my mountain lifestyle. I now spend my “summers” working as the lead guide and mountain manager at a backcountry snowcat operation called Ski Arpa in Chile. During the “winter,” I work as an instructor and guide at Big Sky Resort and as a guide for The Adventure Project. I am constantly exploring the backcountry for my own adventures.

As a backcountry guide and a fully certified alpine and telemark instructor, The Adventure Project combines all of my favorite things – mountains, people, skiing, adventure, travel. What could be better than that? Working with TAP is such an exciting opportunity because I get to work with other adventurous people doing what I love. The world is a massive place and there are so many mountains to explore. The Adventure Project allows me do that.

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I spend as much time as I can outside in the mountains. I have completed courses with the American Mountain Guide Association, American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education, American Avalanche Institute, Canadian Avalanche Association, National Ski Patrol, Wilderness Medical Institute, Professional Ski Instructor Association, National Ski Patrol, and National Outdoor Leadership School. The mountains are where I feel most at home. Put me in a city and I’m lost.

I work, live, and play in the mountains. I’ve been skiing since age 4 and chasing endless winters for over a decade. My personal and professional life revolves around the mountains. There is nothing that makes me smile more than a deep powder day, big mountains, and a bit of backcountry adventure. Confucius says it best, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It’s true.

Feel free to learn more about my adventures on my blog – A Mountain Journey.


Staff~~element63~~0Tim Williams | Head Ski Instructor and Guide

Wanaka, New Zealand

My home base is a small town in the Southern Alps of New Zealand called Wanaka. This is one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the world and offers everything you could imagine in a an alpine environment. Over the past 16 years I have called many places home throughout Europe, U.S.A, Canada, Australia, Caribbean, and New Zealand.

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I’m an APSI Level 4 Ski Instructor, PSIA Level 3 Ski Instructor, Austrian Ski Federation Qualified Instructor, C.S.I.A Instructor / Coach, AIARE Avalanche Certified, First Aid and CPR Certified, FITOUR Strength and Fitness Conditioning Coach.

The experience I bring to The Adventure Project entails 28 ski seasons working globally in the Ski Industry. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in many places around the world including Kitzbuhel Austria, Whistler Canada, Wanaka New Zealand, Thredbo Australia, Telluride Colorado and Gulmarg in the Indian Himalayas. During this time I have worked as a Ski Instructor, Instructor Trainer, Guide, Snow Sports Director and Race Coach.

My favorite place to ski is anywhere with a good crew keen for turns.

See Tim ski by clicking here.

Staff~~element78~~0Jeremy Wood | Snowboard Instructor and Guide

Steamboat Springs, CO

I got my education from Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 2006. My degree is in Resort Management.

The qualifications I bring to The Adventure Project are AAIRE Avalanche Level II 2012, National Ski Patrol: Outdoor Emergency Care 2010, CPR for the Professional rescuer 2010, and American Association of Snowboard Instructors: Level 3  2005.

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My experiences cover 18 years of snowboarding with 15 of those years in professional snowboard instruction. 12 years have been in side-country and backcountry experience utilizing avalanche techniques and equipment. I have also worked in multiple personal hut and tent based backcountry trips. Other trainings I come equipped with are AAIRE training in recognizing and avoiding avalanches, Emergency medical training from the National Ski Patrol, and Group leadership skills related to snow-sport activities and backcountry excursions. My guest services skills are related to snow-sport activities as well as the lodging and food service industry.

I love to work in the backcountry and share the experience with others.


 Karl Welter | Snow Safety Officer and Guide

Karl “Hot Karl” Welter comes from a background of ski patrolling, paragliding and adventuring in general. He loves exploring the four-corners region around Telluride, CO, where he’s been patrolling and guiding for 7 years. His studies at UW-Madison brought a curiosity of geography and weather that’s been stoked into a talent for interpreting Avalanche conditions and spatial variation in mountain snow.

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Karl is tough as nails, emotionally stoic and never smiles. As a long time WFR, OEC, former EMT-B, Rigging for Rescue graduate, AIARE Level 3 Avalanche graduate, and current AIARE Level 1 CourseLeader, Karl is well versed in outdoor safety. He has led trips in Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, New Zealand and Nepal, adventuring in various capacities. When he is not in Kashmir enjoying curry, he will be found skiing and paragliding in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.

Why is he with Adventure Project? To be active in an up & coming guide service with great destinations mind and a creative freedom and that enables epic skiing in a unique place like Gulmarg. The spirit of traveling to India to ski blends the themes of powder skiing and travel; it requires patience and tolerance for a less-steadfast infrastructure. If traveling “magnifies human emotions”, then imagine magnifying the delight of a perfect 3,000 foot ski run into a delirious body-wide euphoria. The 30minute skin up Mt Apharwat to 13,000 ft in the magnificent Himalayas, in view of Nanga Parbat in the Karakoram Range raising up like a knife blade nearby! Or the curiosity of a 6 mile, 6,000ft ski descent through forest trails to the village of Drang, surrounded by the deep chasmic valleys of the huge mountain rivers. A great travel quote: “A ship in harbor is safe. But that’s not what ships are made for.” Extrapolate this saying for your skis… they look great in your closet, but where will you let them TAKE you??