#19 - Mike Trombetta - Alaska Rendezvous: Helicopter Skiing


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Today’s guest is Mike Trombetta.

Mike Trombetta, a native of Flemington, NJ, grew a passion for mountain living, skiing, and gourmet cooking. After attending culinary school in Vermont, Mike headed west to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to start a new life in Truckee, California.

Mike has a fascinating and adventurous career path. He is a ski patrolman and a wilderness first responder and a member of a mountain search and rescue team in Lake Tahoe, California.

In the summers, Mike does what he calls “low stress” guiding for hiking, mountain biking, and kayak tours for Tahoe Adventures, and he is also a professionally trained gourmet chef.

But the main reason I asked Mike to be on the show is that for 8 weeks each year, Mike is a helicopter ski guide in Alaska for the Alaska Rendezvous company in Valdez, Alaska, where he leads guests from their resort in Alaska on and off the helicopter then down the mountain for what Mike calls the “greatest skiing on earth.”

Mike is a certified Wilderness First Responder and is Level III American Avalanche Institute certified. Mike is also a proud member of the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team and an entrepreneur with his gourmet catering company he named “Farm to Belly.”

Mike and I discuss what it is like when a helicopter drops you off on a remote mountain in Alaska and there is nothing but you, your guide, and the mountain for as far as you can see.

Mike shares some amazing stories of recusing a friend from what calls “the biggest avalanche he has ever seen”, almost a mile in length down the bowl of the mountain. He also shares some survival tips that every skier needs to know if they ever find themselves caught in an avalanche.

Mike and I also cover the book he goes back to most often, why he keeps a daily journal, and what it is like trying to grow a small business in a resort area like Lake Tahoe.

Also, mike discusses his philosophy why a guide and first responder “needs to be an asset, not a liability” and what it is like training his first ever avalanche rescue dog, a black lab named Graupel.


Thank you for listening.

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We have a bunch of cool interviews, like this one, to come.

Enjoy my conversation with Mike Trombetta – Ski patrolman, wilderness first responder, Alaska Helicopter Ski guide, gourmet chef, and entrepreneur.

And remember… “Life is built, not born…”

Mentioned In this Episode:

Website: Alaska Rendezvous Heli Skiing

Website: Tahoe Adventure Company

Website: Farm to Belly

Trip Advisor: Truckee, California

Trip Advisor: Lake Tahoe, California / Nevada

Book: Wild Rescues: A Paramedic's Extreme Adventures in Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton (By Kevin Grange)

30 episodi