We met Greg Schlachter last year but it feels as if we've known the guy for years. He exudes a warm energy and excitement, and his passion for the outdoors is palpable and inspiring. An avid skier, fisherman, paddler and surfer, Greg is lucky to call Haines, Alaska his home...
Greg's sense of adventure is strong, and as a result, he has chosen to help others pursue alpine experiences through his business, Expedition Broker. Headquartered in Haines, Expedition Broker is a boutique luxury travel agency, relying on local knowledge to help clients find the best heli-skiing, cat skiing, and alpine touring adventures with luxury accommodations. We hooked up with Greg after his recent float trip down the Denali River to pick his brain about his life in the mountains.
Alps & Meters: Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Greg Schlacter, Owner/Founder of Expedition Broker, an adventure travel agency specializing in heli and backcountry skiing, charter yachts and remote flyfishing destinations within Alaska and beyond. EB provides first hand, local knowledge and personal service while planning the perfect adventure for clients. In my spare time I operate a fly fishing guiding service on local waters in Southeast Alaska as well as in the Arctic.
Alps & Meters: What brought you to Alakaska originally? What keeps you there?
I can recall poring over maps of Alaska trying to decide where I was eventually going to live as far back as 2nd grade. The state looked so massive, with so many mountains and rivers and wild places, even in two dimensions. About a decade ago I met a girl, fell in love, and we were both ready for a new adventure in life, so I introduced her to my childhood dream. We've both fallen for Alaska harder than I think either of us could have imagined. The mountains, rivers and wild places are like nowhere else on earth.
Alps & Meters: Your business specializes in opening up the best experiences to guests who might not know where to look when booking a help trip or a remote fly fishing excursion. Do you test the expeditions out yourself? That must be rough...
I make an effort to visit each of our operators not only for quality control, but to be able to provide clients with the options that are best for them and their unique interests. That said, I know nearly all of our operators and their guides personally, which puts me in a strong position for selecting the ideal trip for clients. While I love visiting with our operators, I get an even bigger kick out of how stoked clients are when they return from their trips!
Alps & Meters: What does a typical day in your life look like? Your ideal day?
A good portion of my day is spent answering emails, trip planning and expanding our destination offerings. I'm blessed to have an incredible assistant who takes care of all our travel logistics for clients and generally keeps the ship afloat. I try to stay fit and ready for any trip with early morning circuit training and afternoon trail runs. The perfect days are an early morning on the river fly fishing or lapping powder with friends in the backcountry, while still getting back to the office by noon. That's the best part about Haines. You can literally run 3-4 hot laps out of a ski-plane in the AM and be back in the office by the afternoon.
Alps & Meters: Who or what inspires you?
Those who find a way to make a living doing what they love.
Alps & Meters: Fondest memory of time well spent in the mountains?
I have a hard time looking back and finding a memory from the mountains I'm not fond of! But any time I'm surrounded by good friends having meaningful conversations while enjoying the backcountry would be tops for me.
Alps & Meters: Apres-ski cocktail of choice?
I'm really fired up right now about Haines' own Port Chilkoot Distillery's small batch bourbon that was just released last month. They're serving it over glacier ice right now, so that's kind of a big deal. Haines Brewing Company's Imperial Stout "Black Fang" also helps me forget my bad turns and makes every fish bigger.
Alps & Meters: Favorite photo from your time in AK?
Action Shot- This was my first time skiing with Drake Olson of Fly Drake. He's overlooking all of Glacier Bay National Park with Fairweather in the distance at over 15,000 feet. We're only about 15 minutes from town, but in such big country accessed by his ski plane.
Non Action Shot- Morning commute with Pelly dog four years ago when it snowed over 30 feet in one winter in Haines.
Alps & Meters: Best snow conditions, ever. Go!
The first day SEABA started catskiing in Haines in 2007. It was So deep and we were so fired up to have this new option for access in town.
Alps & Meters: Of all of your travels, which place is calling you back?
Western Arctic Alaska. Huge fish, zero people for hundreds of miles, breathtaking mountains, rivers and scenery, tens of thousands of caribou, musk ox, wolves, bears, wolverines, moose. It is just so wild.
Alps & Meters: How would you describe your personal style?
I'd have to say that had evolved (or devolved) since moving to rural Alaska. I focus on function, fit and durability. We have a saying here, "There is no bad weather, just bad gear." This place can surely put gear to the test!
Alps & Meters: What do you appreciate most about Alps & Meters?
There is a special place in my hear for the rugged durability of natural materials. After hearing Lou's story of the vintage ski sweater that inspired the brand, I'm in!