Hi, my name is Alberto Ortega, and I’m a Los Angeles native who grew up in the valley with the Angeles National Forest in my backyard. I started my career with the Forest Service in the mid 90’s in fire suppression and prevention. With a passion for the outdoors and education, I was a recipient for the Regional Forester’s Honor award 2016 Ecological Restoration and Engaging youth. I led a team that helped reduce congestion of the heavily used Chantry Flats Recreation area: We worked on a pilot program to shuttle forest visitors, which gave underserved communities access to use the park.
Looking forward seeing you on the trail.
Hello hikers and welcome to Trailmixer. My name is Francesca Koe (aka @kelpprincess on Insta and @free_dive on Twitter) and while it's true that my usual habitat is found underwater, I am #gratefulfornature everywhere. As an ocean advocate I helped to design & implement marine protected areas (MPAs) along the California coast as a primary stakeholder during the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, and I was proud to play a role in the passage of AB-376 (which bans the possession & sale of shark fins in CA). I am a multi-agency dive instructor (PADI MSDT #186082/ DAN #11837/PFI Safety Supervisor #1102 + AIDA judge), a competitive freediver, and the Editor-at-Large for Deeperblue.com. When I'm not in the water you can find me encouraging young people, friends & family to #gooutsideandexplore because hiking really is good for the soul. I am thrilled to collaborate with Ulisses and John on #trailmixer and eager to build more community as we meet out on the trails together.
Trailmixer Board of Directors
Howdy, I am Rick Gilles, and I have been a lifelong Outdoor Enthusiast. From skiing at 3, to backpacking trips with my father starting at age 5, to my first Wilderness Survival training with the Scouts at 10, I have always had one foot in the Mountains or Ocean (and lately desert). Nature is my Spirit and Meditation. I am also a longtime LGBTQ activist: I helped start Colorado’s first Gay and Lesbian Youth Group, Outright, when I was 16, which morphed into being on the front lines in HIV activism with Queer Nation, ACT Up, and others. I have continued that fundraising activism in my adult life in each state that I have lived in. I am loving this opportunity to combine my spirit and activism with Trailmixer! An artist/carpenter and builder by trade, I have contributed as navigator and logistics planner for these charity climbs since the first year - map nerd, through and through. See you on the trail! And really, it’s only another mile…mile and a half……