About Aaron Karitis

An inspiration to so many

about-arron

The Journey

Aaron Karitis was so much to so many people: a son, a brother, a loyal friend, a dedicated skier, an avid traveler, and a respected ski guide. A Bend, Oregon native, Aaron grew up with a deep passion for skiing and the mountains. Friends in Bend knew Aaron as “Big Haas.” A lean 6-foot-4, Aaron wasn’t built to ski, but his smooth style and perfect technique landed him in magazines and advertisements. A shot of him skiing at Mount Bachelor became the cover of Powder magazine in October 2008. After high school, Aaron chose to attend the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he would have easy access to the numerous ski resorts lining the Wasatch range, particularly Alta, where he was a staple during his college years. While working on his degree in the school’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management program, Aaron interned at Valdez-based H2O Guides, and fell in love with the Chugach Range. He worked his way up from office manager to lead guide and director of operations. Aaron built his client base, skiing with many of the same return guests season after season and pushing his own skiing to the upper echelon of the sport. A year before his passing, at age 31, he founded his own international adventure guiding operation, Pulseline Adventures. In his first year, he organized trips to Japan, British Columbia, and Alaska and took surfers to Nicaragua. Aaron’s reputation as a guide was impeccable. He went to Canada for his avalanche education, where his level-two certification required more rigorous study and testing than it would have in the U.S. In work and life, Aaron held himself to the highest standards until his death in 2014. Aaron seized every day and encouraged those around him to do the same. To waste time or miss out on an opportunity was simply unacceptable. Aaron told one friend that death taught him something at a young age. He said, recalling an old Mae West quote, that you only live once but if you do it right, once is enough.