Student Profile: Isaac Laredo
September 15, 2016
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Name: Isaac Laredo
Major: Environmental Science
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Originally a New Mexico snowboarder, Isaac Laredo is a world-class shredder and adventure enthusiast. He lives for the outdoors, spending his spare time hiking around the Tahoe Basin or searching the peaks for untouched powder.
You’re originally from New Mexico. What sparked your decision to move to Lake Tahoe?
I was a camper at Woodward Tahoe in the summer of 2012. That introduced me to the Lake Tahoe basin and how beautiful the mountain ranges and bodies of water were, not to the mention the open-mindedness of the people in the community. Before I went to Woodward, I had seen a lot of videos of the snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, and it just looked cool. Thirteen ski areas within 45 minutes—that is quite a pitch right there.
Have you always been drawn to the outdoors?
Growing up, we did a lot of hiking until my brother and I started doing organized sports, like soccer and tennis. Then we didn’t have time for it. Moving out here rekindled my outdoor interest from when I was a little guy hiking with mom and pop.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Tahoe?
It has to be how diverse the entire landscape is, and especially all the activities you can do. You can mountain bike, backcountry ski, and snorkel. And each region of the lake is so diverse. The east shore is more like the Caribbean with its beaches, the west shore has its old-growth trees that are astonishing. South Lake is filled with snowmelt lakes and also great trees and granite faces. In North Lake you have a lot more rolling hills. It’s the diversity of the region, even in the people and community that exist here.
How does Tahoe compare to New Mexico?
In New Mexico there’s a lot of heritage and history and that’s really seen in its culture. You can see it in the way the houses are built and how the food is prepared and eaten. New Mexico is definitely not as jaw-dropping as Tahoe as far as scenery. You have to work a lot more for it.
What makes Sierra Nevada College a good fit for someone like you?
A large factor is that you can pursue a higher education and be able to lead a great life outdoors, killing two birds with one stone. Also, I’m majoring in environmental science, and this is one heck of a classroom right in our backyard.
How long have you been snowboarding?
I started snowboarding in the eighth grade. It wasn’t a huge part of my life until I could drive because my parents couldn’t get me up to the mountain all the time. Once I could drive, I was going up every weekend. Back in my senior year I thought 30 days was a good season, but now I’ve made it a consistent part of my life. I’m getting out maybe 100 days a season.
What has helped your progression as a snowboarder?
All my friends really helped me with snowboarding. All of them ride at a really high level, so that’s really helpful to push me and help me learn things. It has been a natural progression of having fun with the sport and doing it as much as I can.
Can you describe what the sport means to you on a personal level?
It’s something I feel blessed to do every time. A lot of my great friends have come to me through snowboarding. It’s a very simple thing that brings so much joy to so many people. In the bigger picture, snowboarding has really taught me that you can smile through anything, no matter if it’s a battle. It’s something that you’re working for, and if you keep trying, you’ll figure it out at some point. You can’t always choose what’s in your life, but you can choose how you perceive it.