Current favorite piece/pieces of gear? Why?
The Volkl BMT 122. I used these skis in Alaska touring and they were so reactive, light and would rip everything. But, what I like most was how easy they are thrown sideways to scrub speed. They are unlike anything I have skied before.
What’s your “Back in my day, we…”?
Back in the day, my friends and I would spend any money that our parents gave us for food at the ski hill, (if they gave us any) on video games at the arcade (mostly Cruis'n the USA). We would fuel up by taking the little half-and-half single servings, peal the lid off and dump a sugar packet or two in, and drink those for a quick (and free) pick me up.
Who has inspired your skiing the most?
My close friend Max Mackenzie was a huge inspiration growing up. We skied together through high school during the "progression" years. He was always one step ahead on the tricks. We both raged cliffs and big mountain style skiing, but when it came to learning new stuff, I really looked to him. Sage Cattabriga Alosa went to my elementary school. Besides his own unique, smooth style that I really liked, he was a hometown hero that gave me more reason to look up to him. And then there was Kent Krietler, who we all know was one of the first to really take the new school trick scene to the big mountains along with the Collins brothers. Kent really inspired me because he would hang with the youth in the terrain park and kill it, and then he would go to AK with the big boys and kill it. For me at the time he was the most well-rounded skier out there.
Best recovery exercises?
I really like biking or just spinning on a stationary bike to wind down and recover. Rarely do I get the chance because during the winter months, I ski all day, come home, clean up, go to work and go to bed. So usually, a few stretches of the hamstring and some downward dog is all that I need to get me through.
Ideal down day?
If I'm in Jackson Hole: an early morning hot spring mission, followed by breakfast at Nora's, followed by second breakfast at Pearl St. Bagels, followed by a walk around town with a rescue dog from the local Animal Adoption Center, followed by a sunset viewing up in Grand Teton National Park, followed by dinner with my tribe. If I'm at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge: I will sauna to ice plunge all day.
Spiciest/most intimidating line you've skied or ridden this year?
This year? Oof, probably the cliff I dropped in the Kings and Queens of Corbet's competition. I had never sent that one before, it was large and the area of fresh snow was pretty small. I pretty much just made myself do it. 90% of me didn't want to do it, but I rode away and was pretty stoked I pushed myself off the ledge.
Goals in skiing/riding this next year?
So many. Trying to delegate certain goals for just one season is hard. I want to do so much. I really want to improve my endurance for bigger ski mountaineering missions and work on technical rope and climbing skills so that I'm better equipped to explore the world. That's pretty general but that will really make the list of doable missions bigger. I want to go to Morocco, South America, Nepal but attainable goals would be Beartooth Pass in May and early June. The pass had a lot of snow this year and the place is littered with world-class lines. Going to South America for the skiing is something I've had on the list for a while, so I think that will have to happen this summer. And going back to Alaska is really on my mind a lot as well. Now that I've seen the place and know what's up there, I have more of a refined hit list. I would love to visit some of the couloirs around the Ruth Glacier that rarely, or never get skied, and put some tracks down them.
What’s a great book you’ve read recently?
I'm reading two books right now, both are excellent. One is a Language Older Than Words, and the other is Minus 148 degrees which we learned about while in AK filming. It's about the first guide on Denali, Ray Genet, and his winter ascent of Denali back in 1967.
Favorite mountain range?
Well now that I've sacrificed quite a few hours of crucial sleep time staring at the peaks between Tordrillo Mountain Lodge and Denali National Park, it's pretty safe to say the Alaska Range is my number one for now.
Working title for the book or movie about your life?
Gosh Darn(d) Hunky Dory(d)
Best moment filming with WME this year?
The last line of the trip up in Denali National Park was the best moment filming. I spotted the line from camp, and I knew it would go. It was a tight, long couloir with an air at the bottom. I didn't climb up it, I climbed the neighboring couloir and traversed over, so I wasn't exactly sure of the snow quality. I knew it saw sunlight for a relatively short amount of time, it had really high walls and was thus fairly protected from the wind, and I was inclined to think the snow would be great. The view from the top was amazing, the line was way bigger than I thought it would be, as is every thing on the Ruth Glacier, huge spires on either side topped with muffin tops of snow like you might see in British Columbia. There was a mandatory air towards the bottom, lots of sluff to deal with on the decent and we were out in the middle of the Ruth Glacier, far from rescue. The pressure to not get hurt was pretty high as was the pressure to perform. Some of the crew watched from camp and as I finished the line they shared the stoke shouting and congratulating me over the radio, it felt great. That was the most rewarding line of the season for sure.
How did Warren Miller the man influence your skiing/riding career?
Immensely. It's because if him, I became aware that people make a living skiing. Any sick day I had as a kid my mom would go rent videos for me and would usually bring back a Warren Miller and an Ace Ventura. I would watch and re-watch the videos all day. How passionate Warren was about skiing and being free was something I related too immediately. I can blame his films for the desire they instilled from an early age to get outside and ski and feel free. No matter the conditions, sick, injured or imprisoned by summer, I only ever want to go skiing.