Featured Athlete: Kaylin Richardson 

 
Name a person who inspires you to be a better skier/rider?

My daughter, Holly.

 

What would you do if you won the lottery?

For starters, I would do my best to be smart with the money by talking with people that are far smarter about money than I am. Most likely there would be a large chunk to save and invest accordingly. And I would love to help organizations that are doing good work to end climate change, racial injustice, and the poverty/health care gap. But you're looking for fun answers, right? And I certainly would have a frivolous splurge or two. I would love to tour all of Australia and New Zealand, followed by Japan. I also would make it back to see friends in Norway, my happy place. So, travel. I would splurge on travel!

 

Breakfast of champions?

Breakfast burrito. Energy and delicious goodness in the palm of your hand.

 

Favorite chairlift and why?
Mayflower at Deer Valley. I am a sucker for old school doubles and this is one of the last of its kind. Sure, it's a little slower, but its intimate. You have the time to connect with your riding partner and take in the beauty of Mayflower Bowl and the Heber Valley. When I am skiing alone I often gravitate toward this lift because it gives me time to just breathe, a mediation on skis of sorts. It probably will get replaced soon, and that will likely be for the best, but I'll miss it when it goes.

As for access, the best lift is Empire Express at DV. Not only is there all of Daly Bowl, Daly Chutes, and Lady Morgan Bowl, catching Supreme first thing in the morning, after its been freshly groomed is a carving-lovers paradise!

 

The most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this year? (books, podcasts, TV shows)
John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" segments (I watch them on YouTube, but it's on HBO) never fail to illuminate a subject that I come to find should mean far more to me than I realized- he is a hilarious wizard of education. I also love Malcolm Gladwell's podcast, "Revisionist History"-- how he is able to encapsulate so much fascinating information into 30-40 minutes blows my mind.

 

Ideal down day?

Sleep, food, family, reading, a hike or walk, a movie, snuggles. It's the simple things that rejuvenate me.

 

Fictitious character you most identify with from a book, movie, etc. and why?

That is a tough one. There are countless fictitious characters I admire, but that I identify with? Hmm... Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" is probably the heroine I would like to emulate and/or slightly resemble. Independent, opinionated, loyal, quick-to-laugh, and constantly speaking before thinking or knowing the whole story. Yeah, I have a bit of Lizzy Bennet in me.

 

Highlight memory from filming with WME for this year's film?

One morning Jimmy, the crew, and I had early ups to the top of Killington, well before first light. There had been a rain event earlier in the week so all the trees were flocked in glittering frost. As the golden winter sun rose, it reflected off every surface in sight. And then Jimmy and I took off, making huge carving arcs all the way down . Every aspect of that run was dazzling.

 

Gear you are loving right now, on or off the ski slopes, and why? (Please include product brand and name)

My Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 Jacket is the perfect combination of style and substance, every detail also serves a purpose. The longer cut is a great look, and also keeps me warmer. The pockets are perfectly placed and ample, while creating an interesting aesthetic. The pop of color on the hood is a cool detail, but is actually there as a high vis accent so that your ski partners (on a foggy day at a resort OR on a long backcountry journey) can easily spot you at a distance. And the amazingly low-profile insulation allows for a sleek silhouette, keeping me warm on even the coldest days without inhibiting movement. And the color is feminine AND strong. It is called "Ash Rose," but I think of it as "Pink Steel"... which also would be a super cool skiing superhero moniker. Not that I've given it a lot of thought ;-)

My favorite and most versatile baselayer ever is the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Midweight Hoodie. The warmth and softness of the merino, combined with the technical virtues of Lifa is a match made in heaven. Lifa is different than the typical wicking fabric which absorbs moisture then requires body heat to evaporate it; Lifa transfers moisture away from my skin so that it can evaporate from the layer not directly against my skin (the merino layer), which not only keeps me warmer, it also conserves way more energy-- it sounds simple, but it is a serious game changer. Plus, the hood and sleek design make for a super cute top if apres turns into dinner turns into dancing!

The Volkl Deacon 84s are the ultimate resort ripper. Never have I skied on boards that were so much fun on ice, corduroy, slush, moguls, and crud. Laying big fat (Phat? Is that still a thing??) arcs is so rewarding, trench town is the operative word. The 84mm waist is stable and versatile, allowing me to ski for speed as well as demand accuracy at the drop of a hat-- all thanks to the integrated titanal frame which provides the torsional stiffness I need to charge hard, without diminishing any playfulness. So. Much. Fun.

And for the days that I want a freeride ski to take off piste that still lays sweet, sweet trenches on groomers-- I grab my Volkl Secret 92. I have also been loving the Volkl Blaze 106 for when it gets deep, but I still want a ski that performs well on anything-- lighter enough to be super playful, yet wide enough for the stability I need.

My Marker Ampire ticks all the boxes: protection, warmth, breathability, fit, and style. The in-mold technology in conjunction with the ABS outer shell for maximum durability takes care of the safety factor, without weighting the helmet down. Vents and the cozy fleece liner regulate my temperature regardless of activity or weather. And the RTS fit system gives it the feel of a custom helmet via the dial at the nape of the neck which adjusts to fit perfectly to your head for awesome comfort and added protection! 

When I venture outside the resort, of course, the first three items I make certain to have are my beacon, shovel, and probe. And then I lovingly place them in my Arva Reactor 32 Airbag. Spacious, comfortable, and especially light for a cartridge based airbag it is fantastic for little trips out of bounds as well as long hauls deep into the backcountry, carrying everything I need. The added line of defense of that I have from the airbag doesn't mean I won't get caught in an avalanche- that is mostly up to my judgement- but it does mean I have a better chance of landing on top. Luckily, I have never had to pull it, but knowing it is there gives me and my family a little more peace of mind.

I have always loved the ritual of throwing back a cold one after a big day of skiing. However, I admit to being a lightweight, and I have never been a huge fan of alcohol. To my delight, I recently came across Athletic Brewing Company, a non-alcoholic craft beer revelation. Gone are the days of watery NA beers! They create high-quality beverages with all-natural ingredients, allowing me to enjoy great tasting beer that keeps my head clear and my body moving. Athletic brews a non-alcoholic beer that doesn’t compromise taste, quality, or my healthy, active lifestyle. That there is the definition of a win/win. And I love to win.

 

What is a cause you care about that you'd love to share with the Warren Miller audience?

I really believe in the work that ZGiRLS is doing. Founded by Olympic and NCAA athletes, ZGiRLS supports the mental development of girls ages 11-14. One way in which they do this is by partnering groups of girls up with an adult female athlete mentor to discuss mental issues via a thoughtful curriculum and super fun programs, combatting issues from body image to positive self talk. They can share their experiences and difficulties, learning from one another in a space of collaboration, not comparison. ZGiRLS believes confidence is contagious, and so do I. By age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys. 7 in 10 girls don't think they're good enough. If every young girl could eliminate self-doubt what an incredible difference it would make. Strong girls create a strong world.

 

How do you think the year 2020 will shape the future of skiing?

I believe the racial awakening of 2020 will help the skiing community see the egregious diversity and accessibility problem when it comes to our sport. It has always been there, but the movement that followed George Floyd's murder has not just shed a light on the issue, but finally broken through the complacency. I think the coronavirus pandemic will make us more compassionate, and act as a reminder that our lives and lifestyle of playing in the mountains is so fragile, and such an absurd privilege. If this mentality could translate into a better understanding of the climate crisis and urgency therein, that would be huge. There will be no future of frolicking in the snow if covid-19 continues to propagate OR the temperatures rise to a point that a decent snowpack is a distant memory. My greatest hope is that we emerge from the pain and turmoil of 2020 changed. I pray that we learn and grow, and that moving forward the world operates differently. For the better.

 

What is your vision for the future of skiing?

A place and activity where friends and families of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds can go to reconnect with nature, each other, and themselves. Everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the mountains and enjoy the rush of a board sliding on snow. Everyone. For generations to come. And that vision is up to us. To create a space for all, and by protecting the land and climate that space needs to prosper.

 

Favorite classic ski film and why?

"Better Off Dead." It might not totally qualify as a ski film, but I love it. And you will be hard pressed to find a better quote or philosophy on skiing than when Charles instructs Lane at the top of K-12: "Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn!" Words to live by.

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Don't miss Kaylin in our 71st film, Future Retro, dropping Fall 2020