Current favorite piece/pieces of gear?
Comfort, quality, and confidence are what I get from my gear! My Helly Hansen Maroi Shell Jacket is breathable and burly- adapting to every weather condition AND rugged enough to power through anything! And do not miss out on the HH Lifa Merino Baselayer- it is the coziest, most capable item of clothing I wear. When it comes to ski touring, I don’t have to sacrifice downhill performance for uphill ease; carbon technology and cutting-edge design give me the best of all worlds. The combination of my Volkl Mantra V-Werks Skis, Dalbello Lupo Factory Boots, and Kingpin Bindings make for a pleasantly efficient ascent, followed by a stable, powerful, aka super fun descent! And for safety, my Arva Reactor Airbag Pack gives a little peace of mind in addition to an intuitive backpack for every adventure in the backcountry.
What’s your “Back in my day, we…”?
Back in the day, we were so excited about any slope over 1000 vertical feet! My home racing program, Team Gilboa, had ski camps all over the west from Crested Butte to Mt Hood. I vividly remember driving in a 15-passenger van from the Twin Cities to Canmore, Alberta. We arrived in the middle of the night with the Canadian Rockies lit up from behind by the moon. They were so staggeringly big. I was in complete awe. A feeling I have not completely lost to this day.
Who has inspired your skiing the most?
I think the most honest way to interpret this is to go all the way back to the beginning: my brothers, Chris and Tom. I wanted to do everything they did and that included going fast on skis. I was the classic tag-along, always endeavoring to be in the mix, doing what they did. The desire and the scrappiness required to keep up helped propel me into ski racing. Their encouragement over the years has also been instrumental. Since then so many have influenced and inspired me, Kristina Zoznick, Caroline Lalive, Jonna Mendes, Chris Davenport, Daron Rahlves, Ingrid Backstrom, Wendy Fisher, Hilaree O’Neill, Andre Horton, Julian Carr, Grete Eliassen, Jen Hudak, Annelise Loevlie... These days it is my friends that inspire me the most.
Best recovery exercises?
A huge part of my recovery and pre-hab routine is the “pigeon pose” stretch in conjunction with a kneeling hip flexor stretch. Skiing puts an incredible amount of torque on your lower body that can really tighten up your posterior chain, causing lower back and knee pain. Pigeon Pose is a yoga move, but don’t be intimidated by the word yoga if it’s not your thing: it is simply a deep stretch of the glut and IT band. Start with a comfortable position, especially if your mobility is limited, and then deepen into the stretch as you loosen up. To fully benefit from this move, also do a hip flexor stretch to release the entire lower body; my personal preference is a one-legged kneel, slowly pushing the hips forward to get a deeper stretch! I do this combo almost every evening!
Ideal down day?
A day curled up with a great book. Then a delicious meal with hilarious friends, followed by an after-dinner stroll and boisterous board game battle.
Favorite on-mountain fuel/snack?
PB&J all day! I really do not tire of it. I am a lover of crisp apples, they are the perfect food. I try to eat “real food” when I can, but I also have become quite fond of RX and Lara Bars. A Snickers is incredibly satisfying on a long tour. Packing a stash of candy on big days for an instant shot of glucose energy is never a bad idea, Haribo Gummy Bears is a favorite, as well as the Kirkland Chocolate-Covered Salted Caramels. Take my advice and bring enough to share—you will be the most loved ski partner ever!
Spiciest/most intimidating line you've skied or ridden this year?
Two stick out in my mind: In WY I did my first true ski mountaineering line right outside Grand Teton National Park. Our first attempt we mistakenly headed down the wrong chute that cliffed-out considerably. Ultimately, we had to turn around. On day two we skied down a magical, pillow-laden drainage, at the bottom of which my Helly Hansen teammate, Joel Bettner, found a solid rap station above a workable cliff. We rappelled down to find more glorious powder at its base! A few weeks later while filming at Red Mountain Resort with Warren Miller Entertainment, Simon Hillis guided Dennis Risvoll and myself into this super cool, super exposed cliff band. Simon talked me through a twisting descent. I scoped it out the best I could and then just gave’er. I liked it so much that after studying it from the bottom I headed back up and took an air the next time around!
Goals in skiing/riding this next year?
In the grand scheme, my goal is to encourage others to get out there and live their most joyous, most authentic life, on skis or otherwise. On a personal level, there is still that elusive big mountain line that I want to conquer to the best of my ability. Steep, fast, and long- requiring strong, powerful, dynamic skiing, what I like best and where I feel I excel. For this to happen, everything has to line up (conditions, weather, schedule, etc.) but I would love the opportunity. However, I have a theory: the perfect line doesn’t exist, it is the pursuit therein that keeps us coming back. But the dream is there, pushing us forward, keeping us hungry…
What’s a great book you’ve read recently?
I just finished both of these marvelous books almost simultaneously: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. You would be hard-pressed to find two more disparate books, one a riveting academic commentary on our evolution and dominance as animals, the other an incredibly candid, hilarious and heartbreaking journey of one woman’s triumph over adversity. That is what makes books amazing! One minute you’re living the existence of a hunter-gatherer that lived millennia ago, and the next you’ve stepped into the shoes of a struggling comedienne from Los Angeles. I LOVE that.
Favorite mountain range?
The Wasatch Range is home. Wherever I travel it is always a comfort to see my mountains when I drive up Parley’s Canyon to my house. They provide so much and because they are so accessible, I think we locals often forget how incredible they really are. The jagged peaks of Seattle are also dear to my heart- the Olympics to the West and the Cascades to the East. And lastly, the mountains of the Lofoten Islands are my special place, I don’t get there often, but they fill my dreams.
Working title for the book or movie about your life?
I am actually creating something right now of the written variety and am working on trademarking at the moment. So the working title of my book is “Stay Tuned” ☺
Best moment filming with WME this year?
Skiing Red Mountain with the locals, it is massive and they knew all the hidden spots!! I also thoroughly enjoyed watching Dennis Risvoll nonchalantly throwing backflips constantly. Whenever we were skiing down a run I kept him in my periphery just in case. I almost veered off into the trees twice while marveling at his gyro-scoping skills on the unassuming side of a cat track!
How did Warren Miller the man influence your skiing/riding career?
Warren Miller ignited our imagination. He opened up a world that, before him, was for a very small company of adventurers, eccentrics, and perhaps, depending on your definition, borderline vagrants. He created a lifestyle that so many of us still pursue with passion today. He made it possible…