Age: 37, Skiing since: 30+ years, Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT, Favorite product: RT BINDING
Who introduced you to skimo? Who are your influences?
My touring buddy Joey Dempster introduced me to the sport. At the time, he was travelling around doing the Life Link race series, the first rando race series in the US. I was rocking T1s and Hammerheads and always gassed trying to hang with him on his fancy AT gear. So I converted. Andrew McLean aka “AT Apostle” has been a strong influence. He is one of those primarily responsible for introducing rando racing to the US, and pushing the boundaries of ski mountaineering in general. Benedikt Bohm’s speed ascents of 6000+ meter peaks inspired me to apply rando racing gear (fast and light) and techniques to ski mountaineering. Kilian Jornet’s world domination of mountain running and skimo racing never ceases to amaze me. And my day-to-day partners have influenced me a lot.
How old were you when you first became a professional athlete?
I first raced a World Cup skimo race in 2009.
What are some of your lifetime skiing/race goals?
I want to continue to share the sport with others. It’s a great sport and I hope it grows. I want to continue to race and develop the fast and light ski mountaineering style. I’m excited to use Sportiva’s gear because it meshes well with my style and where I think ski mountaineering inevitably will go. I’d love to try a speed ascent on a higher elevation peak, like Denali or even in the Himalaya.
What is your proudest skiing accomplishment?
Staying Alive. Also, I was pretty happy to climb and ski the Grand Teton in 5 hrs and 17 minutes with partners Jason and Andy Dorais. That’s a speed record I think.
Are you a skier for life? Was there a defining moment that made you realize this?
Of course. Every time I go out, this is confirmed, even in the most horrible of conditions.
What do you enjoy most about skiing?
Being in the mountains. It teaches/reminds me of my place in the world.
Describe your dream run:
Icy. Rocky. Steep.
Top five favorite movies:
I’m not huge on movies. Although I did go to the theater a few years ago when I took my son to see Fung Fu Panda. That was good. My favorite line: the secret is: there is no secret. I like the movie Troy. Another good line by Achilles: “And that is why no one will remember your name.” Of course, Achilles dies a bit later. Hmmm. . . . I think living is always better.
What do you do to train for races?
In the off season, I used to cycle. Now, I run. I’ve really liked mountain running the last two summers. During the season, I train 8-15 hours per week, usually doing two high intensity sessions per week, and a race or long ski on the weekend. Specific training is important.
Top five favorite books:
Recently, I’ve enjoyed Born to Run, Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind, Beyond the Mountain, Unbroken.
What’s the longest you’ve spent on a single skimo expedition?
I once skied for 38 hrs straight with my brother , Sam, on a single-push ski traverse of the Uinta Mountains. During hour 37, I saw a unicorn or two.
Top five favorite musical groups:
My playlist on my Ipod is pretty embarrassing. I use it maybe 2x per year. I think it starts off with some Bon Jovi. In the middle there are a few Mozart Arias and some baroque chorale music. There’s some U2 and Keane. Some Willie Nelson.
What’s the farthest you’ve ever traveled for a race?
Once to the Alps. Once to the Pyrenees.
Top five favorite foods/meals:
Coca cola, sushi, anything Marsala, Neopolitan Pizza, GU.
Briefly describe your most memorable moment while skiing:
Digging through avalanche debris, exposing my partner’s face, and then watching him swear, choke, and breathe at the same time.
Are injuries a part of skiing? What’s your general mentality for handling injuries?
So far, except for crashing into a ski rack at the finish line of a race, and then riding an ambulance to the hospital, I’ve been pretty lucky. Usually my gear breaks before I do. Mostly, for me, it’s dealing with seasonal colds and allergies.
Top five hobbies when you’re not skiing:
Running/biking/climbing, searching for the perfect gear so I can run/bike/climb/ski, blogging and reading others’ blogs, playing soccer with my kids.
If you had to ski one mountain for the rest of your life, which would it be?