You know the name. You know the voice. You’ve been watching Warren Miller flicks ever since you were knee-high to a grasshopper. Heck, your parents have probably been doing the same. This year, K2 athletes Amie, Collin, Lexi, Tyler, and McKenna deliver the early season stoke in the newest WME release, Line of Descent. From the big mountains of Montana and AK to the lively European après scene, the K2 crew keeps it sendy and shows what it means to be in the #k2stateofmind.
Back when our R+D crew and athletes put their heads together and began talking about this year’s product line, we knew were on to something. Prototypes were built, tested, scrapped, tweaked, and then tested and tweaked some more. Then, the graphics squad got their hands on the gear and gave it that clean, iconic, and classic K2 look. When the magazine testers and critics finally got the chance to click in and let them rip all over the hills of Snowbird, Deer Valley, and Big Sky, they confirmed what we knew we had all along.
Like proud parents, we couldn’t be more pumped to boast that K2 is one of the most awarded product lines of the 2017/18 season. 54 times to be exact. Have a look. No wait, go have a ski. You need some of that new K2 in your life this season, because these awards aren’t participation trophies.
janicerose_ When did you first realize that you wanted to be a pro skier?
It was a bit later in my life than one might expect. I always skied and when I was younger my dad was a pro skier so I was familiar with the industry. I was a few months away from graduating college at Columbia College Chicago and I wasn’t exactly sure what my next move was. I had moved away from the mountains for college but had missed them tremendously and went back every chance I got. One day I called up my dad and said that I wanted to take some time and ski when I graduated. My plan was to start competing a little, shoot more and try to get some sponsors. My dad said, “cool!” So that’s what I did!
jackiew08Hey Amie and K2! Before Pretty Faces, lady skiers in ski movies were pretty underrepresented. Which lady skiier has been your biggest inspiration? And when you want to get amped for the season, which ski segment are you watching on repeat?
It is really hard to choose one woman in particular that has been my biggest inspiration as I am inspired by every single one! Growing up, Jamie Burge was a huge inspiration – just watching her go huge! Of course Ingrid Backstrom has also been super inspiring as well. She rips, she holds her own in any situation, and she always maintains an incredibly positive attitude not matter what. More personally, Elyse Saugstad has been a huge inspiration and a wonderful friend. She has incredible determination which is inspiring and I think she is the most talented lady on her skis! She charges. For my favorite ski segment – another hard one, but I am gonna shift away from the ladies and say Shane McConkey’s segment from Claim. It may not be the best or even his best segment of all time, but it encompasses a lot of his humor and joy in skiing which I really love and I will always be inspired by!
aklein184 What’s your favorite mountain in North America, and what is your favorite in the world? How do they compare to each other?
I will have to claim Squaw Valley as my favorite mountain in North America. Of course it is my home mountain – my first day on skis there I was 10 months old and I know it like the back of my hand. I love the terrain there and the variety of aspects, so no matter the snow and conditions you can pretty much always find great skiing. I will also forever be obsessed with KT-22 as my favorite chairlift. It has access to killer terrain and it is super lap-able so you can get in tons of vert! My favorite mountain in the world that isn’t Squaw would have to be Titlis in Engelberg, Switzerland. Is really cool because it has the scale and size of a European resort but it has the flow and ski-ability of a North American resort. It is definitely a freerider’s paradise with tons of killer of piste skiing and cliffs as huge as your imagination can huck! The Titlis tram is like KT-22 but WAY bigger!
m1chael.arreiv If you could go back to any awesome powder day anywhere and anytime you’ve skied around the world, where and when would it be, and what run or line was your favorite?
I am lucky in that many days come to mind for this question, but I think my first day heli-skiing in Alaska at Valdez Heli Ski Guides takes the cake. We were up in AK filming a segment, my first ever, for Warren Miller. It was my first time in AK and my first big film trip so I was hyped to say the least. We were getting ready to go for an afternoon/evening filming session but we had the day free. The group that had the private heli that day happened to have 3 extra seats that they offered to McKenna Peterson, Lexi DuPont and I. It was a crazy lucky opportunity as McKenna and I had never heli-skied in Alaska before so we were psyched to get a little bit of a warm up. Warm up we did. On our way out, our guide looked at us and said, “Need a warm up? The answer is no.” We went straight to the top of Pyramid, an iconic killer line. It was steep, long and awesome with perfect snow. Standing on top I was like, “I cannot believe we are doing this!” I dropped in, skied it fast and fun, and felt like queen of the world at the bottom. We went on to slay about 7 more runs, all with perfect pow, all film worthy and all without any cameras or waiting. It was really an incredible day and such an amazing opportunity to get some wiggles out before the camera were on!
ryan_woodman Every time I travel for an extended ski trip to a new destination, I come home as stoked about the people I met as the skiing itself. What was the best encounter you had with a complete stranger on a trip?
I can totally relate to feeling! It is amazing how awesome people tend to congregate in awesome places. That is one of my favorite parts of traveling for skiing. One story that sticks out was from when I was in Murren, a tiny tiny town in Switzerland a few years ago skiing and shooting at Schilthorn Piz Gloria. There were a couple couloir lines that were directly opposing the deck of the tram and we had been wanting to ski them our whole trip. Finally on one of the last days we walked up there and skied them. While we were hiking a huge crowd had gathered on the tram deck where our cinematographer (my dad) was set up, to watch. When we skied the crowd cheered, it seemed like the whole village was there. At the end of my line a guy skied up to me and said he had wanted to ski those lines his whole life and that we inspired him to do it. I thought that was super cool. From then on where ever we went in the village everyone would call out, “Hey, the Schilthorn girls!” It was pretty cool.
lisaalis13What are some of your favorite songs or artists to ski to – or at least were this past season? 🎶
I have a running playlist with all the songs from my favorite ski segments. I add to it every year and I love to listen to it when I am shredding because I picture the segment and the skier and get inspired by them. It’s like being in my own ski movie in my head! Beyond that, this past season I got really into The Kills for skiing. Their newest album is rad and I rediscovered some of their older music. I love their sound and it makes me feel a little more badass while I am skiing!
heatherwzimmer What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not shredding pow?
Oh man, hard question! I love a lot of different things. Since I travel so much in the winter I love taking time when I am home to connect with my friends and just be mellow. I love doing big dinner parties, cooking good food and just hanging, chatting and catching up! Other non-ski loves are dancing, camping, cooking, playing guitar, vino, researching cat jokes and watching cute kitty videos. I also recently got a dog – weird I know since I am really into cats. His name is Bill and I love adventuring and snuggling with him!
alexxsouthh What’s your go-to K2 product you can’t live without?
My snowblades? I mean anytime I am having a grumpy day, the conditions aren’t ideal, or I just need a good laugh, I throw those puppies on and I am killing it! Haha, okay kind of kidding… Right now my favorites are the K2 LuvBoats. They are 105 underfoot so they are perfect for me in just about any snow condition. They are playful and reliable at the same time and really fun to ski!
Jenny Dibb What do you do during the summer to keep active?
I do all kinds of things in the summer! My approach to fitness and working out is to mix it up a lot! In the summer I mountain bike, trail run, paddle board, wake surf and surf when I can. I love to go on long hikes and I have even started learning to climb. More on the workout side I teach and take barre classes, which I LOVE, and I also spend time in the gym, do TRX, lot’s of yoga and spinning! For me, staying in shape for something as fun as skiing should be fun, so I always listen to my body, do what feels good and make sure I am mixing it up so it never gets boring to stay fit!
ellzabellza What are 3 words that can describe your approach to life? Or skiing?
Just have fun! It is really easy to get wrapped up in a lot of different things as a professional athlete. Of course what I do takes a degree of focus and concentration, especially in high consequence situations, but I think it is really important for me to remember why I ski and that is because it is really really fun! Sometimes I do get wrapped up in the pressure, the competition, the expectations and the fears associated with what I do, but I know none of those feelings serve me at all. When I am on top of a line where I am nervous or scared I just keep saying to myself, “Just ski and have fun.” I am pretty sure that was basically my dad’s advice before my first trip to AK and it really stuck. No matter what, just have fun!
Lenka Koprina Obviously to have the level of success you have obtained, you need to dedicate your entire life to skiing. Do you have any off-the-hill goals you would like to achieve post skiing?
Skiing is definitely number 1 in my life at the moment, but I have always tried to keep some balance. For a long time I have wanted to start my own business. I am actually taking my little bit of off time this summer to write a business plan. I don’t plan to start my company anytime soon but I will stow the plan away for the future when I am ready! I think it is really important as an athlete to think about and plan for the future. I have tried to do that from the first moment I got sponsored.
Staying fit and active in the summer is the best way to ski hard again once the snow starts to fall. With mountains, ocean, lakes, and rivers all within a couple hours of the K2 global headquarters, we can’t think of a better place than Seattle and the PNW to call home. Check out the ways some of the in-house K2 crew gets down during the summer months to stay in ski shape all year long.
Liza Bee Hodgins – Finance and Accounting
Most of my “staying in shape for skiing” is disguised as adventuring in the mountains with friends. I ski year-round in the backcountry, seeking out the last of the snow before it melts in the Cascades, then turning to the volcanoes. If I’m not doing that I’m out riding trails on my mountain bike; I find it very similar to ski touring, spending most of the time climbing then reaping the rewards of your “suffering” by ripping down and high-fiving at the bottom. I also enjoy a good summit scramble or multi-day backpacking trip. During the week I bike commute most days, which helps me stay sane and also has the added benefit of being good for me.
Dan Mohr – Graphic Design
I inline skate on K2 Skate’s SODO for endurance and cardio, and aggressive skate on K2 Skate’s Unnatural in the parks on the rails and bowls, doing the flips and the jumps and grinders. I paddle board to keep my core in shape, and I lift weights and do dips and pull ups and push ups to stay looking fly. I love to run steps, keeps my legs strong for hiking. I also hike a lot.
Valerie Long – Marketing Manager
My summer includes, spending a lot of time with my girls playing friendly games of beach dodgeball, running throughout the PNW, tennis, skating on Alki and lots of hikes throughout the West.
Thomas Kauffman – Supply Chain
Mountain biking is my primary summer sport. I think it’s the perfect sport to compliment skiing. You get to navigate the mountains and woods while wearing shorts and t-shirt. Nothing beats a hard couple laps on Tiger or Tokul and then a post-ride dip in the river. It’s also one of the most physically demanding sports I’ve ever done. It keeps your legs and core strong so you’re ready to rip when the snow starts to fall!
Garrett Lund – Customer Service
Come summertime I’m already thinking about next winter but I do love summer activities. In the summer I find myself fly fishing, mountain biking, and trail running, and find myself on the road every weekend trying to escape the city. All these sports take me outside, but mountain biking and trail running have the most application to offseason ski training. I find that mountain biking keeps me practicing movements that have application to skiing. Its also just a fun sport that takes me around the west.
One my other summer activities is trail running. This sport was definitely inspired by my desire to try and stay in ‘ski shape’. Its an activity that is great offseason ski training and it takes you into the outdoors. At the end of the day it just makes those hiking trails take less time. Really looking forward to summer and the sunshine!
Jesse Cote – Graphic Design
I spend my summer practicing falling over from headstands, jumping on boxes, spending countless hours executing the perfect hopscotch with 4-year-old twins, and yelling at people while training to teach boot camp.
Jed Yeiser – Ski Engineering
We’re in the PNW, so the skiing never really ends! During the spring and summer I split my time between ski touring adventures and getting out on the mountain bike (the PNW has some of the best riding in the world!)
If you know skiing, you know your season never really has to end. Many of us here at K2 have done back-to-back-to back winters, and the experience is a game changer. Whether you want to lap world class parks, work on your goggle tan while cruising glaciers in the northern hemisphere, or break out the powder snorkel down south, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite locations for chasing snow around the globe in search of an endless winter.
Mammoth Mountain has had a killer season this year. All that sun and snow make the Sierra Nevada the place to be. The features in Mammoth’s parks are well maintained and meticulously shaped, and are sure to be dialed in into early summer.
Perisher is the premier park destination in Australia with seven terrain parks and Australia’s biggest halfpipe. The park crew have been busy in the workshop building new features to add to the rail fleet, which is already the largest in the southern hemisphere.
Timberline has been a freestyle leader from the start thanks to multiple terrain parks with enough jibs, jumps and pipes to keep even the hardest of the hardcore happy. Much of Timberline’s terrain is dedicated to freestyle and race camps, but their public park is maintained and should be prime all summer long.
Cardrona offers the Southern Hemisphere’s most extensive terrain park facilities. From monster pro style features to beginner jumps and boxes, Cardrona’s park is easily one of the best in the southern hemisphere.
Treble Cone is the the largest ski area and has the most vertical drop on the South Island. With 45% advanced terrain, there’s plenty of steeps and drops to get the legs pumping and the face shots coming. Not to mention, the view from Treble Cone is all-time.
Mt Hutt provides prime conditions for knee deep pow turns with a altitude of close to 7000 ft and an ideal southeast aspect. Located just 30 minutes from the laid back town of Methven, Mt. Hutt’s bowl shape and steep sidewalls caters to advanced skiers.
“The average annual snowfall at Portillo ski resort is about 25 feet. Portillo’s snow storms are typically short and intense, followed by bluebird days when the spectacular vistas can be fully appreciated. As a result, the quality of the powder is often dry and the riding is unbelievably fantastic.”
Nevados de Chillan boasts the most annual average snowfall in South America, and the biggest vertical drop in Chile. Volcanic eruptions and rivers of lava have left a playground of mounds, bowls, natural half pipes, steep pitches, and drop-offs spread across the resort to get those creative skiing juices pumping.
2016/17 at Squaw has been one for the record books. The conditions are going to be prime for summer skiing through the 4th of July, maybe even longer. If you have never wakeboarded, skied, bbq’d, and watched fireworks all on the same day, now is your chance. Head to Reno after the on-hill Apres to hit the casinos or explore the up and coming foodie scene.
Zermatt is known all over the world for its mountain parties and summer skiing, and its 50+ bars offer plenty of choice and variety. If you’ve never shredded in Europe, Zermatt is a fantastic introduction to the European mountain scene.
Down the road from Hintertux, Mayrhofen offers up one of the best apres ski experiences in Europe. The atmosphere in the umbrella bars and apres ski pubs are sensational. The town also has a huge summer draw so there is never a shortage of events to attend.
Located on the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown is the jumping off point for two ski areas, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. Fantastic scenery, a lively bar scene, and a host of thrilling outdoor activities combine to make chasing snow for one week or an entire season in Queenstown one you’ll never forget.