Tag Archives: Amie Engerbretson

Get To Know K2 Pro Amie Engerbretson

amie-beer-927x1024

Peep Amie’s skis:  Luv Boat 105Ooolaluv 85Ti


 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!

jackiew08  Hey 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!

Amie's happy place.
Proper form.

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.

lisaalis13  What 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! 

Face shots + bluebird = heaven
Face shots + Bluebird = Happy place.

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!

Amie bus

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. 


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The Most Epic Closing Weekends

 

photo by: Mark Oliver. Sun Valley, ID.

AMIE ENGERBRETSON- Squaw Valley, CA
Squaw Valley never really wants to close, so they drag it out, celebrating “closing day” pretty much all of April. There is the Cushing Crossing, an ultimate natural pond skim, which is a sure sign that winter is nearly over. Spectators usually pack a thirty-rack, sit on the shores, and take in the crazy costumes and big wipeouts. I have seen all types on crossing attempts: ski bike, snow blades, switch, a camel, 3 dudes-3skis, saucers, pretty much you name it I have seen it go across the Cushing pond. Best moment, watching Mr. Shane McConkey, swiftly cross and backflip out…

There is also the pass holders party up at high camp, which is a mountain top pool party where people are white, wasted and happy. It usually takes a few beverages before you are brave enough to navigate the crowed waters of the ski-town, dude infested hot tub. Eventually, everyone ends up in!

Last favorite closing celebration is the Chamois Closing Party. The Chammy is a winter mecca and second to Wildflour cookies, the best part about skiing squaw, other than the actual skiing part. The Chammy closing party crowd usually takes over the entire lawn, dogs and babies run wild, there is live music and everyone has a pitcher of Bud. It a fun sunny afternoon that just makes you more excited for winter to come again next year!

COLLIN COLLINS- Sun Valley, ID
Closing day at any resort is a ritual not to be missed. Ski and snowboard enthusiasts gather in celebration of another great season coming to an end, and of course to soak in one last hurrah on the slopes. Sun Valley, Idaho is no exception. The locals come out in force and you’ll find your typical “party on the mountain,” crazy costumes adorned and copious amounts of beverages consumed. But be ready to shred fast if you want to keep up.  It will be a day of slushy 3,000 ft. vertical laps and debauchery on and off the mountain.  Sun Valley will still have a ton of terrain open, thanks to their excessive snowmaking throughout the winter, and 4/20 is a late closing date for Sun Valley, so the weather should be exceptionally nice and warm.

Once the lifts stop spinning, a massive crowd assembles atop Bald Mt., where you can take in the glorious 360 degree view and soak in the vibes and the last rays of the day, but most importantly just party with hundreds of friends and drink beers. This summit gathering is also the place to rally the stoke in preparation for the final descent of the season.  Eventually, by 4:30 or so, a parade of costume-clad characters then mob down the mountain, like a drunken Chinese downhill; although most take a much slower approach, milking the last turns for all they’re worth, perhaps even in the form of a mile long human slalom.

The real party starts (or has already started) down in the Greyhawk parking lot at the base of Warm Springs.  Grills, tents, fires, kegs, and of course a wild local crowd will be holding it down, and this party is known to rage on well into the night.  Stuff your face with some good old fashion BBQ off a tailgate, and revel in stories with the snow-loving community. From there you can migrate back and forth to Apple’s, the killer aprés spot at the base of Warm Springs.  Apple’s will feature some live music, tasty food and flowing drinks, and you can find a strong local presence there, grooving to the music and recollecting the epic moments of the season.  If you’re in the area or have a chance to come visit, I wouldn’t miss this closing day celebration at Sun Valley.   SUNDAY APRIL 20, 2014.

BRITA SIGOURNEY- Park City, UT
Park city closing day is dangerously fun, emphasis on the dangerous. Everyone shows up ready to party (as they should) and shreds the park all day with pbr’s in hand and 200 of their favorite park rat friends. Things definitely get sloppy in the slush, especially skiing technique. Trains are popular but I’m not sure there’s any other option with so many people in one park. This year I heard there will be a holy bowly…. I don’t know what to expect but I’m sure it will be epic!

TYLER CECCANTI- Crystal Mountain, WA
Closing weekend, words that are bittersweet in the PNW.  Every year when April rolls around I have a love hate with the month at my home mountain.  On one hand I’m bummed the ski season is coming to a close, but on the other I always look forward to the shenanigans of closing weekend.  The tradition at Crystal has always been Dummy down hill and bikini downhill, rain or shine, cloudy or bluebird. Nothing beats hanging out with a beer in hand watching girls in bikinis battling it out for a pass… magic.  But it’s not always about the events on closing weekend.  One thing I have noticed is you never know what to expect from Mother Nature.  There has been multiple times my last runs of the year were blower pow and left me wondering why the mountain was closing.  Or some years where its been T-shirt weather and patio lounging with PBR’s.  The one thing that has always been constant is the locals.  Locals at Crystal are always up and out having their own little party on the hill for the last day.  Doesn’t matter if you know them or are best friends, they are welcoming people to join in on the party and celebrate the end of the year.

 

 

K2 Ski Alliance in the Swiss Alps

Upon the arrival of spring in the Alps, a trifecta of K2 Ski Alliance ladies descended on the small mountain village of Mürren, Switzerland with big smiles, endless dance moves and mad shred skills. Good contacts and word of a hefty snowpack led us to the Schilthorn mountain, which juts directly out of the town of Mürren, to film ski segments for K2’s team movie as well as Lynsey Dyer’s all female ski film, Pretty Faces. After a lengthy day of travel, Pip Hunt, Amie Engerbretson and myself settled comfortably into the Hotel Jungfrau and gawked at the glorious views of the Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger for the rest of the evening. We were primed and ready for the next weeks of great skiing and serious fun.

Our amazingly talented videographer (and Amie’s father), Jeff Engerbretson, cracked over the radio “camera ready whenever you are, the light is great right now.” Across the way, on-top of a rocky peak; Amie giggles and pulls the radio out of her pocket, “Jeeze dad, just hang on a second OK? We are gopro-ing heel click shots up here.” This set the tone for our trip. All fun and play with a little seriousness mixed in. Filming ski segments can be tough; the snow, avalanche conditions, weather, and light all need to align in order to get a worthy shot. Of course, assuming the athlete is perfectly on her mark, which we always were. Our group dynamic proved ideal, from prepping to drop into an intimidating steep chute or working through our Spice Girl-inspired dance routines, there was 100-percent support, 100-percent of the time.

We pushed ourselves to ski at our best ability, helping each other to overcome the fear and intimidation that goes along with pushing your personal skill. The words “yeah girl, you’ve got this,” had never meant so much. When your guide begins the first day by saying, “there is no showing off here, if you fall, you die,” moral support and camaraderie becomes very important. We all had our humbling experiences while on the Schilthorn, from being rung through a washing machine of sluff to literally skiing into snow-bridged, endlessly deep holes. Support from the other girls, along with a little stubbornness, had us hiking back up to try it again and again. The constantly changing snow conditions really kept us on our toes. We would ski knee-deep powder, corn, frozen avalanche debris, wind buff and rock hard ice all in the same day or even the same run!  K2’s new 13/14 Remedy 102 skis were ideal for these conditions as they were fat enough to float through the deep pow, but versatile enough to hold an edge on the steep, icy faces. For the few deeper days, we threw on the Remedy 117’s for a little extra float. This ski’s stability and 117 mm waist had us ripping fast turns and stomping all of our landings.

Throughout the two weeks, we spent about half of our time in the backcountry searching for untouched lines. Luckily, we had mountain guide and local legend, Hannes Stahli, to show us the ropes. Hannes became known for making THE perfect turn and was always the most excited person in the group. We struggled to keep up with him, well… all expect for Pip, who’s super lightweight K2 TalkBack skis had her leading the charge uphill. This ski floated beautifully through wind buff and a few cm’s of fresh, putting her out front on the descent as well. At the end of each day we would race each other through the on-slope villages, throwing in as many spread eagles as possible, eventually ending at Hotel Jungfrau’s Gondel Bar. The Goldel Bar proved to be the ideal place for après with its plethora of booze, in-house game of stump and custom made couch sled.

We became known around town as the Schilthorn girls, or the K2 girls… or the three blonde girls. I believe we made quite the impression on the quiet mountain village, if not for our skiing, then definitely for our crazy dancing antics. Amie brought forth some serious skills from her ex-all-girl hip hop crew days and I was blown away when Pip busted out an impromptu Salt-n-Pepa rap segment through the streets of Mürren. We choreographed synchronized moves while walking through the village and sang on top of peaks. We were even lucky enough to haphazardly partake in the Schilthorn Tram’s first ever Harlem Shake.

It was the K2 Ski Alliance who brought us together and made a simple ski film trip into such as crazy fun adventure. Of course we were going to have the time of our lives, the Alliance harbors camaraderie and all out fun. It wouldn’t have happened any other way. Anyone can become a part of the Alliance; it is simply a huge grouping of wonderful women in all parts of the ski industry from professional athletes to product developer to sales representatives and any woman that skis on K2. Check it out and maybe find a little inspiration to do a ski trip of your own.  You can keep updated through the K2 Ski Alliance Facebook page as well as on Instagram @k2_ski_alliance.

 

Photos by Jeff Engerbretson

Words by McKenna Peterson