Tag Archives: MissFits

MissFits Chronicles: Travel Like a Pro

Words by: K2 Alliance Member McKenna Peterson 

As soon as the snow starts to accumulate, it is inherent ski bum nature to begin obsessively checking the weather in every corner of the winter world, develop instagram envy, weigh the consequences of dropping everything to chase a storm, and then…. end up staying home to ski the thin local snowpack on the weekends and continue to peruse the gram from the comfort of the couch. We all do it. But… What if? What if you used up the vacation time that you have been hoarding and hit the road with a couple buddies?

Here is a secret; 90% of the skiers that you follow on Instagram, you know the ones traveling the world and always skiing the deepest of the deep?… well, they are just like you; incessantly checking social media and weather predictions, throwing together last minute trips, and, yes, weighing the consequences of draining the bank account. The only difference is, they pull the trigger and deal with the aftermath in the afterthought.

Waiting Game

So next time you see that Japan is having a record season or that the snowpack in BC is unusually stable and absolutely blower… just send it. Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen?

Here are a few tips to help you throw together that last minute dream trip (think faceshots and après)

Location: Last minute storm chasing can prove to be the best decision you ever made, although it can have some hurdles. www.opensnow.com is a great one stop shop for snow predictions across the US and Canada. Learn to interpret a basic Doppler radar and keep an eye on what is happening, as forecasts can be moody and change on you. If you need more than a day notice for your ski getaway, look at the month-by-month snowfall history for your desired location and dates. Figure out where it has snowed the most and when over the past five years or so. Google is a big help with this one. For example, March is the best (and most unassuming) time to visit the Wasatch.

Travel: Driving seems easy but is time consuming, usually requires snow tires and 4-wheel drive, and it can be costly. If the drive to powder paradise is longer than 5 hours, look into flights. Tuesday is the best day to book a plane ticket (I don’t know why, but it’s cheaper). In order to avoid baggage fees; pack as much as you can into your ski bag until it weighs exactly 50 lbs and fill a carry-on and your backpack with the rest (anything that doesn’t fit, you don’t need). Always carry-on your ski boots. If traveling outside of the US, bus and train systems are easy to navigate and will bring you into the mountains for fairly cheap.

Lodging: Most resort towns have a city or a ‘non-resort’ town close by. Be willing to spend a few extra minutes on the bus in order to avoid resort inflation on the cost of a room. Online trip reviews and blog posts can be helpful in finding the right place to stay. Read up a bit on what has worked for the ski bums that have been there before. Package deals that include lodging, food and lift tickets are worth looking into.

Food and après: A long day on the hill is almost always followed by a bout of après. Try not to get too carried away; you don’t want to end up with empty pockets and a ski-hindering hangover. But definitely partake, meet people, have fun and reminisce on how rad you got that day. If in a foreign country, learn a little bit of the language. Think of the phrases you will use the most,  ‘thank you’ ‘excuse me’ ‘beer’ and ‘coffee’ are key. The costs of food can add up, make sure to keep all of your leftovers (and friends’ leftovers) for lunch the next day. If it is possible, try and cook your own breakfast, it will save you time in the mornings and ensure that you get first chair.

WaitingGame

Terrain: Make friends! Drop the shyness and get to know the locals. Starting up a conversation with someone at the coffee shop, on the hill or in the bar can be beneficial. Don’t be pushy about asking for beta. Usually, if you get someone talking about something they have a passion for (skiing, touring, etc) the info will eventually slip out and then you can start asking questions. If you are venturing off of the resort, definitely check the local avalanche forecast and avalanche history for that season. It is OK to ask questions, even in foreign countries where there is a language barrier; the ski community is friendly and wants to help you find the goods.

Social Media: Make sure to continuously post photos to your social media feed of you getting faceshots, standing at the top of cool lines, and drinking beer. Make your friends jealous. I bet they join you next year for another ski bum getaway.

Road to Recovery: Maggie Voisin

K2 Skis: What’s one word that describes your current mood?
Maggie: Content

Not always a bad thing. Where are you at the moment?
Park City, Utah

I know you stay up on your pop culture. Have you become addicted to any TV shows since your injury?
(Laughs) I always get asked this but not yet.  I have a lot of school that should probably get my full attention.

Dedication, nice. How are you feeling physically?
Physically i’m feeling as strong as I can be at 6 weeks. I am just really looking forward to a strong recovery.

MaggieV
All smiles! Photo: Shay Williams

I’m sure you’ve been dreaming about skiing. Anything in particular? A certain trick a favorite slope course?
Lately I have been been reading a lot of articles and have been seeing lots of photos of the skiing in Japan. It’s been awhile since I have done any kind of skiing outside of the park and skiing deep pow right now sounds like such a blast and Japan seems like the place to go!

Japan did look epic. Two of your amigos got injured this season. What does it mean for you that two of your best friends are now in your situation (I.e Julia and Darian)?
I wish more than anything for those girls to still be out there killing it but unfortunately it doesn’t always work in our favor. I know with all three of us together we will push each other just as hard as we do when we are skiing. I think having them is really going to contribute to a huge part of my recovery.

MaggieV_Rail
Maggie in her element. Photo: Shay Williams

What have you been doing to rehab?
After surgery my doctor let me come home for the first six weeks and start my rehab out here in Montana. The first six weeks are the slowest and seem to me,  to be the least progressive but I’ve been really working on my, range of motion, swelling and working on engaging my quad. Also because I had a meniscal repair I haven’t been able to walk
for six weeks and i’m very excited to say that my 6 weeks is up!

Have any feel good advice for others going through an knee injury?
The best thing I have to say is to not dwell on your injury. I understand that’s easier to say then to do but try and find the positive out of the situation. Listen to your doctors, yours physical therapist and work hard to get healthy.

Have you been getting some school done in your down time?
Yes, school and physical therapy have been occupying most of my time.

When can people expect to see back on skis?
I’m hoping to get back on snow in the next 8 months. I’m going to have to work hard but i’m excited to get back doing what I love!

Have you been working with trainers to rehab?
I’ve done my first 6 weeks of rehab in Montana and now I’m in Park City training and rehabbing with the U.S Ski Team.

Any favorite songs lately?
Im going to have to say Blank Spaces by Taylor Swift just because thats what the girls and I used to blast before we went skiing.

MaggieVAir1
Air Voisin. Photo: Shay Williams

Who doesn’t love T-Swift? She’s a boss. Any last shout outs?
I would love to thank my family, friends, sponsors and everyone who has supported me throughout my skiing especially through my lows. I am so thankful to be in such a wonderful community of people and i’m looking forward to a fun and exciting future.

MissFits Moment: Yuki Tsubota

 

Name: Yuki Tsubota
Age: 20
Hometown: Whistler
Other sponsors: The North Face, Sushi Village, Giro, Skullcandy
K2 skis of choice: MissConduct

Yuki! What’s up girl? How is life!??
Things have been really good! Haven’t done a whole lot since the Olympics but it’s so so so nice to have some down time to myself.

Tell us what you’ve been up to this summer…!
I’ve been slowly getting back into the swing of things, had a camp in Mt. Hood a couple of weeks ago. Coached a session at Momentum which was a blast and now I’m getting ready to head back down to Hood again. There’s been a lot of lake days and hanging with my friends which has been the best! Hoping to get out at least once for a camping trip.

How has your life changed since the Olympics?
I wouldn’t say my life has changed that significantly. There definitely has been more media and interviews and people asking how it was and how I’m doing. There are a lot more “wow you went to the Olympics?” I get from people, but if anything it was more of an amazing experience for me and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of our sport debuting at the games.

What is your favorite memory from last season?
Probably the day I was officially announced to the Olympic team. I was in Aspen at X Games and I got up early to watch the TV broadcast of the team being announced and of course everything about being at the games also was unforgettable. It didn’t really kick in for me that I was at the Olympics until I walked in with Canada at the opening ceremonies; what a night that was. Surprisingly though when it came to competing there, it wasn’t that much different then any other contest for me beside the a little more pressure but only in qualifiers. Once I made it to finals I was fine, I was there to do what I came to do and no matter what happened I was proud of myself because I skied the best I could.

Tell us a bit about your injury from Sochi. And how are you doing now?
So on my final run I came up short on the knuckle switch and kneed myself. I ended up fracturing my cheek in two spots and a concussion. I stayed in the hospital over night and flew home two days later. I was able to get surgery quickly after I got home and take everything real easy. I think I seemed fine at the time but I hardly remember anything after the accident for about two weeks, for the longest time I thought somebody packed my bags for me but apparently I did it myself and no recollection of the flight home. I couldn’t really do anything for about a month after which was the toughest I couldn’t drive at all so I had to have someone take me everywhere and be with me. I’m almost back to 100% now beside the vibrations I get though my face on hard impact but it’s been slowly going away.

What do you have in the books for this winter?
My season is looking really great, very similar to the last two season without the pressure of the Olympics so that will be nice. Dew Tour, World Cups, and X Games. If I find the time I would really like to get out to Japan and ski if not I want to get out and ski more back country and do a few trips out.

Give us some insight on what it’s like to grow up in Whistler. Is it is crazy as my vacations always are?!
I don’t think you could give a kid a better place to grow up! I’ve lived here since I was 3 moved up from Vancouver and haven’t left yet and have no plans to ever. Growing up I did every sport you could think of and trying to jam it all in every week was a task but slowly they got weeded out and I ended up with hockey and skiing, and at the age of 12 I put everything into skiing and it’s been my life ever since. The schooling here is great too with all the teachers being very accommodating with your schedule, helping you catch up and making sure we understood what we missed.
…and yes it’s always crazy as your vacations here, living in Whistler is like living in a vacation. Go skiing all day, hang out by the lake, do what every you want then theres the village to go partying, shopping or out for dinner. Thats why you get all these people that come to visit and never leave.

I think you pretty much have the best sponsor EVER (besides us of course;)  Tell us about it puuhhlease!
I sure do! I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done. Ladies and gentlemen I’d like to give a big big thank you to Sushi Village. If you’ve been to Whistler before you know the place and how awesome it is. Hands down the best sushi and saki margs. All of the crazy nights we’ve all had in there… team dinners, birthdays, pants off parties…theres no better place to do it right. Putting that all to the side though they have been amazing support to me over the last two years and I give the biggest thanks to Miki and Naoko.

Do you have any rituals you do at the top of the slope course or before a comp?
I have one but I can’t tell you because it’s a secret. I do have a left and right ski that I’m very superstitious about and I also have a ziploc of notes and small charms that I ski with everyday, I know it’s weird but i’ve done it for so long now that it’s become a part of me.

Do you see yourself living in Whistler for a long time?
I sure do! This is the place I want to live forever and I can’t see my self living anywhere else, it’s home for me and always will be. Growing up here as a kid, I want my kids to grow up here and have all the opportunities I had.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
That’s tough and I don’t really know if I even have any, I have the top three places I’d like to go but I know they aren’t very difficult places to get to and I will visit them way before I die. The first is to ski powder in Japan, I’ve visited Japan many times but only in the Summer and fall never to ski. I’ll find the time one day to go over there. Second is to go to Africa and do a couple week safari, I don’t know what it is but being able to see and be close to lions and elephants is very intriguing to me. My third is New York, it’s not very special but it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Just to see the main places, Time Square, Central Park, Statue of Liberty ect.

Do you speak Japanese? Have you been to Japan much?
I do, I can almost speak fluent Japanese but my writing and reading is non-existent. I get to speak it sometimes with my mum, family back in Japan or a few people that around town but beside that not really. I’ve been to Japan around 8-9 times hopefully the next time is to ski too. It’s one of my favourite places to go, the food is to die for and the shopping is up there too.

What’s your favorite K2 ski and why?
The ski and ride and is my favourite is the MissConduct. It’s got the shape of a traditional ski which I love and perfect stiffness for me, last year I went up a size which really helped me, it’s made it easier to land having more tip and tail to land on. What I’m really excited for is the Remedy 112 for next year it’s a completely new ski that I can’t wait to try out.

Who was your biggest influence in the industry growing up?
Growing up in Whistler I looked up to all the pro skiers in town, I would see them around town and on the hill and be starstruck. Of course though Sarah was the one I looked up to the most even when I was a mogul skier she was the one. She did what the guys did and was just such a big influence on women’s skiing.

I know Paul Walker was your #1 man. Sorry for your loss. Do you have your eyes set on anyone new?
Really? Do we really need to talk about this? Yes Paul Walker was my man and we were gonna get married and drive fast cars. I remember the day I got the news, it was so devastating and I cried. There will never be anyone that can replace my love for him.

Any shoutouts?
My family for always being behind me on everything I’ve ever done, my sponsors for supporting me, my coaches for getting me to where I am and making all my dreams real and a big special one to my best friend Annik and my man Ryan for putting up with me all the time because I’m so high maintenance. 

MissFits Moment: Sochi

K2 athletes, Anna Segal (AUS), Brita Sigourney (USA), Eveline Bhend (CH) and Yuki Tsubota (CAN), spent a few weeks in Russia to participate in the Sochi games last month. Anna, Eveline and Yuki competed in the first ever slopestyle competition on the prestigious world stage, while Brita represented in the halfpipe. Now that the games are over, the girls are home and the hype has died down, we caught up with the ladies to chat about their time abroad. Check out what they had to say in the latest MissFits Moment…

One word to describe your experience?
A: Exhausting

E: Unforgettable

B: Fun!

Y: Unforgettable

What was your most memorable moment in Sochi?
A: Hugging my family at the bottom of the slopestyle course. My mum, dad, step-mum, step-dad, brother and sister all made a massive effort to be there. It made me so happy to see them so excited.

E: At the opening ceremony, the entrance into the stadium.

B: Competing under the lights for my event but also watching the men’s slopestyle sweep.

Y: Walking into opening ceremonies with Team Canada.

Did you mingle with athletes from other countries much or pretty much hang with your team?
A: I did hang with the Australian team a lot. Aus has a small snow community and I’ve know a lot of the other team members from way back. It was awesome to catch up with them and share the stoke while watching other Aussies compete. I also wanted to take the opportunity to meet new people who were competing for Aus in sports I wasn’t so familiar with (like skeleton, bobsled and alpine). However, I did hang out with my good friends from other countries. It was cool to share the experience with the crew that I’ve been skiing with for the last 7 years.

E: I mostly hung out with athletes from other countries. Mostly with two girls from Sweden and Slovakia. Later my husband arrived, he competed in halfpipe. So we were hanging out together as well – for sure 🙂

B: I don’t think the freeskiers did a very good job of meeting new people. We had a lot of team bonding time, which was nice, but we mostly hung with the foreigners we already know and love like the Canadians and New Zealanders. Freeskiing seems to attract a certain type of person and I think we are all just used to that.

Y: Mostly my team but I did meet other athletes from Canada in other disciplines though.

Did you get to freeski much? If so, what was the terrain like and was it fun?
A: Sadly I didn’t freeski much. I went into Sochi with a torn ACL. It was pretty risky competing on it and quite sore. Apart from skiing the course, I stayed off my knee as much as possible. I had to in order give it the best chance to recover for the next day.

E: Until my contest started, I mostly practiced for my run for slopestyle. Once I went to the very top of the ski resort for skiing and this was very exciting. A wonderful view over the Caucasus Mountains. For the rest of the time I hung out in the different villages.

B: We got to Sochi about a week and a half before our first practice so I did a lot of freeskiing during the first few days. I’d been to Rosa Khutor the year before so I knew what it would be like and I made sure to pack my powder skis. The terrain there is insane. Huge mountains with tons of chutes right off the gondola and the longest runs of your life. It’s so fun!

How much free McDonalds did you consume?
A: I didn’t get any free Maccas! I was staying up in the Mountain Village (with all the other freeskiers) where we were deprived of free cheeseburgers and fries. The Coastal Village had a free McDonalds, but I didn’t make it there.

E: Twice. Once I took a mango smoothie and once I had a cherry pie for dessert. No burgers for me 😉

B: Enough to never want McDonald’s again. I’ve never been excited about McDonalds until I got to Sochi and it was the best meal option we had. I feel sick talking about it.

So are the rumors true about all of the risky business in the Olympic Village?
A: I mean…. I wasn’t eyewitness to the so-called adulterous behaviour, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I did hear a few funny stories, but I don’t think it was any more scandalous than other big freeski or snowboard events.

E: Honestly – I don’t know. I only had eyes for my husband 🙂 but yes, I heard some stories.

B: I think that gets blown out of proportion a little bit. I’d say there wasn’t any more sex than any other events we’ve been to. Sad to say I didn’t see a single condom with Olympic rings on it. But I was also doing my best to stay away from the party scene since our event was towards the end.

Did you meet any foreign hotties?
A: There were definitely some babes around. The food hall was a good area to scope. But I didn’t make a huge effort to meet them. I had bigger things on my mind.

E: Yes for sure there were some eye catchers – many, to be honest.

B: Not really but I admired from afar. I think the hockey teams were looking pretty good or maybe that was just our own hockey team. Haha

Compared to the best parks and pipes in the US, how did the Rosa Khutur features rank?
A: The Sochi slope course wasn’t the best course I’ve skied- it was average in comparison to Breck or Keystone’s parks. However it wasn’t bad. The first few days of practice were quite rough. The jumps were built as massive step downs with loads of impact onto boiler plate ice. But the builders did their best to accommodate our requests. The take-offs were shaved down and the landings softened up, so by comp day it was a really fun to ski.

E: The slopestyle course was amazing. When I first saw it, I thought it’s huge. But day by day I felt more confortable with it…they did good work. I was never riding the pipe but it looked huge and spectacular as well. So compared to the US, the park in Rosa Khutor was as well shaped as I know the parks in the US.

B: The pipe definitely took some getting used to. It wasn’t like we just showed up to X-Games. But I think by the night we competed they finally had it dialed. Besides the snow being incredibly soft and a little scary slushy, the shape was really good.

Y: It was a difficult course to get used to and a lot of people had their difficulties. Good thing we had lots of training to get used to it, the last two days softened right up and the course became more forgiving.

Do you foresee Sochi/Rosa being a destination for winter vacationers from here on out?
A: I can see Rosa Khutor becoming a popular destination for passionate ski vacationers and people that are searching for something different. However I don’t see it becoming an international destination for recreational resort skiers. The place has ridiculous chair accessible terrain; crazy steeps and spines as far as you can see. But Russia isn’t an easy place to travel to and around. It’s exotic and exciting but in no way convenient.

E: For the Games, the Russians have built a great ski resort. The surrounding, the views, and the constructions are amazing. I really hope that the Russian people, as well as different nations, will use and profit from it.

B: I think if you have the chance you should definitely go just because the terrain is so insane. It would be so fun to plan a powder trip with a group of friends. I’m not sure how well the buildings and infrastructure will hold up over the years but the mountains are totally worth it!

I can imagine that the parties were crazy! What was the scene?
A: I had one big night while I was there. It involved medals, shots, shattered glass, lingerie clad pole dancers, creepy Russian guys and arriving home at 8 in the morning.

E: I preferred to have a nice and fancy dinner in the Swiss house or some ping-pong games. No parties for me with blackout stories.

B: Crazy. Imagine any Euro club and Russia’s the same. Lots of half naked girls dancing on stages and floors so crowded everyone is sweating and dancing way too close.

Did you spend even a dollar while you were there or was it VIP all the way?
A: I bought a few drinks one night, but that was the extent of my spending.

E: We had free food and drinks everywhere. The only time I used money was at the airport in Sochi: a bottle of water. Cheap holiday, hehehe.

B: I spent some money on food and drinks but everything in the athlete village was free. I definitely saved a lot by going to Russia for a month.

Y: We didn’t have to pay for anything while we were there, though I bought a few gifts for my brother and sister back home.

Were you able to spend much time with your family if they were there?
A: My family was in Russia for a few days before my comp, but I decided to wait until after my event to see them. I brought my brother and sister into the athlete village for the afternoon then went down into town for dinner with the rest of my family that night. They all had to leave the next day, but I was so appreciative that I got to spend even that short amount of time with them.

E: My husband was in Sochi too as he competed in the halfpipe. We spent some nice days together. Watching some other competitions and the Coastal Village. There were no other relatives in Sochi. I told them to watch me on t.v. But I had a wonderful surprising welcome at the airport. I also got my personal diploma from my family which is irreplaceable

B: I saw my family a decent amount. Before we went, I was told we wouldn’t see our family at all and to not count on being with them so I’m glad that wasn’t true. I met them in town before my event for lunch one day and I spent the whole day after our event with them in the Park.

Y: I had my mother grandma and cousin come out but with my unfortunate crash I spent the couple days after the contest in the hospital, so didn’t get the chance to really see them at all.

I hear security was insane, which is a good thing obviously, but describe a typical day of getting around…
E: Everyone had his personal badge. Without the badge we weren’t able to get food or enter the ski resort. To enter the ski resort we had to pass a security tent. The resort itself was barricaded. The sky was always filled with helicopters that checked everything. If we entered a bus, the doors were sealed until the next checkpoint.

B: Security wasn’t too bad; we just had to show our credentials everywhere we went. Everyone was really nice for the most part but I wasn’t about to mess with those AK47s.

Were the locals friendly?
A: All the local volunteers in the athlete venues were extremely friendly. They always wanted to chat. Outside the Sochi “bubble” was another story. Russians seem to have a very grave/stern manner. I don’t think they mean to be rude, it’s more of a cultural difference.

E: I met different locals, some got a real poker face and some were extremely friendly. But to communicate with them was quite difficult as most of them didn’t speak English.

B: All of the volunteers were super nice and loved Americans. Everywhere we went they wanted to take pictures with us and chanted USA as we walked by. There were still a handful of surly waitresses and security guys that we dealt with but maybe they were just having a bad day.

What was the craziest food you tried?
A: I didn’t see or try anything too crazy. The Russian section of the food hall always had a lot of potato, beetroot and cabbage -No Beluga caviar unfortunately.

B: I never got too adventurous in my food selections. I tried to keep it pretty safe so I wouldn’t get sick and mostly ate pasta with red sauce or bread and cheese and yogurt and fruit. I definitely had some skeptical dumpling things at one point but never really branched out again after that.

What was your favorite event?
A: I had a really good time watching men and women’s aerials. I’ve spent a lot of time with the Australian aerialists over the last couple of years so it was awesome finally getting to see them compete. The tricks they do are insane! Plus Australia won two medals, which got everyone really hyped.
E: I went to the Russia – USA ice hockey match. It was amazing to sit in the middle of the Russian fans.

B: Obviously watching all of the slopestyle and halfpipe events were my favorite because I knew most of the athletes and it was fun to watch my friends showcase their sports to the world.

Assuming you’re aware of the contest, do you want to #datenickgoepper ?
A: Haha. Goepper is a little young for me! He is a really sweet kid though. I hope he got his wish to go on a date with T-Swift.

B: Ha. No thanks.

Would you go back to Sochi to ski or are you over it?
A: I would definitely go back to ski. Both times I’ve visited the area I haven’t been able to take advantage of the terrain as I’ve been injured. I have unfinished business in those mountains. We should do a K2 alliance trip there next season 😉

E: I saw the amazing mountains over there. It looked like you could have lots of fun to ski there. It would be interesting to go to Sochi again after some years to see how everything changed and developed.

B: I would go back in the future but I’d be ok with not going to Russia for a little bit, too. I feel like I’ve experienced enough of it to last me a while.

What’s on the agenda for the rest of the season?
A: My season is done 🙁 I’m currently on a flight back to Australia. I start back at University tomorrow and also have an appointment with my knee surgeon this week. By the end of the year I’ll be done with school, have a strong knee and will be ready to start shredding again!!

E: I now want to relax a bit. Amongst the Games and all the preparation for it I didn’t feel how tired I am actually. I am a bit powerless now and I enjoy being home for a moment. But there are some comps coming up like another world cup in Silvaplana and the European open in Laax.

B: I think I’m going to head to France in the middle of March for one more AFP event but I mostly just want to ski and have fun. I can’t wait to shred this summer in Whistler and Mammoth and learn a bunch of new tricks. I also have a couple of beach trips planned that I can’t wait to go on.

Y: The rest of my season is looking very mellow. I just got surgery the other day so it’s time to recover for about 2-4 weeks. I’ll see how I feel then and decide. There are a few contests I’d like to go to around here but I’d really like to just take the time and ski at home with friends.

MissFits Moment: Anna Segal

Name: Anna Segal
Age: 27
Home Mtn:  Breckenridge, CO and Thredbo, Australia
K2 Skis of Choice: MissConduct, Remedy 117
Sponsors: K2, Dakine, Bolle, Thredbo, Breckenridge, Full Tilt

What do you love most about skiing?
A combination of the adrenaline rush, the progression, constant challenge and above all, being outdoors with my friends on a daily basis.

Growing up in Australia, away from most of the industry, who was your biggest skiing mentor?
Even though I grew up on the other side of the world, I had access to the international ski scene through ski movies. I used to watch old ski movies like Propoganda, Happy Days and Shanghai Six on repeat! I loved watching the guys, but my favourite segments were of girls such as Sarah Burke, Kristi Leskinen and Marie Martinod. All those girls acted as mentors for me. They inspired me to think that if they could do it, so could I.

How is your knee recovering and can you give us an update on your overall health?
My knee is coming along well. It’s been a slow process taking longer than I first anticipated, which at times has been frustrating. I spent 4 months up in Sydney working with the Australian team trainer. During this time it felt like all I was doing was training, icing, eating and sleeping. But I did what I needed to do to get back on snow as soon as possible. I’m now back jumping, hitting rails and I even got a few sneaky pow days in Aus.

What are your future skiing plans?
That’s a hard one. My main focus right now is the 2014 Olympics in Russia. However once that is done…… Ahhhh. I have so many ideas and things I want to do with my skiing. I want to ski pow, build back country jumps, film and shoot photos. I’ve put all these things on the back burner this last year. I’m just craving to go on some adventures!! I’m going to keep my mind open and see what opportunities come my way.

Of all your gold medals (FIS FSWC 2011, Winter X-Games 2009, US Freeski Open 2007), which are you most proud of and why?
It’s hard to pick one which I am most proud of. None of them came easy, nor were any of them expected. The 2007 US Freeski Open was my first professional comp and I had a broken wrist and a smashed up face. For X-Games I skied with a torn meniscus and had the flu and before the 2011 FIS World Champs I was struggling with my skiing confidence. So for each one I feel like I overcame some hard times, which made each win that much sweeter.

Do you listen to tunes when you ride? If so, what jams get you going?
Yeh, almost all the time. I’m always switching up what I’m listening to depending on my mood. At the moment I’m pretty into Flume, Aluna George and the Foals’ new album. But I have some staples that I’ll always go back to; The White Stripes, Rage Against the Machine, The Fugees and lots of old school hip hop. Kind of a strange mix.

Being from Australia, would your rather own a koala or kangaroo as a pet?
I think a Koala would be easier to look after. They just chill in the trees and get stoned on Eucalyptus oils.

Which upcoming contest are you most excited for?
I think the first one, which will be the Breckenridge Dew Tour. I love competing at my home mountain because I don’t have to travel anywhere! Plus Breck has the best jumps, so I know the course will be money! I haven’t competed since February and I’m really looking forward to getting back into it.

Is there a particular park feature that you like best?
It depends on the day, my mood and how I’m skiing. So no, I don’t have one favourite feature.

Any new tricks in store for the 2014 season?
I’m all about learning new tricks, it’s why I love skiing park- there’s always progression to be made. There’s a lot of tricks I’d like to stomp and bring to competition next season, but I’m not going to claim them until I’ve got them on lock.

Which resort has the best park? Why?
That’s easy- Breckenridge. The park crew has jump building down to a fine art and they never slack on raking.  Plus, Breck has two full runs dedicated to the park which they jam pack full of features and continue to change it up throughout the season.

Favorite ski resort in the world and why?
Breckenridge in the Northern hemisphere and Thredbo down in Australia. There’s nothing more fun than skiing at your home resort. When it snows, I know where all the good stashes are and on any given day there are always heaps of friends around to ski with.

Who is your favorite skier to watch and who has the best style?
Ahh, there are too many…… I love watching B-dog for his creativity, Wallisch for his landings, Pettit’s ability to ski massive lines and still get playful with them, Kaya Turski for her park skills and Candide for being an all round badass. That’s just to name a few.

If you could be pro in any other sport, what would it be?
I’d be a pro surfer (not that I assume that this would have ever happened)- I always joke with my mum that she should have brought me up as a surfer as I’d be able to spend a lot more time at home in Australia.

How can you best describe the difference between ski culture in the the northern hemisphere vs. the southern?
Down in Aus we are less spoiled with long runs, long seasons and lots of snow. People are just stoked if it isn’t raining and 4 inches of fresh is considered a pow day! People have lower expectations as far as conditions go, which is refreshing. Shredding back home reminds me that skiing is all about having fun, getting creative and being outdoors with my friends. No expectations!

How are you training for the Olympics?
On the physical side of things, I’ve been doing a lot of work in the gym, trying to make myself bullet proof so I’m less likely to get injured on snow. Over the last year I’ve also been working a lot on the mental side of things. I’ve been learning how to stay happy and focused no matter what the situation.

What do you most look forward to about competing in Sochi?
I’m looking forward to representing my country. Previously in freeskiing I’ve represented myself and my sponsors. Which is fun and all, but I think there will be something more special in being on the world stage and representing my home country.

What are your passions besides skiing?
I LOVE surfing. I’m not great at it, but it’s the only other thing that gives me the same happiness as skiing.

What are your tips for aspiring professional female skiers?
Keeping your body strong is key. Most female skiers want to be hitting the same features as the guys, which is totally do-able. But  our bodies are not naturally as strong. Putting in time in the gym isn’t always fun, but it will prevent injuries and help you progress faster. Most girls realise this after their first big injury. My advice is to discover it before.

Missfits Moment: Christine Hargin

FWT favorite Christine Hargin gives you a little insight to life as one of the world’s best female big mountain skiers!

Age: 33
Home Mountain: None really since I live in Stockholm, but I travel to ski all over the world.
K2 Skis of choice: Pettitor (Shreditor 120)
Sponsors: K2, Norrøna, Kombi, Sweet Protection gear, Yniq.

What have you been up to this summer? I’ve been focusing on physical training; started to work with a trainer and have been training on the water jump to learn some tricks. I’ve also gotten in a few surfing days.

Tell us a bit about your last season… It started well with two victories in the Freeride World Tour, had an amazing trip to California with both skiing and surfing and ended the season a bit early due to a minor injury.

How does it feel to be the FWT Champion from 2012 and in the top 5 the past 3 years? It feels great! Also the tour is growing and I feel lucky to have been a part of it. Its a great combination for me to be part of the world tour and also to be involved in some interesting projects.

We see that you’ve been hitting the water ramps, any new tricks you’ve nailed? Yeah, I think that I need to get better with tricks overall so I started with some basic flips and hopefully I can take them to the backcountry this winter. It would be cool to take them to the world tour as well. It’s also important for air control so I don’t forget that feeling during the summer break.

What are you looking forward to this upcoming season? Looking forward to being back on the world tour, some film projects and to visit new, amazing places in the world.

Any big trips planned? Lofoten, Norway and Alaska.

What’s the most challenging part of dropping cliffs in competition opposed to riding for fun? You can’t see it closely and you have to nail it on the first try!

What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever hucked off of? My last part in Freeradicals, The Sunny Side. It is a cliff with an icefall, where the sluff pushed me out. Watch it in my edit!

Any advice to girls wanting to build confidence to drop cliffs? Start jumping off of cliffs everywhere while riding and also be in the park a bit to get used to the air time. It has to be a thing you always do when you ride, you cant wait to practice in contests. Start with some small stuff and develop from that, so that you stay away from being injured.

Where is the biggest/best spine you’ve ever ridden?  Verbier, Bec de rosses

Favorite après ski town to party in after a hard day riding?Favorite bar there? In Verbier, France. Also in Åre, Dalboms.

What are you doing when you’re not skiing? Surfing, skateboarding and arranging events.

What’s your favorite summertime activity? Traveling and living in my VW-van!

Skier you look up to the most? Why? My brother Mattias and my sister Janette because of their strong riding styles. Also those who can rip all over the mountain; freeride, park and everything in between.

Craziest person you’ve ever skied with? I’d have to say my boyfriend Adam- watch my Instagram (@krikkan_) for some proof this winter!

Photo by: Hannes Soderlund