Hi! This is Ski Utah guest blogger, Amy David, and I'm inspired by people taking action to enjoy and improve the world around us. In the Wild Women of the Wasatch series, I'm featuring women from various backgrounds who inspire me and hopefully you too!
What does it mean to be a Wild Woman of the Wasatch? Any lady who finds happiness through outdoor sports in the Wasatch mountains. The gals who replace "What if?" with "Hell yeah!"
The Wasatch contains a magnetic pull to the adventurous souls. This episode features several young women who all gravitated to the Wasatch Front from across the world to chase skiing. In particular, the type who seek a hearty dose of adrenaline before breakfast. Take a look at us skiing Sunset Peak, Suicide Chute, Tiger Tail and powder at Snowbird, White Pine, hitting booters up Grizzly Gulch and park laps at Park City Mountain.
These girls are fearless risk takers who come alive at high speeds, in the air, and still reflect on the magic of nature while skinning to the top of a peak. Nature is in pure harmony with itself, and to be a part of that is spectacular. It's a privilege to be here in Utah filling our lungs with fresh air, taking in the incredible views, and having fun with our friends who share the same passions.
The Wasatch mountains hold a very special place in my heart. In 2010 I made the voyage to Salt Lake City to study at Westminster College and ski The Greatest Snow On Earth. Skiing brings so much joy to my life and knowing that having a strong healthy body enables me to keep skiing, I gain a positive intrinsic appreciation for what my body allows me to do.
Spending time in the mountains is healing to the soul. It's my place of refuge for peace, happiness and wild reckless fun. These mountains are truly special. Through time spent in the Wasatch I've met many wild women, and I'd like to introduce you to a few of my favorites - and believe me, there are a LOT of rippin' babes out there!
If you're lucky enough to ride up the chairlift with Katie, she might share her homemade hot toddy with you and she'll probably feel like your best friend by the time you get off the lift. She's a 22 year old spitfire who spent the 2016 winter season working as a ski instructor at Alta Ski Area between freeride competitions. The Colorado native was easily convinced to move to Utah after her fellow park and freeride competitor friends said it was the place to be.
"The Wasatch range is an incredibly special place to me now. Alta Ski Area has pretty much become my home even though I technically live down valley. It's wonderful to be able ski up at Park City, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons all within 30 minutes of where I live. The backcountry access is also outstanding and I deeply hope that land stays public!"
Katie may be one of the fastest skiers on the mountain, but she's also the type who won't leave you in the dust. "The people who end up skiing the Wasatch mountains are some of the best I've come across and I'm so happy and grateful to be among them now! Regardless of what niche of skiing/boarding, every person who is part of this community is so passionate and genuine. Of course being outside, staying active, and being able to travel is awesome as well but the people are what pull it all together regardless of what state or even country you're in."
This gal has guts. She's fearless, fast and doesn't hesitate to hit big airs. Lisen is a Norgwegian shredder who learned to ski as a young girl and continued as a racer through high school. She's a confident determined woman not afraid to follow her own path. Her love of big mountain and backcountry skiing evolved through taking a half-year avalanche ski touring course through Switzerland, Canada and Northern Norway.
Lisen met the well known comedic and big hearted local pro skier, Rachael Burks, while on a hut trip in Northern Norway. Burks gave her a speech about how awesome the Wasatch is. Lisen says, "I kinda didn't have a choice after that - I had to check out what she was talking about, so I came to Salt Lake City to go to college where I could ski."
Lisen explains, "The Wasatch range is phenomenal. It's where I spend most of my time, and the reason why I want to be here. It's basically my playground and where I have met most of my friends out here. It's awesome that I'm able to go to school in the morning and then do hot laps in the afternoon. Skiing gives me a lot of joy, confidence and happiness."
She's a fun loving girl with a bubbly personality. Kaytlin grew up ski racing in Hood River, Oregon before studying at Western State Colorado University. She had the opportunity to join the college's newly developed Freeride Ski Team and began traveling the country to compete in Big Mountain competitions. Her freeride ski style inspired her move to Utah three years ago because it has it all: Deep snow, steep terrain, cliffs & tons of backcountry access.
"When I think of the Wasatch mountains I think about adventures and easy escapes. Skiing is my escape from reality. When I'm skiing I'm not thinking of my to do list back home. I get caught up thinking about each turn, my skis moving from edge to edge, being in the mountains and sharing that time with friends. Just thinking about skiing makes me smile!" Kaytlin expresses her love for the area.
Talk about a stunt woman who is smooth as butter! This Park City native exudes one of the most unique park skiing styles out there. Riding since age two and competing since six years old, she's moving up in the ranks each year. This season she swooped first place at Rails to Riches for the second year in a row. Taylor travels the world competing in slopestyle competitions repping her home town with pride.
"Everyday I go up I say to myself that this has to be a progressive day and most importantly have fun. Learning new tricks and enjoying skiing with everyone else around you is definitely a highlight."
She's also a big part of the sickest lady park crew Diamond Annies.
As the snow begins to melt, the Wild Women of the Wasatch will be ripping around the hills on mountain bikes, trail running, climbing and who knows what else! Keep an eye out for upcoming summer episodes featuring various local ladies of the mountains.
Catch up on other Wild Women of the Wasatch stories here:
Watch Ep01 Adaptive Sports
Watch Ep03 Dawn Till Dark
Watch Ep04 Escape the Heat
Watch Ep05 Mountain Canine Companions
Watch Ep06 Steep Jobs
Watch Ep07 Local Pioneers
Watch Ep08 Boarder Babes
Watch Ep09 Spring Fling
Watch Ep10 Who are the Wild Women of the Wasatch?
Watch Ep11 Gnarly Nurses