Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bariloche and The Frey

After 2 long bus rides we arrived in Bariloche to pouring rain. Bariloche is a very cool hip city along a large lake called Lago Nahuel Huapi. Looking at the weather forecast the only clear day looked like the next day. It poured rain the entire evening, which meant it could be snowing up high. The next morning we boarded a crowded bus up to the ski area of Cerro Catedral. The ski area itself was very crowded and did not have a ton of terrain, we were able to find some good powder though! The mountains that lay in back all around Catedral were a different story. Huge peaks with beautiful spires lay all around. We had a fun ski day in the sun and then headed back to Bariloche, our main goal with coming to this area was hopefully to ski near those peaks and spires by going to stay at Refugio Frey. The weather again did not look promising and we were stuck hanging around the city for 3 days hoping the weather would break before we had to head back to Santiago.

After 4 days we received our window, we were a little concerned about all the precipitation in the past three days that we decided to take the hiking trail to reach the hut. We strapped our skis to our packs just bringing a sleeping bag and some pesos and set out on an adventure. We walked through mud and rivers that had been created by all the rain. Eventually after 3 hours of hiking with our skis and boots on our backs we were able to put our skis on and start skiinning. After only a few minutes of skiinning the trail become very thick with some type of bushes that later I came to know a little to well. I lost the trail and spent the next 2 hours battling my way up through the thickest trees and bushes I had ever seen. Finally arriving at the Frey I was welcomed by Basco the hut caretaker, Emilio the cat and Morgan who thankfully had found the trail.

The Frey looks out onto an amazing lake with tons of little couloirs and spires in the background. It was so nice to have a cold beer and a hot meal in the middle of this beautiful place! The next day the weather was beautiful and we set out to check the snow condtions and ski some couloirs. The snow was a little interesting, but we were able to ski some fun lines before it heated up. We met up with a canadian couple that were super fun to ski with and skied 3 really fun lines that day, two of them being couloirs. We arrived back at the hut after an awesome day and besides two other peoople that came to the hut that night we had the place to ourselves. The next morning we had to get back Bariloche so we skied one last couloir early before breakfast. It was my favorite one of the trip, it had all kinds of snow conditions, it was steep and had a small crux in the middle. We then made the 2/1/2 hour skin out to the ski area and back to Bariloche. What an amazing trip and cant wait to go back and explore more in that area!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Today was my second day skiing in Portillo and it has been awesome to ski without pain. This place is so beautiful and you just feel at home in the mountains being here. I have been taking a few photos with Jonathan Selkowitz, who is an amazing photographer and just working on getting back onto my feet again. The womens US Ski Team is here training, including Lindsey Vonn and this being her debut back on snow since her injury. It is very motivating for me to be skiing around with the girls I grew up racing with even though we are on an entire different level now, their skiing and hard work are inspiring to me. I can still feel my leg on hardapack, but this is the first time I feel like I have skied without pain in a few years. The last couple years have been tough from my broken fibula to my shoudler dislocating when I wave to someone to the worst injury I have ever had which was my broken tib/fib. Last season I thought I was healed, but now that I am skiing since the first time since March 1st I realize wow, this is what it feels like to have no pain! It is amazing how the mind can trick you into thinking that you are okay. Now I am working on gaining back my confidence in my skiing thatI felt I lost last season. This is the first ski trip I have ever done without competing or racing and it feels so good not to have the pressures of having to perform. I simply get to ski for myself and it feels great. Thanks to Rob at Mountain Athlete again for making me feel strong again. Also Arcteryx, Head, Gu, Scott, Probar and JHMR for supporting me in my skiing endeavers! Next stop Bariloche, Argentina!

Friday, April 5, 2013

2012/2013 Season of fun, travel and injuries!

My first comp back! Revelstoke!
This winter has been full of challenges for me with skiing to running my own business to injuries. I have not really been able to ski like myself the entire season, but ever since I broke my tib/fib mountain biking it has been a goal of mine  to compete on the first unified Freeride World Tour. Coming off of winning the 2012 Freeskiing World Tour, I felt that I had a lot of  pressure to withold my reputation as a world champion. The only problem was that in the past 8 months since I won the world tour I had broken my Tibula and Fibula about as bad as I could break it. I have a bunch of screws and a rod in my leg. I then had to have shoulder surgery for a dislocation problem that has been haunting me for a couple years. Since enduring all these injuries my only goal was to be able to compete again and hopefully ski in the championships in Verbier. The year proved to be more challenging than I thought, my leg constantly ached and I would get shin bang very easily. I could feel the rod move every once in a while and all of this obviously played with my confidence. At the same time I decided to open my own gym, which opened Dec 3rd. This was very exciting but took up all my time and energy when I was home and it made it hard to focus 100% on my skiing and when I was traveling to ski I was always worried about the gym. Overall I had a very amazing year of skiing and competing, I did not do as well as I would have liked but ended up 6th on the Freeride World Tour.  I did not get to ski in Verbier due to injuring my leg again in a fall in Fieberbrunn. I am hoping it will recover quickly and it was pretty heartbreaking not to be able to ski in the chamionships. This year was a great learning experience and I am still hoping my fire in my skiing will return, because this year everytime I left the start gate I had a hard time skiing aggressively. I am looking forward to hopefully doing some skiing in the Tetons this spring and focusing on the gym! 

Good Friends met through the season! Eva and I, she is recovering from torn ACL

My leg after the fall in Austria, no broken bones so that is good! Probably just was not quite ready for impact!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fieberbrunn Austria FWT!!

After being in Austria for a week, the weather finally cooperated and it went blue. The venue looked beautiful with the new snow and the morning light looked gorgeous. I had the top of my line pretty dialed, but was not totally sure about my lower section. The guides had said that the snow was very deep, but not a lot of snow in certain sections. As I left the start gate I felt confident and felt that my normal self had finally returned and I was ready to ski aggressively. My mom, her friends and Brian were here for support which helped my confidence. My top section was deep powder and I think I even got a few faceshots. I then entered into the bottom section and as soon as I was in the air I could see that the ending was going to be like landing in a parking lot. I could not believe that the snow was so different and not even an inch of snow lay in my landing. As soon as I hit felt my poor right leg jam forward and then back, it felt as though it had exploded again. I got up and skied to the finish as soon as I could but my leg was killing me. I do not think it is anything serious, but at the moment I have a huge bump and I can barely walk. I am hoping for the best, but the pain is tough to handle. I am so bummed, because I was just starting to finally feel strong again. I am still hoping that it could heal by Verbier, but now I just want to be able to ski the rest of the season. It was a fun day of competing and only a few injuries. The women skied incredibly strong again and it is really awesome to see the ladies uping the game!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Austria so far has been a blast, I love trying all the food and seeing the sights. We arrived last Thursday and we were supposed to compete on Saturday. The weather and the conditions have put us on standby. When we went to the venue it was incredibly punchy and icy snow, which we all agreed is the worst for hitting airs and trying to ski to our potential. Fieberbrunn has some really fun terrain and is a very quiet town in Austria. The people are very nice and very excited to have our event. My mom and her two friends have been here so we did some exploring we went to Salzburg and visited the castle, a beautiful church and had a very traditional Austrian meal. Monday we skied Kitzbuel which is a great town and very impressive ski area. The last run of the day we skied the run where the Hahnenkamm is held and that was amazing to see! Just imagining it as a downhill course gave me goosebumps. There is ton of terrain changes and it is a very long downhill. I am now back in Fieberbrunn awaiting the competition. It gives me some time to get some work done for the gym and just ski! Hopefully are competition will happen Saturday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Moving on up, but not quite enough!

This season has been a little rough for me just trying to get my confidence back, but that is not an excuse I am skiing the best that I can ski right now. Today I had a lot of fun with my line and I thought it was solid. Last year I won the competition here and thought it would be really fun to ski my same line, but try and do it better. The conditions this year were less than ideal and I knew I needed to ski accordingly, but I felt confident and ready! Then people in front of me started to crash so I figured I would take it just a tad slower. I entered into the top a bit hot and got knocked off my edges and skied slower than I wanted to, after that I thought I brought it back. I was happy with my skiing and my speed on the bottom, but it was only good enough for 4th, which I am happy with, but not what I would like!! The girls skied well today and I am stoked for every single one of them! I just feel that I have taken a step back in my skiing not a step forward. I am not giving up and hopefully I will get it in one of the next 2 competitions! Next week is the Austrian stop so I am looking forward to that competition. I love the freesking family and pushing myself and I have to realize why I do this and hold onto that! Going out of the start gate is already a true feat. So psyched for Lars winning the boys as well! A fun day of competing.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Save a Horse Ride a Cowgirl!

skinning in front of Lone Peak
I recently was asked to film with Warren Miller for the Montana segment. I could not believe that I  was being invited to ski with a company that I had been watching their movies for years! The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind, I flew home from Europe Sunday worked all day at the gym on Monday and arrived in Bozeman late Monday night. ( need to take advantage of all opportunities!) Tuesday started the next succession of early mornings and long days of filming. The first day we skied at Bridger and just milked some of the trees and tighter lines, because the weather and light was not ideal for shooting. The next two days we spent in Beehive Basin, which is a beautiful touring area near Big Sky. On the first day of Beehive  I woke up still fighting a small cold, which makes it hard to have  the full energy to ski and skin. I forgot my transceiver and had to come back to the hotel and get it and try to catch up with the rest of the team. I could not believe it I was already blowing it on my first shoot! We did not communicate very well and I came back and started skinning up into the wrong area. After and hour of touring I could not find the group and the photographer Pascal had to come meet me so I could get to where everyone was skiing. This was not a good start for me, junk show! We filmed in the trees, which made for beautiful artistic shots in the powder, but it was hard to get the exact shot that they wanted. We filmed two full days in the trees and I think out of 10 shots, I maybe got one right. I was not sure what I was doing so wrong, I have not done a lot of filming so this has been a great learning experience, but also very challenging for me. It is amazing to see how hard the the director Chris Patterson, his camera man Logan and Pascal the photographer work. They are incredibly hard workers and their attitudes match. As athletes our typical day involved taking our skins on and off probably 6 to 7 times and skinning back up and skiing a few turns.

Elyse getting some air time!

Chris doing what he does best!

Today we did a lifestyle shot, which involved a bit of acting, or should I say singing. We used Keely's dads old truck a 1974 Dodge and loaded all of our stuff up into it and Chris shot us driving up and down the road singing the Big and Rich song Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy. Since we were three ladies we changed the lyrics to save a horse ride a cowgirl! This was very fun to see the production that goes into shooting a small segment like this. Chris a few times was hanging out of the back of the truck as we drove behind another shot involved mounting 125,000 dollars worth of camera gear on the hood of the truck. We had to sing the Big and Rich song over and over, the good thing is that our voices will not be used just our lip movements! We tried to sing the song the best we could but we are skiers not singers. We changed the lyrics a bit, but here is what we sang over and over. It was an incredibly fun day and it is so fun to work with people that are such professionals! Tomorrow some more skiing at Big Sky! We are hoping for sun!

"I am a thourougbred that is what he said in the back of my truck bed getting buzzed on suds on some back country roads we were flying high fine as wine having ourselves a big n rich time and I was going just as far as he would let me go but his evaluation of my cowgirl reputation had me begging for salvation all night long so I took him out, sang him every Willie Nelson song and we made love and I saddle up my horse and I ride into the city and i make a lot of noise because the boys are so pretty riding up and down broadway on my own my old stud Leroy the boys say save a horse ride a cowgirl!"
Everything is loaded up ready to go!