This past winter, I didn’t start off with the intention of entering TGR’s Co-Lab Contest. Probably like the rest of you, I had my doubts that TGR was really going to give $100K to the person with the best ski edit. We’ve never seen a prize like that in the ski world.
To top it off, the word on the street was that TGR film athletes like Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Dana Flahr were going to enter. I’m a confident skier, but dang, as if I’d really have a chance against them. As the season went on and I started to collect decent footage, my view about entering the contest started to change, and I decided there was no reason I shouldn’t throw my hat into the ring. The process of putting together a segment was undoubtedly going to be a huge challenge, but it lit a fire under me. Ultimately I had nothing to lose, and the contest would give me a platform to demonstrate that chicks can rip, too.
Skiing a line on the infamous face of Ogre in the Pemberton backcountry, BC. Photo: Cody Townsend
The majority of my segment was filmed in the Whistler/Pemberton backcountry, accessed by sleds with a bit of touring thrown in. Like most ski bums, I posted up on friends’ couches; my only concern was being in a place where I could ski super fun, challenging terrain with a constant reset of fresh snow. I spent a bit of January and the entire month of March in this area—eating, breathing, and living skiing. Having no solid film crew to work with, I partnered up with several different crews getting in a few days here, a few days there. Salomon Freeski TV, The Run-Around Crew, a week of shooting with pro skier/sledder Nadia Samer and filmer Natalie Simmons—it all added up to some killer experiences in the BC mountains.
Catching some airtime in Seagrams in the Whistler backcountry, BC. Photo : Natalie Simmons
The finale to the season was an unplanned trip to my hometown of Girdwood, Alaska with no agenda but getting in the last throes of winter. It all worked out great—I joined the Pretty Faces crew of skier Lynsey Dyer and filmer Josh Skoglund. Luckily for us, an opportunity fell into our laps. Outside TV, who’d been shooting a TV series on Chugach Powder Guides all season, wanted to shoot an episode of a film crew at work. We happened to be the film crew they wanted to work with, so we got in the heli for an evening session of skiing classic AK rollovers, airs, spines, and open, steep faces. It couldn’t have been a better topper to a kick-ass winter of shredding.
Boy, was this a steep one! Shredding West Crystal out of Girdwood, AK. Photo: JGS Concepts