Snowbound! Where the Pros Go
Our favorite Olympians, extreme skiers, and boarders let us in on where they’ll be carving turns this winter.
Skier: Jonny Moseley
Cred: The U.S. National Ski Hall of Famer and mogul dynamo won gold at the 1998 Japan Olympics, crushed it at X Games, and has dazzled crowds with his innovative tricks like his signature “Dinner Roll.”
Hometown hill: “Squaw Valley [in North Tahoe] is still my favorite place to ski. It’s challenging and fun. We get great bumps and huge powder days. There are a ton of fun natural features to play around on and I like the atmosphere: massive granite rocks and huge pine and sequoia trees.”
Insider tip: “When the pow has tracked [the powder has been skiied out], head just left of my run [Jonny Moseley’s Run] along the trees. It’s always good. When I am not skiing, you can always find me at the Plaza Bar with its cushy chairs that look out to the hill, a bigscreen playing ski movies, and old-school flavor that feels like the 1960 Olympics.”
Skier: Grete Eliassen
Cred: One of best women skiers, this Red Bull athlete has medaled at Winter X Games in both Superpipe and Slopestyle, and holds the women’s record for her 31-foot air.
Go-to mountain: “I’ve lived and skied all over and nothing compares to Snowbird’s terrain, accessibility, and snow. The powder is awesome. And it’s such an easy commute from Salt Lake City. In 15 minutes you’re on the slopes.”
Inside track: “Check out the spa, rooftop pool, and hot tubs on the top of the Cliff Lodge & Spa for a massage and outdoor soak, so you can take in the mountain views and everything that happened that day. There’s also yoga, stretching, and rolling classes there to work those ski leg muscles.”
Up next: Eliassen is now training with the U.S. Ski Team since Slopestyle skiing was accepted into the Olympics, so look for her going for gold in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
Skier: Scot Schmidt
Cred: Star of more than 40 ski films after being discovered by Warren Miller, Schmidt is the “Godfather of Extreme Skiing.” He’s also the Ambassador of Skiing at the private luxe Yellowstone Club in Montana.
Home slopes: The Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana. “I am always looking for the smooth and the untouched, which is why I spent most of my time in the backcountry or heli skiing, but now I am fortunate to ski at the Club which has 15 lifts and not a whole lot of traffic.”
Don’t miss: “Be sure to ride the tram at Big Sky Resort [next to The Yellowstone Club] regardless of whether you are an expert or non-skier. The views are spectacular of the Spanish Peaks and surrounding mountains. I like The Lone Peak Brewery for down-home food and a local crowd. Also, snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park in winter is always worth a try.”
Extreme invite: “Each season I take a group or two to the British Columbia interior to cat ski at Island Lake Lodge in Fernie, B.C. Odds are you’ll hit it pretty good there.”
Boarder: Travis Rice
Cred: Arguably the best snowboarder in the world, Rice is an X Games gold medalist, and star of two action sports films. In 2011’s The Art of FLIGHT, Rice and his crew conquer uncharted terrain and push the boundaries of snowboarding.
Hometown hill: “When it is good at home, there’s nowhere better. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has the most consistent pitch top to bottom, and over four miles of skiing from the top of the tram to the bottom. The entire mountain looks over the Jackson Valley, which is really unique as most all other mountain resorts are lost up in the hills. We had the best season in history last year and it looks like the same La Niña weather patterns predicted for this coming season! That’s where I’m going to be for sure!”
Up next: “I’m producing a contest next February called The Red Bull Supernatural, where the best riders in the world take on the most challenging, creative snowboard run ever created at Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson, B.C.”
Boarder: Todd Richards
Cred: This Encinitas local and freestlying snowboarder earned a spot on the first U.S. Olympic team in Nagano, Japan, has numerous X Games medals, and his own documentary called Me, Myself and I.
Go-to ride: “Breckenridge, Colorado, is my second home so I have a familiar feeling about that ski area. They always have an amazing terrain park.”
A moveable feast: “Breckenridge has some of the best food of any ski town. Two of my favorite restaurants are Giampietro for pizza and pasta and Empire Burger for burgers and beers. Clint’s on Main Street serves up the best breakfast and coffee in town.”
Advice for San Diegans: “Local residents need to take advantage of the new flights to Mammoth Lakes from San Diego. I have come to loathe the six-hour drive to the Southern California mecca of riding. Six hours north of here is no longer Southern California, people.”
Skier: Corby Fisher
Cred: Olympic ski jumping coach who’s skied around the world for the last 20 years.
Fave mountain: The Canyons in Utah. “I fly back and forth twice a week between San Diego and Park City as my house there is at the base of the mountain.”
Top secret: “The best part of the Canyons is the backcountry access. You can ride the lift to the top and, if you have gear, go out of bounds through the gates, which accesses the most epic skiing ever. And remember, it’s an easy hour-and-a-half flight [from SD], a quick 30-minute drive up the hill, and you are on the lift.”
Drinking in Utah: “We call it Park City, Colorado. Utah is a funky state, but Park City feels like any other ski town. There’s great après ski. There are no rules against that.”