Shredding the backside of Gottleib's

Shredding the backside of Gottleib’s
Photo: Neil Kerr, NZ Skier

Despite some tough days waiting for the snow this winter, there was some golden moments; light creamy pow, bluebird skies and untouched stashes of wind-buffed pow.

Many of the best days skiing I have had this winter were spent out the back of Treble Cone on my ski touring set-up, exploring ridge lines with friends. Those days inspired this little edit that I filmed on my iON Air Pro 3.

Shades of Winter: Pure

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of filming with Shades of Winter in Japan. It was an awesome opportunity to not only work with a rad bunch of ladies and the Shades of Winter crew, (which included filmers Mario Feil and Mathias Bergmann, photog Aaron Jamieson and guide J-S Hereux) but also a chance to be apart of something bigger.


As a kid we used to watch ski movies in the mornings before we went out to race or mogul training. My favourite for a long time was ‘Not another ski movie’, which was quickly replaced by ‘Claim’ when it came out. My favourites weren’t based on the best tricks or locations, it was usually for the ethos of the movie as a whole. I loved that ‘Claim’ made fun of the serious side of skiing, while still inspiring viewers to get outside and challenge themselves.

With an aim to capture the ‘Pure’ moments that we all experience while skiing, I hope that segments of this film will get skiers, especially girls stoked on skiing and the endless possibilities that it can offer you.

The full feature will premier at IF3 Montreal on September 20th and then later in October in Europe. For more info check out this link.

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July in New Zealand

The start of the winter has been a bit of a roller coaster ride over here in NZ. The anticipation that preceded my departure, followed by some interesting ski conditions and liquid snow that followed my arrival would have anyone momentarily switching between being stoked and snow depression.

I spent my first few weeks coaching the Treble Cone Freeride Program during the school holidays. We learnt a lot of things, such as ice can be your friend, tussocks are fun, pole plants are necessary and any snow is good snow.

When you’re faced with a late season, optimism is your only friend. While we were waiting for some freshies to hail down on us, I busied myself with some other activities:

Muddy bike rides between Albert Town and Wanaka

Muddy bike rides between Albert Town and Wanaka

Ski touring with Lyndon Sheehan

Training hikes up Triple Treat with Lyndon Sheehan

There is nothing like stirring a hot tub with an oar.

There is nothing like stirring a hot tub with an oar.

Sierra and her selfie stick

Sierra and her selfie stick… she made a pretty sweet edit- check it out

Scrambling around Gottleibs with the crew.

Scrambling around Gottliebs with the crew.

Then finally the snow started coming. It started small with fun top ups, building up the layers- until Monday came and we got to some serious pow:

Since then, I’ve been mincing around the slack country, getting some sweet views, good pow and a whole lot of serenity.

There is more pow on the way and there will be a whole lot more of this going on. Thanks friendos for the fun times!

Touring with MissionWOW

Touring with MissionWOW

Beacon search training with MissionWOW

Beacon search training with MissionWOW

Hanging out with Jo from MissionWOW and Kat from Small Planet

Hanging out with Jo from MissionWOW and Kat from Small Planet

I spent the day shooting with Flashworks Media and Amber Schuecker at TC on Monday

I spent the day shooting with Flashworks Media and Amber Schuecker at TC on Monday

Black Peak

Checking out Black Peak from Wedding Cake ridge

The Saddle

The Saddle looking primo


Friends in the backcountry are necessary- thanks Ryan, Sam, Sarah and Marion

Taylor Rapley being rad on Gottlieb’s Ridge



Post originally written for Treble Cone Resort.
Anna Smoothy at St Moritz

Wanaka local, Anna Smoothy taking in the sights while down trou with me at St Moritz after a FWQ stop. We skied pow all the way down. Photo: Claire McGregor.

If you could travel to ski anywhere, where would you go? This is a question that I have heard thrown around a lot. Perhaps it’s because the excitement of travelling to a new ski destination can almost surpass the act itself; the feeling of moving through bottomless powder or the unreal views that are afforded to you by the mountains.

There are a lucky few who call ski towns their home, however, for many of us- myself included, ‘the snow’ is something that we have to travel to from far away. While this may be frustrating at times, the journey and adventure that accompanies a ski trip, only enhances the enjoyment that you take away from riding the white stuff.

Ski Touring between Italy & France

Ski touring between Italy and France, January 2014

In the past, when I have been asked, “if you could travel to ski anywhere, where would you go?”, I have found myself momentarily stumped. There are so many options, so many places to go, cultures to see and different types of snow to be shredded. Sometimes the concept of an adventure can be so big and littered with so many possibilities that it is hard to digest and follow through on it- you fall into choice paralysis.

It was this feeling of enormity that descended upon me the first time we, the Shifting Ice team, began brainstorming a ski and sail expedition to Greenland and Iceland over Skype. There we were, five female skiers, chattering excitedly over the internet about far off places, many of which we knew nothing about- except that they looked cool from a plane window. If my future self could go back in time and explain to myself, sitting there in December 2012, the wonders that I would discover, I would have never believed it.

Shifting Ice and Changing Tides was an expedition that we dreamed up in response to the Polartec Challenge Grant- an international award program that encourages the spirit and practice of outdoor adventure. We were an eager team of women, with backgrounds and experience in competitive big mountain skiing, mountain guiding and backcountry skiing. We saw the grant as an opportunity to make a dream come true- skiing in a new place where no one had ever skied before, where the snow capped peaks were unexplored and the mountains were isolated from human civilisation.

Training on Teton Pass

Training for Greenland on Teton pass

Our team was rewarded a Polartec Challenge Grant at the beginning of 2013 and what followed was over a year of organising, Skype meetings, sponsor pitches and a fair bit of anxiety from all directions. During the application process we had decided that we wanted to sail from Iceland to Greenland as one of our expedition goals was to eliminate the use of machine-powered travel as much as possible. At this time all I could think of is: where are we going to find a boat? Who is going to sail it? And most importantly, won’t I die of seasickness? This, like many issues, which arose during the preparatory stages were slowly but surely dealt with, as were the question of funds.

By the time the middle of March 2014 rolled around (less than two weeks before our departure date), we had made our Indiegogo fundraiser goal, secured the support of several incredible organisations including; the National Geographic Young Explorer program, The Climate Reality Project, Adventurers and Scientist for Conservation and a broad range of sponsors who were pivotal in the success of our expedition.

Shifting Ice Team

Shifting Ice team (from left): KT Miller, Martha Hunt, Nat Segal, Mckenna Peterson, Pip Hunt and Meghan Kelly. Photo: KT Miller

By this time our dream had morphed into a succinct concept. We were an all female team, travelling to Iceland, to sail across the Denmark Strait on 63ft schooner with the goal to ski first descents along the south-west coast of Greenland. During our trip we were hoping to observe and interview locals about the changing climate in Greenland and take snow and ice samples for scientists at the University of Venice (a collaboration which was set up by Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation). We were packed, organised and about to set off for a place that none of us could even attempt to visualise. In many ways, where we were going was a blank canvas for skiing and ski mountaineering- all we had were stories of people scouting the mountains in southern Greenland by plane and a belief that most of the southern coast would be inaccessible due to ice flow.

What was even scarier than the thought of getting on a boat and sailing from Ísafjörður, Iceland to Nuuk, Greenland was the realisation that the minute we left land and waved Iceland goodbye we would be all alone, a small dot rising and falling on the horizon between huge waves. This was travelling for skiing turned wild. Anything could happen. And that it did.

Iceland with the Aurora Arktika

Iceland with the Aurora Arktika before departing for Greenland. Myself and Camilla Edwards before dropping in. Photo: Haukur Sigursson, Aurora Arktika

One of the most important things that this expedition as a whole taught me, was that the sky is the limit. I went skiing to a place, which beforehand my mind couldn’t even fathom- it took five of us to bring it into being. I have walked away with the belief that the unimaginable is possible. While it will take a lot of time, organisation and painstaking hours of worry, it is possible.

Taking a step backwards, I’ve had an answer to the question posed at the beginning for a long time. The one place that I have been intrigued by since I began to explore the slopes outside of groomed terrain has been New Zealand. Ironic isn’t it, that smaller, incredible island that is only a three hour leap over the ditch from where I grew up. This region has undergone a lot more exploration and is far less isolated than parts of Greenland but in my mind, the region is still wild and wild places always warrant some kind of adventure.

I’m looking forward to the winter ahead in New Zealand. Already I am conjuring up plans in my mind, locations to explore and backcountry runs out the back of the resort to venture to. That’s the cool thing about snow. Every year when it falls it creates an entirely new, original, blank canvas just asking to be skied.

The Southern Alps

The Southern Alps in all their glory

To learn more about Shifting Ice and Changing Tides expedition to Greenland- check out our website or FB page.

The Training Diary: Kaya Health Club


Usually when I think of the word ‘training’ I picture something that looks like a cross-fit gym, filled with weights, mats and structures of pain, including my worst enemy- the pull up bar. Despite this, I enjoy the idea of training, it keeps my body safe from injuries when I ski and means that I can ride hard with more confidence. I’m a bit of a nerd in that way.

I guess this has something to do with the fact that when it comes to off-snow training, that’s the kind of place I have spent hours toiling in; jumping, sprinting and lifting weights. It can be a boring existence but the results on skis that I have seen from working with programs such as Mountain Athlete makes it worth the blood, sweat and tears.

It was exactly this kind of attitude that I brought back with me to Melbourne in May this year, I couldn’t wait to get into the gym and make up for some of the time I had lost while rehabbing my knee last year. In my mind it was the autumn of strength. I had my program ready and after a week or two of letting my body rest, I got stuck into my weights training.

Of course disaster struck. Despite easing into my program, I hadn’t worked-out properly for several months. I had been travelling as a ski-nomad since January and all my body knew how to do was ski and climb mountains. There were also some lingering confusion in my body following my knee surgery. My hamstring wasn’t pulling its weight and my back hated anything that involved a barbell.

I wanted to have a tantrum- after being careful and patient for a year, I still couldn’t train hard like I used to. It took me a few hours but finally I stopped feeling sorry for myself and had a serious talk with my ego. I decided to turn my problem into a good experience and go back to the basics.

The easiest exercises are always the hardest to master- hamstring co-contractions.

The easiest exercises are always the hardest to master- hamstring co-contractions.

Luckily, I had decided to train at Kaya Health Clubs for my two month stint in Melbourne, so turning my training around was a lot easier than it would have been at your average gym. One of Kaya’s main aims is to create a relaxing and welcoming environment where the menu includes more than just a weight room, cardio and some evening pump classes. Primarily, Kaya is a club that focuses on reformer pilates and yoga but that doesn’t mean it skimps on the other things that your normal training ground would offer.

Kaya Health Clubs

So after two weeks of trying to make it through my dry-land training program, I left it at home and started a reformer pilates binge.

photo 1

I’ve found that when I first mention pilates to people, their response usually is, “but isn’t that really boring?” To be honest, the first few times I was on reformer I was more confused than bored. I was being told to do so many things at once that it was hard to concentrate; find your neutral spine, relax your neck, squeeze your bum and lift your leg.

Kaya Health Clubs

Your average reformer class in action

Being someone who usually relies on their quads to do most exercises, trying to isolate my core was almost impossible. After my first class, where I just tried to power through all the movements, my ego was in shreds. Having your weaknesses so easily laid out in front of you is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. But for every ego-flattening class I attended, my body started to work that much better.

Tuesday morning spin with the bike gang

Tuesday morning spin class at Kaya with the bike gang. (Ali, Anna and I).

It took me some time to realise that this kind of training was just as important as all the grunting, running and lifting that I had done in the past. Your body is a unit and if the centre of it is not strong, it’s only going to crack under pressure.

I would love to finish this blog by saying that now I am a changed person but I would say that I am the same old person. At least now though, I know where my core muscles are and how to turn them on without cranking my back into spasm. My hamstring is building up strength and my body is happy to start skiing.

Having some late night fun with one of Kaya’s rad yoga instructors, Monica

The most important thing that I have taken away from the last few weeks is how integral it is to listen to your body and follow its nags. In some cases it is necessary to go backwards to move forwards.

Christian and I at Kaya on my last day before heading to NZ

A big thanks has to go out to Christian and Koula from Kaya for their support over the last six weeks. They have helped make a fairly frustrating period into a positive one and helped me prepare for this winter in New Zealand. Thanks Kaya for the opportunity- it’s going to be a good winter!

Looking back

I’m back in Melbourne and more dazed and confused that I have ever been following a northern hemisphere winter. It’s been a big few months and so I think it’s only appropriate to reflect on some of the more entertaining moments via photo gallery.

NO WAY! Norway?

When buying plane tickets, I always try and make the most out my dollars- especially when I’m somewhere crazy like Iceland. So, after completing our expedition Shifting Ice and Changing Tides, I decided to hop on a plane to Oslo and make the most of my scandinavian adventure.

Shifting Ice

The Shifting Ice team in Nuuk, after spending 3 weeks on a boat sailing and skiing from Iceland to the SW coast of Greenland. Photo: KT Miller

Once in Oslo, I did what any normal person would do after almost a month of travelling and sailing at around 65 degrees north. I went to my hostel, took a shower, got in my caterpillar-like sleeping bag and caught up on all the new episodes of Game of Thrones that I had missed while travelling….I also called my mum.

Afterwards, I got to business. I had two main reasons for being in Norway.

#1 Compete in the first FWQ event of the season- the infamous Roldal Freeride Challenge

#2 Make party in the mountains with friends- especially Anne May who celebrated her birthday during my stay.

Let’s just say it was a successful two weeks.

However, the beginning of my norwegian adventures were somewhat more flimsy than the ending. After arriving in Oslo, I was very graciously put up by a friend Kristin, who not only helped me get around and see town- but also introduced me to the idea of norwegian park barbecues. I finally understand why scandinavians sun-bake in the alps during spring slush sessions- when your summer is that short, it’s necessary to make the most of any sun you see.

While relaxing was fun, it finally dawned on me how unorganised the rest of my trip was. I had no transport and no plans for accommodation for the next week in Roldal. They were some nail-biting hours, where I tried to get creative with the concept of hitchhiking with a ski bag. However, the norwegian bus system saved me and there started my love affair with the norwegian bus ways.

Buses spend a lot of time on ferries in certain parts of Norway. Fjordlife was fun.

Buses spend a lot of time on ferries in certain parts of Norway. Fjordlife was fun.

I had known about Roldal for many years before I finally managed to compete in it. It was what the Kirkwood FWT has been to the USA- one of the biggest on snow freeride parties of the year. The cool thing was that Roldal is a smaller resort, with big cliffs, drag lifts and a super laid back attitude.

Roldal Day 1 Venue

Roldal Freeride Challenge- Day 1

The day 1 venue provided some fun but due to the lower snowpack, many of the take offs has been melted out. Luckily, we were able to hike up the face to the start, so it was possible to check at least a few transitions.

Hiking up the day 1 venue. Norway skiing = convex

Hiking up the day 1 venue. Norway skiing = convex


We shouldn’t have worried, we ended up having over four hours standing on top to scope our lines. I did my fair share of dancing for most of the competitors.


Bird watching. I found this little couple while on an adventure away from the masses- I found out later that they were quite tasty but never had a chance to hunt them…….. We decided that an ice- axe would be the best weapon for the job- as a gun wouldn’t be appropriate in the ski resort.

The competition continued on as it had started- with blue skies, spring snow and a bunch of super rad people. Competitions are always a great place to make friends but sometimes when you’re travelling on your lonesome- it can be a little tough. I however was lucky enough to be adopted by a svensk familj and quickly their little cabin, also became mine.


Celebrating our hard work on the mountain at the Roldal camp grounds. Nothing beats 4% beer and potato chips. Best party crew that a ski bagger could dream of.
Photo: Sara Hultman

The prize giving wasn’t until later in the evening after day 2, which gave me ample amount of time to analyse my performance. I was frustrated, as after day 1 I had held a strong lead in first position. I had got too comfortable and skied a much too mellow line, much too mellowly. That’s how competition’s go sometimes and as angry as I was, it was nice to finish in a solid 2nd position, behind a lady who sent the crap out of the day 2 venue. Lesson learned- go bigger, faster and scare yourself a little. There Axel- I have written it down.


Jumping over things. You can watch the full line here:

And then it was over (not after a lot of dancing) and I was once again stranded somewhere in Norway. My lift up to Bergen had said that he wouldn’t be driving until 7pm as he needed time to sober up following the after party. It seems that he never sobered as I never heard from him again. Thankfully, the bus came to my rescue once more.

Two days later, after a brief visit to the lovely Alexander and Luis in Bergen and a 10 hour bus ride, I found myself in Aalesund for birthday week.

Aalesund is located on the west-coast of Norway, just where the fat bottom starts to taper into the skinny coastline. The town itself is on an island, which is surrounded by more islands, fjords and incredible mountains. I was lucky to have a local as a tour guide and she stopped at nothing (not even a heavy norwegian hangover) to make sure I saw the sights.


Anne May and Lucy the dog, shussing above Valldal


Lucy gets pretty excited about powder snow!


Warming up for skiing on the ferry


Exploring Sagafjord- if only the clouds would have lifted, the mountains behind are incredible

We had the best intentions to ski most days but unfortunately both the weather and birthday celebrations led more to driving around the fjords and rambles around the mountains other than any real skiing. I guess you can’t have everything.




Scoping lines at 4pm, dreamers will be dreamers


Sitting in a home-made fish-net hammock in the forest after an unsuccessful ski day- the hammock made up for it.

And then without even realising, my one and a half month sub-arctic adventure was coming to end. However, there was one thing left to do- celebrate Anne May’s 30th birthday in the place where she was nearly born.

On Friday morning, we woke up and pranced over for breakfast with Anne May’s family, which included demolishing a delicious norwegian baked thing, which is called a ‘kringler’ (I think)- or a birthday kringler in this case. Next we jumped in the car and raced up to Strandal, a ski cabin run by the Aalesund Ski Club who, on that day, were also celebrating something- 100 year since the completion of their residence on the mountain.


The Kringler..bum bum bummmmmm. I personally think it sounds more like a naughty monster that scares children rather than delicious cake…..


Birthday ski tour with the Slinning ladies in Strandal


Anne May dropping for birthday turns


Family bush whack back to the cabin

After our afternoon exploration we buckled down and got ready to celebrate skiing in the norwegian mountains. What followed was nothing and everything that I expected- champagne, delicious food, incredible speeches in norwegian (parts of which were translated for me) and talking the night away with a beautiful bunch of people.

Then we were ready for the main event- the annual Aalesund Ski Club Mountain Race (which is now is in it’s 72nd or 73rd year). The competition is a split of a traditional up and down randonee race, which is then followed by a crazy type of downhill, where gates are sporadically placed down the mountain, through the fresh snow.


Hiking up, cheering for the randonee races


Hunkering down at the start gate- it snowed almost 5 cms in 40 minutes


Anne May gearing up to win


Third place in the Aalesund Ski Club Cup, behind the two Slinning sistes- not bad for an ex-mogul skier

And then it was time to say goodbye. To awesome friends, an incredible journey and the ski bag life that I have come accustom to over the last six months. Thanks Norway, thanks friends, thanks awesome ski life. Now the trip home begins, via the USA to pick up my things and hopefully ski at least one line in the Teton National Park.


Looking down into the valley, just before one last ski down.

Young Explorer Grant: National Geographic

It’s funny- sometimes the moments in time that you dread and hate, are the ones that are the most important.

A little speckle of advice I just found on FB

A little speckle of advice I just found on FB

Last year I spent over eight months on the couch, rehabbing my knee and wishing that I was skiing. While I was angry at the time, I also got a lot done.

I spent hours working with Chicks with Stix on their new website and working with Zoe Jaboor and Lorraine Lock to help make the 2013 program happen. In that time as a team we raised over $11k for the program and ran five successful free workshops for female skiers and snowboarders who wanted to progress their freeride skills.

I also spent months, along with the rest of the Shifting Ice team, writing and re-writing pitches and grants to make our expedition to Greenland a possibility.

Shifting Ice and Changing Tides

The Shifting Ice and Changing Tides team

For me, those were some of the most important hours I spent in 2013. As a result, our team were able to raise enough support and funds to not only turn our pipe dream into an expedition but also to help fund the post production for any media that we do bring back.

Part of this due to a very exciting grant that I am honoured to have received. Every year, National Geographic award a group of under twenty five year olds with a grant to help them to make projects like Shifting Ice and Changing Tides a reality. In their words:

“An initial grant from National Geographic helped launch the careers of many of the Society’s, and our planet’s, most renowned explorers. We are committed—as we have been for more than a century—to supporting new generations of archaeologists, anthropologists, astronomers, conservationists, ecologists, geographers, geologists, marine scientists, adventurers, storytellers, and pioneers.”

It’s hard to put into words how excited and grateful I am to have received a Young Explorer’s Grant and to be working with an organisation like National Geographic as a grantee.

Instead of trying to explain this, I thought instead that I would share part of my application- my short. The aim was to introduce myself and why our expedition is so important to me. I was travelling around Europe at the time and did my best sans make-up artist… I was going for the authentic ski bum look.

My knee was operated on 12 months ago yesterday. Going into surgery last March I had no expectations that I would be where I am right now. We’re leaving for Greenland in nine days. Over the last week I have been doing training hikes without my knee brace and sometimes even skiing without it.

Hiking Glory Bowl on Teton Pass this week.Photo: SheJumps, Rachael Reich

Hiking Glory Bowl on Teton Pass this week.
Photo: SheJumps, Rachael Reich

This whole experience has taught me a huge lesson- despite how lost and depressed you feel, some things happen for a reason, not to hold you back but to give you time to grow.

Andorra FWQ

One of the reasons I choose to compete is to travel. Exploring new places and meeting new people is easily one of the most important things in my life outside of family, friends and skiing.

Big mountain skiing events can be brutal, frustrating and most of the time competitions don’t go your way. You have one run to send your line, stomp your cliffs and avoid falling over. It sounds simple but being a judged sport, even of you do everything ‘right’ in your mind, if the judges don’t see it- then you’re no better off than before you dropped in.

When I look back on past competitions it’s easy to be bummed out when I didn’t compete well. I guess that is where the travel aspect comes in. No matter how badly you do in a competition, if you’re somewhere new and fantastic- it’s hard to be upset.

I guess that was the story for me in Andorra.

Last month, after being on the road for nearly 2 months, I flew into Barcelona to meet Tone Ansnes- big mountain badass from Norway. We rented a car from the airport, hooked Tone’s TOMTOM in and away went through fields, mountains and some of the most gorgeous little towns I have ever seen to Andorra.

Driving through the spanish countryside.

Driving through the Catalonian countryside.

Andorra is the sixth smallest nation in Europe and is made up mainly of mountainous terrain (as it is situated smack bang in the middle of the Pyrenees).

The El Dorado Freeride comp is true to it’s name- ‘El Dorado’ being spanish for the ‘golden one’ and a reference to a mythical lost city full of gold. For me this event was so far the highlight of my competitive season and ironically not due to the results I walked away with.


After arriving in at our little hotel in Sispony, Tone and I set straight to finding dinner and preparing for a day full of venue inspection. Unfortunately the weather didn’t feel like cooperating with us. After a few hours of staring into the white void and a few interesting runs of crusty snow, Tone and I retired to our room to watch the Olympics and chow down on southern european delicacies.


The semi-finals comp face in colour.

When we finally got to see the face in true daylight and after rearranging my line, I felt almost ready to go. One of my main aims this winter was not to ski a strategic line to win but to choose a more difficult line and try to stomp it. Fluidity is key in big mountain competitions and one of the hardest parts about stepping up your line is keeping the flow in your run- if you choose to jump off a bigger cliff or ski a more technical line, it’s easy to slow down.

So as we hiked up to the face, all that was in my mind was -don’t slow down. I had chosen a little goat line through one of the upper, middle chutes and a double out the bottom. I was worried I would get caught up at the beginning, so I spent minutes visualising a speedy wiggle through. As always, once i made it to the top, everything changed.

At the top scoping lines with the ladies.

At the top scoping lines with the ladies.

The snow was a lot more sugary than expected and my line was tighter than I realized, however, after some convincing done myself and Tone I clicked my skis on and got ready to send.

This is what it looked like.

If you can’t see the video, let’s just say everything went really well until the end. I sent the top, speed down the flats, tokyo drifting as I went and nailed the double……until I hit a compression on the out run and went down like a big bag of potatoes.

About to ski into the rocky, goaty part of my top section

About to ski into the rocky, goaty part of my top section

And now we get to the meat of it. I was bummed out, frustrated and had a compressed knee to boot. It wasn’t the best line I had ever skied but it was probably the fastest and most in control I had ever skied in a comp, to be taken down by over shooting my landing in the wrong direction was gutting- especially because I landed it.

But isn’t that how we always feel?

It would have been very easy to ski home, get back to the room and sulk but like usual the freeride community is a pretty rad one and usually feelings of failure are met by a big wall of hugs, positivity and in this case a very big pot of fondue.

Mmmmm communal fondue

Mmmmm communal fondue

Like I said in a post awhile ago, I can’t be angry that I crashed at the bottom of my run. I am so happy to be here, I’m so stoked to be skiing and be surrounded by such a sick, crazy community.

Travelling to new places with that community has been one of funnest parts of the last four years on the FWQ and FWT circuits. Especially when the resorts and organisers are as welcoming, helpful and rad as the crew were from El Dorado and Vallnord.

After a belly full of cheese, a trip to the doctor (my knee is fine) and a very short period of time sulking in the bathroom (it happens no matter what), I pulled myself together and got ready to watch my roomy Tone take on finals.

Twins! To

Twins! Tone just couldn’t help copying me, same colours, same skis, same boots.

Heli accessed finals venue

Heli accessed finals venue

Tone took one for the team- one of us had to be on the podium..... 3rd place bitches!

Tone took one for the team- one of us had to be on the podium….. 3rd place bitches!

We treated ourselves to a little Barcelona time on the way back to Geneva.

We treated ourselves to a little Barcelona time on the way back to Geneva.

No big lessons were learnt while I was in Andorra but theories we solidified. Including that:

- skiing is super rad

- skiing fast is just a mindset

- my new katana v-werks have a mind or their own….seriously

- my knee can take big impacts but it prefers not to


- the best way to cure competition lows is eating a MASSIVE plate of paella served with white wine by the beach




Shifting Ice and Changing Tides


If you’re follow my adventures on social media, you’ve most likely spotted this logo along my feed sometime in the last few months. As yet, I haven’t gone very far to talk about the project online, outside of directing friends to the Shifting Ice and Changing Tides website. However, the story behind this expedition runs a little deeper than you would be able to grasp on our website and I thought it was about time to share it.

It started here somewhere between the age of five and seven:

Speedy Downhill racer

Speedy Downhill racer at Mt Buller, Australia

I loved one piece ski suits, pink accessories and my straight Atomic skis. At the time I didn’t like skiing in the rain, I hated leaving the house unless my mittens were tucked properly into my ski suit and I was forever chasing my older sister Anna down the mountain. Most importantly, I had the bug, the skiing bug and twenty years on not much has changed.

One of the most important things that has remained the same was my curiosity, I believe that is what led me to spend a winter overseas skiing, which in turn transformed me into a freerider and then a competitive big mountain skier. I wanted to know what was beyond horizons that I couldn’t see past; I wanted to feel what it was like to burn down a mountain as fast as the skiers on the ski movies we watched as teenagers but most importantly- I wanted to see if I had what it takes to get there.

Vallee Blanche

My first run down a glacier in 2008 (La Vallee Blanche)- I was dumbstruck and unable to fathom what I was seeing.

After five years of letting my curiosity follow a daydream of becoming a professional big mountain skier, I’m slowly but surely reaching that goal- it’s now more of a reality than a daydream. Shifting Ice and Changing Tides started in a fairly similar way.

Women skier riding down next to Albert Ice Fall in the Selkirk mountains.

From little things, big things grow. I went from pointing at glaciers to shredding down them. Photo: Emily Polar

“Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is a human and wind powered, female led, ski and sail expedition to the west coast of Greenland. In this remote, fascinating and beautiful region, we will explore and ski first descents while limiting our environmental footprint by sailing and climbing. The expedition will serve as a platform for raising awareness about climate change and environmental issues as well as for inspiring and promoting female participation in snow sports adventures.”

Sometime around December of 2012, Meghan Kelly sent myself and several other female athletes who had taken part in the SheJumps Finishing School an email about applying for the Polartec Challenge Grant. An eager group of us responded and over a casual skype call we brainstormed ideas of all-female first descent in Bolivia, Iceland, Antarctica and Africa. The main theme of the discussion was our mutual interest in taking our skills and abilities outside of their usual comfort zones in the hopes of progressing ourselves and in turn, the female side of our sport. They were big goals and from the interior of Pip Hunt’s kitchen nearly a year and a half ago they seemed a long way off.


Down-trou at the SheJumps Alpine Finishing School at Selkirk Lodge, 2012

Two months after our skype call, several months before we charted La Louise to take us from Iceland to Greenland, a month after we had convinced Martha Hunt (Pip’s mum who is both a master yachtsman and a lead catski guide) to join us and around a week after we received the news that we had been awarded a Polartec Challenge Grant- reality set in. By then we were set on sailing to Greenland and skiing first descents, we were sure that people would be excited about the project but we had no idea what to do next. We were floating somewhere between pursuing our curiosity and falling off the side of a dream.

At this time the Shifting Ice team was five strong, including Meghan Kelly, Pip Hunt, Martha Hunt, Mckenna Peterson and myself. We set to work and over the last year, we have transformed a vague ski trip concept into an elegant, interesting expedition that will be full of first descents, open water sailing passages and hopefully no polar bears. Over the last few months we have had the pleasure of welcoming a new addition to the team- Andy Bardon, who will be our photographer during the expedition and several amazing sponsors and partners who are helping to make this trip a reality. You can learn more about the team and our sponsors here.


The Shifting Ice and Changing Tides crew minus our photographer- Andy Bardon-who got stuck with the job of taking the picture.

One of the most difficult aspects of organising this project has been pinpointing exactly what we hope to achieve as a result of the expedition. Some were clear, our goals are to explore never before skied terrain, to be successful in opening new lines and skiing first descents and to inspire women in the ski community through our actions.

However, we felt something was missing. In part through the inspiration of James Balog’s film Chasing Ice and partly through our own interest in the topic, we decided make bringing awareness to the effects of climate change on the Arctic region and the way in which it impacts both the ski and the global community a major focus for the expedition.

80% of Greenland is covered by a giant ice sheet, which in recent years has been melting at a rate five times more than the mid-1990s due to climate change. This melting process releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide, which had been frozen in the ice, into the atmosphere, as well as contributing 50 billion metric tons of water to the global sea level each year.

Glacier calving in Greenland

Glacier calving in Greenland

In order to bring awareness to this issue we will be documenting the expedition through both photo and film, which we share through online and in print media after the end of the trip. We have also partnered with the Climate Reality Project and Adventurers and Scientist for Conservation. With their support, we hope to motivate snow sports enthusiasts to approach the sport in a new way by promoting climate awareness and change towards sustainable development. ASC have also put us in contact with several different research project, for whom we will be collecting data and samples over the three weeks we are at sea. You can read more about these research projects here.

And there is the story. We leave for Iceland in one month. There is still a lot to do, including raising $10,000 on Indiegogo, which will go towards funding the final part of our trip (our travel and the boat charter. If you’re interested in supporting the trip, check out our fundraiser here or to just learn more, you can watch our campaign video below.