Subaru Freeride Series: Women Skier and Snowboarder Profiles

GiveStorm_BannerAd_728x90an image of Ashley Bembeck, Skiier, Subaru Freeride Tour, TellurideAshley Bembeck

Romp Skis, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, and Reusch Gloves.

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

I think the snow will be great and I’m excited to ski Telluride under prime conditions!

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions? 

A longer weather window would be more complicated from a logistics perspective and would increase the overall cost of competitions (more timean image of Ashley Bembeck, Skiier, Subaru Freeride Tour, Telluride away from work, money spent on tickets, hotels, etc. and a greater cost to the host resorts and organizers). I feel we should continue with the existing format and host more competitions. The competitions there are, the more likely it is that some of the competitions will occur during ideal or acceptable conditions. Plus, more athletes would have the opportunity to compete if there were more competitions. Additional competitions would grow our sport, whereas longer competitions may actually be a barrier to the growth of our sport.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been? 

Crested Butte Mountain Resort has been riding really well! Today was bluebird with six inches immediately after a four foot storm cycle.

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? 

Wings and nachos!

Who is the person who inspires you the most?

My family! Over the years, they have made it clear that hard work and passion will take you wherever you need to go.

First shot MSI Second Shot Rob Phennie

an image of Teresa Keserich, Subaru Freeride Tour, Telluride, skiing

Teresa Keserich

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop?

All of this new snow! I forgot what it was like to ski in Powder.

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions?

In my fantasyland where I have no work or responsibilities I would love it if we could wait for ideal conditions, however I’m always more proud of myself when I shred a nasty line in less then optimal snow. I think it’s definitely more difficult.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been?

I’ve been splitting my time between Bridger and Big Sky. Bridger has been awesome – lines are starting to fill in and we even got a little bit of pow for the Bridger Gully Freeride. The headwaters are another story. Lines are skinny and sharky. Hopefully Mother Nature is generous to us in March.

What is your favorite post shred/competition food?

Beer. Always.

Who is the person who inspires you the most?

Colin Tuttle (yeah bud – I listed you.) Every time I go out with him I always end up skiing lines and airs I never thought I could do. He is incredibly fun skier to watch. His skiing style is very smooth and playful and I swear he’s always spinning or flipping off something. Over the last several years he has helped me build up my confidence and improve my skiing. Thank you – and thanks to Tamra for letting me steal him on the weekends. ☺

Photo by Tamra Heberling

an image of Monica Purlington, Subaru FreerideTour, Telluride, skiierMonica Purington

Marmot, backcountry.com, Aspen Brewing Company, Mountain Athlete, Gnarly Nutrition, Smith Optics

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop?

All of the new snow!

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions?

No, I think as skiers we know how to adapt to different conditions, (usually bad conditions) and that’s all part of being good at our sport, working with whatever mother natures throws our way.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how hasan image of Monica Purlington, Subaru FreerideTour, Telluride, skiier it been?

I was just in Taos, New Mexico and they were getting clobbered with snow! Some of the best riding of my life.

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? So many snacks! I really love cheeseburgers and bacon and pasta. But really I just love food.

Who is the person who inspires you the most?

I’m reading Kit DesLauriers book “Higher Love” right now and she has been really inspirational to me this season.

an image of Tess Wood, Competitive Skier, snow bunny, snowbunnymagTess Wood

Mountain Athlete, Salomon, Barney Butter

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

The venue!  Telluride has some awesome terrain, and they’re getting snow!  Fresh pow and soft landings can be rare in a freeski comp so I’m really looking forward to this treat.

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions? 

I don’t think we need a longer weather window; the potentially lengthy competition window might prevent people from committing.  Getting the time off of work and paying for the trip is pretty expensive as it is, and extended weather window could be prohibitive to some of us ski bums!  As the wise Paul Rudd once said, “oh the weather outside is weather.”  We know that, and if a comp is unfortunately cancelled for that reason, we understand.an image of Tess Wood, Snow Bunny, snowbunnymag, competitive skiing

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been? 

Being in Taos last weekend was AMAZING.  Some of the deepest turns I’ve ever had!  We’re not catching much of the snow up in Jackson, but if you get creative and earn those turns you can find the goods!

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? 

Nachos.  Lots of them.

Who is the person who inspires you the most? 

Just one!?  It’s always inspirational to see my friends who have put their minds to something and accomplished it.  I try to emulate that same focus, passion and success in my ski career and beyond.

an image of snowboarder, snow bunny, Audrey Hebert, snowbunnymagAudrey Hebert

Defending awesome, Unlimited skate and snow, Smith optics, Ski big 3

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

Im pretty excited about all the snow they’ve been getting. Im really looking forward to the competition and  (hopefully) smash some sweet lines.

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions? 

No. There isn’t much for big mountain competitions in north america other than the FWQ and the SFS. All of the stops for both tours ares held around the time  and so close together that it makes it hard to work out a schedule that allows to hit as many of the stops as you can. Taking more day at one stop would only mean missing the other stop of another contest. Plus I think a good rider   should be able to ride and shine in any given conditions, even in bad weather.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been? I was in Taos, New Mexico for the FWQ, and man it snowed! Waist deep pow all week long! Fantastic.

 What is your favorite post shred/competition food? an image of Audrey Hebert getting air while Snowboarding, snow bunny, snowbunnymag

Propel vitamin water all the way! Before, During and after! I could live on that. Actually I already do.

 Who is the person who inspires you the most?  

Humm tough one. There is a lot of really inspiring peoples out there,I don’t think I could pick one in particular. Everyone who gets out there and play has got my admiration. I’m lucky enough to have surrounded myself with nothing but fantastic people, so I’d say every single one of my friends does inspire me in each their own special way.

an image of Julia Nave, Subaru Freeride Tour, Telluride, skier, ski compititionJulia Nave

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

I’m super jazzed because this has been my home mountain for the past 5 seasons and having the competition here forces me to look at the terrain through a new lens.  Also, the conditions are some of the best I have ever seen in the venue and the coverage is going allow for a lot of big and creative lines.

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions? 

As awesome as that would be, I don’t think that would serve the growth or progression of the sport.  It’s already difficult for athletes who work full-an image of Julia Nave, Subaru Freeride Tour, Telluride, skier, ski compititiontime jobs and pay most or all of their travel expenses out of pocket to crack into the competitive circuit.  I think its really important to keep the sport accessible to newcomers who want to give it a try and give everyone an opportunity to shake up the sport.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been? 

A few weeks ago we were skiing slushy San Juan lines that are usually only safe in the late spring and that was fun in its own way.  However, I’m super pumped that winter is back and I can put the sunscreen away again.  We were in Taos for a FWQ competition last week and after 60+ inches they had to cancel the final days of the event- too much snow is a nice problem to have.

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? 

Chili Mac and Frito Pie…I’m a pig.

Who is the person who inspires you the most? 

This question is too hard. I’m inspired by all of the people in my life who have found a way to build a life around their passion, who don’t take life too seriously, who take an unconventional approach, who don’t get swept up in the petty crap, and the people who make me smile.

 Photos by Dylan Proudfoot

an image of Katrina Devore, Subaru Freeride Tour, Skiing, Telluride, Ski competitionKatrina Devore

Faction Skis, Strafe Outerwear, Pret Helmets, Zeal Optics, Astis Mittens, Corbeaux Clothing, Panda Poles, Aspen/Snowmass, Aspen Club and Spa, and Jammy Packs

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

All the snow Telluride has been getting!!!

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal an image of Katrina Devore, Subaru Freeride Tour, Skiing, Telluride, Ski compititionconditions?

It depends if you are basing your entire winter season on the comps! If there was a larger weather window it would be hard to plan the rest of your winter. You would just be waiting around for competitions. But on the other hand if you you waited for better conditions than perhaps thats where you would want to be anyway! For me I want to be wherever the snows good so its hard for me to be motivated to go to a comp when the snow conditions aren’t good and its snowing somewhere else!

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been?  

I got two days of awesome powder about a week ago and then I have actually been on the beach in Costa Rica for the past week dancing at a music festival for my comp training! 😉

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? 

Depends on the day!

Who is the person who inspires you the most? 

I am inspired by my brother!

an image of Nancy Elrod, Telluride, Subaru Freeride Tour, Skier, ski competitionNancy Elrod

Fat-ypus, Flylow, Scott, Olympic Boot Fitters

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop?

The snow conditions and the Telluride hospitality.

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions?

Yes, perhaps like the surfing pro tour.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been?

Taos. We heard it was like an 11 year storm last week. The white room was foreign, as the California winters where I reside have been bleak for 4 years, but it was like riding a bike, you don’t forget. So stoked!

What is your favorite post shred/competition food?

Hmm. Pizza.

Who is the person who inspires you the most?

I have allot of inspirations but I would have to say my husband Larry Segal. His inspiration for the sport is contagious and he’s not a bad coach, for a husband.

an image of Hannah Follender, Subaru Freeride Tour, Skier, Ski competitionHannah Follender

 Sego Skis, Dalbello, Flylow, Smith Optics, Backcountry Access, Mountain Athlete,  CW-X Apparel, EPIC Bar, Larabar, Snowbird, Alta Ski Area

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

I heard that it’s been absolutely dumping in Telluride! We rarely have prime snow conditions for our competitions, so if the rumors are true it will be great to compete in some powder snow.

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions an image of Hannah Follender, Subaru Freeride Tour, Skier, Ski competitionshould be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions? 

A weather window would be nice, but I think it has to do with scheduling more than anything. March thru the beginning of April is typically the time when the snow turns on for most of our region. For example, if we had been waiting for Snowbird to receive more snow at the beginning of February we would’ve been waiting till right about now.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been? 

Winter just showed up at Snowbird and Alta and it has been so EPIC! I just hope it keeps coming.

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? 

I don’t eat heavy things while I ski, it’s usually a snack here and there. EPIC Bar makes a really great beef jerky tail mix that I love, along with Larabars for some quick pocket fuel. Breakfast for dinner is usually my post go-to, eggs are my favorite food.

Who is the person who inspires you the most?  Sarah Burke has always been and will always be an inspiration to me. Along with Ingrid Backstrom and Michelle Parker, I remember watching the three of them in “Yearbook”. It was the first ski movie I ever saw that wasn’t a Warren Miller movie. They all charged and kept up with the boys – I didn’t know girls were doing things like that.

Headshot by Jay Dash, Action shot by Brent Benson

Brithany ThomsonBrithany Thompson

Tahoe Moonshine, Wear Your Roots Clothing, Dr.Moms

What are you most excited about on the Telluride stop? 

Shhhh… don’t tell anyone but those really awesome steep long groomers are really fun!  I like to just see how fast I can get going and those are perfect for that!  But seriously, I think I want to hike up to that 14 thousand plus vertical feet spot at the very top of the mountain.  There was a hike and then a stair case, I was sucking air… and then when I got to the top I thought was going to heaven.  Whenever I think of “the top of a mountain” I think about last year in Telluride when I literally felt like I was on top of the world.  I could barely make the hike up because I was so out of breath.  You gotta cut me some slack though… it’s over double the elevation I’m accustomed to!

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions should be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions?  

This is a tough question to answer.  In an ideal world yes!  But let’s face it: we are constrained by time, money, family and all sorts of stuff.  It would be super awesome to get to a resort, have a contest with the perfect conditions or be able to wait until the conditions prevailed.  This is not how real life works though!  Sometimes you have to improvise and make do with whatever storm or conditions you are dealt!Brithany Thomson, Snowboarder, Subaru Freeride series

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been?  

Ummm I was in Taos for some sort of 100+ year storm.  I’m 5’4” and it was chin dip… you do the math.  It was DEEP!!

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? 

I love me a shot of whiskey and a slice of pepperoni pizza.  I’m an addict!

Who is the person who inspires you the most? 

Posthumously: Ryan Hawks.  I have Ryan’s core principals written down and memorized.  These are words to live by.  If you’re curious you should be… go check it out.  www.flyinryanhawks.org Check out his Core Principles of Living… and live like that!

 

an image of Kaytlin Hughes, Subaru Freeride Tour, Telluride, Skier, Ski competitionKaytlin Hughes

Kastle Skis, Anon Optics, Dakine Outerwear, Pocketfuel Naturals 

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

The snow and the conditions have me excited for Telluride! It has been snowing and the weather is supposed to be nice for the competition days – a great set up for a competition. Also for all the competitors, new and old. The Telluride competition has a stacked field. It will be a good show!

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions an image of Kaytlin Hughes, Subaru Freeride Tour, Telluride, Skier, Ski competitionshould be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions? 

It is unfortunate that this is a situation that we are dealing with more frequently, but this is not something new either. In the past we have had to reschedule events.  I think weather windows are too costly for the hosts and the athletes. I would love to see a couple weeks later in the season available for competitions to be rescheduled if weather and conditions improve.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been? 

Luckily I was in Taos last week for the deepest snow storm of my life. It was incredible, over 5 feet in 5 days. Taos is a steep resort with technical terrain. It was great get good snow at such a great resort!

What is your favorite post shred/competition food? 

Beer and snickers.

Who is the person who inspires you the most? 

My mom is my inspiration. She is 67 years old (she is going to kill me for telling you that). Last year she traveled Spain and hiked the Camino de Santiago. This year she moved from Oregon to Colorado for the winter and is relearning how to ski! Every week she sends me updates on how many new black diamond runs she’s accomplished and the two inches of air she caught! She is active and adventurous and her energy is infectious! I am so lucky to have her as a role model. Thank you Mom! Love you!

Photo by Matt Wolf

an image of Mali Noyes, Idaho Skier, Subaru Freeride Series CompetitorMali Noyes

faction skis and outerwear, skida headwear, idahome apperal

What are you most excited about on the Telluride Stop? 

I’m really excited to be returning to a venue I know and competed on last year. I also really like the terrain of the mountain and the small mountain feel of the town.

With the cycle of unpredictable winters that we have had in the Northwest, do you believe that competitions 

an image of Mali Noyes, Subaru Freeride Tour, Telluride, Skier, Ski competitionshould be held with a larger weather window to wait for ideal conditions? 

No, I think having large weather windows is not only mentally exhausting but very expensive. Instead, I enjoy the challenge of skiing a venue no matter the conditions. I think this forces us all to be better skiers and read the mountain differently.

Winter has finally made an appearance over the past couple of weeks.  Where have you been riding and how has it been? 

I was just in Taos at the ifsa comp and enjoying all the powder! Then headed to Crested Butte for a few days before driving to Telluride. Most of this season       Photo by Sam Watson

I’ve been skiing Alta, UT, but recently I’ve really been enjoying traveling around and skiing at a lot of different places.

What is your favorite post shred/competition food?

chocolate and beer

Who is the person who inspires you the most? 

I’m inspired by a lot of different people, but it is my younger brother that I look to the most. Not only is he my best friend, but he pushes me to always do my best and try my hardest while also reminding me to have fun and be rational about the big picture.

 

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