Where is your home mountain?
Crested Butte, Colorado
What other occupations are you involved in?
Describe a teaching or learning experience that sticks out in your mind.
Spending several days practicing synchronized skiing for Interski. I learned a lot about the ins and outs of synchro, and modifying my skiing to match my partners’ skiing improved my skills. The experienced also helped me with practicing my own skiing.
What are your specialties as a team member?
I am involved with children’s education, big mountain steeps, and some freestyle.
Do you have any relevant certifications or accreditations?
PSIA-AASI certified Alpine Level III and Snowboard Level I with a Children’s Specialist 2 credential.
Who is your greatest inspiration as an instructor?
My first snowsports director, Charlie Farnan, has been a mentor for the last 25 years. He consistently holds me to a high standard of professionalism and serves as a role model. He values training in all aspects of the profession including teaching, people, and technical skills.
Charlie also brought in external clinic leaders, many from the national team, who helped me develop a larger-scale perspective. One example is Jay Evans who shared his philosophy of what it means to be a great ski instructor when he said, “Be the best or do it like the best at whatever you are doing. Ski groomers like World Cup racers, ski steeps like a movie star, and ski bumps like a freestyle skier. Then make relationships like family, and modify all of this to meet your student right where they are at.”
I still hold this philosophy today, and Charlie still calls and makes time to ski throughout the winter.
Best part of teaching?
What’s your favorite run at your home mountain?
There are so many spots I love. I’ll say Phenix Steps and Staircase Zone. It is a long, steep zone with a lot of options to play on smaller features or ski through some significant exposure.