SPYDER: PREPPING WITH AMIE ENGERBRETSON

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Spyder: How has your season been so far? What are some of your major highlights?

Amie: My season has been off to a great start. It has been amazing to have great snow throughout the west. Season highlight so far was a trip to Retallack, a cat skiing lodge in BC, back in December. I have wanted to go there forever so it was amazing to finally ski it. Bonus, we had great snow!

S: What are some of your methods and tips when preparing to ski in the backcountry?

A: I definitely always read the report every day before I go out and I double check my gear. Beyond that, I always take time in the early season every year to do some sort of course or refresher. This year I did the International Pro Riders Workshop with TGR where we refreshed avalanche knowledge and skills as well as some first aid training through scenarios and a CPR certification. I think practicing what you know is key. Another thing I do is I keep track of the avy forecasts for all the places I might ski in the season, even if I am not there or planning to go into the backcountry that day. I don’t read all the forecast in depth every day, but I do browse a bunch of them a few times a week to just try and keep a general idea in my head of what is going on in the snow pack throughout the season. It is good to have a big picture understanding. 

S: What are you thinking about (or not thinking about) as you are skiing into a cliff?

A: Haha… STICK IT! I think I am always just focused on landing. Some airs have things you have to do, like clear something or avoid something but they all always need to be landed!

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S: What is the best way in the off season to train and prepare for hitting cliffs?

A: Strong legs and strong core are what you need to land cliffs. As many people know, you don’t always land perfect and it is having a strong body that is the difference between pulling it off and a yard sale! 

S: What is your favorite piece of gear you own outside of Spyder gear : )

A: It might not be my favorite and it might not even be considered gear, but I find it is crucial when going on a ski trip to pack slippers! I have some cozy soft bottom slippers that are always in my ski bag. Winter is cold, feet take a beating out in the elements, so I think it is nice to take care of them and keep them warm even on the road. I notice that when I am rolling around the house/lodge/hotel in my cozy slippers, everyone I am traveling with is usually jealous!

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S: Anything else you would like to add?

A: This time of winter for me is exciting. There are tons of possibilities, you never know how it is all going to shake out and I constantly just find myself wishing winter was longer! I try to remember to stay in the moment, enjoy every turn and smile as much as possible! Hope everyone else can do the same with their winter!

Amarin Cannon