The Ski Industry’s 6 Most Charismatic Icons
Like any other sport, skiing has its legends and current all-stars—those people who set the bar when it comes to what’s possible on skis. We ran into several of these icons last week at the annual SnowSports Industries America tradeshow in Denver, and photographed the six you should know.
Cody Townsend, Pro Skier
Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve likely seen Cody ski. Back in 2014, the Tahoe, California-based pro skied what might be the most famous line of all time, when he threaded a narrow, ultra-steep chute in southwest Alaska. The YouTube clip promptly went viral—and for good reason. He’s also married to pro-skier Elyse Saugstad and the co-founder of Arcade Belts.
Kt shoots video with a unique style that captures the spirit of backcountry skiing. More thoughtful, heck, you might even say more poetic, than your normal hyped-up ski flick, her work toes the line between documentary and art. Based in Cooke City, Montana, she’s also a badass pro skier and guide.
Glen, one of the pioneers of big-mountain skiing, is probably the most recognizable pro ever, thanks to his signature mohawk. He’s been featured in ski films since the 1980s, including the legendary The Blizzard of Aahhhs and he continues to be involved in the industry. His most recent project is teaching Himalayan mountain guides to ski so they can move more quickly when they’re guiding or on a rescue mission. He splits his time between Mammoth, California, and Chamonix, France.
Everyone in the ski industry knows Eric Henderson by his nickname, “Hende.” For years, he worked as a professional ski guide in Jackson Hole, British Columbia, and Alaska. He also starred in the film From the Road, a documentary that follows his road to recovery after breaking his neck in 2009 while skiing in Alaska. Now, he works as senior PR account manager at Backbone Media.
You might have seen Chris announcing skiing for ESPN, ABC, or Outside Television, but he’s most well known as a ski mountaineer. Back in 2007, he became the first person to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in less than a year. He then went on to climb and ski the rest of the highest 100 peaks in Colorado, which included several remote 13,000-foot mountains. When he’s not climbing and skiing, he lives in Aspen, Colorado.
Lynsey is an accomplished big-mountain skier—she won the Freeski World Tour overall title in 2005 and was crowned Powder’s 2011 Female Skier of the Year—but she’s also known for her work with SheJumps, a nonprofit she founded that encourages girls and young women to get outside, and for producing the all-women ski film Pretty Faces. She was also featured in Bravo’s reality TV show “Après Ski.”
Dustin, along with his dad, Dan, cofounded Voormi, the Pagosa Springs, Colorado-based wool apparel company that’s rethought how we use this natural fiber (and won lots of awards in the process). During the summer, he guides on Denali and torture tests the company’s products.