Going Big! Safely.

The last thing young skiers want to hear is someone talking to them about safety. They want to watch Teton Gravity Research films and read Powder Magazine and then go hit the slopes. With Utah’s amazing terrain, skiers can find themselves on the very slopes where they saw the professionals skiing in their favorite magazine or movie, sometimes in less than an hour! With such easy access to expert skiing within the Utah resorts as well as in the local sidecountry and backcountry, it’s easy to get over your head trying to emulate the skills and style of the pros. But how does a skier progress from whatever level they are at, to hit the big features and make the huge lines like an X-Games Gold Medalist? Why not hear it from the source!

“Going Big! Safely.” is an annual event developed by Dr. Mark Scholl, to provide education and advice to young and old freeskiers who are looking to advance their skills. The inaugural program featured a series of short talks by professional skiers who call Utah home, as well as a backcountry safety presentation by the Utah Avalanche Center. A full lecture hall heard professional skiers like Jen Hudak (who went on to score Gold at the Winter X-Games in Superpipe a couple weeks later), Julian Carr, Dash Longe, Cody Barnhill and U.S. Ski Team Aerialist, Jaime Myers talk about their experiences as they developed their talents to the professional level. All the athletes were amazing with their openness as they shared their personal stories about preparation and daily routines, the safety precautions they take when trying to push the envelope, and the mistakes they have made along the way. Additionally, the audience heard Drew Hardesty, a forecaster from the Utah Avalanche Center and snow safety expert, talk about the unique risks associated with skiing in the backcountry and where to find the right education to start the lifelong learning process that is associated with traveling in the backcountry.

In addition to the fantastic knowledge that everyone in attendance received, many of the audience scored some sweet schwag donated by program sponsors. Gear from Cloudveil, Discrete Headwear, Smith, Under Armour, Surface and others went to lucky raffle winners.

Read more on Dr. Scholl’s blog as a Cloudveil Inspired Mountain Ambassador for The Mountain Murmur.

Feedback was incredible for this first event, and plans are already in the works for next year’s program. Updates will be posted as dates become finalized.