This past winter I didn’t start off with the intentions of entering TGR’s Co-Lab contest.  Probably like the rest of you I had my doubts that TGR was really going to give 100K to someone with the best ski edit- we’ve never seen a prize like that in the ski world!  To top it off, the word on the street was how all these TGR film athletes were going to enter like Sage and Dana.  I’m a confident skier but dang, as if I really would have a chance against them.  As the season went on and I started to collect seemingly decent footage my view started to change about entering the contest and I thought there was no reason I shouldn’t throw my hat into the ring.  The whole process of putting together a segment was going to be no doubt a huge challenge but it lit a fire under me.  Ultimately I had nothing to lose and the contest would give me a platform to demonstrate that chicks can rip too.

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Skiing a line on the infamous face of Ogre (Pemberton backcountry, BC) (photo cred: Cody Townsend)

The majority of my segment was filmed in the Whistler/Pemberton backcountry accessed by sleds with a bit of touring thrown in.  Like most ski bums, I too posted up on friends’ couches with the only concern of being in a place where I could ski super fun, challenging terrain with a constant reset of fresh snow.  I dedicated a bit of January and the entire month of March in this area- eating, breathing, and living skiing. Having no solid film crew to work with, I partnered up with several different crews getting in a few days here, a few days there. Salomon Freeski TV, The Run-Around Crew, a week of shooting with Nadia Samer (pro skier/sledder) and Natalie Simmons (filmer)- it all added up to having some killer experiences in the BC mountains.

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Catching some airtime in Seagrams (Whistler Backcountry, BC) (photo cred: Natalie Simmons)

The finale to the season was an unplanned trip to my hometown of Girdwood, Alaska with no agenda but to get in the last throws of winter. It all worked out great- I joined the Pretty Faces crew of Lynsey Dyer and Josh Skoglund (filmer). Luckily for us an opportunity fell into our laps- Outside TV, who had been shooting a tv series on Chugach Powder Guides all season, wanted to shoot an episode of a film crew at work. We happened to be the film crew they wanted to work with so we got in the heli for an evening session for some classic AK skiing of roll-overs, airs, spines and open, steep faces. It couldn’t have been a better topper to a kick ass winter of shredding.

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To check the edit out here is the link: http://colab.tetongravity.com/entries/view/elyse-saugstad#.UbX-GhyIZXw

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