Meet Ibex Ambassador
Q: Where do you currently live and what you love about it?
A (Justin): I am currently based in Vail, Colorado. Outside the hustle and bustle of the resort, there are endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. From amazing backcountry skiing, to rock climbing, mountain biking, and world class white water, there’s always the opportunity to try something new or take your skills to new heights without much travel.
Q: What you do for work?
A: In the winter months, I coach a full-time big mountain ski team. We train 6 days a week, 5 of which on snow. We travel to competitions across the western United States and Canada roughly eight weeks of the season.
Q: What makes skiing important to you?
A: Skiing provides an opportunity to connect with the outdoors in such a unique way. The mountain speaks only truth. If you’ve been slacking on your fitness, you will surely be reminded by the mountain. In this way, there’s always something to glean from an adventure. Also, no two runs down the mountain will ever be exactly the same. In each experience, there is some subtle nuance that makes that run distinguishable, memorable, or joyful. Being able to share those moments with friends, athletes, or other snow sports enthusiasts is really what it's all about!
Q: When did you start ski coaching?
A: I started coaching in 2013, at 22. Soon after, I realized how much I enjoyed connecting athletes with their potential and have coached, almost exclusively, ever since.
Q: Best coaching story?
A: I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world with the athletes I’ve coached. Most notably would be a 21 day trip to Chile with 5 athletes, two of which were just 12 years old. Fast forward nearly a decade and these athletes have graduated on to become sponsored skiers chasing their athletic dreams and competing on an International stage! From first time international travel, to first time dishwashing duty, meeting their favorite pro skiers, and skiing their first big backcountry lines; there is never a shortage of unbelievable moments with these athletes.
Q: What is some advice for folks looking to get into backcountry skiing?
A: Start cold! It's always hard to leave the trailhead cold, but you won’t regret the decision a few hundred yards later, once you’re toasty warm from the effort of walking uphill.Take your time stepping into bigger terrain. Surround yourself with knowledgeable skiers and riders who are willing to have open minded conversations and consider everyone's thoughts on snow, line choices, and terrain selection.
Q: What does life look like for you in the summer months?
A: I continue to coach at summer ski camps for several weeks during the summer, but supplement that with mountain bike coaching for the local recreation district! I also whitewater Kayak, when the local water is running, and enjoy getting out into the mountains any way I can!
Justin's Ibex FAVORITES:
"Perfect for moving through the mountains. Light weight and breathable enough to release temperature on an uphill effort, provides full arm, body, and back of neck coverage from sun or cold temperatures, or wind. I also love the 1/4 zip. That feature makes relieving any excess warmth during climbs or temperature swings very simple!"