Photo: Davide de Masi

8 Salt Lake City Skiers and Boarders Who Are Taking It to the Next Level

Salt Lake City Ski and Snow
by Colin Heinrich Aug 14, 2017

1. Ben White

Ben White grew up in New England, learning to ski before he could read in the racing scene of Attitash in New Hampshire. He then dove into the backcountry, skiing all 48 peaks over 4000 feet in New Hampshire in a single season when he was 17. A few months later, he moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah. In his first two seasons he focused on backcountry snow safety as well as rock and ice climbing. Currently, Ben focuses on long backcountry tours where he can watch both the sunrise and the sunset in the same day, coupled with skiing a challenging and aesthetic line. He can often be found at Snowbird, and he has recently begun to use a speed wing in conjunction with skis to fly down mountains on both snow and in the air. This season he hopes to link up multiple steep lines and speed flights in a single day, as well as work on skiing more of the 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America.

2. Jackson Bodtker

Jackson Bodtker’s parents first put him on skis when he was two years old and he learned by following them around the ski area during his younger years in Bridger Bowl. Recently, he competed on the Freeride Qualifier Tour in North America, along with Mali Noyes and George Rodney. Outside of competition, he has become more interested in the mountaineering side of the sport, and can often be found skiing the backcountry outside of Alta or Snowbird. Some of his ski mountaineering goals for this winter include climbing and skiing every 11,000 foot peak in the Wasatch, as well as skiing the Grand Teton.

3. Kaytlin Hughes

Welcome back winter! @snowbird @spyoptic @thenorthface @kaestleski

A photo posted by Kaytlinhughes (@kaytlinhughes) on

Kaytlin Hughes was born in Hood River, Oregon, and grew up alpine ski racing at Mt. Hood Meadows. Ski racing took her to Western State Colorado University in 2008, where she planned to ski for the NCAA ski team, but that program was dropped a month before she started school in the fall. With no organized team, she began to explore the freeride side of skiing and found Crested Butte to be the perfect place to learn how to ski powder and jump off cliffs. During her sophomore year, Western State began a freeride team that traveled to the big mountain competitions in the region, which set Kaytlin on a path of five seasons of competing in North and South America. In 2013, she moved to Salt Lake City to get more involved in the skiing industry and now calls Alta and Snowbird her new home resorts. This season she has decided to step away from competitions to focus on skiing for herself and ultimately to take on greater and more enriching challenges as a skier.

4. Eric Sales

Eric Sales spent his youth alpine racing in the Mount Washington Valley. After leaving New Hampshire, he spent some time in Alaska, Japan, and Chile where he developed his knowledge of the backcountry and snow safety as well as a love for photography. He loves mixing his passion for skiing with photography, and has found himself in Salt Lake City pursuing a PhD in Environmental Sociology at the University of Utah. This season, Eric is planning on trips to shoot other athletes skiing over-the-head powder in Japan, steep lines in Montana, and huge faces in Alaska, before chasing winter down to the southern hemisphere in Portillo, Chile. In doing so, he hopes to raise awareness for environmental issues and act as an ambassador to protect the wilderness he loves.

5. Mali Noyes

Exploring Silvretta Montafon, Austria with 📷 @hazelbirnbaum #radler #forthefew #backcountryaccess

A photo posted by Mali Noyes (@malinoyes) on

Mali Noyes grew up nordic skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho. She competed in nordic skiing for the University of Utah until she graduated in the spring of 2012, when, looking to mix things up, she bought a set of alpine skis and quickly fell in love with what downhill had to offer. She spent a season in Crested Butte, but quickly returned to Salt Lake City to ski powder at Alta and her first freeride competitions. During the 2014 Freeride World Qualifiers, she finished as the top North American female overall, and she’ll be one of four American girls traveling the world and competing. Mali wants to be a strong role model for other female athletes and to inspire women to to excel at male-dominated sports outside of skiing.

6. Zac Horrocks

Zac Horrocks was born and raised in Lake Placid, New York, where he grew up skiing at Whiteface Mountain. He spent ten years competing in moguls and made the North American competition circuit when he was 17. A year later, he moved to Alta where he quickly became enraptured with the freedom of backcountry touring and freeride skiing. He has competed in the Freeride World Qualifier since 2012, where he placed 6th at the Snowbird stop of the competition tour. Zac has also branched out and competes in the Bonsai races in Tahoe. During the 2014 ski season, he had the opportunity to travel to Alaska and go heli-skiing with SEABA, representing a shift in his efforts to travel more and explore the world on skis.

7. Claire Smallwood

Claire Smallwood was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, into a family more focused on ranching than skiing. Her step-mom finally taught Claire to ski when she was five years old, but she only got to slide on snow a few times a year. She thus based her college decision on where she thought she would be able to ski the most, settling on Lewis and Clark in Portland, Oregon. While at Lewis and Clark, Claire entered her first of many freeride competitions and met Lynsey Dyer there in 2005. Two years later, Claire and Lynsey, along with Vanessa Pierce, started SheJumps, a non-profit organization aimed at increasing participation of women and young girls in outdoor sports. Through SheJumps, Claire has helped create over 8,000 opportunities for women and girls to get outside through various events, and has been awarded the ESPNW and Toyota “Everyday Hero” award, as well as being nominated for the Outdoor Industry Association “Inspiration Award” for her work.

8. Amy David

Amy grew up in rural Pinedale, Wyoming in the foothills of the Wind River Range, where her passion for outdoor adventure was innate. She has been skiing for over 20 years, having skied in several international commercials and scored the cover and centerfold of the 2015-16 Ski Utah Magazine. In 2009, She won the title Miss Wyoming Teen USA which led to work as an on-camera personality, model, and athlete. After working in PR/on-camera for the Subaru Freeride Series (Freeskiing World Tour) for 3 years, she’s now competing as an athlete on the Freeride World Qualifier series across Europe and the US, while working on a “Women of Wasatch” video series to inspire others to take to the slopes.

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