Sierra Quitiquit hat wohl allen diesen Winter in Valhalla den Kopf verdreht, doch die Amerikanerin ist nicht nur Model, sondern ist auch eine der inspirierendsten Persönlichkeiten des Skisports. Was sie antreibt, wie sie ihre beiden Jobs unter einen Hut bringt und noch vieles mehr hat sie Outdoormind im Interview erzählt.

Interview Sierra Quitiquit

Hi Sierra. I hope you´re fine. Where are you right now?

Hi! I’m great, thanks for asking. I am on an airplane flying from California back home to Utah. I tend to get a lot done on airplanes these days.

You are a one-of-a-kind person and skier. You are also a model and a truly free spirit. But how would you describe yourself and what you do?

Ha. It’s always funny to be asked to look introspectively and describe yourself. I feel like I have a bunch of different sides to my personality. Most of the time I am a huge goof ball in perpetual pursuit of fun and mischief. I love to laugh more than anything in the whole world. I am also a really sensitive and conscious human. I am really passionate about mother nature, the greater consciousness of humanity and just people in general. I’d like to think that I have a big heart and I’m a really loving person. And on another side of my personality I am extremely focused and hardworking when it comes to my career goals. Also, I really just love to go skiing and cook food for my friends and family. And what I do… Well I have two careers, one as a pro skier and another as a model. So I travel around a lot to film skiing or shoot photos. I feel super blessed that the universe has given me such an incredible path in life. But I’m not sure that ones job title really defines who they are and what they do. I guess I’m just on a bit of a mission to live it up and give back along the path. I’ve been digging deep lately to find greater purpose in giving back. I just want to spread a lot of stoke and help little girls aspire to see beauty in kindness, consciousness and athletic achievement.

You had an impressive last season: screening in Sweetgrass’ Ski Movie of the Year VALHALLA as Ayla and in Warren Miller´s TICKET TO RIDE. Not to mention your model campaigns for American Eagle Outfitters or Nike. Congratulations to all that! What was your awe-inspiring moment of the season?

Last season was a trip. I think every single day I asked myself, “How did I get here?” Skiing big lines in Iceland was the highlight for sure. 3,000 foot steep high alpine terrain, just letting your skis go was amazing.

Sierra Quitquit beim Freeskiing
Sierra Quitquit beim Freeskiing (c) Warren Miller Entertainment
Sierra Quitquit (c) Marker USA
Sierra Quitquit (c) Marker USA

Probably you hear this a lot, but how can you combine your life as a skier and a model?

Well, it’s kind of nuts, haha. I’ve been a busy one lately. I feel like just skiing or just modeling would be more than enough to keep me busy but each one of these careers provide so much! I feel like I have an amazing opportunity as both a model AND an athlete to help redefine beauty. Man, it’s a tough time to grow up as a little girl! It’s a non-stop influx of media telling you exactly what beauty should look like. Most of this media sells impossibly thin and that makes me so sad. I am so grateful that I get to work with companies that are willing to hire a model with curves and athleticism. I just hope I can be an ambassador for real beauty; that I can help little girls aspire to be strong, intelligent, well spoken, kind and athletic instead of skinny or to look differently than they do.

Can you point one of them as your preferred job?

Skiing will always have my heart and soul.

Lots of times women are underrated in action sports, but now more and more female ski movies and special events are coming up. Do you think it is useful and necessary for the sport or is it just more fun, hanging out with girls who have the same passions?

I definitely think it is beneficial for women to have more opportunity in female specific events, contests and films. I think the old mentality of waiting to be handed something by a man is slowly disappearing. More and more women are advocating for equal opportunity and creating those opportunities for themselves and the women around them. I think because the opportunities for women in sports are so limited this creates a really competitive environment where athletes feel as though they are jockeying with each other for their spot. Although it’s easy to fall in to this mentality, I refuse. If we want more opportunities the best thing to do is to applaud, encourage and create more opportunity for the success of your peers. The female collective can only grow if we commit to doing it together.

Shouldn´t we just more often dare something and compete directly with the guys?

I am always looking to the men in the sport for inspiration. I grew up competing against three brothers and cried at ski races if I didn’t beat all the boys in my age division. Haha. Sure, sometimes I think well if he can do it so can I! But I think it’s a bit ignorant to not account that men and women are anatomically, chemically, and socially different. Not better,  just different. ;)

You are an ambassador of I AM PRO SNOW, an initiative of the climate reality project. Can you just tell us, what is the aim of I AM PRO SNOW and what are you doing there?

Yes! I am so proud and honored to be an I AM PRO SNOW ambassador! Climate Reality is an organization, founded by Al Gore to promote awareness, education and social change regarding climate change. As skiers our lives are dramatically effected by climate change. Shorter winters, less snow fall and changing weather patterns are all signs that the world around us is changing. I am grateful for the opportunity to voice opportunities for positive change and implement efforts in my own life. My goals for 2014 are to purchase carbon offsets for every flight, never throw a recyclable material in the trash, reduce my single-use plastic consumption and meditate on the well being of the planet.

You are a passionate skateboarder, surfer and yogi, too. Can you transfer any of your skills from these sports onto snow?

Skateboarding, surfing, and yoga, like skiing, provide a moving meditation. I love sports that help me tune in to the flow state. I find yoga to be particularly helpful with skiing for recovery and balance training.

Do have any other passions or sports that keep you fit and happy?

I just got a sick new Giant mountain bike and am falling in love with this sport. Also my little brother is a gnarly rock climber and he’s been getting me out lately. So fun! I love playing!

I heard of you living in your car for a while. How is your life now in a rented place of your own?

Haha ya. I had about 6 years of “floating.” From about 18 – 24 I worked a lot of odd jobs, everything from a cleaning lady to a massage therapist. I lived simply and traveled around a lot. I was more concerned with saving money for ski boots and to chase storms than having a nice place to live so I’ve definitely rented my fair share of month to month harry potter style under the staircase dungeons and crashed on my little brothers couch more nights that I care to admit. It feels really good to have gotten to a place where I can have some grounding in life. It’s nice to have my own space. Although, I still live by the rule, If it doesn’t fit in your car don’t own it. I just like simplicity and being able to go where the wind blows.

You are a real traveller. Are there any places you want to see next or mountains/waves/streets you want to ride?

I think I just booked a modeling job in Budapest for next week. So I’m pretty excited about that. I also am going to Tavarua, Fiji to celebrate Julia Mancuso’s 30th birthday this summer. Looking forward to a proper pounding in the waves. Ha!

So, are there any upcoming things (videos/movies) with you, we can look forward to?

Well, I’m not really supposed to say too much about this but I’m currently working on a two year film project called “Sierra Quitiquit: How did I get here” that documents my life as a professional skier and athlete. It’s a mix performance piece and documentary. Super stoked. More to come on that!

And pretty classic: any last words you want to spread?

I just want to say that I’m really grateful to all of the incredible people out there that have believed in me and given me opportunity. Thanks to Spyder, Volkl, Marker, Bern, Oakley, Cushe and Discrete for all that you guys do. And thanks to all of the beautiful people at Warren Miller and Sweetgrass Productions. And don’t forget about my boy, Henry David Thoreau… “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined.”

Sierra, thank you so much for your time. We wish you all the best!