Ikon Pass holder, professional snowboarder, and rock climber, Lonnie Kauk grew up seeking magic lines throughout his native Yosemite Mountains and Valley. From early turns as a 2-year-old with his grandfather to scoring a pass at Mammoth Mountain \u2013 and now an Ikon Pass for the 21\/22 season \u2013 Lonnie continuously embraces one step of stoke after the next. The Ikon Pass crew sat down with Lonnie to discuss his journey from Yosemite grom to professional athlete. Get locked-in as we discuss stoke, taking the right steps, and what keeps him moving in the mountains. Lonnie, hey man \u2013 thanks for chatting with us. Give us the quick double chair bio of who you are today. Where you live? What has you stoked for the upcoming year? Right now, I\u2019m near June Lakes, just 20 minutes north of Mammoth Mountain. Basically, things are good right now, I\u2019m just taking some new steps, and the stoke is super high. I just signed with 686, so that\u2019s been super fun. Also, my trademark just finalized. It\u2019s called Magic Line and it\u2019s based off this climb that my dad did in \u201896 \u2013 and then 20 years later I did it. And then 2-years later I did it again, but in my own style, which is just, like, gnarlier. So, with all these good things happening, I\u2019m thinking, how do I support some of the kids out there and teach them what I learned from the whole game, and how do I get them opportunities that they can take hold of? How can I facilitate some of these kids and give one of them a door that they can open \u2013 so that they get a pass or they get a board and gear, you know? That would just be the opportunity for some kid that, you know, maybe doesn\u2019t come from a wealthy family that can send them to all these camps. That could change their whole life. That\u2019s where my heads at, for sure. And, you know, it\u2019s one of those things where you want everything to go full throttle, but you\u2019ve just got to do one step at a time. So, it's just like, \u201cwhat's next?\u201d And you were a part of the Ikon Pass MyConnection video that came out over this last winter, right? Yeah, the MyConnection project was so cool, man. I was really stoked on that. Everything from the approach to the way it turned out. It was perfect, for sure. To give me and the other guy a little voice was so good. I\u2019d love to do more good work with you guys, of course*. Awesome, well it sounds like the stoke is high \u2013 that\u2019s a super fun headspace to be living in; we love it. So, looking backwards a bit, what drew you to the snow? When and how did you start riding? What are some of your earliest memories on the hill? Oh man, the Stoke is so crazy hot right now. It's so hot, in fact, that I\u2019ve got to be like, \u201cok, chill man, don\u2019t get caught up in trying to do this quantum leap in steps.\u201d Instead, it\u2019s way more important to just focus on doing the next immediate step. Get that one over with and then just keep stepping up, and \u2013 you know \u2013 just keep the inspiration flowing like that. But, looking backwards\u2026 basically, I was introduced to skiing through my grandpa on my mom\u2019s side. You know, my family was all born and raised in Yosemite, and ever since we were little, little guys \u2013 our grandpa put us on skis because he always wanted us skiing. Then, eventually, my mom, my uncle, and my sister were all on the ski team, and they're all great athletes. In fact, my sister almost went to the Junior Olympics. She did pretty dang good, too, but unfortunately picked up an injury. And then I also had my older brother to go with, and he always made me feel way more confident out there on the snow. So, yeah, I started skiing at 2 or 3 years old \u2013 on little baby skis \u2013\u00a0and then grew into being on the ski team as well. I loved going fast, and even then, I loved getting air. I was able to get some really good times in the Slalom and Super-G, but I remember I\u2019d be purposely catching air off the knolls, and the coaches would be like, \u201chey, Lonnie, keep it on the ground. You know, you're blowing, like, six whole seconds with that stuff.\u201d Haha. Lonnie, locking the professional look at an early age. Sometimes it\u2019s just natural to take flight \u2013 we can definitely identify with that. Now, you have a long-standing connection to Mammoth Mountain as well, right? How\u2019d that happen? Well, eventually, I really really wanted to start snowboarding, and this dude gave me this early Jake Burton snowboard, and I just started riding. And then finally, I got a decent setup and that was pretty much that. I\u2019d still go ski race, and right after we'd finish training, I\u2019d swap my gear and go ride. And, what\u2019s important to know, is that snowboarding wasn\u2019t very accepted at the time, but it was a focus for me, so I just kept thinking about snowboarding. And the natural question came up, \u201cok, but what are we going to do with it?\u201d The answer was, \u201cwell, we could be a janitor at the mountain; just to get a pass.\u201d So, I just did that at Mammoth Mountain and then built that all the way through to where we are today, which is pretty cool, man. So, I\u2019ve just been around Mammoth for years now. But when I first moved to Mammoth, I was a little timid and a little socially awkward, because you had all these cool guys there. But, I just had to get in there and kill them with action, basically, and I just adopted my own style and had to be true to who I was. And then I started really turning it up \u2013 hitting these massive 90ft jumps \u2013 and I slowly became accepted. And that took me all the way until the mountain wanted to sponsor me. And that was my first ever sponsor, Mammoth Mountain. Wait, so you were a janitor at Mammoth just so that you could get a pass? That\u2019s awesome \u2013 dig in a little bit more on that. Yeah, you know, I was a janitor at main lodge so that I could get that season pass, because that was the setup. And I was so stoked to be able to go ride all day long \u2013 and then suffer from 4 to midnight \u2013 and then wake up and go ride again. It was just anything to get up there. I didn\u2019t really care what I had to do, as long as I was able to ride. And I did that for a couple of years \u2013 it was just snowboard all winter and then climb all spring, summer, and fall. And then right back into snowboarding all winter. So, I made it from mopping the floors to getting hooked up by the mountain. And that was such. beacon for me to keep going. Then, one day I was just lapping the park, and this dude came and got me like, \u201cthe head guy wants to talk to you.\u201d Here I was hoping I didn\u2019t do anything wrong, but I went in there and the guy hit me with a sponsorship opportunity. Just like that, they gave me a pass and became my first ever sponsor. It was like, \u201cwow.\u201d And, really, that one moment opened doors for opportunities to ride at so many mountains, like at Aspen while being filmed by a helicopter \u2013\u00a0which was always one of my dreams \u2013\u00a0and to be featured in a film while riding at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. That film at SVAM really helped open things up for me. Looking back on it, it really was one step after the other. Absolutely. You put in the time, owned the passion, and sometimes \u2013 on the best days \u2013 that\u2019s what can happen. Once you went pro, what was traveling like? Had you traveled before that? How did that open up your worldview? Well, that's what was crazy, because I don\u2019t come from, like, a really wealthy family. We had lots of love and all that kind of stuff \u2013 no matter what. But I hadn\u2019t really traveled anywhere, so by the time I got hooked up it was pretty intimidating. I mean, I picked up another sponsor, and there I was in Europe all of a sudden. You know, it\u2019s hard to perform when you\u2019re intimidated, but the people there were so kind and made us feel comfortable. So, pretty quickly, I started to feel more confident. Once you get that, you\u2019re able to just unleash your skill \u2013 fly in a plane for 12 hours, get dressed, and go out and kill it. Confidence is key, man. You\u2019ve got to feel confident. Understand what you represent and what you stand for, and that will always give you the strength to perform anywhere in the world \u2013 and to get to that place is pretty dang special. THE STOKE IS JUST SO HIGH\u2026 I GET TO WAKE UP EVERY DAY AND I WAKE UP TO THAT. THAT'S LIKE THE COOLEST THING IN THE WORLD. TO GET YOURSELF OUT ON THE MOUNTAIN AND RECYCLE YOUR ENERGY. BECAUSE YOU KNOW, AFTER YOU GO HAVE A GREAT DAY OF SKIING OR SNOWBOARDING, IT\u2019S STILL AMAZING AFTER. Lonnie, taking that next stoked-out step. And, really, that one moment opened doors for opportunities to ride at so many mountains, like at Aspen while being filmed by a helicopter \u2013\u00a0which was always one of my dreams \u2013\u00a0and to be featured in a film while riding at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. That film at SVAM really helped open things up for me. Looking back on it, it really was one step after the other. From mop buckets and park laps at Mammoth Mountain to stomping it at new destinations across the globe \u2013 including many Ikon Pass destinations \u2013 Lonnie embodies a life spent charging hard in the mountains. Beyond all of the travel, the steep crags, and big sends, it's recognizing the next step of stoke that keeps Lonnie moving in the mountains. Join him next year and define your own moments of stoke with Ikon Pass. The best price & the biggest savings of the 21\/22 season are happening now. Claim your season of stoke and unlock renewal discounts, savings on child passes, and a new payment plan option at ikonpass.com. Prices go up May 5. *During winter 20\/21, Lonnie helped to create a short film directed by Shaandiin Tome, a Din\u00e9 woman, to speak to the ski and snowboard community and encourage others to connect, respect, and appreciate the land while also welcoming Native people into the conversation. See it at lifted.ikonpass.com\/my-ikon-my-connection.