Rugged, sweeping, unique, and beloved – these are the mountains. There’s a certain kind of people who find passion and dreams within these weathered monoliths and historic ranges. These are the individuals who are raised by the slopes, mentored by the snowfall, and championed by repetition. From storied podium placeholders to everyday adventure seekers – throughout more than 45 unique Ikon Pass destinations worldwide – this is the adventure community that was born to call the mountains home.
With all eyes on Beijing, 2022 is gearing up to be a landmark year and stoke is at an all-time high. Now is the time to call up the crew, claim your season pass, and get dialed in to all the sweet stuff to look forward to. Glory is yours to define, discover, or defend. So, whatever you’re dreaming about, let’s do this.
Whether it’s something handed down from one generation to the next or whether it’s carved out of an unexpected ability to slide on snow, an undying passion for playing in the mountains is what unites this crew. From early mornings spent lapping it up with local legends to big sends across more than 45 destinations around the globe, if the snow is falling, this passion takes them there. It’s this passion that lifts them up when they fall, helps mend injuries just a little bit quicker, and bridges the gap between powder yay and summer training day.
Mountain-Made Highlight: Steamboat
Passion has always run deep at Steamboat. In fact, at 96 and counting, this rustic western landscape has produced more winter champions than any other town in the US. For Beijing, Steamboat boasts another deep crew of passionate hopefuls, including Mick Dierdorff in the snowboard cross, Noah Elliott in the banked slalom and snowboard cross, Taylor Gold in the snowboard halfpipe, ski jumper Annika Belshaw, Taylor Fletcher in nordic combined, and Olivia Giacco in freestyle. You don’t roll this deep without being built directly upon a bedrock of passion.
There will be those that ride a few days this winter and others that carve out over 50. No matter the number, this community that calls the mountains home is built out of a collection of like-minded individuals – all getting the stoke out for winter fun. This sense of “stoke” is a common thread that runs throughout the Ikon Pass community; stoke for local characters, joy for worldwide adventure, and a desire to ride a family of diverse destinations – each packed to the summit with individual character. Because, as the mountains connect us, this community is what holds us together.
Mountain-Made Highlight: Palisades Tahoe
The Alpine Ski Squad at Palisades Tahoe, formerly Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, runs deep within the local mountain community. World-class competitors Travis Ganong, Bryce Bennett, and AJ Hurt all grew up on the ropes and slopes of Ikon Pass destination Palisades Tahoe, where they were enrolled in the legendary Mighty Mites program. Adding Keely Cashman to the team along the way, each racer has developed deep roots in the Tahoe community. In fact, it’s the landscape that many of them call home.
Dreams come in all shapes and sizes. For some, the dream only is realized while standing on the tallest podium around and lifting that gold medal high. For others, it’s simply competing in that high school ski race, crushing your first blue run, placing the perfect après order, or teaching your kiddo the beloved joys of time spent in the mountains. Other dreams come true when we find that ideal mountain job or that unique mountain house where a new home can be made.
Mountain-Made Highlight: Chloe Kim
Mammoth Mountain’s Chloe Kim is looking to make a much-anticipated return to the halfpipe in Beijing. Building on over 4 years of training across the 3 different halfpipes at Mammoth Mountain, Chloe will look to realize her podium dreams once again. In the 2018 Games, she became an inspiration for young women everywhere when she became the youngest woman to win a snowboarding gold medal at just 17 years old.
Handed down generation after generation, there’s often a connected line that runs through those born in the mountains. Mom, dad, sister, brother, cousin, aunt, grandpa, grandma – more often than not, there’s always some much-adored family member who carries the stoke and passes it on to the next generation of rippers and riders. For those who are newer to sweeping mountain vistas, and for the families that are just now discovering the love of a crisp morning run or the ultimate joy of a powder day, this new beginning is the opportunity to bring new generations into all that the mountains have to offer.
Mountain-Made Highlight: Birk Irving
Winter Park’s Birk Irving is hoping to compete in the Freeski Halfpipe in Beijing next February. Raised on the Seven Territories of Ikon Pass destination Winter Park, Birk grew up bumping the moguls, lapping the park, and crushing the trees, all with the encouragement of a family deeply connected to the local mountain community. Birk’s dad just happens to work for the local Winter Park ski patrol. At the same time, his mother is a former alpine racing coach, and his sister frequently competes in halfpipe and slopestyle competitions.
Whether you were physically born in the mountains or whether your dreams, passions, and community were born here – it’s a fact that the mountains welcome all. For winter 21/22, Ikon Pass destinations across the globe will be supporting these featured athletes – and many talented others – as they work to make it to Beijing next year.
Beyond these 2022 podium dreams, Ikon Pass is a proud supporter of everyday riders everywhere, as they go bigger, adventure further, and own the season of stoke. Discover your pass to the mountains at ikonpass.com.