Powerhouse Kirkwood skier Hazel Birnbaum has her sights set on the FWT for next year. With a win in South America last summer, a Sickbird Buckle and a 4th at this years Crystal comps she is well on her way. Here is a little more info on one of my favorite female freeriders:
Where did you grow up skiing? Alyeska Resort and Fernie Mountain Resort
Where is your home hill now? Kirk-wooood !!!
What is your favorite thing about your home hill? The terrain is epic, and I love the laid-back atmosphere and community. People are out crushing it in anything from blue jeans to styled out Gor-tex, but they’re all there for only one reason, because the love the mountain and love to ski.
When was your first Freeskiing competition? It was at Squaw Valley 2009ish?
How did it go? I was so nervous and of course exploded everywhere. Totally mortified and now glad to have gotten that moment out of the way.
What is your favorite part of the FWQ? What keeps you coming back? I love that it pushes me as an athlete to try new things and continue to be better in my sport. Every venue is different and the conditions effect every aspect of your line choice, which allows for a ton of creativity in skiing.
What have you been working on improving for this season? Skiing consistently strong, fast and fluid. Still working on this….
What do you do to train for the FWQ? I feel very fortunate to live in Tahoe where I can mountain bike all summer long, climb, and trail run. I focus on being active outside in any shape or form, to train for the upcoming season.
Do you have a favorite event on the FWQ? Taos. The Blake family is very welcoming which makes the athletes feel at home. The terrain at Toas is also pretty epic, with lots of variety and creative lines to choose from.
Who is your favorite rider? Who influenced you most? I think Ingrid Backstom and Elyse Saugstad inspire so many women in the Big Mountain arena myself included. I also can’t leave out ladies like Kim Havell and Kit Deaslauriers who are crushing some huge mountains lines in the backcountry. It’s a pretty cool time be a lady shredder.
If you could go skiing with anyone, who would it be? Shane McConkey
Sponsor shout outs? Dynastar, Mountain Hardwear, Pret Helmets, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Rise Designs, and Mountains Calling. You guys rock thank you for your continued support!
Any other shout outs? My friends, family and the whole Meyers community.
Motto if you had to say one? “Born and bred to rip and shred”
Anything else unique about you, your skiing story, and how you go to where you are now? Originally, from Moose Pass, Alaska I grew up rambling in the mountains and loving every minute of it. With this in my heart, I moved to Tahoe to see what the fabled Sierra Nevadas had to offer. After Ski Patrolling for eight seasons at Kirkwood Resort, I decided to take on a more competitive approach and compete on the 4* World Tour Qualifier North American events (FWQ). Since then I have finished with several top five results and Backcountry.com Sickbird belt buckle award! I feel honored to be one of the few women to receive a”Sickbird” award; I think I can die happy…
Rock on Hazel, Rock on:)