Forget 15 minutes of fame. Ingrid Backstrom needed only 30 seconds to immortalize herself in the world of ski films. In Backstrom's first-ever action shot for Yearbook, a new release from Matchstick Productions, a helicopter dropped her onto a peak near Bella Coola, British Columbia. She sliced down 1,500 vertical feet in three turns, besting pro Shane McConkey's six turns on the same face last year. "It was the most amazing run of my life," she says. "I was 100 percent stoked."
PODIUM GIRL: The Seattle native and three-time collegiate All-American skier entered her first freeski competition in April 2001. A year later, she was ranked second in the world, a position she's maintained. Last season she won the Canadian Freeskiing Championships and took third at the U.S. Freeskiing Nationals.
SECRET TO SUCCESS: "I pick a line that scares me enough to perform my best," Backstrom says.
LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD: When rainy weather in March forced Backstrom and nine guys to hole up in the Brockton Place motel, outside Bella Coola, the Playboy Channel was a constant in the common room. "I told them that for every 30 minutes of Playboy, we had to watch half an hour of Friends," she says.
MOMENT OF RECKONING: After college, Backstrom lived in Hanover, Germany, then moved back to Squaw Valley five months later. "I'd rather be in the mountains," she says.
SECOND OPINION: "Ingrid put out the best female segment of any ski movie," says Matchstick producer Steve Winter. "She hauls."T. Z.