In the thick of World Cup season, 26-year-old downhill racer Laurenne Ross talked to us about her favorite things while driving between Cortina, Italy, and Moritz, Switzerland. She had just placed ninth in one Cortina downhill, fourth in another (beating U.S. teammates Vonn and Mancuso), and acquitted herself well in a super-G. She's also an accomplished musician, sometimes leading jams with her teammates, and doesn't leave home without her guitar.
Now she talks about gunning for the World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado. “Cortina was great for me for sure,” says Ross. “But I can’t wait to head back to the U.S. for the World Championships this month, the one we’ve all been working toward.”
Favorite Destination: Mount Bachelor, Bend, Oregon
“It’s not as huge as Vail or Park City, but I love my home mountain because it’s got a great local feel, tons to do year-round, and I know all its secrets. We get a lot of snow, and this Christmas break, I had the best day of powder skiing I’ve had in years. Whenever I get a day to myself, I go up with friends and just rip around. There’s a run on Northwest Express called Sparks Lake Run that I loved as a kid. I remember skiing down as fast as I could and being so impressed with the awesome bank turns, the steepness, the rolls and terrain changes. I’d definitely catch a lot of air. ”
Favorite Gear: Volkl Gotama
“I bring my powder skis wherever I go, because there’s always the chance that it will snow three feet overnight, and our race will get canceled. I bring the Gotama ($699) because it’s versatile and works even if there’s crud or corn. It’s got a bit of reverse camber and it’s relatively light. Of course, my technician isn’t crazy about traveling with extra skis, but hey, if I left them behind, I’d be devastated on a day with good snow and nothing to do but explore the mountain.
“Another important piece of equipment is my three-quarter-sized Martin ($409, 34-inches long), the perfect travel guitar. It has a plastic body that adjusts to humidity and elevation changes and has a big sound!"