The Snow Report
In the beginning, big-mountain skier Lynsey Dyer didn’t realize she could get paid to ski powder. She was an alpine racer, having won a downhill junior Olympic title at age 16. But on a whim and at the encouragement of her cousin AJ Cargill, a pioneering female freeskier, Dyer entered an extreme skiing competition in 2002 while a student at Montana State University. She won it and then nabbed every big-mountain event she ever entered, including the Freeski World Tour overall title in 2005.
Since then, Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based Dyer, 30, has become one of the world’s most accomplished female skiers. She once held the record for biggest air for a woman and was anointed Powder magazine’s Female Skier of the Year in 2010. She’s been featured in over 25 magazines (snagging the covers of five), 14 films, and scored the lead segment of Warren Miller’s Like There’s No Tomorrow. It was the first time a female sequence opened a Warren Miller film.
But Dyer’s contributions transcend her many feats made on mountains. In 2008, she launched SheJumps, a non-profit that aims to encourage women’s participation in outdoor sports and empower them through their engagement with the mountains. She’s an activist, artist, and photographer. In 2010, she spent a month in India working with children who’d been rescued from child labor, slave, and sex trades. In May 2011, a photo she shot of BASE jumpers in Yosemite, California, appeared in National Geographic. In January 2013, she hosted a TED talk in Jackson Hole about “compassion, forgiveness, and connection.”
Most recently, she’s been working on a two-year film project called Pretty Faces, a movie about women and their dedication to the mountains, which will debut in fall 2013. Pretty Faces will feature Ingrid Backstrom, Angel Collinson, and Jess McMillan, among many other talented skiers. Dyer also encourages any female skier out there to film herself this winter and submit the footage for consideration.
Here, Dyer talks about her upcoming film, the unique challenges female skiers face, and her dream ski day.
How did you become a pro skier?
I never meant to become a pro skier. I didn’t even know it was possible to get paid to ski without racing. I just loved the freedom of powder.
What’s your dream ski day?
I’d start the day touring from a heli-accessed hut. I’d ski perfect, stable spines and fluffy pillows with all of my best friends and the man of my dreams. The rest of the day would be in the heli and end with a sauna, steam shower, and a dance party.
Can you talk about your film Pretty Faces? What's the idea behind it?
Oftentimes us girls in athletics are portrayed in media not for our talent but for our looks, and I wanted to offer a platform and a voice to celebrate all the best parts of being a girl in the mountains. Namely, our grace, intuition, and our giggles, as well as our drive to push limits while supporting our sisters living up to their greatness as well.