That’s the label most often used to describe 24-year-old Park City, Utah, native Sierra Quitiquit. But unlike most women who’ve tried to straddle those two worlds, Quitiquit is actually holding her own in both. Last winter, while she was skiing 4,000-foot lines in Iceland for Warren Miller’s latest film, Ticket to Ride, her image was plastered on a billboard in New York’s Times Square, part of her gig with the apparel brand American Eagle. This fall, the five-foot-ten-inch former Freeskiing World Tour competitor also appeared in Sweetgrass Productions’ Valhalla, where she plays a free-spirited woodswoman.
Quitiquit grew up ski racing in Utah, and she spent winters in a modified 15-passenger van with her parents and three brothers.
“It was not a normal childhood,” she says. “It was a bit like being raised by wolves.”
In 2012, the international talent agency Ford Models called to offer Quitiquit a contract in Chicago. At the time, she was living on a cherry orchard in Hood River, Oregon, skiing constantly, and earning her room and board with small modeling gigs.
She turned the offer down. “Moving to the city and pounding the pavement sounded like misery to me,” she says.
In 2011, while living in Jackson, Wyoming, Quitiquit skied Fat Bastard, an infamous line in the Jackson Hole backcountry that ends with a 50-foot air over a cliff. She nailed the landing, then later hit town wearing a dress and her hair down.
“This guy approached me and was like, ‘you must not be from around here. I’d love to take you skiing and show you the ropes,’” she says.
Quitiquit is practicing tricks on trampolines, with plans to work freestyle moves like backflips and 360s into her big-mountain lines, especially when she heads to Alaska this winter.
For now, modeling is a summer gig. Says Quitiquit: “Skiing will always be my first priority.”