Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meet Liza Sarytchev!!!

I met Liza Sarytchev at a SheJumps Get the Girls Out day this winter at Jackson Hole. We had a pretty big crew of ladies, some my close friends, some I had seen around the hill and some I had never met. From the first run we all took together, Liza immediately stood out. She was a phenomenal skier. But, that wasn’t the only thing that made her noticeable. She was smiling ear to ear from the second we loaded the Gondola and was just pumped to meet other skier girls and spend the day with these people in the mountains. The combination of her skiing ability, humble and fun attitude as well as her clear love of the mountains was refreshing, and for that, she is my first patch recipient. –Julie Weinberger
Name: Liza Sarytchev
Age: 21
Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
Home Mountain: Whitetail
Favorite Color: Sea Green
JW: Tell us a little about yourself… 
LS: I grew up skiing in Siberia where my dad would drive the family 10 hours each way every weekend to ski a resort that consisted of one groomed run accessed by 1 double chairlift or 2 t-bars. When I was 9, we moved to Maryland and my family started skiing at Whitetail in PA. Needless to say, I learned to appreciate ice and bumps. When I'm not skiing, I like to cycle and rock climb in my free time.
JW: You are my first Babe Force patch recipient. Are you excited?
LS: Way excited! I love the idea of an all female ski club. I've has so much fun skiing with the Babe Force and I can't wait for more Babe Force ski outings so I can get to know the girls better.
JW: How long have you lived in Jackson? What led you to come here?
LS: I've been in Jackson for about five months now. I came here over winter break last year and totally fell in love with the place. After my trip, I quickly decided to take next spring semester off and come to JHMR for a full ski season. Best decision ever! I'm looking to come back again next season and move to Jackson for good after I finish my undergrad. 
JW: Your positive, fun attitude on the hill is admirable. Tell me a little about your mindset when you’re on the hill.
LS: When I'm on the hill, I'm always having a blast. Most days I'm on the last Gondi getting excited about tomorrow. I get more and more stoked on skiing every day I ski. I just love the sport and there's nothing I'd rather do.
JW: Anything else?

LS: I just wanted to say that I'm grateful that I met so many amazing people this season, one of them being yourself. I’m glad to be a part of the Babe Force community and I look forward to coming back next season, re-connecting with old friend and making new ones.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Meet Kaki Orr - our newest Babe Force recruit!

You may have noticed our Kaki ripping up the sidecountry this season.  This 27-year old former investment banker in New York City knew there was more to her life than moving money around. She moved to Jackson Hole in 2010 and proceeded to demonstrate the quintessential definition of babe-ness: epic adventure, facing fear, and sharing the stoke!

When Kaki was a kid her family moved to Switzerland and she learned her turns in Morzine, France.  She remembers, “back then I was always jumping, always showing off!”  That spirit followed her to Jackson.  She remembers her first winter here, the epic 2010 season.  It didn’t take her long to find a group of guys willing to take her OB. Her first excursions to Sarcophagus, Mario World and into Granite were her falling-in-love moments with Jackson Hole. “It’s like nothing else on the planet for shredding deep powder, the most amazing, steep, fun terrain you’ll ever see. It’s so hard to get here,” she says, “but once you’re here you find this amazing nucleus of people who don’t want to leave, and who love the outdoors, not just at the village but skiing the park, mountain biking, ice hockey, you name it.”

If 2010 was her education year, 2011 was her expedition year.  I have to tell you, this girl skied Central Couloir this past winter, twice.  Here’s the story.

“The first time was with Tigger, we climbed Cody and I was just going up to watch and learn, my plan was to ski Four Shadows. When we got to Central there were two guys there, and the first guy skied it and radioed up, ‘it’s the best I’ve ever skied it – it’s now or never!’ And the next guy skied it with one pole, and I thought, if he can do it I can! So I did it, I skied it, got to the crux and it looked like a more extreme Corbetts – on a good day. And – I just went in – it’s a double – a 10-footer then a tabletop and another 15-footer.  It was soft and deep and so worth it!” 

Kaki really caught my attention at the first Babe Force ski day.  “After that first day I saw that the Babe Force was all about blowing people’s expectations. When we all set out I thought, ok, we’re really going to ski with 40 girls? How is this gonna work? But it did, and when we all got to the lifts at the same time every run, clogging up the maze with this amazing ripping fast group of girls, I knew it was for me.”
Kaki’s favorite “progression session” this winter was putting skis on her friend Bailey from Tennessee, who had never been on them before, and within two hours teaching Bailey how to ski from the top of the Gondi. Kaki says, “her smile was the exact same as a girl who had just hucked Fat Bastard or skied Corbetts for the first time.”

This iconic Wyoming girl (and I’m a native so I can say that) also plays hockey for the Moose and is a wrangler in the summer for the Gros Ventre River Ranch.

Kaki said the best thing to me: “What’s I love about the Babe Force is that it was started for all the right reasons – it’s inclusive – those who want to inspire others are welcome. On the first ski day it was not only following the girls who were so fast – it was the girls who weren’t as fast, coming up to say, you inspired me – ‘cause that’s what I’ve been saying to boys my entire skiing career – thanks for showing me how to get down the mountain that fast and for showing me it’s possible. We girls love to ski with the guys, but we want to ski with the girls even more.”

Congratulations Kaki, I’m honored to patch you up girl!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Meet Natasha Krochina

I met Natasha at a yoga teacher training two winters. Everyday, without fail, on our lunch break she would pull on her ski socks and run out the door. While everyone else was eating and drinking tea or taking a nap, she was getting in a few tram laps. That is when I knew I had met a girl that was truly dedicated to the winter lifestyle of Jackson Hole. Natasha is one of the most genuine and inspiring women I have ever met and I am proud to have her as the recipient of my first patch. 

Natasha moved to Jackson the winter of 2008-2009, which was the year of the new tram. She grew up in Anchorage, AK and lived in San Diego before moving to Wyoming. She loved the beach but missed the mountains and riding. 

She began her career skiing in the third grade. "My dad would drop me off at the bus stop with a coupon book of tickets which I would use one for my bus ride, one for the rental, one for the lift ticket and one for the lesson," she said. 

It wasn't until the end of high school and the beginning of college that she started snowboarding. You can find her on the mountain, everyday, still doing both. 

"My favorite thing about the ski community in Jackson is how excited people are to be here. There are so many amazing people who are motivated to get out there and explore the beauty of the surrounding area," Natasha said. "I am really excited about joining the Babe Force and riding with some other amazing women who live here. It's nice to have a group to bring us all together and share our love for the outdoors!"