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Ingrid Backstrom

Ingrid Backstrom

Big Mt. Skier

Ingrid Backstrom grew up in Seattle, Washington, where she spent her winters skiing down the nearby mountains and her summers hiking back up them on backpacking trips with her parents and two younger brothers.



After graduating from Whitman College, the call of the mountains drew her to Squaw Valley, California, to put in what she thought would be a year-long stint as a ski bum. However, it only took a few freeskiing contests for Ingrid to realize that she had found her niche. Without doubt, she would be calling the mountains home for a long, long time.

Since then, she placed top three in 13 of 16 freeskiing contests entered and has been awarded Breakthrough Performance in 2005, 5-time Best Female Performance, and ten-time Reader Poll winner for her roles in 9 Matchstick Productions films at the annual Powder Magazine Video Awards, in addition to appearing in the 2007 documentary Steep,  All.I.Can and Into the Mind by Sherpas Cinema, six Warren Miller films, and 2015‘s The Great Siberian Traverse by Powder Magazine and Sherpas Cinema. Her travels with The North Face have allowed her to make first descents in Baffin Island, Greenland, and 20,000ft Reddomaine Peak in China, as well as a ski descent of Denali. She was named one of 50 most influential action sports athletes in 2013 by ESPN.

When she’s not skiing, Ingrid still stays outside as much as possible in her home in Leavenworth, Washington, running, biking, and gardening to relax and keep fit. Ingrid is grateful for the opportunities that her sport brings her, especially getting to travel and ski with “amazing people around the world.”

Quick Facts

Nickname: Ingy, Inga

Hometown: Seattle, WA and Squaw Valley, CA

Three Things You Always Pack: running shoes, coffee-making supplies, earplugs

Three Things People Should Know About Me:

  1. I love to cook, bake, garden, and am into canning the garden vegetables as well.
  2. If I didn’t answer your email or FB message it’s nothing personal, I just was probably outside.
  3. I need coffee first thing in the morning, and then I pretty much like everyone.

Training Nutrition: The simple and more natural the better

Favorite Food: Blueberries

Favorite Movie: Casablanca

Favorite Book: Miles From Nowhere, by Barbara Savage

Proudest Moment: Climbing Mt. Rainier with my whole family in 2006

Ambition: To find and ski the perfect line

Go-to Media Source: Twitter

Dream Vacation: skiing the Dolomites

How I Relax: Something outside, with friends

Favorite The North Face Product: The Freethinker Jacket. It keeps me warm and dry, and I can just open the vents if I am hiking. It’s bomber!

Most Humbling Moment: Tearing my Achilles tendon and burning up a snowmobile on the same day

Weakness/Guilty Pleasure: Coffee

Causes You Are Passionate About: Getting kids and people outside!

Favorite Destination for Your Sport: Anywhere on the West Coast of North America

Favorite Piece of History in Your Sport: Shane McConkey & fatter skis

Funniest Story: The first trip I went on with backcountry ski boots, 12 years ago, I put them on the wrong feet and even hiked partway up the slope before someone noticed. I guess I got them too big.

Inspiration Within the Sport: People who have fun on the mountain, no matter what they’re doing. As well as people who continue to improve themselves every year.

Words To Live By/Personal Mantra: Get out and go for it!

Career Highlights

  • ESPN’s Real Women 2013 People’s Choice Winner
  • Named a top 50 most influential action sports athlete by ESPN, 2013
  • Ten-time Powder Awards Female Reader Poll Winner (two-time second place winner)
  • Five-time Powder Awards Female Skier of the Year
  • Powder Awards Breakthrough Performer in 2005
  • 19 ski movie appearances for Matchstick Productions, Warren Miller, Sherpas Cinema, and the     documentary “Steep”
  • First ski descents in Greenland, Baffin Island, and 20,000ft Reddomaine Peak in China.