When Tatum Monod achieved two of the highest accolades in freeskiing and took home both Best Female Performance from Powder magazine and Skier of the Year from Freeskier at the end of 2017, she was rehabbing from the biggest injury of her life. In April 2017, she suffered a torn ACL,torn MCL, LCL, partial PCL, a bucket handle tear to her meniscus, bone bruises and a fracture to her tibia from a crash in Alaska while filming with Stellar Media. The complex injury that required extensive physical therapy represents the most difficult obstacle Tatum has faced, mentally and physically, and it happened only a season after fracturing her tibial plateau in Japan, another season-ending injury. The collective ski industry has been rooting for Tatum, and her comeback has already begun—she filmed with Matchstick Production (MSP) in South America during the summer of 2018 to join the intro of MSP’s most recent film, All In.
Men, women, peers, fans, snowboarders…the entire ski industry respects Tatum for her multi-faceted skiing. She’s one of the few female skiers who incorporates big tricks into her backcountry skiing—and does so with style. A big mountain skier at heart, she once spent an entire month at Park City Mountain Resort working on her 5s, 7s and even hitting some street rails. She calls her humbling time in the park one of the best things she’s done for her skiing. With a style that’s both fast and loose, but also displays an incredible amount of ability and control, Tatum makes things look effortless, like the double back she threw in the BC backcountry that undoubtedly gave her ski career a boost.
Monod is a product of her environment. Her last name is among the most well-known in her hometown of Banff, Alberta. It’s displayed at 129 Banff Avenue, above the iconic 65-year-old family-owned outdoor store where Monod grew up working. Her grandfather John Monod, a Swiss mountain guide, brought his specialty ski shop from Chamonix to Banff during World War II. As a ski racer, Tatum’s father, Peter, won the Canada Championships and the U.S. Championships, and excelled at the Europa Cup and World Cup levels—all by the age of 22. Tatum wasn’t interested in joining her family on the ski hill until she was 10, and even then, she wanted to snowboard. She didn’t pick up skiing until the age of 12. Yet, she won ski races in her very first year competing and spent several years on the NorAm circuit, earning a ski-racing scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage. When she turned it down and made the switch to freeskiing, she won the qualifiers and took second place overall at a Freeride World Tour event in Revelstoke—her very first big-mountain contest. In 2014, she had her breakout performance with an award-winning segment in Level 1 Productions’ film, Less. Now, she’s one of the most sought-after skiers by film companies.