At last week’s The North Face Athlete Summit, team skier Ingrid Backstrom caught up with big mountain snowboarder Lucas Debari, ski maestro Johnny Collinson, and Olympic gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington to hear about the trio’s recent five-day backcountry trip to Mica, British Columbia.
Barely a month after standing on top of the Olympic podium for women’s snowboard halfpipe, Kaitlyn Farrington stood on top of a steep, featured ridge in the backcountry of Mica, British Columbia. She dropped in, made a few turns, and then cut back toward where the snow was moving downslope. Big mountain pros Lucas Debari and Johnny Collinson, watching from an adjacent spot, turned to each other at the exact same time: “Oh, crap! We forgot to tell her about sluff!”
Kaitlyn tumbled in the fast-moving snow for a few hundred feet before fighting her way to the right and stopping on her feet, totally fine and smiling as always. Welcome to big mountain riding.
The trip to Mica, and Kaitlyn’s invitation to join fresh off her gold medal win, was the brainstorm of Debari. It’s the first part of a bigger series of trips that will incorporate skiers and snowboarders, camping, hiking, and filming (by a team from Sherpas Cinema) to illustrate the common denominators that everyone shares regardless of their niche or experience level.
After bringing home the women’s snowboard halfpipe gold from the Sochi Olympics, The North Face athlete Kaitlyn Farrington criss-crossed the US on a media blitz. Finally with time to herself, Kaitlyn powered down her phone, teamed up with The North Face athletes Lucas Debari and Johnny Collinson, and strapped on a split board for the first time for an epic week of snow camping and backcountry powder in Mica, British Columbia.
May 2014 The North Face athlete Lucas Debari spent time shredding Mica, British Columbia, with The North Face athletes Kaitlyn Farrington and Johnny Collinson as a prequel to a ski/snowboard trip to Greenland. And as Lucas can tell you, for every time you send it on a complex pillow stack you’re likely to ragdoll it a few times as well. (Stay tuned for more from the Greenland expedition, coming fall 2014. Plus check out Kaitlyn as she masters the splitboard in Mica, and read The North Face athlete Ingrid Backstrom’s report from Mica.)