Had Christina Lustenberger (or “Lusti”) evolved from World Cup alpine skier to certified ACMG ski guide to big mountain film star and expedition skier almost as quickly as the pace she sets up and down mountains. At 35, the former Olympic ski racer now notches first descents in ranges close to home in British Columbia and as far away as the Himalayas (she embarked on her first ski expedition to Nepal in October 2019).
Powder magazine called Christina “one of the most finely tuned ski mountaineers in North America”. Since leaving the Canadian National Ski Team and moving to Revelstoke in 2008, she’s built a new skill set. While gaining her lead ski guide certification from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, Christina added first descents to her resume like Consternation Chute in the Selkirks and the south couloir of Adamant Mountain in 2011, a line bisected by a 50-foot vertical wall of ice that she skied solo.
Christina’s ski roots run deep. Her parents met at CMH Monashees, the same heli-ski lodge where she clocked in for her first guiding shift. Christina spent most of her childhood at Panorama Mountain Resort, where her parents ran “Lusti’s”, a ski shop at the base of the ski area. Her prowess on the race course proved itself early and by the age of 11, she was representing Canada at a competition in Europe. She was ranked in the top 30 in the world in giant slalom by the time she was 21 and in 2006, she competed in the Olympic Winter Games in Torino. But knee injuries interrupted success. Christina underwent five reconstructive knee surgeries during her racing career. The last prompted a decision to leave racing and pursue a sustainable version of a sport she wanted to do for the rest of her lift. Christina’s wedding weekend in April 2019 epitomized just that. The celebration included a costumed dual slalom at her home ski resort of Revelstoke and a ski-in-ski-out mid-mountain ceremony. In the Fall, Christina and her husband honeymooned around British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest in their camper, ticking off more than 100 alpine pitches.
Christina has starred in films by Black Crows and Sherpa Cinemas, and in 2019, she appears in “Winterland”, Teton Gravity Research’s 2019 film.
- Sherpas Cinema, Children of the Columbia, 2018
- TGR, Winterland, 2019
- ACMG Ski Guide
- 2006 Torino Winter Olympics
- Canadian National Alpine Ski Team
- First Descent, Black Friar, Adamant Range