Ingrid Backstrom is an icon in the sport who has skied first descents in Greenland, Baffin Island and China and has starred in more than 20 ski films, including her own short film that documented traveling to the top 25 lift-accessed ski runs in North America with her husband and then 10-month-old daughter in a minivan. Even now as a mother of two girls (Betty and Clover), Ingrid has one foot firmly planted in the ski industry—she helped bring MSP’s 2018 release, ALL IN, to life. As a co-founder of SAFE AS (Skiers Advocating and Fostering Avalanche and Snow Safety), Ingrid helps lead women’s avalanche clinics around the West.
In Matchstick Productions’ 2004 film, Yearbook, a breakout star named Ingrid Backstrom upped the ante for female skiing in one four-turn Bella Coola, B.C. descent. For a decade, Ingrid reigned as the most influential woman on skis, topping Powder Magazine’s Reader Poll from 2005-2015, winning big mountain competitions (she finished on the podium in 12 of 14 career contests) and wowing ski film audiences with an aggressive, hard-charging style that came off as graceful and effortless on screen. She’s proved her prowess on skis by shredding high consequence, steep faces on peaks like Denali and China’s 20,000-foot Reddomaine and also by throwing backflips off cliffs at Squaw Valley, but you’ll never hear about any of it from Ingrid—she’s been called “modest to a fault”. Backstrom grew up in Seattle, Washington, spending her weekends skiing at Crystal Mountain in a rusty-brown 1954 GMC bookmobile that her family converted into a makeshift RV. Following college and a move to Tahoe, Matchstick Productions wanted to film Ingrid for their next movie, so they helped her find her first sponsor: The North Face.
These days, Ingrid shares a riverside farmhouse in Leavenworth, Washington with her husband, Jim, her daughters Betty and Clover, and her miniature Australian Shepherd, Buddy. The North Cascades tower above the valley, nearby mountain trails busy the mountain biker and trail runner when the snow melts and the backyard garden and orchard trees fill Ingrid’s kitchen with ingredients she uses to cook and bake most every day she’s home.
- More than 20 ski film appearances, including Matchstick Productions, Warren Miller, Sherpas Cinema
- Reader Poll favorite, Powder Awards 2010-2015
- Fan Favorite, ESPN X Games Real Women 2013
- 50 Most Influential People in Action Sports 2013
- Best Female Performance & Reader Poll favorite, Powder Awards 2005-2009
- Breakthrough Performance, Powder Awards 2005
- 1st, Canadian Freeskiing Championships 2004