Profile: Todd Ligare talks filming with TGR and more
AS SEEN IN THE JANUARY 2012 ISSUE OF FREESKIER. WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY SHAY WILLIAMS.
IN THIS YEAR’S TGR FLICK, ONE FOR THE ROAD, TODD LIGARE TURNED IN A PERFORMANCE THAT ENCAPSULATES THE EXUBERANCE OF A ROOKIE WITH THE SKILLS OF A GRIZZLED VET. LIGARE OPENED, CLOSED AND PERMEATED THE ENTIRE MOVIE LIKE A STALKER YOU CANNOT ESCAPE. EXCEPT YOU WANT TO HANG OUT WITH SOMEONE WHO SKIS THIS WELL. SO WHEN THE TGR TOUR ROLLED THROUGH BOULDER THIS FALL, WE COULDN’T PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIT DOWN AND CHAT WITH MR. ONE FOR THE ROAD.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING THE MAIN CHARACTER IN TGR’S FLICK THIS YEAR?
When I saw the movie for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. I had heard that my presence was going to be large, but you don’t know until you see it. I didn’t go up to Jackson to see the editing process, so I had my fingers crossed that all these things I’d been hearing were true. For me it felt like the culmination of a lot of hard work. It was really exciting.
THE SCENE WHERE TODD JONES CALLS YOU ABOUT AK, THAT WASN’T FAKED?
No, that was actually legit. A lot of packing montages were shown throughout the flick, so they kind of teed me up under that guise. That’s how they ended up with a camera in the room.
HOW WAS ALASKA FOR YOUR FIRST TIME?
The AK trip was really, really satisfying. My trip was short, only a couple days, but it met all my expectations. My first run was Sage and I toeing into this really creamy spine line. That one run was the standout highlight of the trip. I fully had that moment where I was about to drop in thinking, “This is what I’ve been waiting for.”
PORTRAIT BY MARK FISHER
YOUR TIMING WAS PRETTY LUCKY, RIGHT?
Yeah, definitely, because the guys who were on the first block waited a while. They were having a really slim year. We were basically the only crew who stuck to our plan up there, everyone else was pulling the plug. There was a lot of weather, and I came in at the very end.
HOW DID YOU GET IN WITH TGR?
I was on Dynastar when I made the transition from racing to freeskiing. I was really upfront with everyone that my goal was to shoot with TGR. Even though I had a couple other things going on, I told John Minahan [Dynastar Team Manager] that if there was any opportunity with them at all, I’d drop everything and be there immediately. Basically I was just begging those guys for an in.
With any film company, they’ll give anyone a shot, but they won’t spend much time with anyone who isn’t getting it done. The first day I was in Jackson to shoot with them—a sledding day—I was nervous, but you get a couple shots, and then they give you a couple more days and so on.
WHAT’S THE PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR?
Because of last season, I will have much better resources than ever, hopefully. I kind of have that opportunity to follow the snow, wait it out and see where it’s good. My BC trip last year was really eye-opening, a lot like the AK trip. I know in my head that I want to do as much as possible in both of those locations. As far as the meat of the season, we’ll see how it goes. I think I’ll definitely be in Jackson for a bit. It’s starting to feel like a second home there. A lot of people who have been watching the TGR films the last few years think I’m based out of there.
RIGHT: LIGARE IN JUNEAU, AK — SHOT BY MARK FISHER
WHAT MADE YOU RETURN TO UTAH AFTER COLLEGE?
When I was done with school in Colorado I had that question: Where do I go? In the West there are a few obvious places: Squaw, Jackson, Utah and Whistler. I thought about trying to do the Whistler scene, but that transition across the border held me back. But I like Utah. A lot of people don’t know it as a fun place, you know? We have our bike posse and go climbing…
YOU’VE FOUND THE UNDERGROUND CLUB SCENE…
Yeah, totally [laughs]. Utah has good skiing, that’s what it comes down to…
HOME MOUNTAIN: Snowbird and Alta
BIRTHPLACE: Salt Lake City, UT
SPONSORS: Atomic, Discrete, powderhuffer.com, Smith, V.I.O.
FILM: One for the Road_Teton Gravity Research, Light the Wick_TGR, Re:Session_TGR, Under the Influence,_TGR