Freeskier caught up with Tyson Bolduc, up and coming big mountain ripper, on his first trip to AK. The 24 year old Colorado native is turning heads with his aggressive lines, impressive competition results and positive attitude.
Name,: Tyson Bolduc
Date of Birth: 5-28-82
Sponsors: Head, Tyrolia, Vail Resorts, Oakley, Leki, Giro, La Sportiva, Fortress watches,
Hometown: Vail, CO
Media Exposure: magazine in Freeskier, Powder, Couloir, and TV time
Accolades: On the IFSA tour, 1st in JH, 2nd CB, 3rd Squaw Valley, 6th Taos,
How long have you been skiing?
Got on skis when I was 2 years old while IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve only been doing this professionally for the last two years.
How much of big mountain skiing is mental?
All of it. You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the skills to ski bm Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be there Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but once you have the skills Ã¢â‚¬â€œ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s totally mental to safely navigate yourself down within your skill set. You determine your skill set by the comfort level Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you find that comfort level when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re scared Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re scared and you can mentally overcome that fear Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you develop your comfort zone by scaring yourself a little every time, and that is when the game becomes mental.
You have been skiing out of Colorado Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this is your first trip up here to Points North and AK, tell me the difference between Colorado and Alaska?
The difference between CO and Alaksa is that AK in the current progression of the sport, it is really the culmination of your imagination as a skier. Comparing Colorado and Alaska is like comparing ping-pong balls to bowling balls. In Colorado there are mountains just as beautiful, but the snowpack rarely allows for really extreme descents. Here in Alaska, the coastal landscape creates a much more stable and secure snowpack, you hope, that allows you to ski steeper and varied terrain. In the lower 48 the mountains have been tamed by erosion Ã¢â‚¬â€œ whereas in AK the shear immensity and vastness of these mountains is almost inexplicable Ã¢â‚¬â€œ considering glacial activity hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even finished forming mother naturesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s masterpiece up here.
What do you think of the contest scene? How does the big mountain side differ from the park and pipe scene?
The big mountain community is created through comradery and shared admiration for the sport of skiing. In the park and pipe, I feel that some kids are getting involved for the exposure and the scene itself. On the big mountain comp scene Ã¢â‚¬â€œ everyone is there to compete against the mountain. Not so much against one another. Once you drop in – itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s survival. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll help each other Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the sharing of information is a part of it and encouraged. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll tell each other where landings are hard or perfect. If sharing information can keep each other safe then thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what we do.
What are the best contests out there right now?
There are so many taking place between USA and Canada and Europe. With the World Tour holding six events, NA tour was 7 or 8 events, there was 4-5 others in Canada and a bunch in Europe too. There are more comps than weeks in the winter. So you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do them all Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a few to check out would be Taos, Snowbird, Squaw Valley, JacksonÃ¢â‚¬Â¦those are my favorites (all IFSA events). The way I started was through the Colorado Freeride Series Ã¢â‚¬â€œ at Snowmass Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to learn the judging criteria
Lets talk about judging for a minute Ã¢â‚¬â€œ what are the criteria that we need to know about?
There are five judging categories. Fluidity, Control, Aggression, Technique and the most important is your Line – since the other four categories can not be more or less than 2 points above or below your line score, This is on a scale of 1-10. I always ski for my line score and build the rest as it comes. The other factors are more about the way you ski naturally.
You moved from Utah to Colorado Ã¢â‚¬â€œ why?
I lived in Aspen for a year, then in Vail, then in Utah for a season and then moved back to Vail. Life brought me back to Colorado Ã¢â‚¬â€œ thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more to it [life] than skiing and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think I found the right lifestyle in Utah. Colorado has a very strong allure that cannot be overlooked.
Are you going to come back to AK?
Absolutely. This is a place for dreamers. Where danger and excitement and experience is full of celibate insobriety waiting for everyone. And if were to come back, of course, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have to come back to Points North Heli advetnures.
Tell me about your family Ã¢â‚¬â€œ did you grow up skiing with their support?
My family is my biggest supporter. Definitely my parents understand the dangers of the sport and still support, despite their apprehension, they still support me since they know I love skiing so much. I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even be skiing at the level I am without my brotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s motivation. My brother runs a real estate and property management company in Vail called Bold Solutions. My momÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an interior designer. And since my dad sold his business to my brother, he now works for my brother.
WhoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the best skier in the world right now?
To label one skier as the best is such difficult question! Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that is a tough one Ã¢â‚¬â€œ there is so much free expression Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you cant discount what others are doing. But if I have to choose, for an all-around skier, fun to watch and grace perspective, I think that Jon Olsson is the best all-around. Jon competes in all the pipe and park events and makes it look graceful Ã¢â‚¬â€œ while at the same time he is able to go ski big lines on real mountains. He can hang with people who have dedicated their lives to just big mountain.