Inside The White Room with Todd Ligare

Inside The White Room with Todd Ligare

Everybody loves a good powder day, but when you are one of the boys from Teton Gravity Research you actually live for it. Todd Ligare is one of TGR’s newest storm chasers. He can rip just about anything put in front of him; from face shots to front flips Ligare lives for the mountains. This Snowbird local has been blessed with 262 inches of early season snow. One can only image the footage that's already in the shot-bank. During my recent trip to Utah, I was able to catch up with the notorious powder hound and get an inside look at his corner office in the white room.

Brian Schroy: This is your first time joining us with Freeskier. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Todd Ligare: My name is Todd Ligare. I am from Park City, UT. I currently reside in Salt Lake City. I ski a lot, like burritos, the Black Angels, and movies.
BS: You were a racer turned ripper. What made you switch to big mountain?
TL: I had a pretty long racing career but even during that time I always had some ideas in my head about what else I wanted to do on skis. I raced all the way through college and sort of hit a logical end point. I had a full ride and ski racing paid for school, so I am glad I took advantage of that opportunity. But I had always known that I would pursue big lines and when I finished school I hit a point where I could easily shift focus and I haven't really looked back.
BS: How have those 262 inches at Snowboard been treating you this season?
TL: It is kind of strange I haven't even been watching the weather at all, I just go up Little Cottonwood and there is always some good snow somewhere. There hasn't been a bad day yet.
BS: What kinds of trips do you have planned for the future?
TL: In my head I always have AK and BC heli trips planned. I have been trying to be patient for the proper support to fall into place as it takes some serious resources for those trips; I guess someone other than yourself has to really want you to be there. This season I'll be in Utah and Jackson a bunch and wherever else the wind takes me (hopefully it blows hard north to AK).
BS: What is it like filming for TGR?
TL: Filming with TGR is basically a dream come true, everyone there works super hard, from the producers, to the cine's, to the editor, and the office folk. I had always wanted to film with TGR. I definitely regard them as the premier ski film company and when I got my chance to shoot with them it was a total bonus to discover all the cool people behind the operation.
BS: Who are your favorite people to ski with?
TL: Sage is great to ride with, he is really nice to watch and I think he is still getting better and better. I didn't ride much with Sammy last year, but two years ago we had some Jackson days together and his enthusiasm for riding is good for everyone around.
BS: Do you ever get scared when you are standing on top of a massive piece of rock about to fling yourself off it?
TL: Naturally there is some sort of reaction to something that is potentially pretty dangerous. But I don't get very scared, my level of comfort on skis, I've always thought, is one of my biggest strengths. It just comes from skiing so many days in my life.
BS: What is the most important thing to know about riding in the backcountry?
TL: Sometimes I feel like I am not the right person to give advice about backcountry safety at all. Jeremy Jones gave us a little talk about big lines a couple of years ago at a TGR avalanche workshop and this has stuck with me. It may seem obvious but a good thing to do for every line is to visualize the potential outcomes. This means having a plan or maybe even two options on what to do if your line does rip. It's good to have an escape route in your mind before you drop in, so if something goes wrong you can get out of there subconsciously.
BS: What type of weird activity did you get into for New Years?
TL: Nothing too weird I guess, but Discrete threw a party at a bar downtown and I figured that it would be nice to have some champagne at midnight and might be difficult to procure at the moment of truth. So I decided to bring a bottle in my pants, it worked out smooth but we had plenty of other beverages and distractions and never got around to popping it. In an effort to not donate it to the bar I had to sneak it back out. I never buy champagne but now I've got a bottle in the fridge, just waiting for something to celebrate. How about a Freeskier cover?
BS: Any shout outs?
TL: For sure, first all of the folks at TGR, I'm really grateful to be part of that family and for the continued opportunity to be a part of their rad projects. Some other people that have really stepped up to the plate for me recently are Jared at Snowbird, Connie and Tyler at Alta, Julian Carr with Discrete, Jonny A and Kyle at backcountry.com, and John Martz for making toddligare.com a reality.

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