IT’S BEEN A BUSY YEAR for Angel Collinson. She rehabbed after suffering a knee injury last December, recovering in time to crush a full season of skiing for the TGR cameras. Then, in June, she relocated from her former home of Salt Lake City to Alaska. Now, the 2015 FREESKIER Skier of the Year is gearing up to make the 2017- 18 ski season the best one yet. Ms. Collinson is pretty much the best, so, we saved the best for “Lasts.”
HOMETOWN: Girdwood, Alaska
SPONSORS: The North Face, Volkl, Smartwool, Marker, Red Bull, Smith
One lasting memory I have from my childhood… are the powder days at Snowbird. Shredding by myself as a grom was awesome. Or when [my brother] Johnny sat on a cactus three different times when he was 4 and we were in Baja… I couldn’t figure out how he kept making that mistake. Mom and dad had to help him get the prickles out every time.
Something I accomplished in the last year that I’m proud of… is backing off of some lines that we really needed… well, wanted, for the TGR movie, in Petersburg, Alaska. It’s hard to catch yourself getting led into heuristic traps but we did. The timing wasn’t lining up for what we wanted to do.
The last time I skied chest deep pow… was last winter at Snowbird. Oh man, one of the best days I’ve ever had there.
The last time I laughed so hard I cried… fortunately this happens often, but the latest time was at the Smith offices in Portland, like a week and half ago. Johnny had all this black stuff all over his face from trying on archive goggles and he had no idea. It doesn’t sound that funny, but at the time was hilarious.
The last deep conversation I had with my brother, Johnny… was a week ago, also in Portland. We talked about maintaining relationships on the road and honoring our significant others’ needs while balancing our lifestyles… and about our parents and growing up and stuff. We have deep conversations pretty regularly.
Something I do to help me last all day on the ski hill… is have snacks in all my pockets and go to bed early the night before.
The last time I went heli-skiing… was this summer in Chile… It’s pretty epic to heli-ski in the Andes.
The last thing I think about before stepping out of a helicopter… is, “Do I have both of my mittens?”
The last thing I think about before dropping into a butt-puckering spine line in Alaska… I try not to think too much, actually. If I’m thinking anything, it’s a positive self-talk mantra, like, “You got this!” But, sometimes the filmers are faster than you expect and it’s like, “oh f#ck, here we go, I hope I’m ready.”
The last thing I throw in my travel bag before a big trip… Hopefully my toothbrush, because that means that I actually used it that morning… Otherwise, baby wipes or an extra stick of Palo Santo and some medicine cards.
The last time I fell in love… was this past December, while rehabbing my knee in Hawaii. Now I live in Alaska with him…
A period of bottomless powder skiing that just seemed to last, and last, and last… It’s been a long time. I kind of missed the boat last season when it was snowing a bunch in the west and I was spending time in Alaska developing a new relationship and rehabbing my knee…. I just missed a bunch of those storms. But having such an awesome partner in life is priceless and worth more than even a period of endless, bottomless pow days.
The last time I was so scared my heart was beating out of my chest… was down in Hawaii last March getting towed into some big waves on a jet-ski with some big wave surfers. I was definitely out of my element. Especially since I don’t surf.
The last time someone did something incredibly kind for me… was when John helped me put away all my stuff from Burning Man so I could make my flight to Chile on time. I left and he just did it for me. But, it’s so hard to choose… I’m always blown away by the kindness some people display.
The last time I was deeply upset with someone… was a couple of weeks ago. All is resolved now. Life just always requires honesty and good communication, and it seems like if you can use those tools, you can overcome most difficulties or upsets.
One sport competition in which I pretty much always come in last place… is all of them. I’m kind of a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. I play a lot of different sports but just suck at all of them. Well, I guess I don’t suck at skiing. But the rest of them I do.
The last thing I ate… was a breakfast croissant sandwich. Boo-yah!
The last person I skied with who made me say, “Holy s#it, they’re good…” I feel like that every time I go skiing at a resort. There are always locals who crush so hard it makes me so stoked.
The last backcountry hut I visited… I’ve actually never been to one. I need to change that.
The last record I bought on vinyl… was Repeater, by Fugazi and Seven Swans, by Sufjan Stephens. Pretty different… I got my guy a record player for his birthday this year and the vinyl addiction is real. Johnny got me Jimi Hendrix’s Axis Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland, plus a Jurassic 5 album for my birthday. What a sick brother.
The last piece of advice my mom/dad gave me… Take a rest break.