Pro skier Nick McNutt in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Nick McNutt dishes on pillow obsessions, his breakout year and shredding with Sage

Nick McNutt dishes on pillow obsessions, his breakout year and shredding with Sage

Vitals:

Age: 25
Home: Whistler, BC
Sponsors: Atomic, The North Face, Smith Optics, Surefoot, Arcade, TMC Pro Shop, Whistler Blackcomb
Film credits: Almost Ablaze_TGR, The Co-Lab_TGR, Valhalla_Sweetgrass, Beggin’ For Change_4BI9, Part Time_PYP, Amateur Hour_PYP

Photos by Adam Clark.

Nick McNutt has been climbing the ranks, slowly, quietly. A standout performance in TGR’s Co-Lab contest of 2013 propelled him to a grander stage, and an outstanding showing in TGR’s latest flick, Almost Ablaze, earned him Rookie of the Year distinction at the iF3 movie awards. The BC native is a certified pow crushing machine with plenty of skills to pay the bills. You wouldn’t know it though—he’s got a humble air about him, a trait that’s sure to yield greater opportunity this winter and in the seasons to come.

Pro skier Nick McNutt in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Q&A

You’ve been on the radar for a few years, and gained some fans when you partook in the Co-Lab contest. Your name has really come into the spotlight this fall, though. Why don’t we start with where you grew up.

I grew up in the East Kootenays of British Columbia, in a small town called Kimberley. I lived there until I graduated high school, and then moved to Whistler when I was 17.

How did growing up in BC shape the skier you’ve become today?

When I lived in Kimberley, I was pretty heavily into park skiing. Once I moved to Whistler, my eyes were opened, and I spent more time exploring the whole resort. I bought my first pair of pow skis, and even though I still rode park when conditions elsewhere sucked, I focused a lot more on finding pillow fields and shit to jump off of. Eventually I stopped riding park skis completely, and now I’ll burn a lap or two through the jump line after a pow day on my Bent Chetlers.

You’ve got a calm demeanor when you’re off the hill. Do you behave this way on the snow, too, or does a transformation take place when you click in to your skis?

I feel like I’m usually pretty calm on snow, too. I’ve learned over the past few years filming in the backcountry that the more stressed out you are, or one person in your group is, the less productive you all are. For the most part, if you take your time as a group and everyone is mellow, the results just come naturally. Nobody wants to be out there with a stressed-out lunatic.

Pro skier Nick McNutt hiking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Your 2012-13 POV edit stands out in my mind. You absolutely crushed pillows across BC, and that video racked up nearly 40,000 views on Vimeo. What does it take to graduate from web sensation to something greater?

I think that attitude and work ethic are huge components to becoming a recognized skier in the industry. For example, in Whistler, the average level of your local skier is insane. On a powder day, you’ll see a guy sending stuff all over the resort that makes the people who are watching cheer and think he’s a hero, and then if you bump into him at après and try and talk to him, he might be a complete dickhead. If you’re a nice person, that can go a long way. Let your skiing speak for itself.

What does it mean to you to be shooting with TGR? What’s it like to work on a film that has such a huge production value?

It’s pretty unreal. Reality really started to kick in when I was in Revelstoke heli-skiing with seven guys I’ve been looking up to forever. I never thought I’d be skiing with Sage [Cattabriga-Alosa].

I won’t forget having lunch on a ridge top with three helis, eight athletes and 15-plus production staff and guides, all eating soup. That was pretty unreal. I’ve never seen a film crew that large, and just looking around, we all kept laughing about how many people we had out there.

A few months back at iF3, you took home the award for Rookie of the Year in a film that earned top honors, and you were also nominated for best freeride segment. With this success, plus major film exposure, are any doors opening for you?

For sure. I think with all the momentum right now, I’ll be poised to ski more in front of the cameras for a long time to come.

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