No Agenda: Former Olympic mogul skier Troy Murphy is chasing the snow this winter

No Agenda: Former Olympic mogul skier Troy Murphy is chasing the snow this winter

Hi FREESKIER faithful! My name is Troy Murphy. I’m a 2018 Winter Olympian and ex-mogul skier who left the sport I’ve pursued for my whole life to live out my dream of freeskiing across the world. This year, I’m hitting the road to make that dream a reality. Armed with a snowmobile, camper, camera gear and some buds, I’ll chase snow all winter throughout the North American West. The chronicles of this adventure will be posted here, on freeskier.com. Follow along!

At this time last year, I would’ve been standing in a start gate somewhere, staring down into a frenzy of moguls. I was in the thick of the World Cup Mogul circuit, its intensity ratcheted to a maximum with Olympic spots on the line. This year, things are a bit different. I’m spending my nights relaxing with my parents in my childhood home in Bethel, Maine. It sounds boring, I know. But, the fact that I’m working on a project that will send me on an adventure I’ll remember for the rest of my life, makes everything worth it.

Training last December in Ruka, Finland, in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games.

A couple weeks ago I ventured east from my current home in Park City to spend long days ripping wooden boards, nailing trim and building out my winter digs: A 22-foot long, 13-foot tall enclosed trailer converted to a tiny home, the brainchild of Chris Lee, one of my best buddies. He, like myself, has long dreamt of spending an entire ski season on the road chasing snow, without restrictions. This year he’s making the dream a reality with his sled-hauling rig and this apartment on wheels he’s been working on since summertime. The best part about the setup is that he’s invited me to tag along. I’ve got my own bunk and a spot on his sled deck for my snowmobile, what more could a guy ask for? So I flew back to Maine to spend some time in my hometown, make some turns at Sunday River and, most importantly, help Chris wrap up the trailer. We’re days away from our maiden voyage west, and I couldn’t be more stoked.

Chris’ truck / trailer (work in progress) combination will allow us to post up wherever our hearts desire and maximize our time playing in the snow.

Last season was one for the books. I accomplished my lifelong goal of representing Team USA at the Olympics, something I’ve dreamt about since I was a little kid. To get to that point, my entire life was focused on mogul skiing; everything I’d worked for was aimed at those competition runs in South Korea. The event didn’t go as planned, but I’ll still be forever proud of my journey to and experiences in Pyeongchang. A week after my competition, I took off to Hokkaido, Japan. Chris flew in and met my Olympic teammate Casey Andringa and me for some much-needed pow turns. We washed away the intensity of the Olympics in the carefree, snow-filled trees of Japan. It was there that a switch flipped in my brain. Suddenly, my drive was no longer steering me into the moguls, I was drawn into the backcountry by a pull I couldn’t deny. Chris had mentioned he was spending the upcoming season chasing pow and that he’d have a bed open for me if I wanted. I mulled it over for a week and by the time I got to the next World Cup in Tazawako, Japan, I knew I was hanging up the bump skis.

A tasty turn at Kiroro from the aforementioned trip to Japan last February. Photo: Eiichi Matsuyama

Since that point, there’s been nothing but change for me. I swapped full-time skiing for full-time school. Instead of training in Whistler, Park City and Mt. Hood over the summer, I was coaching to earn some income. I have to say the transition has been excellent, it’s refreshing to switch things up and learn something outside of the bump course. The one thing that has stayed steady, however, is my desire to ski. That desire now burns brighter than ever with the anticipation of an entire season skiing in the backcountry. I can’t wait to roll out of bed on the side of the road somewhere, fire up my sled and venture into the mountains. No travel obligations, no official training, no competitions, no judges; just me, my best buddies, and the mountains with zero agenda. We’re getting close now, and Chris and I are chomping at the bit.

Thanksgiving this year got me fired up for the winter ahead. It’s not long before this is my daily routine. Photos: Chip Proulx

I invite you to follow along with our journey as we travel across the North American West. For me, it will be all about tackling new challenges and chasing down a newly sought-after passion. Reigniting the joy of skiing by stepping out of the competition fences and into something completely free. Of course, we’ll likely spend a lot of time getting Chris’ new sled unstuck, tracking the weather to find the best snow, relearning how to grab my skis after years of techy mogul jumps and navigating the roadways with a 13-plus foot tall trailer that’s only two inches below the minimum bridge limit. I don’t know where we’ll end up this winter, that’s up for Mother Nature to decide, but I do know that this journey will be full of exciting ups and downs that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

The Build:

Chris Lee—my partner in crime for the winter/rig owner.
Chris with Jack and Zach Bailey, the two brains behind the operation.
Looking down from my bunk.
Plumbing and wiring chaos. Everything is contained within the insulation, enabling us to have running water no matter the temperatures outside.
Myself and my soon-to-be bed. I’m no expert in this ordeal but I can nail wood into other pieces of wood.
Our kitchen looking cook ready.

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