Profile: 17-year-old Logan Pehota boasts 11 years of backcountry experience

Profile: 17-year-old Logan Pehota boasts 11 years of backcountry experience


AGE: 17

Interview by Tess Weaver. Portrait by Bryn Hughes.

Not many 17-year-old slopestyle skiers can boast 11 years of backcountry experience. But Logan Pehota, under the wing of his father, big-mountain pioneer Eric Pehota, spent his childhood alpine racing, ski touring and notching big lines near his home in Pemberton. A burgeoning big-mountain competitor, Pehota is now focusing on slopestyle, aiming for the Olympics. Rounding out his experience, Pehota makes his first major film appearance in MSP’s latest release, Superheroes of Stoke.

What do you like to do in the summer? Skateboard and surf. I know every pro skier wants to be a pro surfer. I like golf, too.

What was it like filming with MSP? It was a lot of fun. I was with Michelle Parker and Eric Hjorleifson. We skied around Whistler and did some heliskiing past Bralorne. Hopefully I got some good shots. It was different skiing with the cameras. Once you get up above, you can’t see anything below. You can’t stop. You have to study lines before and just go. It’s definitely a bigger challenge. Hoji taught me a lot about studying lines. One day on the first big line of the day, I fell on the bottom air and lost my ski forever. It was one of the best days, and it was over for me.

What big-mountain skiers do you look up to? Hoji. He’s super strong, skis the fall line, charges all the time and makes the best out of everything. It’s pretty crazy to watch.

What park skiers do you look up to? Stylie skiers. Everybody is all about Henrik Harlaut and Phil Casabon. They are who you should look to for style. For good comp skiing, I’d say Bobby Brown and Gus Kenworthy.

You’re skiing more park than ever? I didn’t think that’d ever happen. My mindset changed. I realized I might have a future, maybe a good future in it. I want to make the national team for slope this year. You get free school, benefits, and you get to ski. My dad always says, you can always ski big mountain when you get old. Ski park while you’re young.

How are you handling school and skiing? I missed a lot of school last season, but my teachers were really nice and sent me a bunch of work. Hopefully, this year I only have a few classes I have to do.

What’s next? More filming, more comps. More slope comps throughout the states.

Do you enjoy comps? I do. It’s pretty nerve-racking. It’s just like skiing a big line—those butterflies in your stomach. It’s that feeling that every skier wants.

Do you have a different style in the park? I like to carve a lot of my tricks. My friends give me crap. When I ski park, my apparel changes, too. I don’t usually wear Gore-Tex in the park.

What’s your favorite inbounds line at Whistler Blackcomb? Spanky’s.

Sidecountry? DOA. I love the steep rock walls.

[Photo: Shot in Whistler, BC by Eric Berger.]

Do you ski a lot with your dad? Not as much as I used to. On powder days we get out together. He’s who I ski with when it snows a lot. He’s a good ski partner. He knows where to go. After the snow’s gone, he’ll go for a hike, and I’ll go to the park.

What advice has stuck? Dad says everything has to be calculated. Very calculated. No matter what you’re doing, when you’re skiing, you have to be calculated. You can’t do anything stupid. It means double-checking to make sure you’re not doing something where you’re going to get hurt. Do something rad but not dumb.

Do you ever feel stuck in your dad’s shadow? It’s so different now. Freestyle is incorporated into everything. If I followed the mountaineering side, I’d be in his shadow. He never skied park when he was a kid.

You’re a modest, polite guy—kind of rare for a 17-year-old skier. It’s how I was brought up. Treat people how you want to be treated.

Will you be skiing a lot more park next season? I’m going to do what feels good for the day. If I’m not into the park that day, I won’t. If there’s powder, I won’t ski park. I’m going to focus on slopestyle a lot, but I think skiing powder and big lines will make me a better slope skier.

What’s your life goal? Make it well when I’m young so I can ski powder for the rest of my life.

*This article appeared in the V15 October issue of FREESKIER. Subscribe to the magazine, or get it on the iTunes Newsstand.

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