Q&A Wednesday with Callum Pettit

Q&A Wednesday with Callum Pettit

A mixture of samurai, ninja and skier, Callum Pettit quietly lays down some of the most progressive and impressive lines in the backcountry. The Canadian has produced banger film segments with Tanner Hall in “Believe,” this year’s TGR film “Light the Wick” and more.

We recently caught up with Callum and gave him an opportunity to sound off about British Columbia, being stuck in a crevasse and his Alaska plans. Check it out!


Name:  Callum Pettit 
Age: 20
Hometown: Pemberton, B.C
Sponsors: Black Diamond, The North Face, Oakley, Surefoot, Giro

Q&A Wednesday

What are you up to at the moment? I heard you just moved. How is the new place?

Yeah, I just made the move from Pemberton to Whistler. I have a place in Alpine Meadows which is the tightest neighborhood to be in. [laughs] It’s an older ski cabin type house, so it suits us just fine. Its even got a climbing wall up the staircase.

I’m living with three other friends, Austin, Nick and Leo. I ski a lot with Austin and Nick so we’ll always have a good crew going out and Leo is a snowboarder but he can keep up… sometimes. [laughs] 

What have you been up to this off season? Any crazy shenanigans? 

This summer I’ve had a lot of time to play. I got a handful of surf trips in and did a lot of skateboarding and mountain biking.

Plus, I finally got to try out a decent bike this summer and found out how much fun mountain biking is. There are tons of sick trails throughout Pemberton and Whistler so its a great sport to get into.

I was also on the glacier at Camp of Champs for a couple weeks which was fun too.

What are your plans for the rest of the fall? Anything special lined up before the mountain opens? Vacation? Beach time?

Im heading to Freshtival (a ski film festival in Calgary put on by Fresh Sports) which is always a good time. Then I’m going to Santa Cruz right after that for a North Face Athlete Summit where we talk about the new gear and give our input on if it’s cool or not. They are a sick company to be with and it’s sweet they care about our input.

Then back home to get some sort of a training schedule going so I’m nice and strong for the winter. Plus, I’ll hopefully make a trip to Vancouver Island to do some surfing and camping before the season. We have this sweet spot where you can camp for free and it is super close to the beaches. 

Sounds nice. You have always flown a lil’ under the radar and seem to surprise people with your smooth style and huge lines. Do you ever want more recognition? Or, do you like being the silent slayer? 

Not necessarily. It would be sweet though to get more opportunities to film out of the heli. When you ski from a heli you get to ski bigger and longer lines with spines and other shit on them. Filming off the sled takes a lot of time and work to get on those bigger lines.

I did get the chance to go heli skiing this year for the first time with TGR up in Stewart, B.C mid-February, but the conditions were not so great and I ended up dislocating my shoulder the second day there. So, I kinda blew that and was out for all of March.

However, I love freeskiing without cameras around more than anything. There is nothing to stop your flow and you get a lot more skiing in. But it is also my job to get recognition in the mags and movies so I have to get as much face time as I can to keep the sponsors stoked. 

Where is your favorite place to ski in British Columbia? Why? 

My favorite place to ski in B.C is probably right here on Whistler Blackcomb because it is home and we have a bit of everything. Chairlifts can take you to sick alpine, tree skiing, pillows, steeps, cliffs, and long powder runs. Plus if you want you can tour outside the resort which takes you to even more terrain.

A year or two ago you tomahawked into a crevasse while filming with TGR. How scared were you?

Yep, the tomahawk sucked. At first I was just wedged in the hole and I didn’t know what the hell was going on because I didn’t see the hole from where I scoped the cliff. When I fell all the sluff poured into the hole and started to suffocate me. I began to wiggle and squirm to get some air and then, “plop,” in I went. I fell 12 feet onto a pyramid of snow that went into darkness on both sides. I kind of just stood there in shock and tried not to look down. Then I remember seeing Ian McIntosh’s head poke into site. So yeah, not too scary at all. No big deal. [laughs]

What goes through your mind before you huck yourself off of a cliff or before you get ready to ski a gnarly line? Any pointers for aspiring big mountain rippers? 

Well, I try to get a real good look at the line from as many angles as I can. If I have a camera I’ll take a picture to get a better understanding of the feature. Then I try to pick out noticeable landmarks to guide myself to the top of the line and then I do the same thing throughout my line.

It can be a prominent bunch of trees or a pointy rock, these landmarks are everywhere. Also, getting to the top of your line can sometimes be the hardest part. Having radios is a key thing when scooping lines or just being backcountry. You can ask your buddies down below how far to the left or right you gotta go to be in the right spot. 

As for advice, if you want to get out and into the backcountry, know your avalanche rescue skills and only go with people who you know and trust. Plus, be smart and take your time. 

People know you as a big mountain skier, but what are your urban and rail skills like? We have seen glimpses here and there, are you secretly a urban assassin? 

Well, I haven’t hit a handrail in a long time. To me it’s just not worth it. You take gnarly slams and it just doesn’t look appealing to me anymore. I’ll hit the park stuff when I cruise through it and have fun, but going through all this effort to slide a handrail in a city is just not skiing to me. You go straight for a few seconds on snow then your hopping or flopping on a metal object. I’d just rather be ripping down a mountain hitting natural objects along the way. 

So, since you don’t like skiing in the city that much, where is one place you would like to ski that you haven’t skied yet? Why?

Alaska! I don’t think I really have to explain why. We’ve all seen it. I’m making it there next year no matter what. 

Speaking of next year. Any plans yet for next season?

Ski a shitload! Go to the interior early season and shoot with The Rocky Mountain Sherepa’s, for the two year project All.I.Can dropping next fall. I also hope I can get in some some sled and heli time around Whistler. Then just do some ski touring and camping up in mountains where it’s just friends and good times. 

Shout outs?

Shout outs to my family for supporting me, all my homies, the Blackcomb shred crew, all my sponsors, and Mother Earth. I know were going to get hooked up with some “fatty-boo-batty” flakes this season! Lastly, slap pounds all round. Peace.

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