Lynsey Dyer is a mountain girl through and through. Born and raised in Sun Valley, Idaho she now calls Jackson Hole, Wyoming home when she's not travelling the world in search of the next great adventure, and inspiring girls and women everywhere to do the same. A top-notch professional skier, acclaimed filmmaker of the movie Pretty Faces, artist, graphic designer, and role model, Lynsey is helping redefine what it means to be a female athlete in the adventure sports world.
How do you answer the inevitable question, "So what do you do?"
[Laughs.] I still don't know how to answer this one. It's taken me along time to finally take myself seriously as a professional athlete. People throw that term around so easily these days, but I never did. I called myself a graphic designer with a skiing habit and always expected each year for the opportunities to dry up. But as more sponsors came on board and more opportunities kept coming I have to admit it to myself that I, in fact, to get paid to ski. It still hasn't quite hit me. I also bring in some income for graphic design, photography and video work. And I co-founded a non-profit called She-Jumps to inspire women to go on adventures with each other so that really helps bring meaning to all the other things I do.
How has photography and Instagram impacted what you do?
I've always loved shooting pictures, and now, like so many social media outlets, it's becoming just another form of promotion. Especially because it's one of the only ways you can show direct numeric value to sponsors, which I'm not sure is necessarily a good thing. I'll be the first to admit that "likes" and "followers" have a real impact on what I put up on Instagram and what my sponsors expect from me. I love shooting photographs but I find that my followers respond a lot better to pictures of me rather than the work I really like and I'm proud of. So I end up giving the people what they want, instead of sharing more of my personal work… although I do try to weave it in when I can.
What have been the highlights of your season? Best moments? Toughest?
A recent highlight was designing my own line of skis: the Flying Unicorns. Building the prototype was an incredible learning process, but we created a banger ski that I can honestly say makes me a better skier. Those were ready for my next highlight, a GoPro team trip to CMH Heli in interior British Columbia. We haven't had the snow we are used to, but conditions shaped up for an epic few days of perfectly stable conditions with fresh snow on top, something I haven't had on a Heli-trip for years actually. Often you have to book your trip and can't plan according to weather. This time we got lucky, and I got to shred one of the steepest lines of my life! It was a career-affirming trip as I was one of only two females representing all the snow sports for the brand. My imagery actually took home the winning shot, even amongst all the badasses that were there, like Travis Rice and Shaun White. It really validated my passion for photography and working with the new technology.
What new projects do you have coming up?
After the success of my film Pretty Faces, which is still being requested for television and festival showings, we have lots of epic unseen footage that we're creating a web series out of. We figure young girls still need better examples of what's possible outside of the expected mold, so we'd better keep delivering. I'm also trying to get down to South America this fall as I didn't get to Alaska last season due to another project.
What does the future of skiing look like?
Hiking and helicopters will always bring us to the tops of mountains, but I'm worried for the everyday ski resorts, as changing weather seems to be having a massive impact. Those resorts raised me. I have such fond memories as a kid, racing around the hill with no one to tell us what to do. The mountains taught me how to push past my fears of speed or discomfort, of cold and ski boots and the discipline of getting up really early in anticipation of powder. All those lessons have translated to my everyday life. I want as many kids as possible to have the same opportunities in the mountains like I did.
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