Angel Collinson—Big Mountain Skier
THERE’S A famous video of Collinson taking one of the gnarliest spills ever in the backcountry. In 2016, descending a tight couloir in Alaska’s Neacola Mountains, the snow turned to ice under her feet, causing her to careen 1,000 feet down the slope, head over heels. The fact that she survived uninjured is almost unbelievable. And the viral video is not even Collinson’s most impressive clip.
The previous year, she rode a backcountry line that forced her to set off a mini slough avalanche, weave through a few cliff bands, then rocket back through that falling powder at top speed, a descent that won her Powder Magazine’s coveted Line of the Year Award. She was the first woman ever to win it. It’s a remarkable run, but the 28-year-old has made a habit of leaving the ski world slack-jawed with her risky exploits. Still, she doesn’t consider herself a daredevil. “I think things out quite a bit before I do something,” she says, “and if I feel like something is sketchy, I’m not into it.”
“On skis, Angel charges with grace and power, just like in the rest of her life,” says Kit DesLauriers, the first person to ski from the seven summits. “She’s a unique soul.”
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