As you know, we are always on the look out for amazing outdoor people that achieve such amazing things in their chosen outdoor sport, and today is no exception.
About Alison Gannett
Alison Gannett is a world champion big mountain free skier, and if you didn’t think this was enough she is also a ski film star, mountain biker and an award-winning consultant for solutions to climate change.
Here’s the interview…
CheapTents.com: What inspired you to get into outdoor sports?
Alison: I love being outside, and I have a passion for the natural environment. I love sports that get me so focused that my crazy brain gets to relax and be in the moment- it is like meditation for me.
CheapTents.com: What has been your greatest outdoor sporting achievements?
Alison: World Champion Freeskier, Utra Endurance Mountain bike champion, many first ski descents/ski mountaineering expeditions around the world.
CheapTents.com: What is you biggest weakness? Sport or otherwise…
Alison: My biggest weakness is that I LOVE food, but I’m not sure that is a bad thing, as I love GOOD food, organic, homegrown, etc.
CheapTents.com: When did you feel like you ‘made it’ in your field of outdoor sports? And do you feel like you’ve satisfied your goals?
Alison: My big break was in 1998, when I won the World Freeskiing Championships and debuted some sick chick segments in MSP and TGR ski movies. But my ski expeditions to weird places are always my favorite of all – I like getting away from “the scene”. I also was recently selected by Outside magazine as a “Green All-Star” next to Leonardo Dicaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger – that was maybe my proudest moment so far.
CheapTents.com What do you find most challenging about training? Any tips to overcome these challenges?
Alison: I think my biggest challenge is cold weather – at least just getting out the door…or the tent. I don’t view my work as “training” per se, I choose things that make training more like having fun.
CheapTents.com Blood thirsty question now, what has been your worst injury (if any) from outdoors sports and how did it happen?
Alison: Double knee blowout in the X-Games. I’ve now had 8 knee surgeries, which is hard on a ski career. Luckily, Dr. Stone in California gave me a new cadaver meniscus a few years ago, and I can jump off cliffs and run again. It is a groundbreaking procedure, and I don’t think anyone else in the world is doing it yet.
CheapTents.com What will be your most challenging climbs and skis for next year?
Alison: I’m working on ski mountaineering expeditions to Colombia and Greenland. Logistics are always the hardest part for me. I’m traveling the world working to teach folks solutions to climate change, so I have to fit lots into my schedule.
CheapTents.com: Where would you like to be in 5 years time? Main Ambitions?
Alison: I’ve got many dream ski mountaineering trips, in crazy places, where I will work on first ascents/descents. My main worry is that global warming is happening so fast that we won’t be even thinking about this crazy stuff, because providing the basics, like food for ourselves will consume our time. That is why I devout so much time to saving our snow and ice. We need to change our lives so that our kids and grandkids can enjoy the climbing that we enjoy.
CheapTents.com: For other budding outdoor sports enthusiasts, what tips can you provide to help other compete at a higher level?
Alison: Follow your passion and do what you love. The sky is the limit if you love what you do, and are persistent and dedicated.
CheapTents.com: What are your favourite bits of gear, and why?
Alison: For me, it is about lightweight, combined with function and durability, and environmental sustainability: I love the Patagonia Down Sweater, MSR hubba hubba HP, Nemo GoGo, MSR reactor, Osprey Talon, Clif Organic Shot Blocks, Smartwool hats, gloves, socks and sweaters, HEAD Sweet One’s, Karhu Berthas, Patagonia hooded micropuff, Steripen water filter,
CheapTents.com: 12. Any people or sponsors that you’d like thank? Any other comments?
Alison: I’d like to thank my mom, for expanding my horizons and supporting my wierd career/life. don’t forget to make some changes to your life to help save our planet, our snow and ice, etc for future generations. Do you think that you are green? calculate your carbon footprint/energy use on www.carbonfootprint.com. Once you can see where you need to improve, start with small things like contacting your electric company for an energy audit,, turn off your lights and computer, change lightbulbs to compact fluourescents or LED’s, inflate your tires, use a metal water bottle, stop buying bottled water, use your own coffee cup etc. www.alisongannett.com for more info.
CheapTents.com: On behalf of all of our visitors, thanks for giving us this time Alison! There’s plenty of stuff here to inspire people to get out there and enjoy the environment, and of course, look after it.
Alison Gannett Career Highlights
1987 – BS, Magna Cum Laude, Honors UVM
1991 – Grad Degree – Solar Energy International
1991 – First Global Cooling Consulting Company
1995 – First ski movies – Warren Miller and TGR
1997 – First Straw home, designed and built
1998 – Wins World Cup Freeskiing Titles
1999 – TGR Harvest Straightline Alaska Segment
1999 – Powder Magazine FreeSkier of the Year
1999 – X Games in Crested Butte
2000 – NBC Gravity Games Bronze Medal
2004 – Founds Office for Resource Efficiency
2006 – Founds Save our Snow Foundation
2006 – Founds CROP™ Framework for Global Warming Solutions
2006 – Joins The Equilibrium Fund
2006 – Selected to train with Al Gore
2007 – Outside Magazine Green All Star
2007-8 – becomes the solutions trainer for Al Gore’s TCP staff
2007-8 – Converts the 1st Solar-powered SUV PHEV in the world to get 100+MPG.
2008 – Founds the SOS Foundation – http://www.sosfound.org – to help save our snow and water for future generations through an extreme sports multi media educational platform.