SkiBig3 Ambassador Team
The 2017/18 SkiBig3 Ambassador Team features everything from big mountain riders to world class freestyle athletes. The team comes from around the world and calls Banff National Park their home. Follow our Ambassadors on social at @SkiBig3, #SkiBig3
Alex Armstrong, an Ottawa native, has put down roots in the Bow Valley the past 6 years. Originally coming from a ski racing background, she now ski patrols at Lake Louise, coaches a free ride program, competes in the Freeride World Tour Qualifiers and gets out skiing at every free moment. Alex translates her passion for skiing into skiing as much as humanly possible by spreading the good word of stoke!
Based out of Banff, she continually pursues adventure in her backyard and hones her skills to play safe in the mountains. She is currently sponsored by The North Face, K2 Skis, Smith Optics, Banff Soul and Ski Big 3.
At 14 years old, Audrey’s mom brought her to Banff on a family ski vacation where she discovered the bigger and better things that mountains have to offer. The view, the lifestyle, the town’s warm and welcoming atmosphere, the snow quality and the mind-blowing type of terrain the ski hills offered completely enthralled her. She left swearing that one day she would live there. Four years later, she made what she considers the best decision of her life, and made the move to Banff.
After some time spent here, her taste for pushing her boundaries led her to enter a few competitions. She started to compete on the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ), with a 4th place overall finish and a re-qualification for 2018 – her first time competing on the world stage.
Born and raised in Canmore, Alberta, Andrew’s parents taught him how to ski when he was two years old at Sunshine Village. He was put into the Sunshine Alpine ski team at the age of five, and ski raced until he was 16 years old. At that point, he decided it was time to trade racing for big mountain skiing. When he quit racing, he started exploring Lake Louise more than he had in the past, and realized that Lake Louise along with Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay make the Bow Valley the ultimate destination for skiers and riders of all abilities.
He loved growing up and learning how to ski in the Bow Valley, because the endless mountain ranges offer endless opportunity, and within a short drive you can access three amazing resorts that each have different things to offer. Having this in his backyard has ingrained his love for skiing. Andrew hopes to ski until his body won’t let him, which will hopefully be never!
24-year-old Amanda Timm has been skiing since she could walk. In February 2011, she broke her back in a big mountain ski competition that paralyzed her from the chest down. Within 10 months she got back on the snow, but this time in a sit ski. At first, she didn’t like this form of skiing, it was the hardest thing she had ever done, to go from one of the best female big mountain skiers in the area to not being able to connect two turns, but that didn’t stop her. Amanda has progressed to the stage where she can get down any terrain and ski with whoever she wants which has been her goal all along.
Amanda has had several accomplishments: making the Canadian Para Alpine Ski Team, becoming the first female sit skier to descend Delirium Dive, getting back into the back country with cat skiing, and being the first sit skier to ever compete in a big mountain competition at SkiBig3’s very own Lake Louise Big Mountain Challenge.
Dan was born in Alberta and has been visiting the Banff ski areas for over 30 years. He cut his first turns as a Tiny Tiger at Sunshine Village in the era of Neon and the Calgary Olympics, and moved more permanently to the Banff area in 2004. His passion for skiing in the area has kept him in the Rockies chasing snow around Banff National Park, where he now works full time as a photographer and video producer.
Dan has skied in remote places like Canada’s arctic, Japan, and the USA, but keeps enjoying the seasons with Banff as a home due to it’s long ski season and endless terrain options. When not in ski boots, you’ll find him out and about taking photos of epic sunrises or creating imagery with his contacts in the ski industry, like Ski Canada Magazine, Freeskier Magazine, or hosting media around Banff’s three ski areas.
As a daughter of a local Banff family it only made sense that Ginny started skiing as soon as she, could walk. Norquay became her playground as she went from the bunny hill to the ‘Big Chair’ with her mom, followed by chasing her older sister and friends around Lake Louise, before finally venturing into the ‘slackcountry’ of Delirium Dive with her dad. After a youthful skiing hiatus to play hockey and pursue a university degree on the west coast, she has come full circle back to her home mountains.
The return of skiing in her life full-time has brought back her love for competition, and she recently found herself competing on the Big Mountain circuit and Freeride World Tour Qualifier events. Chunky’s run at Lake Louise is her all-time favourite run because of the wind and the fun natural features. Although you can often find her skiing with her mom, dad, and bigger sister, her favourite day of skiing is to amass a posse of rad skier ladies and the guys she grew up with!
Kate Targett grew up skiing at Lake Louise, before perusing competitive freestyle skiing with the Southern Alberta Freestyle Ski Club (Sunshine Village) and eventually Alberta Mogul Team. Kate competed in mogul skiing internationally, but eventually decided to give up the sport and pursue a degree in Geology. Kate is currently completing her fourth year of studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB.
Along the way, she discovered big-mountain skiing and has competed on the Freeride World Qualifier circuit locally (1st place female ski-Wrangle the Chute 2017; 13th overall female-FWQ 2017), while balancing full time university studies and coaching the freestyle team at Sunshine Village. She loves inspiring the next generation of freestyle skiers and is passionate about motivating her athletes to be well rounded, skiers for life. When she’s not skiing, you can find Kate on the river fly-fishing, or on the trails mountain biking.
Keegan is a born and bred Banffite, and has been sliding around the Bow Valley on his skis since he was two. He knows that growing up in the Canadian Rockies is something a lot of people don’t often get the chance to experience. Being surrounded by some of the most picturesque peaks, lakes, rivers and valleys in North America really makes him appreciative of the opportunities and adventure they provide.
His parents strapped him down to that first pair of skis and it was instant love. Since that day, skiing has given him several opportunities: competing at a high level in Big Mountain Ski competitions in Western Canada, shooting photos and short films with some of the industries biggest names, getting the opportunity to ski and film alongside my local heroes for Sherpas Cinema’s “Sculpted in Time”, and feeding the stoke of young rippers in the Rocky Mountain Freeriders program at the Lake Louise.
Luke has been in the Bow Valley since he was ten-years-old. He snowboards at all three resorts frequently , and started skiing at Norquay when his family moved from Winnipeg to Calgary. He would ski with the Nancy Green ski club and the Bow Valley Quickies, until he eventually started snowboarding. He has competed in Slopestyle and halfpipe, and went to nationals in 2007.
He loves to ride powder and big mountain, and in the spring the terrain parks. He never misses the change to ride the North American on a powder day
Matt was born in Banff and raised in Canmore. He grew up skiing all over North America, and occasionally overseas as an alpine ski racer. He learned from some of the best skiers – his father Nick, and uncle PeterMonod, who raced at an international level. They showed him two very different styles of skiing, and an absolute passion that he is forever grateful for.
Matt got a lot out of racing, but is still learning style refinement from local skiers and riders at the top of their game, like the Capel brothers and some local snowboarders he rides with. Matt doesn’t plan on pursuing skiing as a career, but he loves all aspects of it and is excited to represent his local turf.
Mikey is a thirty-something skier living in Banff with his wife Jessica,their hamster, Harry, and their bunny rabbit Frank. He first learned to ski at the age of 12 on dry slopes in England where he grew up (he imagines it as a big upside down brush that rips your skin off). When he was 18, he spent a ski season living and working at Sunshine Village where the light, fluffy snow and huge expanse of stunning peaks blew his mind.
He left for university studies, but could never get the Rockies out of his head. He returned to Banff permanently in 2009 to pursue his dream of sliding around on snow a lot. Since then, he has tried to ski as much as possible – averaging over 100 ski days a season. He likes it all, but his obsession is steep, technical and exposed alpine terrain which the local resorts serve up in abundance. Beyond the mountains and the skiing, his favourite part about the Bow Valley is the incredibly warm and welcoming local community.
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Michelle started skiing when she was 3 years old. She grew up travelling annually to British Columbia and Alberta on family ski holidays with her parents, so moving to the mountains after she finished university came naturally. Michelle loves the endless variety and vastness of skiing in the Banff area, and she values the strong sense of mountain community in the Bow Valley.
When she’s not skiing at Norquay, Sunshine or Lake Louise, she enjoys backcountry ski touring, rock climbing, hiking, and yoga. Her favourite colour is pink, she loves a good cup of coffee, and her spirit animal is the unicorn. Michelle is an ACMG Assistant Hiking Guide and a 200-hour RYT yoga instructor.
Michelle started riding on the icy slopes of Newfoundland until her passion moved her to Banff 21 years ago. Since then, she’s followed her passion all over Europe, the lower 48 and Alaska in 2008, where she entered her first Freeride competition. The following season, her freeriding won the overall North American title after competing on a series of qualifying Freeride events, “The North Face Masters”, and has since won the overall two more times, making her the overall champ for North America in 2016.
Michelle fulfilled a life goal in 2015 and became the first female Canadian snowboarder to ever qualify for the Freeride World Tour (FWT). She lives for riding big lines with steep chutes, cliff drops and lots of pow. She loves Banff and believes if you love something and are passionate about it enough to do it every day, you’re bound to get good at it.
Noah was born and raised in Banff, and made his first turns at Mt Norquay when he was two-years-old. He has been skiing the three resorts ever since, and loves spreading the stoke on how awesome it is. When he’s not on the hunt for fresh pow, he competes in big mountain competitions across Canada.
He learned the fundamentals of skiing at Mt. Norquay, and eventually progressed to the larger terrain of Lake Louise and Sunshine. His time with the Rocky Mount Freeriders (RMF) growing up is where he developed his skills as a skier the most, and is also when he fell in love with the big mountain terrain of Lake Louise. He has been competing in big mountain competitions since the age of 13.
Skiing is in Phil’s blood – his family escaped a former communist country in hopes to help his family pursue ski racing – eventually his brother won Bronze in Sochi. Phil has been skiing Norquay, Sunshine and Louise since his family moved to Banff in 1992 when he was 3-years-old.
Every time Phil stands at the peak of the Summit Poma at Lake Louise, he takes in a breath and takes in the vistas – he considers it the best drug in the world, and it never gets old. Phil has competed in numerous events growing up in the Bow Valley, winning or placing in most of them – from ski cross races at Sunshine to the Lake Louise big mountain challenges.
Steph was born in a very flat part of Canada and it wasn’t until the age of 18 that she discovered the Rocky Mountains. A serendipitous ride she hitched took her from Prince Rupert to Jasper, where her jaw dropped as she laid eyes on Mt. Robson for the first time. She had only ever read about the Rockies as a kid, and to be standing in front of the real deal was a surreal experience she will never forget.
Since that moment 12 years ago, she’s come to call the Rockies home. She thinks every season here is beautiful, but is of course most stoked on the winter months. She loves to snowboard because it allows her to get up close and personal with these humbling rocky giants. For Stephanie, it’s about being creative, choosing your line, quieting your thoughts and just goin’ for a rip.
It wasn’t until Sue was 27 that she first touched snow. “Coming from Taiwan, everything in Canada was so new and fresh and clean.” Her first experience on snow was sliding down a snowbank at Rogers Pass in a parking lot – she had a lot of fun but never knew she could do this everyday! And now, many years later she is lucky enough to call Banff home. Choosing to live in an active mountain town and make this her life is an opportunity for her to be active and live large everyday.
Sue considers herself lucky to call this place home, and is happy to share the stoke with the community. She believes in promoting a healthy lifestyle, and being active is a big part of it. For Sue, snowboarding is about having fun and being creative, because each person has their own unique style. “The mountains are the canvas where we can make beautiful lines, our boards and skis are the paintbrush, and we leave our own signature.”
Shannon grew up in Western Australia, far from the mountains and the snow. But like many of the Aussies you’ll meet in Banff and Lake Louise, once he got a taste of the Canadian Rockies he knew this would become home. Arriving in the area with a snowboard, he now spends more time on skies and can be spotted both at the resorts and in the backcountry.
He spent five winters working in the marketing departments of Lake Louise and Sunshine Village, hosting film crews, professional skiers and international media. He also worked as a ski photographer and guide for cat skiing and backcountry tours in Hokkaido, Japan for two winters. A professional photographer and videographer, you might have seen his work in various magazines including Ski, Skiing and Snowboard Canada and The New York Times. Shannon also works as a digital marketing consultant and operates his own tour company ‘Tours With Photos’.
Tyler followed snowboarding from Vancouver to Banff for what was meant to be one winter season in the Rockies. Many years later, he is still here with no plans of leaving.
A passionate snowboarder and photographer, he spends most of his time exploring the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding ski resorts, trying to do them justice with his camera.
Yo – It’s what his tomodachi (friends) call him. It’s also a common greeting. So if he’s waving at you when you say it, don’t be weird about it.
Yosuke is Japanese Canadian, and he’s from Banff. “Yeah I’m a unicorn, and no I don’t ever get sick of the views. It’s epic here, and I’m so blessed to call this place my home.”
He’s a snowboarder and he loves it. There’s nothing quite like that float you get from riding sideways. “Snowboarders look at lines differently than skiers, there’s more of a paintbrush like quality coming down the mountain on a snowboard.”
When he’s not riding, you can find him at the Banff Centre or with the Banff Fire Department. It allows him to contribute and give back to a community that has given him so much.