The Basics

When and where did you learn to ski?  Who did you learn with?
I started skiing when I was three in Park City, Utah.  My mom and dad were responsible for getting the ball rolling, but I also have two older brothers.  They definitely had a hand in pushing me.

Which athletes did you admire most growing up, and who do you look up to now?
I grew up ski racing and it was a pretty big deal when Tommy Moe won the ’94 Olympic downhill.  I’ve actually become friends with Tommy and skied with him a bit too.  My favorite skiers now are most of the guys I get to ski with in the TGR crew: Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Dana Flahr, Ian McIntosh, and Griffin Post among others.

Outside of skiing, I’d have to say that my favorite is snowboarder, Nicolas Muller. He has incredible touch and it seems like his head is in the right place.  Also, Roger Federer.  I traditionally root for the dark horse, but he’s the exception for some reason.

Todd Ligare

What’s your take on the state of the ski industry today?
It’s an exciting time because there are a lot of good athletes and so many different niches from urban, to park, to big mountain.  However, it’s becoming increasingly inaccessible.  I hope that the sport can continue to grow despite some of the barriers to entry.  I had the fortune of growing up in a ski town, but I hope that people who aren’t born into it will have the opportunity to get out regardless of their location or income bracket.  It’s a sport for everyone.

What are you doing to grow the sport and make it more accessible for everyone?
I’ve been brainstorming on what I can do to help get people out there.  I have a few ideas for a specific effort on my part.  However, bringing awareness to this issue and making it an industry topic would certainly help.  I would like to see the brands and ski resorts work together to make skiing more accessible.  The industry wants to see growth but I think they are shooting themselves in the foot when certain resorts charge close to or above $100 for a day pass.  If I didn’t have access to ski passes through my work, I wouldn’t be able to afford to ski most places and I think that’s really unfortunate.  Everyone should have the opportunity to get outside in the wintertime.

What was it like seeing yourself on the big screen for the first time?
I remember it well.  It felt like the culmination of a lot of hard work.  Earning your spot on a big time film crew isn’t an easy task.  I felt like I had arrived.

Todd Ligare
Photo credit: Mark Fisher

What has been your most memorable moment in skiing so far?
My most memorable moment was my first heli-run in Alaska.  It took years of patience to get the resources and get invited to a TGR Alaska trip.  I was in the first load with Sage and we were dropped on top of a gorgeous spine wall.  I felt really confident.  The snow was good and everything came together.  The shot made the movie and one of the stills made it onto the cover of a coffee table book.  I’ll remember that run for the rest of my life; it was exactly like I was dreaming it would be.

What’s the gnarliest injury you’ve gotten, and how did you get it?
My worst skiing injury was a herniated disc that developed while I was ski racing in college.  It was really debilitating.  I wasn’t able to do much for a while.  However, I’m one of the lucky few that was able to make a full recovery from this type of injury.  Through therapy and time, I was able to get that disc back where it is supposed to be.

What’s the next place on your list you’ve been dying to ski but haven’t yet?
Alaska still tops my list.  There are endless amounts of new terrain to be explored up there.  The other one, though, is Japan.  I’ve been dreaming of those “pow days” for some time now.

20 years from now, what do you want to be remembered for?
My main goals are centered on continuing to develop into “my own” skier.  There are people out there who have approached me and told me that I’m their favorite skier.  That’s been really inspiring for me because it’s verification that I have, at least in some ways, differentiated myself.  I just hope people see confidence in my skiing.  If they see that, then I feel like I’m succeeding.

Todd Ligare
Photo credit: Mark Fisher

If you weren’t a pro skier, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
I’m not sure that I have a good answer to this question.  Skiing has always been the continuous thread through my life.  I certainly had times of doubt about whether I could make a career out of it, but I never once seriously considered not pursuing it.  The desire to ski big faces and explore has always driven me. That being said, I have a Finance degree.  I didn’t exactly know what to study in college and it seemed like, if nothing else, it would be good personal knowledge. So, theoretically, I’m educated to do something in that realm.

Who are some of your favorite people to follow on Twitter and Instagram?
On Twitter I follow a lot of industry folk and athletes, but also a bunch of comedians. It’s a good medium for them.

However, for Instagram, pics of mountains and skiing still reign supreme.  Some favorites are: Teton Gravity Research (@tetongravity), Griffin Post (@griffpost), Colter Hinchliffe (@colterjh), Stian Hagen (@hagenstian), Sean Stiegemeier (@sstieg), Julian Carr (@juliancarr), and Pit Viper (@pit_viper).

What 10 songs to have you been listening to on the mountain lately?
I don’t actually ski with headphones on.  I like to be able hear what’s going on around me.  However, tunes during breakfast or on the way to the mountain might include: “Ceremony” by New Order, “Undecided” by the Master’s Apprentice, “The Mountain” by Heartless Bastards, “Prehistoric Dog” by Red Fang, “Hotline” by Jacuzzi Boys, “Don’t Believe In Love” by Brian Glaze, “Desire Lines” by Deerhunter, “The House That Heaven Built” by Japandroids, “I Wanna Go Out” by Tangiers, and “Disorder” by Joy Division.

How many ski areas have you been to? I believe you’ve already taken our Where I’ve Skied Challenge.

Todd Ligare: Where I've Skied

Rapid fire! What is…

Your go-to set up for big mountain skiing?
193 Atomic Automatic with Atomic STH2 16 WTR bindings and Atomic Waymaker carbon 130 boots.

Your all-time favorite ski film?
“Anomaly” by Teton Gravity Research.

Your go-to breakfast before a big day on the slopes?
Breakfast burrito.

Your go-to meal after an intense competition?
No competition for me, but more burritos after a long day.

Your go-to après drink after a long day on the slopes?
Gotta have beer and water.

Your favorite place to ski?
Alaska and Alta/Snowbird.

Your favorite thing to do for fun, outside of skiing?
Go see live music.

Your guiltiest indulgence?
Too much beer?

The weirdest thing you’ve seen from a chairlift?
I was once sitting between two people that got into a fistfight. I almost got knocked off, but I was able to break it up. They were actually friends and I can’t even remember what the tiff was about. They eventually made up a couple weeks later.

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Sub-Categories Interviews / liftopia / Ski / Skiers

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