Chasing Winter in both Hemispheres
Skiing was truly love at first sight for Coalition Snow Ambassador Jamie Gilchrist and who now spends her seasons following the seasonal patterns.
Name: Jamie Gilchrist
Home Mountain: Mt Hutt Ski Field, New Zealand
Skiing was truly love at first sight for Jamie Gilchrist. The kiwi first began skiing at Mt Hutt Ski Field in New Zealand at the age of sixteen and immediately fell in love with it. The instructors at Mt Hutt would often speak about the legendary powder in North America, which piqued her interest in chasing winter. After passing her Level 1 instructor course (Currently a Level 2) she quickly jumped over the Pacific Ocean to North America where she has now spent season after the season working abroad in Grouse Mountain. Despite not being home in twenty months, the stoke is worth the sacrifice for the love of skiing.
What is skiing at Mt Hutt like?
Mt Hutt is a little different to any mountains you’d see to America or Canada. There’s not a tree or a plant on the whole mountain and very open and windy at the top. You can have a powder morning with half a foot or so of fresh snow but by midday it will all be blown away.
There’s a small farm town near called Methven. I can’t really relate it to anything I saw in Canada except maybe a mining town. It’s a small town the size of a mining town but instead of mines there are gumboots and everyone has cows.
How did you decide to become a ski instructor?
In my second year of uni, I wasn’t vibing with it. It wasn’t my jam. I didn’t go back after my third semester. I met heaps of people in Methven that had been to Canada and America who had worked as instructors over there. I decided to do my level one course and actually failed it the first time. “I wasn’t angulated enough through my parallel turns.” I did it again and passed straight away. I think being a ski instructor let me ski with more women than just going up on the mountain myself. Before then, I only skied with guys because that’s who was there and that’s who I knew.
Which Coalition skis do you use?
I’ve got the SOS ski with the goldfish on it which is great because I teach little kids how to ski and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh you have goldfish on your skis!’ which is super cute.
I do like how wide they are underfoot and also the wideness at the tip. It just allows you to ride in power and on crud. Like in New Zealand it handled the ice really well! I like that I can go from powder to groomers and don’t have to worry about it - it’s nice to have a solid ski under your foot.
Do you think you’re able to encourage other women to ski?
For me, I want to encourage that younger generation since I teach 3-5 year-olds how to ski. I had one girl my first season, Madison, who would say ‘I don't want to do it, it’s too hard, I can’t do it.’ I got a message this Canadian season and my friend had her in their level 4 camp group and said she was shredding parallel and I was like, ‘Yes she did it!!’ She didn't want to be there in the first place and now she’s asking to go ski!