Karen has skied and worked with Rippin Chix for almost 15 years and she counts her weekends spent with the camps as some of her best and most satisfying of the season. Karen is a passionate and playful skier and she teaches with a similar enthusiasm. When asked recently about her best 3 days of skiing – she couldn’t answer and this gave her pause and a desire to articulate what she actually remembers about her time (over 100 days a year) of skiing. She realizes now that skiing is a collection of moments. On occasion, there are those single runs, those singular experiences, where time and light, powder and movement come together and brand in our memory. These are the moments she hopes all of her students will experience and feel both comfort and mastery whenever and wherever they occur.
Karen has been teaching skiing for over 15 years, she is fully certified in Telemark in the US and Canada and also holds Alpine and Adaptive certifications in both countries. She has twice earned podium finishes at the US National Telemark Freeskiing Championships and is two-time champion of the infamous Al Johnson Uphill-Downhill Telemark Race. Her own ski improvement is a life-long pursuit and she believes her best turns are still to come.
Karen lives in Crested Butte, having recently transplanted from Rossland, BC where she coached the local Freeride Team for 8 years. She is currently a course conductor for CANSI, coordinates skier development at Black Jack Ski Club, travels to teach ski clinics in the US and Canada, and is one of the organizers for the Coldsmoke Powder Festival at Whitewater, BC. www.coldsmokepowderfest.com
For many years Susan stood on podiums on the International Freeskiers Association circuit and could be found in magazines and ski films. Prior to her freeskiing career, she raced NCAA Division I and FIS. She enjoys taking the technical skills learned as a competitor and her experiences in the mountains and passing them on, inspiring other women with the confidence that skiing can bring into their everyday lives.
She is always up for a technical ski mountaineering adventure – past trips have included the first-ever ski expedition to Bhutan and Mt. Blanc in France.
Susan lives in Pemberton, British Columbia, near the base of Mount Currie, with her husband Jon Johnston and her young son Jack. They have a small business making crampon compatible climbing plates used for winter mountaineering (billygoattech.com). Much of her ski time is spent exploring deep into the surrounding Coast Range – she aims to ski everyday possible!
Janae is one of those athletes you always wished you could be – she is amazing at whatever she does, and usually wins any competition she enters. She loves to share her passion for sports and the outdoors. Currently, she races professionally in both downhill and cross country mountain biking, consistently placing in the top 3. Beyond her mountain biking accolades, she was twice the US Telemark National Champion, but is equally good at alpine skiing or touring in the backcountry.
Before having children, she raced as a professional triathlete. She lives in Crested Butte with her husband and two small children. She also owns and operates Colorado Backcountry Guide Service. When not on the trails or ski slopes, she teaches high school mathematics at the Crested Butte Community School.
Curtis is one of those gals that just makes you smile and laugh – always turning to the positive of any situation and LOVING life. She has spent a lifetime perfecting her skiing and mountain biking. She loves to ride in skirts and share her passion for mountain biking with other women and girls. When she can, she sews what she rides in, dreaming of having a clothing company someday. She believes that biking can be fun only if you take the pressure off yourself, and enjoy the flowers and the process of learning. Plus, when she is coaching, the advice given will make the icky stuff so easy, you will forget that riding is difficult.
Sonja grew up ski-racing in the Bavarian Alps and competing throughout Europe with the German Junior National Team, but moved to Whistler in 2004. In search of more powder and fun, she started competing on the Canadian Freeskiing circuit and over the years would step up her challenge on the international stage with the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour and the Swatch Freeride World Tour. While her many top finishes make her one of the best women skiers, it is her passion for spreading the love of skiing to girls and women that inspires us all.
Kendra started her professional snowboard career in Rossland, BC with a part in the all female film, “No Man’s Land” by Christian Begin. She has spent months traveling the globe, winning many contests, starring in magazines, movies, and mountaineering on volcanoes with legends like Craig Kelly.
In Whistler, BC she rode for Option snowboards, developed her pro-model boards and designed her signature outerwear. She was a pro-coach at Camp of Champions summer camp and every winter for the Roxy women’s camps in Whistler. While she loves competitions, she prefers free riding in powder and hanging with her family.
Pip is a Colorado native who spent her childhood ski racing for Crested Butte Academy. After graduation, she made the transition from racing to big mountain competitions on the Freeskiing World Tour while attending the University of Utah. After 6 years competing on the tour, Pip has continued to work with sponsors through small film segments, commercial work, and in-print and online stories. Pip has also dedicated a significant amount of her season to coaching the junior girls big mountain programs at Snowbird, Jackson Hole, and Crested Butte. She is now the Women’s Category Brand Coordinator at Armada.
Bri lives in Durango, CO with her wonderful husband and their dog, Keera. She grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she loved playing soccer. While attending college at Western Michigan University, she discovered the love of another team sport, rugby. As soon as she graduated, she accepted a teaching job in Colorado Springs and packed up her small Honda Civic to move across the country. A few years later, she met her husband Matt, who mountain biked, and he quickly got Bri on the bike too. Their move to Durango only increased her passion for riding. She missed the camaraderie of playing team sports and realized mountain biking filled that void through pushing the limits with family and friends. Riding her bike has become an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. “One of the best parts of mountain biking is pushing myself both physically and mentally. I love conquering an obstacle that initially I find impossible to tackle, which makes me so high on life. These adventures leave an imprint on the person I am today.”
Jen is a New England native who grew up skiing in Vermont. She always had an affinity for challenges and quickly found herself in love with skiing moguls, which prompted her to join the freestyle team at Okemo when she was 12. From there Jen found the halfpipe and her skiing career took off. She is a 5 time X-Games medalist, 4 time national champion and 2 time world champion in the sport. Though now retired from competition, there is nothing more that Jen loves to do than share her passion for the mountains and snow with other enthusiastic women. Jen comes from a family line of coaches and is inspired to help others reach their goals on the hill. To her, it is not about producing the next Olympian (though that would be great), but guiding people toward their personal limits and then helping transcend them. Whether it is ripping GS turns down a groomer, tearing through the moguls, or deciphering a big mountain line, Jen will be there with a big grin on her face, assisting every step of the way.
Val lives in Grand Junction, CO. Her passion for mountain biking started in 2003 in Fernie, B.C., Canada. She started to ride downhill bikes and got hooked right away! The technical trails in B.C. gave her the skills and drive to push herself in the mountain biking world! Val is certified IMBA level 2 and truly enjoys teaching different skills to women ready to take it to the next level! When Val is not on her bike you’ll find her rock climbing or skiing pow in the winter. Val brings the soul of the Canadian mountain biking culture in Colorado and wants to share it with you! Be ready for a fun, loving Canuck experience!
Stacey loves all things bikes, from bike touring to beach cruising, but mountain biking was her first love and is by far her favorite. Mountain biking has been taking over her life for the better part of 15 years. As a beginner, she felt incredibly discouraged by what was most certainly a male dominated sport where female riders were few and far between. Stacey spent years chasing the guys around and being immensely humbled in the process. But as she slowly became a more confident and skilled rider, it was her less-than-ideal learning experience that drew her into coaching. Stacey believes women have a unique way of acquiring new mountain bike skills, and learning from a fellow lady-shredder who has been through the same struggles is effective, empowering, and fun!
ALISON GANNETT Founder of KEEN Rippin Chix, Alison is a self-sufficient farmer, World Champion Extreme FreeSkier, pro mountain biker, award-winning global cooling consultant, and founder of the multiple non-profits, including Save Our Snow. In addition to her busy careers as an athlete, athlete ambassador and keynote speaking, she adores coaching KEEN Rippin Chix Camps – women’s steep skiing and bike camps around the globe. She adores inspiring others – adrenaline-filled ski movies, worldwide glacial recession documentation, reluctant farming, solutions and failures for global cooling, and cooking to conquer cancer.
She has appeared in many movies, TV shows, and Magazines receiving many awards for her work: Ski Magagine’s Ski Hero of the Year, National Geographic’s Woman Adventurer of the Year, Big Mtn Freeskiing Champion-Canada, South America+Japan, Powder Magazine’s “48 Greatest Skiers of All Time” Freeskier Magazine’s “FreeSkier of the Year” and Outside Magazine’s “Green All-Star of theYear” next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger.