Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Scot Schmidt

Scot Schmidt was one of my biggest idols growing up. Just as is mentioned in the video below, he is one of the most prolific skiers of my generation. If you ask any skier worth his salt that is between 30 and 50 years old, they'll know him immediately. Most have images of his ski movies burned into their brains. For me, he is the Michael Jordan or Joe Montana of freeskiing.

In my youth I had posters of Scot Schmidt plastered to my walls. I had seen all of his movies, including Steep Techniques, where I learned to emulate his turns and his style. I began skiing in 1985, during my 5th grade year. I remember seeing the 1983 Warren Miller film Steep and Deep and being awe struck by Schmidt's skiing. My buddy Ralph Turner and I started skiing at the same time, having as much fun as possible in the PTA ski program. Ralph and I and even had the 80's mullet to match. 

As time went on Ralph and I skied Snow Valley and did our best to work on imitating his style. We did his signature Schmear turn and tried to do the big airplane/re-entry turns off wind lips. We thought we were the shit. I even saved up enough money after ski instructing one year to get his jacket, the Steep Tech. It wasn't cheap I remember and it was made of some stout Cordura. Check me out, this was probably 1992, at Snow Valley Ski Resort, CA. Can you see that mud-flap coming out of the back of my hat?

Fast forward to 2000, when I moved to Bozeman and started skiing Bridger Bowl. Which coincidentally enough, he probably had influence on, hearing him talk about BB in his movies. Sam Cox and I ended up writing a book, Stepping Up: A Guide to The Ridge at Bridger Bowl, which included the Foreward written by Scot. Working with him was nothing short of a dream.

I only met him once in person, at ski film premier in Bozeman (The Prophecy....see autographed poster that is hanging in my garaged today) prior to me calling him to ask for his help in the project. This sounds corny and stalker-ish, but I was like a little kid before I called him, nervous and choked up. Just like anyone would be talking to one of their hero's. Turned out that during the next handful of phone calls, Scot was as nice as anyone could be.

Anyway....The reason I started this post was because of this video. Mike Douglas got to spend a week with Scot in the great state of Montana. Its great to see that Scot is still skiing so well and has rekindled the ski flame so to speak.

Thanks for reading and not judging me as stalker. :-)