When it comes to living the dream, few have truly mastered the art, but when it comes to helping and encouraging others to fulfill their dreams even fewer have pursued such endeavors. Leah Evans a Sports Psychology graduate from the University of Victoria has shifted her focus as a professional competitive skier to encouraging the growth of women’s on snow sports through her organization Girls Do Ski.
In addition to her organization, Leah will be joining Ingrid Backstrom and PowderQuest as a coach for the Women’s Freeride Camp at La Parva. We got the chance to talk to Leah a little bit about her work with Girls Do Ski and why she feels its important for women to push their skills together. We also found out that she may be the only Canadian to prefer Nachos over Poutine…
PQ: First off what’s your full name and where do you reside?
LE: Leah Evans, Revelstoke BC
PQ: It seems like in the past few years you have been pretty active in helping to grow the Women’s Freeskiing Scene, can you tell us about Girls Do Ski and your involvement?
LE: Yes, I have been really involved and Girls Do Ski is the company that I started to make the change in the industry. Several years ago Coast Mountain Culture magazine editor Mike Berard and myself where having a conversation and I was exclaiming where are all the girls in the magazines? He stated, where are all the photographers, writers and skiers? Ever since he said that I’ve made it a mission to create a space to foster female skiing-Girls Do Ski. We currently run woman’s two-day freeski camps based off the resort and a free event called 20 under 20, which is a free camp for twenty girls under the age of twenty. I have a great team of professional female skiers who are also amazing role models who have helped me carry the vision over the years.
PQ: I assume there has been many times in your career that you find yourself being either the only or one of the few ladies in a crew of men skiing in the mountains. What is it that is special to you about skiing with a group of women vs the mixed crew?
LE: I love skiing with a group of females in the mountains because there is a certain spirit that get created and I also think that we are in mother nature and it’s very suiting to be around females in that atmosphere.
PQ: Recently you have been involved in some amazing projects such as your trip with The North Face to Kyrgyzstan which you can check out here (Jalpak Tash- A Kyrgyzstan Epic). Do you have any plans for similar future expeditions?
LE: I do have a few expeditions in mind, one that is in my backyard and I’m glad I’ve got some time this summer to pin point details.
PQ: This summer you are planning on bringing your skills and expertise alongside Ingrid Backstrom to coach a Women’s Freeride Camp with PowderQuest. Do you have any advice for ladies thinking about making the journey to join you?
LE: I would say come, because life is about experiences, learning and sharing. There is no better place to do those things than the Andes with the legendary Ingrid Backstrom as your inspiration. I would also suggest packing light because your ski bag is your travel companion and then you have more room for things on the way home.
PQ: Who do you think can benefit the most from this camp?
LE: From my work with Girls Do Ski I would say any female skier who would like to learn more about skiing and improve there level of skiing. Ingrid and myself create a safe, comfortable and non-judgmental space to help you increase your mental and physical skill set on the snow.
PQ: Do you have any words of wisdom for ladies out their trying to push their comfort level?
LE: Comfort level- Fear is your only fear. When the equation to push your comfort level appears take the opportunity to be fearless.
PQ: What’s your ideal day on the mountain?
LE: My ideal day in the mountains is a day when the powder is fresh, the sun is beaming, you have good friends with you and you have a moment when you think life can’t get any better.
PQ: Now for some quickies
PQ: 3 Things you cannot travel without?
LE: Book, Journal, Purse
PQ: 3 Motivational Women for you?
LE: 1. My mom for her support 2. Molly Baker 3.Ingrid
PQ: Favorite non-skiing activity?
LE: Having Dinner parties
PQ: Favorite travel destination?
PQ: Poutine or Nachos?
PQ: Whistler or Revelstoke?