In 2004, while filming for MSP's
and Warren Miller's
, Ingrid Backstrom, then an unknown 25-year-old freeskier, tomahawked down monster lines and brought audiences to their feet. Backstrom was a new kind of big-mountain skier: a woman who could hang with established all-stars
rip the lines they had pioneered. Freeskiing's next big film star was born.
But those bluebird segments were a breeze. Last spring, conditions were trickier, especially while filming Warren Miller's
in Blue River, BC. Faced with slide-prone, 40-degree pitches-an avalanche killed a guided skier in the area a week earlier-Backstrom logged the best female footage of the year. "Ingrid's skiing looks powerful, no matter what," says Chris Patterson, WME's director of photography. "She's on a very short list of athletes who we can take anywhere, anytime."
That's why Backstrom is one of the most sought-after film skiers-male or female. Check out her Mica Creek, BC, segment in MSP's
The Hit List
when she self-arrests during a slide, skis out, and heads back to the bird for another run. No wonder three of our four judges voted her the top female skier. The only dissenting opinion came from Backstrom. "I need to continue to step up my mental game, and be ready to charge in any conditions."
THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR
WEIGHT: 130 lb.
HOME MOUNTAIN: Squaw Valley, CA
SECOND OPINION: "Ingrid is shredding some burly terrain. She threw down some impressive airs this year, too. She'll continue to amaze us as she gets more experience in the big mountains." -Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, professional freeskier