Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
SKI » You grew up racing. Why did you stop?
S.Q. » I tomahawked into a snow gun. I broke my femur, arm, and ribs. I was 12. My parents were like, “Where are we going to find $150K for surgeries when we’re already eating rice?”
SKI » You didn’t have health insurance?
S.Q. » My parents were very nontraditional.
SKI » Your brother died in a car accident when you were 15. How did you that affect you?
S.Q. » I fell into a dark hole. But I was a fighter. And seeking out what made me happy became really important. That led me to massage therapy, health, wellness, yoga, awareness. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Trauma’s inevitable but suffering’s optional. I had to make choices.
SKI » Any conflict between being a strong athlete and a scantily clad fashion model?
S.Q. » I can’t be put in a box. I’m a model, I’m a skier, I’m a girly girl, I’m a tomboy. We all have so many different facets. Why limit yourself?
SKI » Can women skiers can go as big as men?
S.Q. » There is a huge disparity between male and female skiers. A female brain is more analytical. We’re built to be nurturers, worriers. Men attack fear; women shy away from it. Meditation helps me talk myself into things—it gets me into my body and turns my mind off.
SKI » Please tell me you have health insurance.
S.Q. » I have accident insurance. If I get sick, I go to the naturopath. If I blow a knee, yes, I’m covered.
SKI » Your boyfriend [pro skier Julian Carr] also has long hair. Do you guys sometimes just sit around and braid?
S.Q. » Oh my God, no. I never even get to see his—he keeps it wrapped up in a samurai knot. In yoga it’s thought that your hair is an extension of your nervous system. I think it gives me sixth sensibilities in my skiing.
“People always say, ‘Sierra, I have no idea what you just said,’” she says. Here’s a short glossary.
punt a line: send it
tasty nugs: rock features you can jump off; delicious snacks; cute babies
frothing out: getting way too excited
scotschmidtit: make short hop turns on a steep face
centerpunch: ski the gut