Sierra Quitiquit has released a teaser of her new film “How Did I Get Here”, detailing her journey onto the world stage as a professional skier and model. It looks to us like she truly got the best of both worlds — while skiing 4,000-foot lines in Iceland for Warren Miller’s Ticket to Ride last winter, her campaign with American Eagle was plastered on a billboard in Times Square.
The 25-year-old Park City native also models for Lulu Lemon, Nike, and adidas. But Sierra’s heart lies in skiing — the newly minted pro-skier recently landed sponsorships with big brands like Volkl, Oakley, Bern and Spyder.
So how did she get here?
Born in 1989, Sierra Quitiquit started skiing at age 2. Her winters were spent pursuing ski races in a modified 15-passenger van with her parents and three older brothers. “Dad was a world-class ski racer set on raising my three brothers and myself as ski bum prodigies,” said Quitiquit.
Sierra was first scouted for modeling at age 11 or 12, but her mom had the better sense to keep her on the mountain. “My mom nagged me to model over the years but I never saw it in myself,” said Quitiquit in an interview with Freeskier Magazine. “I didn’t see the girl in the magazines when I looked in the mirror. I saw a ski bum.”
Unfortunately, the 5′ 10” model’s stunning looks mean she has to fight a little harder to be taken seriously in the ski world.
“It’s a challenge to earn respect as an athlete when because people are so quick to run the picture of me in a bikini, ” said Quitiquit. “The media is so quick to capitalize on sex appeal to gain viewership. As both a model and an athlete, my challenge is to earn respect as an athlete without denoting my sexuality.”
Quitiquit got heat after releasing “Mountain Love” in late 2012, an edit which showed the skier and self professed yogi doing what she loves – dancing, doing yoga in her skivvies, and absolutely ripping in the backcountry. In the video, Quitiquit skied Fat Bastard, an infamous line in the Jackson Hole backcountry that ends with a 50-foot air over a cliff.
This impressive feat was eclipsed by , and critics were quick to slam Quitiquit, leaving some people asking, “Is Quitiquit good for female skiing, or bad for it?”
“Everyone freaked when I put out a video edit with me doing yoga in my underwear, but I also hit Fat Bastard in the same video and threw a three off a spine in Alaska!”
Quitiquit had a brief stunt on America’s Next Top Model in 2010, but quickly realized the competition wasn’t for her. “My experience on ANTM was very interesting and short-lived, but it did give me confidence that perhaps I could make a career in this industry.” Still, Sierra knew her true passion would always be skiing.
In 2012, she was offered a contract with Ford Models in Chicago. At the time, Sierra was living in Hood River OR, skiing constantly and taking small modeling gigs to pay the rent.
She turned the offer down.
“I’m in a full time, lovesick sort of affair with the mountains. This shit is deep and inescapable. I love modeling… but it’s not skiing. It’s not who I am. Sometimes I work as a model, and it’s an amazing job, but I’m a skier.” — Freeskier Magazine
I say any chick who rips as hard as Quitiquit in a male-dominated industry is absolutely good for female skiing. Alongside leading ladies like Jess McMillan, Elyse Saugstad and Julia Mancuso, Quitiquit is helping to set the bar for the future of the sport (as long as she’s being recognized for her backcountry ballsiness, not her beach bum).
“I think the ski industry suffers because a lot of our ambassadors are embarrassed to show their feminine side,” she told Elevation Outdoors. “But as a society, we’re starting to realize that it’s cool to be balanced and it’s not always about throwing the horns up and being more machismo. There’s a softer side that can be expressed and shown in all things.”
“We don’t ski like dudes. We don’t look like dudes. We’re women and so what if you want to throw on a pair of heels after skiing? That’s awesome. Embrace it.”
Hell yeah, girl.
What’s Quitiquit up to now? She’s practicing tricks on trampolines, and is working on incorporating freestyle moves like backflips and 360s into her big-mountain lines.
We can’t wait to see what she does next.