Who is Alex Taran?


“Sh*tshow” signs with The House, Becomes First Female

I was on a plane to Denver, headed to SIA 2014, leafing through the pages of the January ’14 issue of Powder Magazine. I stopped on an article entitled “Punk Rock.” The black and white photo of a sunglass wearing, messy haired mountain gal jumped out at me like an athletic version of Patti Smith. It screamed attitude. I read the four page article quickly, then re-read it. Alex Taran’s story of a life as wandering youth, ski adventurer, and entrepreneurial ski philanthropist was captivating. It became apparent that Alex Taran was and is a soul skier, one who finds deep connection in the mountains and a deeper understanding when she skis.

While getting coffee at SIA I started chatting up an auburn haired gal with a septum piercing. We exchanged tales of Ski Patrolling, skiing powder, and acting like goofballs at every moment, appropriate or not. Her story seemed familiar.We introduced ourselves, swapped business cards, and as the outgoing woman walked away I looked at hers: Alex Taran.  Fate has a pretty funny way about it. From there phone calls, emails, and text messages began. I gained a look behind the curtain and my inkling of Alex’s passion was solidified through our conversations, which would start sitting in a chair and end with me waving my hands, jumping up and down, and whooping, hollering, and laughing.  We now refer to them as our stoke sessions, very similar to the conversations I have with friend and House Team Rider Garrett Russell.

Alex Taran is a woman unlike any I have ever met and a skier who’s passion is so palpable it’s contagious. Lovingly nicknamed ShitShow by her Snowbird Ski Patrol family, Alex is a force of nature. She created the South American Beacon Project, travels the world to ski epic lines (right now she is on a volcano in the Bering Sea), guides in the Ruby and Andes Mountain Ranges, champions skiing as saving her life, and refers to the mountains as her classroom. That’s who Alex Taran is, a badass ski mountaineer with a heart ablaze, ready to lean into what’s next. She is the first female skier to join The House Team, the benchmark for passion, the epitome of the best parts of skiing.

“As soon as I could walk at the age of 18 months, in a snowy field in Montreal, Quebec, my dad strapped red plastic skis to my snow boots and therein began the journey. After moving to the United States and spending several years skiing in Squaw Valley, I moved to Snowbird, Utah.  I have endless winter year round based in the southern hemisphere out of La Parva, Chile.

As a skier I enjoy Big Mountain Freeskiing and also more technical Ski Mountaineering lines. (Blog)

I work as a ski guide in Chile as well as in the Ruby Mountains, A Ski Patroller at Snowbird, run the biggest avalanche education organization in Chile (SABP), teaching avalanche classes both in the northern and southern hemisphere.

I’ve been featured on Television, in Magazines, Advertisement, Online and Film. Please see the Media Page.” — alextaran.com


Competition Results:

Photo Video:

1st Place 2012 Eye of the Condor. Santiago, Chile

3rd Place 2012 Salt Lake Shootout. Salt Lake City, Utah


6th Place 2013 Freeride World Tour Qualifier (Subaru Freeride Series) 
Snowbird, Utah

7th Place 2011 Chilean Freeskiing Championships (Freeskiing World Tour) Arpa, Chile

10th Place. 2010 Argentinian Freeskiing Championships (Freeskiing World Tour). Las Lenas, Argentina

8th Place. 2010 South American Freeskiing Championships (Freeskiing World Tour). El Colorado, Chile

5th place. 2009 South American Freeskiing Championships (Freeskiing World Tour). La Parva, Chile

Skier Bio: Sean Pettit

Hometown: Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Sponsors: K2, Red Bull, Oakley, Dakine, Fresh poles

At the ripe old age of 18 years old, Sean Pettit has amassed a collection of accolades and film appearances that any veteran would be proud to have associated with their career.  Armed with a lively and energetic style, a calculated big-mountain sense, and the elasticity of a bionic primate, Sean is truly capable of anything on any terrain. He’s been a pro for only three years, though Red Bull started sponsoring him at the age of 13! Of course, he did start skiing at age 2. He cites Tanner Hall, Pep Fujas, Andy Mahre and snowboarder Travis Rice as big influences, and with his 2009 performance in Matchstick’s “IN DEEP” he took Powder Magazine’s “male performer of the year” and “full throttle” awards. His smooth, high-flying style paid off for him in competition as well, landing him in second place for the Red Bull Line Catcher and earning a win at Red Bull Cold Rush. Those in the know say Pettit is one of the best freeskiers on the planet, and for this young gun, the sky truly is the limit. -MH

Rider Bio: Tanner Hall

Home Town: Kalispell, Montana

Resides: Park City, Utah

Rebel. Rasta. Ripper. Tanner Hall has been called all these things and more over the last decade, and the co-founder of Armada Skis is a pioneer in the purest sense of the word. His go-for-broke attitude has led to some extended stints on the DL, and after overshooting a gap at Stevens Pass, Wash. in May 2009 and suffering multiple injuries, he is still rehabilitating and preparing for a return in Winter 2010-11.

Hall is controversial off the snow—and idolized on it—making him one of skiing’s brightest, boldest stars. In addition to Armada, Hall is also part owner of Retallack cat skiing in B.C., and he’s appeared in 30-plus ski films, including the September 2010 documentary “Like a Lion” which chronicles the highs and lows of Tanner Hall’s life and career.

Tanner Hall Highlights

• DOB – October 26, 1983

• Home Mountain: Park City Mountain Resort

Seven time X Games Gold Medalist

• 2005 and 2007 Skier of the Year

• Only male athlete to three-peat at the Winter X Games

Sponsors: Armada Skis, Red Bull, Oakley, POC Helmets, Dakine, Dalbello, Tyrolia, Pull-In Underwear, Park City Mountain Resort

Rider Bio: Grete Eliassen

Home Town: Salt Lake City, Utah

In September 2010, Grete and Red Bull hosted the World Premier of her film, “Say My Name.” It’s an all-women’s film that sets a new bar for ski films, and two years of hard work certainly paid off. It’s a great representation of where Eliassen is at with her ski career—progressing, always, setting records, and upping her game in the backcountry.

Eliassen set a women’s world record in the spring of 2010 at the Canyons Resort in Utah by launching 31 feet into the air off a 30-foot hip jump. She’s won the X Games SuperPipe and U.S. Open Slopestyle, designed signature pro-model skis and filmed lines in the backcountry. As for the upcoming Olympics at Sochi in 2014, she says we’ll have to wait and see… –MH

The Goods on Grete

• DOB – Sept. 19, 1986

• Sign: Virgo

• Raised in: Minnesota

• Home Mountain: Snowbird/Alta

• Favorite Artist: Trina

• Favorite Celebrity: Oprah

• Favorite Magazines: Powder & Freeskier

• Favorite Store: I don’t shop or I don’t like to. Just ask my sister.

• Favorite T.V. Show: Beverly Hills 90210

• Favorite Movie: Tristen & Isolde

• Favorite Quotes: “I don’t even know!”

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Sponsors: Volkl, Red Bull, Oakley, Dakine, Tecnica, Swix, Kicker, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton