Living her BAÏSTLife.
We are continuing to highlight our BAÏSTLife Crew, made up of several talented athletes who push our brand to the limit and always live their BAÏSTLife. We recently featured Kyra Hunsicker, and now we are highlighting AJ Cutler, a freeride skier from Salt Lake City, Utah. AJ, who claims not to be a technical skier and instead just enjoys being on the slopes for fun, has been shredding for 22 years. Want to know more? Read on to get a peek into AJ's life:
How long have you been skiing? How did you get started?
I've been skiing for 22 years. My dad was ski patrol for a local resort, so he was able to get passes and start us skiing.
What is your first memory of skiing and who introduced you to the sport?
My dad taught us skiing on the bunny hill really early, but eventually, I was put in lessons (probably so the parents could go shred on their own!). My earliest memory of skiing was being whacked with a pole in a ski lesson. It was one of my first black eyes. Thanks, Travis!
Do you have any funny stories or special memories of being on the slopes?
I remember getting the absolute best fries at the local hill once we would get done skiing as a reward. Now fries are pretty much what food I associate with skiing.
How many days do you currently spend skiing or boarding each year?
I try to get out two or three times a week because I work a full-time job. I'm not quite sure what I'm at, but I bet it's close to 30 days this year. When I was a ski instructor, I ended up counting the days that I didn't ski instead of the days that I skied.
What is your favorite memory of being in the snow/in nature?
When I worked at a ski resort, we would be rewarded with a first tracks program, where we could ski before the resort opened on a guided tour. It was some of the best snow I've skied, and I got to do it with a bunch of my work friends.
What does your perfect ski day look like? Who’s with you? Where are you?
The perfect ski day starts early! My friends and I would get up to the hill (I really don't care which one), grill some breakfast burritos in the parking lot, get first chair for an epic powder day and send some big mountain hits. We would all have matching energy and get some awesome videos for everyone's social media!
How do you start each day? What does your morning routine look like?
I wake up early. Cuddle with my cat. Make a delicious egg sandwich or breakfast burrito. If it's a work day, start working, and if it's a weekend, probably go ski. I'm the kind of person that likes to get things done right away in the morning.
What makes your riding style different from others?
I'm not a technical skier, and I'm honestly just out there to have fun. While I was a ski instructor, I preferred teaching the love for the sport to 3-year-olds instead of perfecting turns (obviously while staying safe and still learning a little bit). I think skiing should start as something you love, and then work to progress from that starting point.
What is your home mountain and what are your favorite parts about it?
I started skiing at Kelly Canyon Resort, and their fries and night skiing have imprinted on me. I still love fries and night skiing to this day! I consider Grand Targhee to be my "home" mountain, as it's where I progressed in skiing the most. The terrain is unbeatable, and I love the vibe and the après!
What is the best ski day you’ve ever had?
There are way too many to count, but skiing 36 inches of fresh powder on a bluebird day in high school has still stuck in my mind after all these years.
What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled to ski?
Luckily, I live in a place where a lot of skiing is accessible within a 2- to 3-hour drive. I think the furthest I've driven to ski is 4 hours to ski at Big Sky.
Where is your favorite place to ski?
Powder Mountain, Utah
What's your most memorable run?
My most memorable run was the first run at Brighton Resort on the Great Western lift after a huge storm in Salt Lake City. The chairlift had been closed for two days due to wind, but we got third chair after they opened it, and it was pretty epic to ski down an untracked powder field next to a bunch of friends!
What hobbies do you have other than skiing?
I love all things outdoors: mountain biking, climbing and hiking, but I also love writing on my blog, cooking plant-based meals and playing with my kitty.
What do you do in the off-season to stay in shape?
I love running, and I also cross train by mountain biking, hiking and climbing.
Do you have any wellness tips for people who want to ski on your level?
Fuel your body! Make sure to eat a good breakfast and pack snacks so your body doesn't get tired easily.
You are headed out to the hill: What's in your pack? Tell us your 5 must-haves.
Helmet, water, lots of snacks, my phone and my mittens liners!
What made you decide to try/use/work with BAÏST?
I discovered through Instagram, and I am so happy they reached out to me to be an ambassador! It's pretty easy to be an ambassador for a company that you use all the time!