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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Through Kye's eyes


Whistler-based pro Kye Petersen spends a lot of time in Chamonix. Check out these photos of him in France. Launch Gallery »

Kye Petersen has been a pro skier since he was just 13 years old. Now 21, the Whistler native has already had a full career: He's been in six TGR films, he's skied in Chamonix for the film "The Edge of Never," which was about him skiing the line that killed his father in 1996, and he won the 2009 Red Bull Cold Rush. Petersen is currently filming with Seth Morrison for his upcoming film, "The Ordinary Skier" and for the new release from the Sherpas called "All I Can." In January, he placed sixth in the Chamonix stop of the Freeride World Tour. I called him up to find out what else he's been up to.

ESPN Freeskiing: What have you been doing since the debut of the "Edge of Never"?
I have gone to Chamonix every season since the filming for the "Edge of Never." I have built a lot more experience since my first trip there, so it is always different. Now, I have a lot of good friends in Chamonix and good ski partners. I am learning to ski in those mountains, but never feel too comfortable.

And you were just in Chamonix last season filming for Seth's movie, "The Ordinary Skier"?
I was there twice last season for filming. We had a lot of challenges on both trips. Tough conditions made getting around the mountains very difficult. We dealt with no snow or too much snow at times. It was a bit frustrating. Regardless of the conditions and a large group, we still skied almost every day. Anytime I have the opportunity to ski Chamonix I go.

Do you consider Seth an "ordinary" skier?
He is an extraordinary person and skier. I always watched him in ski movies when I was a kid. Being able to ski with him is really cool and I have actually had the opportunity to do a lot of trips with him lately. But, we have always been on heli trips and never in a place like Chamonix, where even Seth is a little out of his element with the alpinism and ski mountaineering.

You competed on the Freeride World Tour at the Mont Blanc event this year. How did that go?
I got sixth place, but would have liked to do better. I felt good about my run, but didn't clean it perfect because I made a small mistake when I did a 360 off a cliff. It was a sketchy landing. Next year I plan on doing at least four stops on the Freeride World Tour. I just started these competitions, so I am just trying it out right now. I am not a huge competitive skier. It's especially hard for me to compete in a freeride event because you don't have the same freedom as when you are out with your friends. It's a different vibe, but I love skiing with all the other competitors. The terrain is never the same for every skier.

And you are filming for Rocky Mountain Sherpas' film "All I Can"?
Yeah. Last winter we went to Haines for two weeks in the spring. I am doing another Haines trip this spring, followed by a few winter camping trips in BC. The camping will be flight assist to our camp and then we will ski tour from there every day. We will spend at least a week out. I haven't done a whole lot of winter camping, but it is really what you have to do to access a lot of the lines out there.

The premise for "All I Can" is environmental sustainability. Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?
A majority of the film will be skiing, but it's a great way to showcase the natural environment because we are always out there a part of it as skiers. I am not an environmentalist at all. I believe in sustainability. I care for the environment. But, I am not an extremist.

What other plans do you have?
Filming has been great, but I want to spend more time in the mountains doing everything -- mountaineering, heli skiing, skiing in-bounds around Blackcomb. As far as a home base, Whistler is the best place to setup for doing what I want to do in the mountains. It has a lot to do with my friends. This is my home.