|ESPN.com: Freeskiing||[Print without images]|
|Pip Hunt may be five-foot, two-inches tall, but she's probably stronger than you are. Launch Gallery »|
Pro freeskier Phillipa Hunt, who goes by Pip, likes to stay busy. This winter, she juggled skiing, mid-winter mountain biking, coaching for Utah's AltaBird junior freeride team, filming with Futuristic Films for her sponsor Marmot, and working as a trainer at a Salt Lake City Crossfit gym.
But there's one thing 23-year-old Hunt didn't do this winter: compete. In 2005, at the age of 16, Hunt won the junior division of the Freeskiing World Tour's U.S. Extreme Freeskiiing Championships at her home mountain of Crested Butte. She went on to compete in the FWT's adult division, with many top 10 finishes over the last few years. But this year, she chose not to compete on the tour. She's been focusing on other things. "It was awesome and I have no regrets," she says. "I was at Crested Butte coaching and could have competed at that stop, but I decided that instead I would just go and ski for myself."
She says not competing has opened her up to other opportunities, including travel, filming and meeting new people. "I came into the season wanting to film and shoot more and I think I definitely accomplished that, which feels really good," she says. "And I've made a few new friends. Skiing is an automatic friendship builder and I like being out there for those opportunities."
Hunt's parents were fervent skiers who moved from Europe and drove around the U.S. in an RV before settling in Crested Butte, Colorado. "I was always a kid enrolled in a sport," Hunt says. "I was participating, but also striving to be competitive. The stronger I am, the more confidence I have as a skier."
She's dealt with consecutive injuries in the past -- ruptured spleen, broken clavicle, broken hand -- so she says strength is a priority, which is how she recently ended up getting her training certification at SLC Crossfit. "I am more ready, more quickly, if I've put in time before the season. I don't have to ski myself into shape," she says.
Thanks to her training expertise, she's working on building a dryland program for the kids she coaches on Alta and Snowbird's freeride team. "These kids don't just have Kodak courage -- they charge for themselves," she says. "But they eat way too much candy and don't have a focus on training yet. I want these kids to be active and healthy during the summer. A program implementing mountain biking, some gym time, hikes up Mt. Olympus -- that would be ideal." Like we said, Phillipa Hunt likes to stay busy.