|ESPN.com: Freeskiing||[Print without images]|
Taylor Felton has been active in a variety of skiing pursuits -- ski racing, and more recently slopestyle and halfpipe contests -- since he was five years old. Now 24, this winter he traded in the competition sticks for powder skis and a 30-foot travel trailer. Felton has been running around the mountains of North America in his wheel-bound home, searching for lines, kickers, deep snow and alpine solitude along with his brother Corey and their friend Topher Plimpton. You can see where the trio's travels have taken them by checking out their new webisode series, "The Run Around," which is posted exclusively above. We spoke to Felton about his season.
Last March, I went over to Idaho Falls and picked up a 30-foot travel trailer that comfortably sleeps six. I'm living out of it now. It's my home. I'm parked in my brother and sister's driveway in Jackson Hole for 150 bucks a month. Not bad.
You have to pack snow into the underside of the trailer when you're parked so the pipes don't freeze overnight.
So far this year, I've also taken my home to Salt Lake, and then to Kirkwood, for Corey and our friend Topher to compete in a Freeride World Tour stop. We were there for about two weeks and the weather was insane. We got about 12 feet while we were there. We couldn't really ski much outside of resorts because there was too much snow to sled in.
I didn't compete in Kirkwood. I feel like I've kind of served my time. If I competed next year, it would be 20 years of competing on skis. I'm kind of burnt out on it and looking to broaden my horizons. That's why I really wanted in on The Run Around project. We're doing our best to ski at a whole lot of different locations and with a whole lot of different skiers. Anyone's welcome. It's all about being out there and having a good time.
I've always dabbled in backcountry jumps and sledding. It's always appealed to me to get out there and be really secluded. It's nice being on your own, and getting away from competitions. Out here, you can pick your battles and be a little smarter than you can when someone's telling you to drop when the wind's blowing 70 miles an hour.
In the summer we've got to make a whole bunch of funds so we can do this again. Summer is our time to cut down trees and pocket some cash to put down our gas tanks next winter. My brother goes up in a big bucket truck, like guys use to service telephone poles, and cuts down dead branches or leaning trees. And I clean the mess that falls on the ground and run it through a chipper.
It's pretty cool, the people you meet in parking lots of ski resorts. I met a guy who was a NASCAR pit crew chief. He told me how when he was our age, he had no money but a whole bunch of free time. Now he's making a whole bunch of money, and has a lot of toys, but doesn't have any time to use them. He was really envious of what we're doing.
Everybody's looking for that balance between having enough money and having enough time. I say, go work your ass off in the summer and take the winters off, even if you just barely get by.