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|James Heim skiing at Last Frontier Heli-Skiing in BC.|
If you ever meet James Heim at the local ski hill, you probably won't guess he's one of the best big mountain skiers on the planet. His Canadian humility and unflagging ability to steer the conversation away from himself might make you believe he's your newest ski buddy. That is, until he puts his skis into warp-speed mode and starts sending 60-footers like he's jumping off the curb. With some new sponsor changes and a solid winter in British Columbia nearly complete, I figured it'd be a great to catch up with the indubitable backcountry ripper they call Heimer.
How's the year been so far?
My year has been great. I'm still based out of Whistler and we have had a really good season, especially compared to most places. I am working full time with Matchstick Productions again this season and so far have traveled to Chatter Creek and Haines with some great skiing at both places.
You recently signed with Mountain Hardwear, the more mountaineering-influenced outdoor brand. Does this mean you're going start racing up the Eiger like Ueli Steck?
I wish I was a machine like Ueli, but if they told me I was going on a trip with him I would need about five years to get ready and I'd still be way behind. The best part about working with Mountain Hardwear is that they have been creating such amazing gear for people like Ueli, so he can push his sport and that same drive for high quality products has been passed down onto the new freeride line. I know people always tell us that we have to say the gear is amazing but I can honestly say that their new outerwear is the best I have had the opportunity to use.
Any projects with the new sponsor?
Mountain Hardwear just became title sponsor of MSP so we have already started talking about cool trip ideas for the future. I'm also trying to organize a shoot in the Andes in the summer so hopefully I'll get back down there for some of the pow, beef and wine.
|"I can't wait to be on a trip where all the stars align," Heim says.|
I watched an MSP Contour Moments episode with you at Chatter Creek. Is there such a thing as too deep?
I don't think there is such a thing as too deep for just skiing, even though if it was any deeper in Chatter you might not of been able to breathe. For filming, however, you know as well as I do that if you can't see it's pretty hard to ski anything technical. Once you're off the first pillow you might as well put a blindfold on and hope you come out at the bottom on your feet. I think I had the deepest run of my life there. I could do that run everyday forever.
You're part of a large crop of talent that came out of Whistler around the same time (Abma, McIntosh, Flahr, Hjorleifson, etc.) and start dominating the big mountain movie scene. Any new killers you've spotted on hill?
It is pretty cool how many guys from here made it in the movies at around the same time. I lived with Dana and Ian while we were all competing. I was probably the last to get the opportunity to film out of that crew so it was definitely motivating watching everyone killing it in front of me. There are so many good rippers on the hill these days. It's hard to say which ones will keep up with it and break into filming.
What have you got up your sleeve for the years ahead?
I have been feeling more confident in larger terrain every year and I can't wait to be on a trip where all the stars align and I can push my skiing even harder on some bigger lines.