Living his 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 highlighted Yura Kostiukevych, and next up is Eddy Van Der Kloot, a ski mountaineer from Vancouver, British Columbia. Eddy is the chief cartographer for Backcountry Ski Maps and spends most of his time in the mountains exploring new zones and searching for first descents in Southwestern BC. Want to know more? Read on and get a peek into Eddy's life:
How long have you been skiing/riding?I've been skiing since I could walk. My dad was (and still is) an avid skier, who wanted to pass on the love as early as he could. I can still remember being dropped off for my first ski lesson — I was crying and holding onto my parents' pant legs. Thankfully my parents persisted. Nowadays I couldn't be happier that they got me started so early!
Do you have any funny stories or special memories of being on the slopes?
When I was learning to ski, my dad would ski with me between his legs, both of us holding onto a single horizontal ski pole held in front of him. At some point, I became competent and confident enough to cut loose on my own — or so I thought. I started descending from the top of the bunny hill in a snowplow, headed straight downhill. But the bunny hill had these little wooden smurf cutouts that you were supposed to ski around. Headed straight for one, and moving ever faster, my dad shouted, "Eddy, turn!" to which I replied, "I don't know how to turn!" So he shouted, "Eddy, just fall!" I replied, "I don't know how to fall!" I hit the wooden cutout head-on and didn't attempt to ski on my own for another year and a half...
How do you start each day? What does your morning routine look like?I'm normally one of those people who has a tough time getting out of bed in the morning, but on a big ski day, it's all about efficiency. I'll often sleep in my baselayers so I have one less thing to do in the morning. If I'm camped out for a ski line, I almost always sleep in all of my clothes with my beacon still on. That means it's just a quick breakfast and I'm ready to go. I'm lucky enough to not be a coffee drinker, so that saves valuable morning time too!
What is your home mountain and what are your favorite parts about it?Whistler/Blackcomb is the home hill nowadays, and I'm sure it needs no introduction. The terrain is vast and has everything from storm day trees to steep chutes to big cliffs. There's also a huge and accessible sidecountry around the resort, with extreme descents easily doable just a few hours outside the resort boundary. The place can get crowded on weekends and pow days, but if you know where to go, you can still find the goods. And if you're waiting in line for the Peak Chair on a big day, the liftline entertainment is second to none — watching people send it (or eat it) off of Air Jordan and the Waterfall can be almost as fun as skiing yourself.
Where is your favorite place to ski?
I'm going to have to cheat and give two answers here. The Sierra in California is couloir heaven and has a generally safe snowpack. I don't know of anywhere else in the world where you have so many green light days to ski steep lines. Couple that with plentiful snow, lots of bluebird days and a huge variety of terrain, and it's pretty hard to beat!
I moved up to Coastal BC a few years ago, and am loving it here too. We've also got a fairly stable snowpack, and there's just such a range of options nearby. Storm day? Go ski at Whistler/Blackcomb. Couple days after a storm? Go ski some of the incredible backcountry terrain in the Duffey. Long stable period? Go out on a camping trip to ski some unskied lines deep in the range.