How to Decompress with Big Mountain Skiing

July 29, 2016
Big Mountain, Tiny Troy

Big Mountain, Tiny Troy

For the fourth time in as many years, U.S. Freestyle Ski Team member Troy Murphy ’10 ventured to Thompson Pass, just outside of Valdez, Alaska, to decompress after a stressful winter filled with intense world competition and frustrating injuries. Most wouldn’t consider big mountain skiing in the Chugach Range, one of the snowiest places on earth, a particularly good way to unwind, but Troy is certainly not most people.

Troy Murphy ’10 takes a moment to survey his line and take in the Alaskan beauty of Thompson Pass.

Troy Murphy ’10 takes a moment to survey his line and take in the Alaskan beauty of Thompson Pass.

When pressed to explain how this trip plays into his training for moguls with the U.S. Freestyle Team, Troy had this to say:

“This area is my favorite place in the world, the mountains are stunning and many of them hold their pitch right into the ocean. There’s a big mental aspect of skiing up there though which I think helps with competition. Visualization is key to remember your line so you know where you are at the top, where your turns are going to happen, and where the hazards are. I find that in those mountains I’m able to get into ‘the zone’ much easier, that mental space where your brain just shuts off and you seem to run on autopilot. This state is very sought after in competition, and I think being in it in Alaska will help me get there when I need it in the competition gate.

Overall this trip is for the pure joy of skiing. Life is simple there and the amount of fun I have is very hard to achieve anywhere else.”


Lucky for us, Troy was traveling with friend and filmmaker Jannick Fjeldsoe who put together the edit below. Strap on your headphones and go full screen for the full effect and get into “the zone” with Troy, big mountain skiing, and Radiohead.

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