The Winter Ahead
This winter, Colorado native and up-and-coming freeskier Ian Borgeson, 20, will begin his career on the Freeride World Tour, the most elite big-mountain competition series in skiing.
"Honestly, I'm just really, really nervous," Borgeson says about joining the Freeride World Tour. "To have something you've been thinking about for years, wanting to do, your goal, and then you get there? It's a crazy feeling to be doing what you want to do."
Borgeson grew up skiing at Colorado's Arapahoe Basin, where his father was the snow-safety director and a longtime ski patrolman.
Ian's father, Leif, died in February 2011 of a heart attack while hiking the ridge at Aspen's Highland Bowl with Ian. This photo shows Leif with his two sons, Ian and Aidan.
"I always looked up to how good he was at everything, especially skiing," Borgeson says about his father. "I wanted to be a better skier because he was so good."
Ian and Leif
As a longtime ski patrolman, Leif Borgeson was known for his tireless devotion. Here he is pictured with his son Ian.
A Winding Road
Before finding his niche in big-mountain skiing, Borgeson competed in telemark, slopestyle and mogul contests.
Borgeson was the champion of the Freeskiing World Qualifier Series in the U.S. last year, making him the youngest American to qualify for the Freeride World Tour this coming season.
"Ian is the most naturally talented person that I've ever seen ski," says Drew Petersen, a fellow big-mountain competitor. "I don't just think he can win an event. I think he can win the whole tour."
The Backup Plans
"I would love to win the Freeride World Tour," Borgeson says. "But I really just want to live somewhere that receives copious amounts of snow, ski with my friends all winter and make sweet movies to stoke the kids. If that doesn't work out, I kind of want to be a guide. Or there's always ski patrolling."