Around the world with Lexi DuPont
For the last three years, Lexi DuPont, 22, has become a fixture on the Freeskiing World Tour, earning a fourth place finish at the Snowbird stop this year. Last fall, she appeared in Warren Miller's Wintervention, alongside Reggie and Zack Crist on trips to southern Utah, Norway, and Alaska. The Sun Valley, Idaho, native and studio arts major at the University of Colorado at Boulder recently signed on as one of the newest freeskiing athletes on Eddie Bauer's First Ascent team and through that, she's planning trips to ski in places like Morocco and Antarctica. We spoke with DuPont recently after she finished up a scouting mission flying over Idaho's Castle Peak.
You were just up an in airplane?
Yeah, my dad flies a Cessna 180. He always says, 'Anytime you want to go flying, I can take you.' So Reggie and Zach Crist and I flew with him to scout the terrain around Castle Peak. We were looking at drainages to see if we can snowmobile in and we're taking lots of photos.
What was it like growing up in Sun Valley?
My mom and dad taught me how to ski when I was two. Picabo Street and Lynsey Dyer used to babysit me -- they were a huge part of why I got so excited about skiing. Sun Valley is a great place to learn how to ski, but when you're starting to look for more challenging terrain, you have to go elsewhere.
I heard your mom used to compete on the U.S. Ski Team in aerials and moguls.
My mom, Holley DuPont, was a big part of the progression of women's freestyle skiing at that time. She was one of the first women to do a backflip on skis. She still does backflips and front flips off the diving board into the water. She's very supportive of what I'm doing.
With the Freeskiing World Tour's new scoring system, are you getting more into doing tricks?
I got my backflip down this year. I'm planning to go to the Park City water ramps and Woodward in Colorado this summer to work on tricks. I'd like to get a misty 7 into the water. Now with the new scoring and the progression of the sport, it's really exciting and I want to get after the trick aspect of skiing. Having tricks in a well-crafted line is where it's at.
What was it like when you first started competing on the Freeskiing World Tour?
I didn't know anything at first. I was a racer who loved to freeski. But there's a fast learning curve because you've got to figure it out since the consequences are so high. I went up to the judges and introduced myself. I watched other people ski the venues, and I figured it out. I learned how to pick lines that I know I can ski well and without hesitation.
And you've been getting to travel and film, too, thanks in part to the Crist brothers?
Reggie and Zack Crist have taught me everything about ski mountaineering and the backcountry. Thanks to them, I got to go on amazing trips with Warren Miller. It was unbelievable. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. In Norway, we saw polar bears, we skied a handful of first descents, we were 500 miles from the North Pole. It's a freeskier's dream to film and travel like that.
What's next for you?
I'm so obsessed with Alaska. I've gone up there the past three seasons. I've been able to do some tail guiding with Seaba Heli-Skiing. It's so awesome to share that beautiful part of the world with other people and show them around. Being a guide is definitely one of my future goals. But my all time dream would be to film with MSP or TGR.