The Heavier Side of Sports

Edie Thys-Morgan

The US Open came and went, giving us great tennis and excellent stories: Serena vs. everybody else; Serena vs. Venus; Federer vs Drop Shot; Serena vs. Serena; Italy vs. Italy; Djokovic vs. Federer. Every time I looked into the eyes of the players as they embarked on matches that would last for hours, it underscored how difficult it must be to manage their emotions for so long. Getting psyched up and holding it together for 90 seconds of laser focus in a perilous ski race is a totally different kind of feat.

Diving Deeper

Kristoffer with Andrew McLean, Antarctica
Kristoffer Erickson
Kristoffer Erickson, photo by Silas Rossi
The Gervasutti Couloir. Northeast entrance is lookers left.
The Gervasutti Couloir

Kristoffer Erickson is an American alpinist and ski mountaineer for The North Face, photographer, philanthropist and family man, who has climbed and skied mountains all over the world in the Himalayas, Antarctica, the Alps, and in the ranges across North America. Kristoffer was good friends with Hans Saari, a renowned American ski mountaineer, who passed away after falling down the Northeast entrance of the Gervasutti Couloir on Mt. Blanc du Tacul on May 8th, 2001. They were together that day skiing a remarkable run under pristinely blue and calm skies.


Molly Talbert
A familiar scene for many long time skiers.
Molly Talbert

Before my face even hit in the snow, I knew I’d really messed up my knee. On the toboggan ride down, an embarrassing moment caught by my cousin on his GoPro, I tried to not think about the pain and told myself it’d all be okay. A month after my fall while skiing in Utah, I know it will all be okay, but the road is long — it turns out, I basically ripped apart my knee (ACL, MCL and meniscus) and two weeks after my injury had extensive reconstruction surgery to put it back together.

A Last Chair Conversation

Robb Gaffney, Squaw Valley     Photo: Grant Kaye
Robb Gaffney, Squaw Valley     Photo: Grant Kaye (
Robb Gaffney, in a Sierra couloir

I founded Sportgevity because I realized, as many of us do, that our sports are increasingly intermingling with the laws of physics and probability and these laws are reminding us of who is in charge. 

Killing People With Avalanches

Grant Alexander
Grant Alexander
Prof Alexander

I am killing people with Avalanches.  Am I telling them to ski avalanche prone slopes during a storm?  Am I failing to dig them out once they're buried or telling them to choose terrain where the consequence is death? No.  But I might as well be.  I might as well be killing people with avalanches because I am part of a culture that is killing people with avalanches.  I am part of a generation that worships the philosophy "Live Fast, Die Young".  And this culture is killing people every year.  Is it only a matter of time before I'm next?

The Real Deal. A Riveting Account From Avalanche Survivor, Edwin LaMair

The crew transitioning above East Vail Chutes
LaMair brothers, Edwin and Davis
Edwin LaMair, CU Boulder senior

Edwin LaMair is just like many of us. He started skiing at the ripe age of 3 years old and for the last 19 winters, he has focused all his energy on finding that ultimate run in the Colorado Rockies. Like any skiers who live in Englewood, a suburb on the east side of Denver, he knows 6th avenue like the back of his hand and he can drive the I-70 corridor with his eyes closed. Edwin and his brother have spent countless days gracing the slopes of many Colorado resorts as well as various backcountry locations.

Grizzly Gulch Avalanche! A Firsthand Account Interview With Amie Engerbretson

Amie Engerbreston.        Photo: Jeff Engerbretson
Amie Engerbretson.         Photo: Megan Michelson

On December 9, 2013 pro skier Amie Engerbretson was shooting photos with another pro skier and photographer Adam Clark on a bluebird powder day at Alta, Utah. Everything was going their way—perfect snow conditions, ideal weather and light, a great crew of people. And then suddenly, all of that changed. The three of them decided to dip out of bounds to a popular backcountry spot called Grizzly Gulch, a zone Clark had shot in many times before that was just a short bootpack from the Alta parking lot. 


Changing the Culture of Shame

Bruce Tremper, Director, Utah Avalanche Center

Talking with Utah Avalanche Center director Bruce Tremper about fostering avalanche victims and their voices.