Skiing the lower Helbronner in Courmayeur, Italy.
Woolx scoured the globe searching for intrepid adventurers to test out Woolx gear in the most extreme conditions, we’ve assembled this group of globetrotting daredevils into the #WoolxinAction team! Every month Woolx Life will feature our amazing Woolx in Action team members – This month meet Jacqueline Knutson!
Jacqueline currently resides in Montana where she works as an environmental engineer. While growing up in the Rockies she developed a love of all things outdoors, especially exploring the world on skis. Over the last 5 years she’s traveled the globe as a competitive big mountain freeskier. You can follow along with her adventures on and off the snow on her Instagram @jacquelineknutson. To get to know Jacqueline better we asked her to fill out the new and improved “#WoolxinAction Questionnaire”, read on to delve deeper into the mind of an extreme brand ambassador!
16 Questions w/ Woolx:
What inspired you to become an outdoor adventurer, did you grow up participating in a lot of outdoor activities with your family, or is it something you were drawn to on your own later?
I grew up right at the base of the mountains and adventures were always a part of my life. I learned to ski the moment I could walk, I camped, I fished, I hiked, I biked, I rode horses, I climbed trees, and I climbed mountains with the support of my parents right from the get go. Being outside has informed all my decisions including my career! As a hydrologist I spend most of my work week knee deep (or waist deep) in rivers around the state and I could not be happier about it. Both my sister and I have been competitive skiers since a young age and while my sister stuck to racing I have been skiing on the Freeskiing World Tour and Freeride World Qualifying Tour for the last few years, even making time to compete while I was in graduate school.
A tiny Jacqueline with giant Mount Blanc in the Alps behind her!
Do you have any special plans, or trips in the works? Any big long term goals?
2016 is proving to be a transition year for me. After grad school I moved north and I started working in a new town, I’ve moved houses 3 times now, and I’m still getting my bearings and my adventure spots dialed. I think 2017 is going to be a big year though! I love my job and I’m getting ready to move away from ski competitions and focus on traveling and adventuring on skis rather than running from comp to comp. Nothing is set in stone this season and I’m excited to see what that’s going to happen!
Our ambassadors come from all over the U.S., and we’ve got a few international team members too! What’s your favorite local activity, or the best part about exploring the region you call home?
Montana is appropriately named. There are mountains everywhere. Each range is a little different and special in its own way. I’m slowly learning their differences geologically and ecologically. It’s really fun to see the diversity all around. Even in my free time I approach the mountains like a scientist.
What’s your most embarrassing moment outdoors, or your favorite epic fail memory?
I’ve definitely taken some big ski crashes and the worst is when you’re competing and there’s lots of eyes on you when you tumble. My biggest competition failure was after and excellent run in the finals of a competition at my home resort. Just before the finish line in the runout I tripped on a small branch and crashed hard in front of all my friends and completely negated what had probably been one of my strongest competition runs.
Skiing uphill – Glacier national Park, MT
What is your most often worn, go-to Woolx item?
Either the Basecamp Hoodie or the Eva Tunic. The Basecamp is excellent in a variety of layering situations and temperatures but the Tunic is so cozy and beautiful I’ll wear it skiing and then put it right back on again to go out to dinner!
Do you prefer solo activities, or do you like having partners on your adventures?
I’d say I’m 50/50 on this. I love adventuring with friends because I get to share these incredible moments and places with someone else and we can both be awestruck by what’s happening. Sometimes, though, I prefer to keep that to myself; to have these little outdoor moments that only my eyes have seen and I can relish that. It’s usually while I’m working that I have those moments and it’s only me and the cows witnessing the osprey catch its lunch.
Mt. Hood, Oregon
Do you have a personal motto, or words you live by?
I have 4 rules: 1) don’t be a dick. 2) beer has food value; food has no beer value. 3) safety first. 4) you’re always invited
Pizza or tacos?
Are pizza tacos a thing? How about a pizza with taco items on it? This question is impossible to answer.
Summer or winter?
Mountains or coastline?
Are you inspired by any of your fellow Woolx in Action team members? If so who?
Ilana Jesse. I respect how hard she has to work to get to the places that she goes. What an amazing athlete and such a motivated woman in the mountains.
What place do you find yourself going back to over and over again? What place would you love to visit that you’ve never seen?
Somehow I keep being drawn to the Mont Blanc area. Two years in a row now I’ve ended up in Chamonix and Courmayeur. I’ll probably find myself there again this winter. It is by far the most difficult place to ski and the most rewarding place to ski I’ve ever been. Even tiny victories feel huge in the Alps. I’d love to get to Norway this year. It’s been on my mind for a while and I think it’s time to commit and make it happen.
What’s your favorite outdoor/adventure themed movie?
Raiders of the Lost Ark.
If you could be any animal for a week, which animal would you choose?
A mountain goat. I want to learn how they think in the mountains, I want to learn how to be fearless in exposure, I want to learn how to break trail through the snow effortlessly.
Twin lakes, Crazy Mountains, Montana
What one item could you not live without (apart from your Woolx of course)?
My sleeping bag. It has saved my life, it has kept me warm, it has kept me comfortable, it has been my sleeping pad, it has been a pillow, it has been a jacket (I had my feet out the bottom zipper), it goes on almost every adventure I go on, it has been my cocoon on long international flights, it has probably saved me from bed bugs, and it is essential.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Set goals. Goals give you something tangible to work towards. They should be malleable so that you don’t spite opportunities in blind pursuit of a goal but set them. Set big ones and set small ones and as you reach them you’ll see what started as a tiny seed of an idea has grown into a big and beautiful thing.
Maroon Bells Wilderness, Colorado
Thanks Jacqueline! We can’t wait to see photos and hear more about your amazing adventures this winter! Keep checking in with Woolx Life to find out more about all of our awesome Woolx in Action Team members! You can follow along with their adventures with @Woolxwool on Twitter and Instagram.
Celebrating the sunrise after summiting Mt. Elbert, Colorado’s tallest peak at 14,439ft.