Influences: Daron Rahlves

Daron Rahlves recalls Sage Cattabriga-Alosa's flat 360 in TGR's 2011 film, "Light the Wick"

Daron Rahlves wins the Powder Award for Best Line in 2010, a feat almost as huge as winning the hahnenkamm.
Daron Rahlves wins the Powder Award for Best Line in 2010, a feat almost as huge as winning the Hahnenkamm.

Leading up to the 15th Annual Powder Awards on December 5th in Salt Lake City, we’re going back in time to ask standout Powder Awards winners and nominees about the skiers and ski movies that influenced them.

As a skier, Daron Rahlves has two personas. There’s Daron Rahlves, the American ski racing legend who won the 2003 Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria, becoming the first American champion there in 44 years. And then there’s Daron Rahlves, the big mountain skier who is wanted for murdering Alaskan lines. Although he was already decorated with wins from his ski racing days, in 2010, Ralves took home the Powder Award for Best Line for his segment in Matchstick Productions’ In Deep.

Every skier has influences, and for Rahlves, that’d be Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, and specifically, Cattabriga-Alosa’s flat spin in Teton Gravity’s 2011 film, Light the Wick, which won Best Natural Air at that year’s Powder Awards.

As Rahlves says:

“In 2012, I was skiing in Alaska with TGR. It was my first year. I was standing on top of this spiny face with Sage Cattabriga-Alosa. I was always in awe of him, how floaty and smooth he was.

He was the last guy out in this one little zone. He went to take a look at it and there was this massive step-down crevasse. He was like, ‘I’m just gonna ski down this spiny face and see how I am with speed.’ He was starting to warm up and twist a little bit at the top. It was just him and I at the top of this thing. I was going next.

‘Sage, are you going to go for a trick off that?’ I asked. ‘Na, na,’ he said. ‘Just a straight air if I have enough speed to hit this thing.’

He drops in and sends this huge flat spin off the step down and stomps it so clean. We were all just in awe. That was a huge standout moment in Powder Awards history for me. It was cool to be there and to be a part of it. Everybody went off on the radio after that trick. In my eyes he definitely deserved that Best Natural Air Powder Award.”