Influences: Elyse Saugstad

Who inspired Saugstad to charge ahead? Ingrid Backstrom in "Yearbook."

Editor’s Note: Every winter, the POWDER Awards recognize and honor the best skiers, filmmakers, and ski movies of the season. This year marks the event’s 15th anniversary. Leading up to the show on December 5th in downtown Salt Lake City, we’ll be asking some of the standout winners and nominees of Powder Awards past about their favorite films and scenes in ski movie history.

Last year, Elyse Saugstad pioneered the DIY ski film with the production of her Co-Lab edit, which became a segment in the Teton Gravity Research film of the same name and earned Saugstad the award for Best Female Performance and a fourth place finish in the Powder Poll.

Unsurprisingly, when asked who had the biggest influence on her skiing, Saugstad tips her hat to Ingrid Backstrom, and specifically, Backstrom’s breakout segment in Matchstick Productions’ 2005 film, Yearbook:

“When Ingrid came onto the scene with her jaw-dropping segment in Yearbook, minds were blown including mine,” says Saugstad. “Her performance was so inspirational in the way that her skiing transcended the gender line, and hence why she not only won Best Female Performance but also Breakthrough Performance. To win Best Female Performance last year was in essence my personal achievement of breaking onto the scene like Ingrid did. To even be considered in the same echelon as Ingrid is a dream come true.”

Elyse Saugstad holds up the award for Best Female Performance at the 14th Annual Powder Awards.
Elyse Saugstad holds up the award for Best Female Performance at the 14th Annual Powder Awards.