This story originally appeared in the December 2019 (48.3) issue of POWDER.
Tatum Monod didn’t strap on skis until she was 12 years old, (her parents didn’t want to push) but being born in Banff, Canada, to a veritable dynasty of Canadian skiers—her father was on the Canadian Ski Team and her grandfather was a Swiss mountain guide—it was only a matter of time before skiing took over her life. At 18, she entered a freeride competition in Revelstoke on a whim and placed second. From then on, she was hooked on big mountain skiing.
Monod, now 28, later moved to Whistler and began honing her skills skiing with local shredders, filming season edits that caught the attention of Level 1. Her breakout appearance in their 2014 film “Less” earned her national recognition and sponsorship. In 2017, she won a Powder Award for Best Female Performance for her segment in Level 1’s “Habit” and landed the cover of the February 2018 issue of this magazine.
After a traumatic knee injury in Alaska in the spring of 2017, Monod receded from the limelight for a year to recover, as seen in the Matchstick Productions film “All In.” In the meantime, she stocked a freezer chest full of caribou meat that she hunted in the Yukon and spent last season skiing sled-accessed lines at home in Pemberton, and filming her latest project, “Bad Guy” now touring with MSP. Monod says she’s back to 110 percent and ready to fire. —Interview by Jake Stern
I’m not sure if I started skiing at a super young age I would have the same passion for it as I do now.
When I got my first snowmobile seven years ago, I sucked. It’s a steep learning curve. My biggest fear was being “the girl in the group” holding everyone back. Now, in Pemberton, I’m at a point where snowmobiling is part of me. I just love it.
Before the Yukon, I’d never killed a mouse. I grew up eating meat, but recently I’ve been putting a lot of thought on what’s on my plate—how it lived and how it died. Where I live there’s no chance to buy organic locally.
I was fishing long before I was skiing. There are a lot of similarities between fishing and hunting—especially with fly fishing, where you’re really stalking the fish and sneaking up on them. Hunting is such an intimate way to connect with the land and the environment. The meat in my freezer will last until September.
Anything I learned on skis is from following someone better than me, skiing behind someone who is solid, or watching people do threes on a little booter in the backcountry. I would follow around the Whistler park rats and learn to hit rails, skied a lot in the Revelstoke backcountry, and followed friends like Parker White and Thayne Rich.
Matchstick Productions’ “Return to Send’er” is getting unfair criticism [for not including women in the film]. It’s thanks to MSP that all of us women are so busy with all of our other projects. It wasn’t for lack of trying. They really wanted to do another film like “All In,” but everyone had different goals.
Filming can be really difficult. There are times when I’m burnt out, both mentally and physically. As much I want to be out there filming as much as possible, it’s important to just go out on my own to remember why I love skiing in the first place. No cameras, no Instagram, just breathing the crisp mountain air.
I don’t want to be known as one of the best female skiers. I want to be one of the best skiers. Period. Obviously, I want to see more women getting into the sport, but with the inspiring women we have leading the charge, that will evolve naturally. The future is bright.
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