Hometown: Kimberley, B.C.
Sponsors: Atomic, Smith Optics, Surefoot, Arcade, TMC Pro Shop
Films: Amateur Hour (PYP), Part Time (PYP), Valhalla (Sweetgrass), Co-Lab (TGR), Almost Ablaze (TGR)
Titles: Co-Lab Finalist
Growing up in Kimberley, B.C., Nick McNutt's dad taught him how to make twin tips the old fashioned way—using a heat gun to bend the tails of his Elans. While McNutt's skis are less jerry-rigged these days, those twin-tip roots gained him a reputation for landing switch more often than not. Canadian production company PYP and Sweetgrass have already featured McNutt's playful style, which is marked by a tendency to face uphill more than down. Last year, McNutt's skiing took him to Teton Gravity Research's Co-Lab finals and now he's secured a spot to film with TGR fulltime. "When I first saw McNutt’s style in his Co-Lab edit, I knew he would be a great fit for the TGR team," says TGR's Greg Epstein. "After hanging with him last winter he will definitely be with us for a long time." This year, McNutt has his own segment in Almost Ablaze, set to release this fall.
Take me back to you're Co-Lab entry, four minutes of big mountain skiing and switch landings.
Nick McNutt: I decided to enter with a guy I filmed with a couple years earlier from PYP Productions. We only heard about it the summer beforehand and so we basically did what we've always done—just went out sledding, ski touring, and filming in the Kootenays. It wasn't a huge difference from anything else before, the footage was just a lot better.
You became a finalist, didn't win, but still earned a spot with TGR. How did that all work?
I went down to Jackson for the world premiere, where they were going to announce the winner of Co-Lab. I got a couple emails from the TGR guys saying that it would great if I came down for the announcement in Jackson and that "it'd be great to meet you." I guess they decided regardless of the outcome, they wanted me to film with them. So I went down for the world premiere where they announced the winner. Looking back, I think they wanted make sure I wasn't a huge dick or anything.
And you're now going to be featured in TGR's upcoming film, Almost Ablaze, so…they decided you're not a dick?
I got down there and they asked me if I wanted to commit to filming. Of course I said yes, then ended up skiing all of the next winter with them.
Did you have any "holy sh*! I'm filming with TGR" moments?
At the end of a heli trip at Revelstoke, we had three ‘copters shooting eight skiers all at the same time. That's something I don't really do everyday.
You're one of the few guys out there that drops backcountry cliffs and lands switch. What's it like having legs of steel?
I've always thought it was pretty rad when guys like Eric Pollard would 180 huge drops. Its one of those things that a lot of people don't do. I don't think its really been tapped into very much, and so still being figured out. I was fascinated by switch landings when I was pretty young so I've had a million falls before cameras were even around. You have to pay your dues and crash. If I wasn't landing switch so much though I don't think I'd be where I am today.