Let's face it, the ski industry loves chicks who rip. Girls want to be them and boys love to gawk at them. Poor Boyz Productions' "new guy," Lexi DuPont, is one of these ladies. Ski racer turned big mountain Alaska lover, DuPont rides with a fierce, charge-it demeanor. She has no problem going big, but when the mountains of Alaska influence your riding style, that's expected. We caught up with DuPont after her final exam--she's studying Studio Art at University of Colorado in Boulder--to talk about her experience of filming with PBP in Alaska with Seth Morrison and Logan Pehota. Let the gawking begin.
POWDER: Give us some background.
Lexi Dupont: I grew up ski racing and thought that was the only option. I went to college for sailing my freshman year and realized on the East coast how much I missed the mountains and transferred to the University of Colorado in Boulder. My ski racer friends said, 'you have to come do these big mountain Freeride World Tour contests. Everyone is partying at the bottom.' I went to my first one [in winter 2009-10] and ended up on the podium. I knew right then I wanted to do big mountain skiing.
School and skiing... do those things mix?
I tried doing school and skiing and it just did not work out. I've taken the last two years off to focus on my ski career and it's probably been the best thing I've ever done. I've had endless experiences you can't get in the walls of the classroom. But now I'm back here [at University of Colorado] for the summer.
How did you get hooked you with PBP?
During a late-night conversation with Tyler Hamlet I was just harpin' on him like, 'get more girls in your movies!' Three weeks before the trip I got the call from Johnny DeCesare and he's like, 'we got an opening, would you like to go to Alaska with Seth Morrison?' I was so blown away; I could have died right then and there. It was definitely a challenge to get everything and go, but an opportunity to ski in Alaska with Seth Morrison, you make it happen, no matter what.
Alaska's kind of become your thing.
I've invested a lot of my time into Alaska skiing. I've spent five seasons there. Every time I end up staying a little longer because it is so good. I do whatever I can to make it happen... just to stack the experience for an opportunity like this: a phone call asking 'want to go ski with the best skier in the world on the craziest mountains in the world?' I felt confident about it.
How was the terrain?
We went to Juneau, AK, which are different mountains than what I'm used to, but definitely still has the same concepts: steep spines, sluff management, crevasses, cornices. I have a decent amount of experience so I was pretty confident when I went there. We sat for a while, waiting for the weather. No one's really skied the mountains we went to so we did a lot of flying around, just checking the place out from the air. It was not until the end of the trip we were able to ski a bunch of lines. I gained a whole new respect for filming in the big mountains with helicopters. It takes so much for everything to come together. But when it does, it's magic out there.
You got to ski with Seth?!
With Seth I was super nervous. I think that was the most nerve-racking part, skiing with him. He's a Vampire, he's like this dark, secret guy who jumps off the craziest stuff, big front and back flips off everything. But he was so welcoming, kind of like a big brother. A lot of the times I was rock, paper, scissoring with Seth for lines. He'd ask what I wanted to ski and I'd tell him what I was thinking about and he's like 'shit, that's what I want.' Like whoa, I picked the same line that Seth picked, this is crazy.
Did you feel like the "new guy"?
I definitely felt like a new person. The guide kind of tested us, to see if we could pick out lines from a distance and having that trained eye kind of put me up a little bit.
How is it being a girl in the industry?
There aren't many of us. Each film company might have one or two girls they work with. I don't think PBP has had a girl in their movies since Sarah Burke. To take that roll with a production company and being their female is so huge. It speaks larger than myself.
Any advice for those ladies looking to break in?
Push it. Make it happen. But you have to be able to hang [with the boys]. You can't just take any girl and send them on an Alaskan trip. You have to work hard and have ability and experience, but it is possible. I never thought that this would happen to me. I didn't start competing in big mountain or thinking it's a possibility until the last three years.
Anything new you're working on?
I've been working on my tricks a little bit. I basically have a black flip and flat spin so it's super limited. But I want to master those so I can do them anywhere. I'm trying to get some more certificates to start guiding and to just have the knowledge. I'm all about first descents; that's a big one on my list.
What are you doing this winter?
I don't have anything planned for this winter. I think I might move up to Revelstoke. I've been talking to Poor Boyz and they said I'm on board for next year, so we'll just have to wait and see what their plans are. I've sold my soul to Alaska so I know I'll be up there as much as possible.
Who do you look up to within skiing?
My mom. She was one of the first ladies to do a black flip on skis. She kind of paved the way for moguls and aerials. Listening to her stories of everything they had to go through in order to get where they were is super inspiring. I got to ski with Michelle Parker at Red Bull Cold Rush. I follow her like it's my job. I like to see what she is doing and make sure I'm keeping my game up; if she's doing it, then that's exactly what I got to do.
What's your perfect day look like?
Haines, Alaska. I have my sisters with me and my friend Jesse. No cameras. Chest deep powder. Perfect stability.
Name: Lexi DuPont
Hometown: Sun Valley, ID
Home Resort: Sun Valley
Age she started skiing: 2
Sponsors: K2, Smith Optics, First Ascent/Eddie Bauer, Justin's Nut Butter, Yoga Earth
Films: Warren Miller's Wintervention (2010)