Despite it being just his second big-mountain contest ever, Kye Petersen, 21, won last week's Canadian Freeskiing Championships, part of the Swatch Freeskiing and Freeride World Tours in Revelstoke, BC. Petersen, son of well-known Whistler ski mountaineer Trevor Petersen who was killed in an avalanche in 1996 while skiing in Chamonix, has been in skiing's limelight since he was a teenager. He is just now beginning to compete on the big-mountain skiing circuit after spending most of his earlier years filming ski movies -- this year, he appears in TGR's "One For the Road," and also Oakley's "The Ordinary Skier" and Sherpas Cinema's "All.I.Can." ESPN Freeskiing caught up with Petersen during one of the many weather days in Revelstoke.
You've played many roles as a skier: filmer, ski mountaineer, and now big mountain competitor. What has appealed to you the most?
I've enjoyed all of it, you know? It's kind of why I like doing it all, mixing it up as much as I can. I try to get in as much as I can in one season. I think I enjoy it all the same, it's just different pleasures, same sport.
You've said in the past that you might want to do more competitions, maybe as many as four this season. What have you got lined up for this year?
Yeah, I don't know if I'll even do four comps this year, maybe two. Right now I'm doing this one to start with and I have a wild card to go to [the Swatch Freeride World Tour competition] Chamonix as well. So I might end up doing that at the end of January. And then I've been invited to do the Red Bull Cold Rush in March as well, so right now that's my only other 'for sure' comp. So we'll see.
What other projects do you have lined up for this year?
As far as filming goes, mainly working with Sherpas Cinema, who made the movie "All.I.Can." They're going to do another two-year project and some side projects, so I'll be working on some Internet-based short movies for this season, and working that footage into the two-year project.
With "All.I.Can" and the Seth Morrison project "The Ordinary Skier," you spent a lot of time in the backcountry, winter camping and also doing some ski mountaineering -- what lessons did you learn from those experiences?
I've done quite a bit of that in my free time as well, not only for films. That was my first experience really ski mountaineering, with the film cameras around when I did "The Ordinary Skier," and that was tough, especially in Chamonix. But it was cool, I learned a lot from it. It's all about who you're with and I'm lucky that I was able to be with really smart people. I have a lot of good friends who are a lot more knowledgeable than I am. That's what it's all about.
In the next five years, where do you see your ski career going?
Working toward developing my own film projects, mostly, lining up my own trips, trying to make it happen. I want to present trip ideas to people, because I've always got new ideas, you know? I have a lot places I want to go, but right now, on my priority list, I have a lot of places around home [in Whistler]. A lot of sled-access and heli-access, ski touring and climbing to get to some peaks. A lot of stuff too that I've never done, like expedition-style trips. I've got a few trips planned this year between BC and Alaska.
What have you learned in your time as a pro skier? Any advice for up and comers?
Have fun. That's the main thing, that's the only thing that's kept me going this whole time that I've had my career. Just love the sport. I'm out there every day, skiing pow and having a good time with my buddies. That's what it's all about.