On Fear, Career, and Dog
Catching Up with Amie Engerbretson
Amie Engerbretson, skiing’s (quite possibly) most smiley female ripper, muses on a most memorable career moment, the surprise of her own rate of success, and “her darling new dog” named Bill.
Practically born on snow to a former pro skier dad, Engerbretson would seemingly fit the bill of straight path to skiing stardom. However, like the carve of her skis, there was nothing linear about it. A trained dancer and an A-student, Engerbretson took herself away from the mountains for college, to attend Columbia College in Chicago. Just before graduation, she was, like many a soon-to-be-graduate, feeling an unsteady case of the “what-nexts”. And as many a mountain town child might do when the future is a little dicey, she decided to return to what she loved most. The mountains, for Amie, were calling. So she called the one to bring her to the mountains in the first place: “Dad?”
Amie told her father that she wanted to compete, get herself on camera and seek sponsorship. In what we can assume to be true former pro-skiing father fashion when their offspring decides to pursue the family business, Amie’s father said, “cool!”. And off she went.
Now years later, her career is booming. Amie has graced the covers and the pages within magazines such as Powder, Ski Magazine, Freeskier, and Shape, just to name a few. She has become a favorite skier for brands such as Spyder, K2, Smith, Marker, Dalbello, and Corbeaux (naturally her favorite), and has appeared on camera in Warren Miller’s Chasing Shadows and Unicorn Picnic’s all-women ski film Pretty Faces alongside Lynsey Dyer, Ingrid Backstrom, and Angel Collinson. She has announced for the Freeride World Tour, hosted red carpet events, and was prominently featured in On The Snow’s ‘Women of Skiing’ photo gallery.
“I am just surprised by how much has happened in such a short period of time,” Amie proclaims.
She admits to being a hard worker (she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.5 GPA), “but it is still crazy to see the photos and videos everywhere!” Of all the memorable moments to date however, she remembers fondly two years ago when she, still an up-and-comer in the industry, was announced among the Top 10 Women of Skiing at the Powder Awards.
“I didn’t have a shred of expectation at the awards show. When they called my name, I just looked at my boyfriend, Todd, and said ‘seriously??’ I was super honored to be included among such an incredible group of women.” Amie adds delightfully, “I am pretty sure I was the most excited tenth place person on the planet!”
Yet alongside accolades and recognition comes the reality of pushing oneself in the mountains. Having come face to face, several times, with the natural reality of sliding snow, Amie constantly looks to learn new ways of relating to her fear, and to use this fear in a positive way. “I try to be grateful for my close-calls, for these experiences have shaped who I am as a skier. I can build on the knowledge I’ve gained from experience, to help make better calls in the future.” However, having come off of an incredibly snowy winter in the Sierras, leaving a nice blanket well into July, Amie smiles at the pleasure of laying down tracks in a tank top.
The summer months have also brought a new member to Amie’s squad, as she proudly let us know that she has just gotten a “darling dog” named Bill. However, despite now having a canine, who is prominently featured in many of her posts on social media, she wants to make it clear that she still has a deep affinity for cats. “Very, very much so.”
So what’s next? “I am heading on a mountain biking trip to Idaho, then on to Portillo, Chile for a summer skiing adventure.” The pursuit for snow continues. Come next winter? “Stay tuned…I’m in the planning process of another female focused project,” along with some potential work with Warren Miller. More on that later.
-Words and editing by Christian Johansen