TED MAHON | Aspen, CO
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– Summited Mount Everest, Denali, Ama Dablam
– Ski descents of the Grand Teton, Mt Rainier, Gunnbjornfeld (highest peak in Greenland)
– Climbed and skied Colorado’s Centennial Peaks, the 100 tallest mountains in the state
– 2016 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year nominee for ski mountaineering
– Successful ultra runner with finishes at the Leadville 100, Wasatch 100, Bear 100 milers, as well as 8 finishes at the Hardrock 100 (5th place in 2013 & 2014, 7th place in 2016), and dozens of results at the 50 mile and marathon distances
– One of the fastest times on the very stout Nolan’s 14 Traverse
– Completed the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass 10-day ski traverse
– 15 time finisher at the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse as well as finishes in other ski mountaineering races
Get to know Ted
What do you have lined up for the season? Trips? Filming?
During the regular season I am pretty busy working on the mountain— I’ve been an Aspen ski instructor for 18 years now and with each passing year I seem to just be getting busier. On days or weekends off I manage to get out on huts trips locally, and some scattered backcountry days through March that are limited in number but always quite fun. A couple trips up to the Hayden peaks, a few days out on Highlands Ridge. Every winter my wife Christy and I try to check out a new ski area. Last year we hit Sun Valley which was a cool town and mountain to finally see. Not yet certain where we’ll go this year. We plan to participate in a new ski mountaineering race here in Leadville, Colorado called the Father Dyer Postal Route. We did it last year for the first inaugural and it was awesome. It’s about 25 miles long and climbs three sequentially higher summits, the tallest of which is 13,855 ft., which makes the race the highest course in North America. It’s a cool race that’s worth checking out. In addition to that I usually do the Aspen/Snowmass Power of Four and a few other random uphill races and local skimo events held at Highlands. I always look forward to the spring “Second” season. Last year we headed to Norway with a fun group from Aspen for a couple of weeks. I can’t wait for another bucket list trip like that one.
Where’s your favorite place to ski?
My favorite place ski when home is Highlands, but my favorite ski area outside of Aspen is Snowbird, I just always have a really fun time there.
If you could travel anywhere to ski that you haven’t visited, where would you go and why?
Japan is now in the top slot on my bucket list. The reason is obvious— powder, and it’s time to check it out.
What are a few of your favorite songs on your “skin track” or “powder day” playlist?
I don’t like to ski with music much, I find it a little bit distracting. Or rather I find I get down a run and haven’t been listening. The backcountry skin track is often the time for conversation for me, that’s a great place to get all caught up with my partners and what’s been happening with them. I do skin the ski area often in the mornings, and that’s exactly the type of outing (like running) where I love music. It can be anything, from ambient house to jam bands that tend to float along and allow me to zone out. I have a go-to playlist with a lot of Beck and the Pixies, other times I’ll defer to mellower jam session type playlists. The 20 minute Mountain Jam on Eat a Peach by the Allman Brothers or select Grateful Dead live songs that fall in the “extended play” category often play a part. Any of the Phish Live Bait series recordings can get me through a two hour effort like it was 30 minutes.
What inspires you? People? Places? Books? Film? Music? Athletes? Where do you look for inspiration?
Other people inspire me. I look back at things I’ve done and have to attribute much of it to learning someone else did something I was impressed with and from that I decided to challenge myself similarly. Skiing, climbing, running, are really a result of having torn a page out of someone else’s book and saw a way to challenge myself. And if and when I ever got to meet those who inspired me, I make a point to let them know. I remember arriving to Aspen in 1994 and continually learning of the exploits of the locals around town and always being impressed. What stuck with me most was the fact that most of the uber-accomplished outdoors types around town were so modest and soft-spoken about their accomplishments, even if what they did was totally amazing. That stuck with me and I try to emulate that myself. No bragging.
What are your Corbeaux go-tos? And Why?
The Tonar Trucker hat, simply because I wear hats a lot. For technical pieces, if I’m skinning, on a spring tour, or otherwise exerting energy while skiing, I think the TJ Pant is awesome, just enough weight to keep me warm but not overheat. I prefer the partner to that piece, the Sopris Long Sleeve, to be a really good layer up top for anything I’m doing. It has a nice feel and layers well with other weight items, particularly the new Recon Hoody or the new Chinook Hoody. If I’m skiing the ski area and riding lifts more, the Jackpot Pant and the new Centennial Pant work beautifully. The 3/4 length is just smart, and the weight is enough to keep me warm on the lift but I won’t overheat if I’m charging.
When do you wear Corbeaux? How do you use Corbeaux to layer?
I initially only wore the layers while skiing but the more time I have spent with them, the more I’ve come to like the pieces for general lifestyle wear as well. The Chinook Hoody in particular I can wear all day, from the Autumn through the winter and into Spring. For a little bit extra on that cold winter day I’ll double down on the bottoms and throw on the lighter TJ Pant on top of the more snug-fitting Centennial Pant.
If you aren’t skiing, where can we find you?
I try to get out somewhere everyday. But during the winter months, if I’m not skiing I’m either sleeping or working at home (boo). I have a small freelance website/digital marketing company of which I’m the sole employee and I use that work to supplement the ski school work or to carry me through summer. Working for myself at home does allow me to show up to the home office in nothing but base layers (or pajamas) which is nice. So Corbeaux makes a presence at the office in that regard. In the summer months I get up to all sorts of different activities. The past bunch of years I’ve been heavily into trail running, often at ultra distances. I’ve logged quite a few good finishes, most notably placing top-ten in the past six years I’ve run the Hardrock 100 miler down in Silverton. This year was my 8th go on the course and I managed to keep the good results streak going with 7th place among some of the best ultra runners in the world. I love to get out on backpacking and peakbagging trips through the summer. Colorado has so many cool places to visit I feel like there is a lifetime of new outdoor experiences in our own backyard.
1 piece of gear (skis, boots, base layers, goggles, anything) that you cannot live without. Who are your sponsors?
I’m not sure if it counts as gear, but it’s certainly required every day before I go out, and that’s coffee. But I could probably say skins, more for what they represent. Of all the types of skiing to be had- ski area/lifts, heli, backcountry— ski touring and ski mountaineering is my favorite discipline and I don’t know how I would fare if I was told I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s my favorite thing to do. For the same reason I might say AT bindings too. I’m currently affiliated with Corbeaux, Kastle Skis, Strafe Outerwear, Gregory Packs, and Honey Stinger.
2 truths & 1 lie
I’m a pretty good snowboarder. I’m a pretty good telemark skier. I’m a pretty good mono skier.