Off to a bumpy start to the season, Emma Whitman had all but given up on competitive skiing. With poor results in a few competitions Whitman left the world of competitive skiing to do some soul searching and revive her love for skiing in the backcountry.
“I was deflated and unsure of where to set my sights to going forward,” says Whitman. “Competition can be devastating, when you put in everything that you’ve got, only to get nothing in return. But that doesn’t matter because you’re still just skiing and nothing should ever separate contentment from skiing!”
After returning from a backcountry trip in the Northern Rockies where she released the stress and anxiety that clouded her skiing, Whitman went to Aspen, Col. for the Aspen Open with a new frame of mind.
“Showing up in Aspen I had absolutely no expectations or goals. It was such a relief to have no pressure compared to the pressure that I felt for every other competition that I’ve ever done. I think that I was more successful because of my ‘just for fun’ attitude,” says Whitman.
Winning the women’s slopestyle event at the Aspen Open for the second year in a row, Whitman shows the competitive world why going back to your roots can be a worthwhile exercise. The love of the sport was temporarily lost on Whitman but she took some time to ride some powder with a fellow enthusiast and her competitive career has benefited from the detour.
Looking forward, Whitman plans on heading to Japan for the Asia Open and from there she’ll return to her home in Sun Peaks for the Dew Tour AM series, March 27 to 29.