“I made an appointment and went in with my little tiny portfolio, which was so not anything to write home about… and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to shoot a lot this winter and I’d love to be at Alta,’ and they gave me a pass. It was my first pass. And I walked out of the office and called Billy and just started bawling… And all I could hear was him on the other line laughing.” -Rachael Burks

On this episode of the “Nausicaa Cast” podcast, presented by Powder Radio, host Hadley Hammer interviews Rachael Burks, known for her big mountain skiing, massive backflips, and huge personality. The two talk about the late Billy Poole. The two lived, skied, and partied together. It was Poole who convinced Burks to first ask Alta for a free season pass.

“I made an appointment and went in with my little tiny portfolio, which was so not anything to write home about… and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to shoot a lot this winter and I’d love to be at Alta,’ and they gave me a pass. It was my first pass. And I walked out of the office and called Billy and just started bawling… And all I could hear was him on the other line laughing.”

Burks also discusses the glory days as a comp skier, and the frustrations of the womens’ judging.

“There were a lot of instances where women were rewarded for just staying on their feet and not really jumping or doing anything particularly difficult,” she says, “but just skiing fluid and beautiful to the bottom. And that irked me. That really fueled my fire. I was so mad sometimes.”

Bio:

Rachael Burks is as much whirlwind as human, swirling with grand ideas, loud jokes, belly laughs, and big airs. (For reference, watch her get completely buried after hucking a 50-foot cliff in Light the Wick, an old TGR film.) Her no-holds-barred attitude belies her enduring dedication to introducing other women to the sport. Burks, 34, might be the most underrated female skier out there. Last year she was at the center of Pretty Faces, and now she can be seen in Warren Miller’s Chasing Shadows, setting a monoskiing, cliff-hucking, partying example and championing women’s skiing in a big way. -Skiing Mag

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