Yukon skier going it alone at Whistler

Whitehorse's Miguel Rodden made a name for himself in the Yukon freestyle ski community. Now's he's trying to do the same at Whistler, B.C.

Whitehorse’s Miguel Rodden made a name for himself in the Yukon freestyle ski community. Now’s he’s trying to do the same at Whistler, B.C.

Whistler, which is one of the biggest ski destinations in the world, is a much harder egg to crack, but he’s making progress.

The 19-year-old has picked up a sponsor and a top-10 finish in his first competition of the year two weeks ago.

But he isn’t on an official team. “Independently, I’m trying to compete,” said Rodden.

Rodden placed ninth in the U18 division at the Whistler/Blackcomb Timber Tour held Feb 7-11.

To place ninth in the slopestyle competition Rodden hit a corked 900, a switch-right 540, and a switch 720.

“I could have done a little bit better,” said Rodden. “The judging was a little bit weird.

“I haven’t done that many competitions in the last year, so it was fun to compete.”

To fund his alpine lifestyle, Rodden skis during the day and delivers pizzas at night, “so I can ski every day,” he said.

Picking up a sponsorship from FASC Outerwear has helped.

“It helps a lot because I don’t have much money here,” said Rodden. “Living in Whistler is expensive.”

Last season Rodden skied in a few Canadian Shield Series competitions, hosted by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. His best result was a second-place finish in Calgary, “which I’m pretty stoked about,” said Rodden.

Rodden, who is a former member of the Yukon Freestyle Ski Team, will be competing at the nationals early next month.

Rodden won the Yukon Freestyle Ski Championships in 2010 and 2011 and has represented the territory at two major Games. He took sixth in the aerial event, 15th in the dual moguls and 16th in the halfpipe at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax. Rodden also won a silver medal in slopestyle and in the half-pipe at the 2010 Arctic Winter Games.

As well, he won the masters division at the Sandor’s Icebreaker Rail Jam at the end of December.

His current goals are to “teach skiing, learn new tricks and get better,” he said. “Hopefully get more sponsors to help me out.”

Rodden was joined by some old teammates at the Timber Tour event two weeks ago.

Members of the Yukon Freestyle Ski Team were also there and took in some strong results.

Yukon’s Etienne Geoffroy-Gagnon came in sixth in U16, while teammates Aidan Allen and Kyran Allen came 16th and 17th, respectively, in the same division.

Brother Niko Rodden placed 16th out of 31 skiers in U14.

Also in U18, Dylan Reed came in 13th, Josh Harlow 17th and Calahan Guidolin 18th out of 21. Former Yukon skier Sebastien Berthiaume came in 8th in U18, one spot up from Miguel.

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