Emily Cleveland

Age: 24 | Vitals: 5ʼ7”, 135 lbs | Years skiing: 21 | Current Residence: Jackson Hole, WY


I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and visited my first ski slopes perched in a backpack on my parentʼs shoulders. It wasnʼt long until I was strapped to my own pair of skis and started exploring the trails.

Each Saturday we would go to Eldora Mountain, where my dad would slip Skittles to my brother and me on the chair to keep us from noticing the howling winds.

Always fiercely opposed to getting stuck in a lesson, I learned to ski by following my parents around and pretty soon I was managing to keep up. The better my brother and I got, the smaller Eldora seemed to be, and soon we were making the trek up to Summit County each weekend.

In 8th grade I joined the race program at Winter Park. I felt like a fish out of water being surrounded by kids who had been racing for years, but I loved the competitive aspect racing brought to the sport. Turns out, following mom and dad around had its merits, and pretty soon I was winning races.

When I entered High School, the race program became too hard to balance with homework, swim team, lacrosse, and my group of friends who had no interest in skiing. Nevertheless, I still found time to escape to the mountains, and began skiing Vail and other resorts all over the West. To this day my old room is wallpapered with trail maps from Crested Butte, Telluride, Jackson Hole, Brighton, and many others.

Emily Cleveland, Blister Gear Review
Emily Cleveland, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

I didnʼt stray far from the mountains and went to school at Colorado College where I studied Geology and Studio Art. There I found myself surrounded by people who loved all the same things I did: backpacking, rafting, hiking, traveling, and of course, skiing. I graduated in May of 2011, and now my new home is Jackson Hole where my parents ski bummed together once upon a time.

My somewhat unstructured skiing experience has definitely contributed to my skiing style. My year in the race program lit a passion for speed, but by no means made me a racer. I love hunting for powder stashes in the woods, hiking and picking out a line, cruising through a bump run, finding mellow airs, and screaming down groomers when conditions call for it.

I consider myself an aggressive skier and I appreciate a ski that is on the stiffer side. When I was 10, my dad gave me a pair of 185 Salomon X-screams, telling me that I would “grow into them.” I didnʼt think twice about it until I noticed that my dadʼs friend had the same pair. They were laughably long and stiff for a ten year old, but over the next few years I mastered them, and I have to give my Dad and those skis some credit for turning me into a strong skier. Perhaps because of that experience—or perhaps because Iʼve spent most of my skiing life trying to keep up with the boys—I have a propensity for menʼs skis. When choosing skis, I look for a medium to stiff flex with a light swing weight.

By reviewing for BLISTER, I hope to help other skiers navigate the dazzling array of options and to give honest feedback about how skis perform for skiers who love to shred as much as I do.

Skis Iʼm stoked about: Volkl Gotama, Kastle James, Atomic Automatic, Blizzard Dakota

1 comment on “Emily Cleveland”

  1. Hi, I have a question – You did a review of atomic access (2011-2012) – do you know if the current year (2012-2013) access is way different? The new one has a tail rocker and a full twin tip while the other one had partial twin with no tail rocker? Did you get a chance to try the new access? I have an S7’s and am looking for a more nimble ski I can take into bumps. I tried S3 and I did like it but I do remember demoying Access last year and loving it



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