Kara Williard

Age: 25 | Vitals: 5’9”, ~145 lbs | Years skiing: 21 | Current Residence: Taos, New Mexico

Background

I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. My dad has always been a bit obsessed with skiing, and instilled this love in me from a very young age. The masochist that my dad is often meant long hikes, grueling backpacking trips, and a whole lot of satisfaction in nature for as long as I can remember.

Aside from skiing and hiking, I grew up playing soccer year-round, which forced me into a lot of running and year-round activity. Once I quit soccer around the age of 17, I searched for an activity to fulfill my down time from skiing, and soon came across my second greatest passion: mountain biking.

I began work in the ski industry at the age of 18, working for one of the few successful, local, city ski shops in Albuquerque. This was an excellent job for me to ensure that I would get 50+ ski days a year, and as a super-broke college student attending UNM, it meant that I could also get my hands on some ski gear. It also gave me a smooth transition into the bike shop at Sport Systems come summer.

I began bootfitting in 2011, and attended Masterfit University to receive my bootfitting credentials for the first time in 2012. After graduating from UNM with my Bachelor’s in December 2015, I promptly moved to Taos and began work for one of the most incredible shops, and premier bootfitting shops in the nation, The Boot Doctors in Taos Ski Valley. Working for The Boot Doctors had been a many-year in the making dream of mine, and I am grateful to be a part of that shop to this day. I have attended Masterfit University four times, and can say that bootfitting only gets more rewarding and thrilling to me the more I delve into it.

I ski Taos Ski Valley 100+ days a year, with occasional Colorado days and some touring come late spring. One thing holds true: Taos is a steep mountain, and those magical, rocky chutes of Taos are certainly what keep me around. I spend my days hiking West Basin and Highline ridge, as well as benefitting from multiple laps via the new Kachina Peak chair. I love skiing dense trees, many of the long bump runs on the lower frontside, and do not mind charging hard on groomers when it comes to getting back to the chair. Skiing brings me ineffable joy and gratitude. Part of my obsession in hiking the ridges is enjoying the utterly silent and still moments upon some of the highest mountains in New Mexico. I have recently ventured into more spring-time touring, but I still have a lot to learn and experience in this realm.

I attained my degree in Sustainable Community Development, and in the summer, I work at a 350-acre farm and ranch on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Aside from long days of grueling farm labor, growing food, and caring for 200+ animals, I try to spend as many nights outside as possible, seeking out peak summits, backpacking trips to remote areas, and riding my mountain bike (Santa Cruz 5010c) every day in between.

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