Kara Williard

Kara Williard reviewer biography, BLISTER

Age: 27 | Vitals: 5’9”, ~145 lbs | Years skiing: 23 | Current Residence: Gunnison, Colorado


I am originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico and I owe it to my dad for getting me up to Santa Fe Ski Basin and Taos Ski Valley on weekends to spark my lifetime love of skiing. I have centered several of my decisions around this love of skiing, including pursuing an undergrad in Sustainability Studies as my passion for preserving snowpack and fighting climate change was ignited. I worked my way through college at a local ski shop in Albuquerque and spent every off-day in Taos, getting comfortable on steep and rocky terrain. Through this shop, I became a ski bootfitter and first attended MasterFit University to attain bootfitting credentials in 2012.

After graduating from UNM in December of 2015, I moved to Taos and began working for one of the premier bootfitting shops in the nation, The BootDoctors in Taos Ski Valley. I have attended Masterfit University five times and have now attained the highest level of bootfitting certification. I find that bootfitting only gets more rewarding with experience and it has made me really happy to get countless clients out on the slopes in comfortable boots — an experience that can be life changing for those who have annoyingly complex boot issues, such as myself. My years in Taos provided 100+ days of skiing a season and falling in love with steeps in particular.

Kara Williard reviewer biography, BLISTER
Kara Williard skiing in Japan.

My winter skiing obsession is balanced with mountain biking, backpacking, running, climbing, and working as a sustainable farmer throughout the summer months. In the years post-undergrad, I managed a 350-acre ranch at 9,000 feet in Mora, New Mexico, growing vegetables, and raising sheep, cows, and chickens. I have also spent two seasons as a mountain bike guide for Western Spirit Cycling Adventures out of Moab, Utah where I guided multi-day trips all around the western US.

These days, I am living in the Gunnison Valley to pursue a Masters in Environmental Management from Western Colorado University, with a focus on Sustainable and Resilient Communities. I am serving a fellowship as Farm Manager for a local farm, through the nonprofit Mountain Roots Food Project. I am also still obsessing over skiing, mountain biking, and spending every day outside. As I look forward, several passions will never be abandoned — skiing, preserving natural beauty and biodiversity through activism and regenerative farming, and spending the most possible time in nature.

2 comments on “Kara Williard”

  1. Hi Kara,

    Have you skied the Atomic Backland 98W? How does this Nordica Santa Ana Unlimited 93 compare to it? How would you compare it to the Atomic Maven 93C?

    Some background info for what type of ski I’m looking for my wife …

    I’m looking for your opinion on the Atomic Backland 98W vs Atomic Maven 93C vs. Nordica Santa Ana 93 Unlimted. I will be mounting them with Atomic Shift bindings. Specifically, I’m interested in the stiffness of each ski and how well it does as an “everyday driver”. Intended use is primarily resort but with sidecountry and some spring full day backcountry skiing – let’s call it a 70/ 30 resort to side/backcountry ski.

    Primary ski location is Northern CA | Lake Tahoe | Palisades & Alpine Meadows. Also do an annual UT trip to Snowbird | Alta | Brighton | Solitude (IKON resorts) for 2 weeks a year. Female 55 years old | 5’7” | 130lbs. Good technical skier but always in control, so not pushing the speed limit of any ski. Favorite terrain is “condition dependent” If snow is not hardpack and janky, skis off piste trees and bowls. When it’s hardpack and crusty, ski resort groomers with some trail-side out of the groomed to see if conditions get better during the day with sun on it. Don’t love bumps, but ski them as many trails don’t get groomed so have bumps on them. I have a dedicated soft snow | powder ski (109 underfoot) so not looking for 1 ski to do it all. Interested in the approximately 88 to 98 waist width underfoot category. Current ski is Line Soulmate 98 (women’s version of the Prophet. Like that ski a lot. It has a metal in it so it’s kind of stiff, but it is heavy). The Backland 98W is light and going towards “lighter is better” but interested in your opinion if it’s too light for when groomed runs get the chopped up snow or piles of snow from a day being skied? Does the Maven or Nordica do better to push through those conditions? How is the Maven vs. Backland vs Nordica to flex / bend for bumps?

    Are there any other skis you would recommend?

    Hopefully that gives you enough info for some guidance. Thanks for all your help

  2. You have knowledge, professionalism, respect to other people, and great style! Your recent boot flex podcast 2/23/24 is truly a gem. You are the best in the team! “Less Egos = More Amigos!” (As a ski industry veteran and writer, I’ve seen a thing or two.) Looking forward to more podcasts, videos, and reviews. Keep sliding and rolling!

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