Travis Ganong: U.S. Ski Racer + Backcountry & Big-Mtn Skier (Ep.89)

Travis Ganong might be the most well-rounded skier in the world (just listen to this conversation), and he is certainly one of the most passionate. Travis has been a member of the U.S. Alpine “A” Team for the past 15 years, but he is also obsessed with backcountry touring and big-mtn skiing, so we talk about all of it: racing & training; catching the attention of Shane McConkey as a kid; filming with Warren Miller; backcountry touring; and more.

Jonathan Ellsworth talks to ski racer and big-mountain skier, Travis Ganong, on the BLISTER Podcast


  • Training in Tahoe City (1:02)
  • How has gym training for ski racing evolved? (2:23)
  • The fitness of skiers vs. other athletes (7:10)
  • Are you preparing for specific courses you’ll compete on? (13:11)
  • Where have you improved the most: physically, technically, or mentally? (19:25)
  • Growing up in a family of skiers (22:04)
  • Temptation to stop racing / a key point in Travis’ racing career (30:27)
  • Which skiers did you look up to the most? (34:23)
  • Seasonal weight fluctuations / recovering from a blown out knee (37:19)
  • Does the American DH squad have team goals? (41:25)
  • Hyper-specialization & ski racing (43:40)
  • Travis the park skier?? (47:22)

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4 comments on “Travis Ganong: U.S. Ski Racer + Backcountry & Big-Mtn Skier (Ep.89)”

  1. Travis Ganong is one of my skiing heroes, but I think that “most well-rounded skier in the world” is pushing things a bit.

    Despite stereotypes to the contrary, truly elite racers (the sort with WC points) tend to be phenomenal freeriders as well. Nobis and Rahlves are obvious recent examples, and Julia Mancuso did a creditable job when she competed on the Bec as a wildcard a few years ago IMO, but they’re just the latest in a long tradition of racing crossovers. As a random example, I think that Cody Townsend’s infamous “line of the year” owed a lot to his experience running speed.

    • If you’ve listened to some of our past podcast conversations (with the likes of Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Angel Collinson, Hoji — and yes, Cody and Rahlves themselves) — you’ll know that we have covered this ground many times before. But if you listen to the last part of this podcast, you’ll know that we’re not just talking about big mountain skiers who had racing backgrounds. If you bring park into the equation — and couple that with where Travis currently is in his racing career (and the trajectory of this career) — the claim gets more interesting. And perhaps especially since Travis is by no means done. So if you like, consider the claim to also function as a prediction.

  2. Robb-brother-of-Scott Gaffney’s book “Squallywood” contains a great photo sequence of Ganong nailing the High Line through Eagles’ nest at Squaw.

    High Line is usually only skied in perfect conditions, and even then it’s often straight-lined as it starts out at almost 70 deg. Travis apparently needed a way to kill a little time between runs during the 2006 US Alpine Nationals, so he dropped into crusty conditions and made clean turns.

    There are many similar “Travis stories” around Squaw.

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