Action County: Michelle Gmitro | SummitDaily.com

Action County: Michelle Gmitro

CAITLIN ROW
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY “Michelle Gmitro finally “got the guts” to sign up for her first big-mountain ski competition this season, and won the women’s division at the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championship in Taos, N.M. ” her second try.

“If I can stay on my feet, I can win,” Gmitro said with a laugh. “I’m definitely going to try it next year.”

Her win at Taos qualifies her for the invite-only Freeride World Tour.

She tumbled and didn’t place at three other competitions in Crested Butte, Snowbird, Utah, and Kirkwood, Calif.

Though she considered entering competitions for the last few years, a knee injury last year spurred Gmitro into signing up.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it still,” she said.

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According to Gmitro, signing up for a big-mountain competition is “like getting Widespread Panic tickets.”

“It’s so competitive,” she said. “So many people want to do it.”

A ski patroller at Arapahoe Basin, Gmitro supplements her work with hitting the slopes with “the local guys at A-Basin” on days off.

And as a patroller for the last four years (two at A-Basin and two at Keystone), Gmitro aims to continue her career path and see where the ski industry takes her.

“It’s really cool to compete and visit all these different mountains,” she said. “It makes me appreciate Summit County and A-Basin so much more.”

When asked where she saw herself in 10 years, she said “helicopter ski guide” or “in nursing school.”

In the summer season, Gmitro golfs and bikes, but “skiing is more fun.”

Originally from Minnesota, Gmitro began skiing at age 3. She’s lived in the area for five years ” she currently resides in Montezuma with her cat, Bandit.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.