Big mountain skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa chats about Breck North Face series | SummitDaily.com

Big mountain skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa chats about Breck North Face series

Sebastian Foltz
sfoltz@summitdaily.com

For Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, big-mountain skiing is an art form.

The three-time winner of Powder magazine's award for Best Male Performance in a ski movie uses slopes as his canvas.

"It's being able to interact with terrain," he said. "It can be different every day, even in the same place. You're looking at what the terrain is doing, imagining things. There's a flow that passes through you."

Like it did for many of us, the feeling of floating drew him to the sport when he was a kid.

"I think it's some sort of flying fascination. You're almost like zero gravity," he said, explaining his need to take it a step further and huck off cliffs deep in the Alaskan backcountry. For a few seconds that sense of flight lingers, until gravity brings you back down to earth.

"It provides the feeling of floating. You're literally not touching the ground," he said.

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PASSION FOR ART

Carving turns through powder never gets old for the 34-year-old, who's made a career of it over 10 years of ski-movie appearances, most of them with acclaimed ski and snowboard film company Teton Gravity Research.

But while he's known for his skiing accomplishments, it's his passion for art in the more traditional sense that people might not be aware of.

That passion was the inspiration behind one of his segments in this winter's TGR movie "Almost Ablaze." It will also be the subject of his presentation Saturday night in Breckenridge as part of the annual North Face Speaker Series.

Before Cattabriga-Alosa became a professional big-mountain skier, he spent two years studying art in college.

"I've always been an artist and always been into visual art, painting and drawing as a kid," he said. But when his ski career took off the art was put on the back burner, until the idea of blending his two passions started to form.

Inspired by music festivals like Burning Man and the light shows that accompanied them, Cattibriga-Alosa decided he wanted to bring his art to the ski slope by projecting a light show onto an untouched slope, then skiing through it. It was an idea that marinaded for a few years before becoming a reality last spring.

Using screen projecters, Cattabriga-Alosa and filmmaker Adam Clark projected images of his art intertwined with moving graphics for a night-skiing segment that he described as a "live collage on snow."

"It was definitely one of the more unique nights I've had on skis," he said. "It's very much like skiing into the headlights of a car. The projection would end and it would basically be like a black wall. I often end with some kind of controlled crash.

"Being able to combine these and share it with the ski community kind of allows a place to express who I am as a person," he said.

Following the show audience members will have the opportunity participate in a question-and-answer session with the accomplished skier.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER SERIES

The North Face Speaker Series will take place at the Riverwalk Center at 150 West Adams St. in Breckenridge, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the event there will be a VIP reception and meet-and-greet with Cattabriga-Alosa at 5:30 p.m. at The North Face store on Main Street in Breckenridge.

Every year the speaker series benefits the Breckenridge Outdoor Enducation Center, raising money for adaptive sports in Summit County. As a part of the event there will raffle with prizes provided by a number of area businesses.

"We are getting prizes for this raffle that are off the charts," Steve Lapinsohn, owner of The North Face Breckenridge store, said. Prizes include gear from The North Face, free nights at any of the 10th Mountain Division huts and rockered skis from Christy Sports. Last year the event raised more than $3,000 for the BOEC, Lapinsohn said, adding that he hopes this year's event will raise even more.

More information is available at http://www.thenorthface.com/speakerseries. Free seats are available for the presentation, though the number available is limited. Tickets can also be purchased for $10. The VIP reception is $20.

North face speaker series

Who: Big-mountain skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa

Where: Breckenridge River Walk

When: Saturday 7:30 p.m. with VIP reception at 5:30 at The North Face Breckenridge

Event benefits the BOEC