Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! finds a sweet shop snowboarder |

Life on the Summit: Hey, Spike! finds a sweet shop snowboarder

Ahhhh, what a sweet life Julianne Brackett O’Neill is living.

The 20-year-old California native is a sponsored snowboarder, an ice cream shop staffer and the wife of a local ski patroller.

A home-schooled athlete from a large family, Julianne grew up in South Lake Tahoe.

“I am so happy to say that I was able to study at home when I was in school. I have an amazing mother who educated me and my nine siblings,” says Julianne. “Being able to study at home gave me lots of opportunities to pursue my snowboarding dreams. I am so thankful for my parents and all they did for me.”

“I am officially an ice cream snob now — homemade ice cream is the best.”Julianne O’Neill

Julianne already has a decade of snowboard competitions under her belt, with numerous podiums to her credit.

Locally, she usually does her training rides at Breckenridge.

“I usually ride and train by myself,” says Julianne, whose main sponsor is Flowsnowboards.

Also she maintains strong contacts around Lake Tahoe.

“There is an awesome team from the north shore of Tahoe, Auburn Ski Club,” she says. “I usually travel with them to most of the snowboard comps. It’s great to have a team’s support when competing. They are awesome.”

Recently, she returned to the West Coast, where she won the slopestyle event at Mammoth Mountain’s Revolution Tour.

“I’ve been competing since I was 10 years old. I’m stoked to have won a few things in my 10 years of competing,” Julianne says. “The Mammoth win was my first win this season. I was super happy to put down a solid run that day.”

Julianne followed that up with an appearance in Park City, Utah, for the VISA-FIS U.S. Grand Prix, which drew a strong field of international competitors.

“Park City was cool,” says Julianne. “I was honored to be there and represent my country and it was also great to see all the girls,” admitting she was not able to put down a perfect run. “I am looking forward to the next one so I can redeem myself.”

Julianne will return to Mammoth for another scheduled stop, then comes home to defend her 2014 Copper Mountain Nationals open class slopestyle title.

Copper is again hosting — March 27 to April 8 — the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championship, the largest snowboard and freeskiing event, welcoming top amateur athletes competing for national titles.

On the work side of her life, Julianne can be found at Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe in Frisco.

“I’m very happy to work for such a great business and amazing family,” she says.

Equally appreciative are the Footes.

“She is a cute, energetic girl,” says Becky Foote of Julianne.

What’s Julianne like best of the Sweet Shoppe goodies list?

“The ice cream,” she replies. “I am officially an ice cream snob now — homemade ice cream is the best.”

When Julianne’s not training or scooping frozen dollops, she and husband Kevin O’Neill, a ski patroller at Keystone Resort, can be found riding the slopes.

Kevin is also a photographer.

“You can find his awesome pictures on his website ( or go see his works hanging up at the Boatyard in Frisco or Clint’s Bakery in Breck,” says proud Julianne.


In some sad news, we share the passing of Claudia Alster (complications of ALS), a longtime Friscoite who had moved to Grand Junction a few years back with husband Bob of Alster Entertainment.

Bob and “Claude” had been married for 31 years and together for 36. It’s a real shame.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradoan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to

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