Hey, Spike! finds Frisco’s Zach Husted enjoying Japan’s winter (column)
February 9, 2018
Zachary Husted grew up on Colorado sparkling powder — now that love of winter is taking him around the globe.
For most of his life, the 28-year-old's family has had a second home in Frisco at the base of Mount Royal, not far from his hometown of Westminster.
The Summit County connection led to Zach's initial career in the ski business as a snowboarding ski patroller-EMT at Copper Mountain Resort for three years. Then he followed that up with three tours on the Freeride World Qualifier, competing around North America, snowboarding in big mountain freeride contests.
When not competing, Zach was in New Zealand.
"I have been working as a mountain bike patroller and trail builder, helping to construct the Skyline Bike Park in Rotorua, which is now hosting Crankworx, a world-acclaimed bike festival hosting world class competitions in downhill, slopestyle, pump-track, dual speed and style, whip-off, air DH and enduro," he says.
That Down Under experience pushed him into joining the New Zealand mountain biking culture as well as giving him time to spend riding his snowboard around the world.
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With his growing resume due to medical skills and backcountry experience, Zach is now working on becoming certified as a professional guide.
"I recently got through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) application process and have the opportunity start my ski guide course and qualification," Zach explains.
The AMGA is based in Boulder, where Zach also spent his time earning double bachelor degrees in economics and geography, with an emphasis in GIS mapping at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
That knowledge of cartography is proving worthwhile.
Right now Zach's personal working tour has him on the other side of the globe — in Japan.
"I am now working for Whiteroom Guides as a backcountry splitboard guide in central Hokkaido, based in Furano. We have a large house where all the ski guides working for Whiteroom in Furano stay," he says. "It has nine bedrooms and (is) in the same location where the Japanese Olympic snowboard team would be stationed to train through the winter in years previous."
Zach and his fellow guides are enjoying 234 inches of snowfall to date with a 110-inch base.
He will return to Colorado in mid-March and to his supportive parents, Bob and Anita, and siblings Mark and Alison.
Zach's older brother, Mark, is working to complete his PhD in electrical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, where he was an All-American runner six times and twice a NCAA champion.
Alison, the youngest Husted, is an obstetrics nurse in Washington, D.C. She is a 2015 graduate of Johns Hopkins University.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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