We inherit the history that exists on these landscapes in a way that we don’t see in direct ways. When we spend time in these places, that connects us to this larger story. Past, present and future.

For me, I saw skiing as a way to engage with that. It’s one of the only ways that we get to experience and be a part of the water cycle. My skis are a tool of movement. They’re a tool for storytelling. They’re a tool for connecting my story as a Navajo person to these landscapes, in these waters that I have a duty to protect. Languages are directly influenced by the landscapes that they’re in. Heniiniini’, which is the Arapaho word for snowpack, literally translates to, “There’s snow on the ground.” Embodied in this one word are thousands of years of knowledge and thousands of years of relationship to
this place.

A lot of folks go skiing for recreational reasons. For me it was a very different entry point. I saw this as an opportunity to learn a landscape and to learn a place. To be a part of the water cycle in these really cool ways.