Warren Miller’s 2019 ski film, Timeless, kicks off the season. We got a chance to sit down with Blizzard Tecnica athletes, Brenna Kelleher and Caite Zeliff, to talk about their paths to becoming big mountain skiers and what it means to be a part of a Warren Miller Entertainment film.
Blizzard Tecnica: How did you get into big mountain skiing?
BK: Skiing is about setting new goals and pushing yourself. I am from Big Sky, MT and if you have ever skied there you would know why someone would get into big mountain skiing. It offers a variety of terrain to continually challenge yourself in and build confidence. So I guess I lucked into being born in Montana and love being outside and exploring!
CZ: I had just dropped out of college, retired from a division 1 ski racing career, and was looking for my next adventure. I packed up my car and decided that Jackson, Wyoming, would be a good place for my next chapter to unfold. When I arrived in the Tetons I was captivated by the mountains and became obsessed with the joy that is powder skiing. I was lucky enough to fall into a group of local big mountain shredders and they showed me this beautiful world of big mountain skiing.
Blizzard Tecnica: What’s your favorite aspect of freeskiing?
BK: Powder and new lines! Freeskiing to me is nothing without goals and accomplishment. Sometimes the skiing comes without success and is more about the journey and decisions you make along the way. As much as I love being out in the mountains and feeling a sense of accomplishment when I ski, sometimes it’s just as important to decide to walk away from a line.
CZ: I love the creativity and freedom of freeskiing. I love that there is no right or wrong way to ski, everyone has their own style and flair and it has been really fun to create my personal style over the past few years. In a funny way it’s how I get to express myself and I am grateful to have that outlet in my life.
Blizzard Tecnica: Who is a female skier that inspires you to improve and why?
BK: My sister Keely Kelleher! She has more confidence in me than I do myself which helps to push me. Keely has overcome both injury and disappointment in the ski industry and what she has been able to build with her all-girls racing and ski touring camps is inspiring. The ski industry, and particularly the race industry, can lead to disappointments at times, but if you learn how to continually think positively then the journey is worth it and Keely is a great example of that.
It’s nice to be able to learn from her and work with her as a team. In the past couple of years we have been working womens’ all mountain ski clinics together. We make a great team (even though we are still sisters and fight). Both of our backgrounds lead to a great energy in the clinics we run and together we are able to help women see their own potential in skiing.
If you want to know more check out her website: https://keelyscamp.com
CZ: This one is always tricky, there are a lot and for all different reasons. Women are killing it right now and it has been a blast to watch. I am impressed by all the lady shredders that are getting inverted and spinning off features. I'm hoping to incorporate more of that into my skiing and having other women to learn from is a gift.
Blizzard Tecnica: What did being in the Warren Miller film mean to you?
BK: This is a funny one because at 36 you feel sorta played out in the ski industry. Especially as a female skier and I don’t have any logic behind my thoughts on this, other than that is the perception I have. So when I was asked I thought someone was joking with me, but then I realized they weren’t and I suddenly got very nervous. It meant a lot to me. If you grow up in the ski industry you grow up watching the films and you always secretly imagine ripping a line or getting face shots in powder in your own segment in a WM film. You pick out the song you would like, the place you would want to ski, and the skis you want to ski. So being able to actually DO IT was magical. No I didn’t get to pick the place or the music, but the skis are the best! Also, I have no complaints about BC powder at Mustang Powder. Amazing place!
CZ: Being in a Warren Miller movie is a childhood dream come true. It makes me really proud and means the world to me. I have put a lot of hard work and time into skiing, it is what I have chosen to spend my life doing, and seeing the hard work pay off feels really good.
BT: How does skiing around your home mountain prepare you for competitions like King and Queen of Corbet’s—which you won this year—and the terrain you take on when filming?
CZ: Jackson is the best training ground in the world. With everything from steep exposed lines to big features to amazing conditions and the coolest local legends to follow around, it is the perfect place for me to prepare for any type of skiing I may stumble upon.
Blizzard Tecnica: What skis did you ski on in the film? Why did you ski on them and what do you like about them?
BK: I skied the Sheeva 11 180. I love them! I chose this ski because it is light and fast in tree lines, but also stable at higher speeds through powder and in BC it was all about the powder.
CZ: I skied on my Rustler 11’s. They are my go-to ski for almost any condition, I know them super well and trust them to handle any condition, steep line, or cliff I choose to take them off.
Blizzard Tecnica: What does it mean to you to be a part of the Women to Women campaign?
BK: When Blizzard Tecnica asked me to be apart of this project I felt extremely honored, not just to be a part of the W2W, but to be part of a company that would create a women’s division such as this. It gives me a strong sense of pride to be part of the Blizzard Tecnica community. I feel like a lot of females brush off female equipment, clinics, camps, and incentives as weak, but the really neat aspect of W2W is the support and trust Blizzard Tecnica gives to women who are part of the project. The feedback and support is amazing.
CZ: It is exciting to be part of a company that chooses to put an emphasis on women and creating a quality female product. As a woman, I feel it is important to be advocates for other women, to lift each other up, cheer each other on, and push each other to be better. It’s really nice to have W2W to use as an ally and an outlet.