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KC Deane Talks Sick Ski Shots and Global Ski Culture
Posted on January 14, 2014

KC Deane in Revelstoke, BC

Word filtered out and we’ve been tracking their travels for the past few weeks, but today is the official Eddie Bauer announcement that KC Deane and Drew Tabke have joined our guide and athlete team. We’ll track down Tabke before he starts the defense of his FWT title, but we caught up with Deane between his trips to Revelstoke, BC with photographer Grant Gunderson, and Zermatt, Switzerland, to represent Team Americas in the Skiers Cup, to ask the newest Eddie Bauer team member a few questions about skiing, injuries, cover shots, and Instagram.

From his early slopestyle days at Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho, KC Deane was hooked on the global images he discovered in ski movies and ski magazines. He honed his freestyle skills on the competitive circuit, elevated to pro status in Lake Tahoe, and survived a major injury of a broken back to shift focus to the deep snow of the backcountry. On this blank creative canvas, Deane has filmed freestyle-influenced, heavy-line ski segments for the Voleurz movies, exhibited his multi-discipline skill in the 2013 Skiers Cup, and shot frequently in stunning deep-powder locations with photographers Grant Gunderson, Mattias Fredriksson, and Mason MashonIn the past year alone, Deane has been selected to the North American team in the 2104 Skiers Cup and has landed on the covers of six major ski magazines, producing published shots in epic locations that range from Patagonia, Chile, Japan, and Switzerland to Mt. Baker’s Shuksan Arm and Whistler’s Brandywine backcountry. In the summer seasons, he takes his multi-sport, big-air skill to the dirt as a professional mountain biker, but it is his photographic eye that has elevated him above just the talent, earning him more than 30,000 followers on Instagram, where he provides a window into his global freeski and freeride migrations. —LYA Editor

LYA: Where did you grow up and where did you learn to ski?  

I grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, and learned how to ski at Schweitzer Mountain.

LYA: How did you become interested in becoming a professional skier?  

I became interested in skiing professionally from always skiing and watching ski movies. I wanted to be able to travel and ski the places I saw in the movies, and one of the ways to do that was become a pro skier.

LYA: Why did you focus on filming and shooting rather than another aspect of the sport?  

I competed in slopestyle for a few years but when it came down to it, I’m not a big fan of contests. I like being in the backcountry and in deep snow: in the end, that brought me to filming and shooting in the backcountry.

LYA: What was the toughest part about coming back from a major injury?  

Overcoming the mental component of being injured. It is easy to know that your body is healthy, but having the day you got injured in the back of your head can mess with your confidence for a while. I feel I get my body back before my mind.

LYA: Why did you start shooting your own photos and how did that change your outlook on skiing?  

I started shooting “good” photos, I feel, maybe 2-3 years ago. It didn’t change my outlook on skiing but helped develop my eye for picking out features to shoot. It just makes it that much easier to work with a photographer when you are looking for the same thing.

LYA: What drew you to Instagram and how has that played into your role as a skier?  

Well, I have to thank Luke Jacobson from Moment Skis for getting me on IG. He told me about it long before most people knew of it, and told me I needed to get on this particular social platform. As a skier, I think it has played a role because it’s helped me think more about what would look good for photos and filming.

LYA: How many followers do you have and how did you get such a huge IG following?  

I have 33.5K and it just developed from posting good photos. Earlier on, not a lot of people were on Instagram, so there were only a few skiers who posted pretty decent photos. After I got a good following from skiing, I started working with T-Mobile and that is when things really blew up.

LYA: Why is social media expertise so important for a professional skier?  

It is just another outlet to keep in touch with friends, family, fans, sponsors, etc. If I get a shot in a magazine, and said person maybe missed the photo but follows your social channels, they will know about it. I feel like it helps fill in the gaps between being published and in films.

LYA: What are some of the best places you’ve traveled internationally to ski?  

Japan would probably take the cake for me as best spot to go ski because it never stops snowing. But Chile and Switzerland, as well as Canada, which is always awesome.

LYA: What is the most memorable ski trip you’ve been on?  

My second trip to Revelstoke was one of the most memorable. It was the first time I did a big trip with Grant Gunderson, and it also got me in a heli for the first time. That trip really helped make my career. Also, every trip I have done to Japan, and my first trip to Chile I coached at Evolve Chile. That summer, Chile just got pounded with snow and it was an amazing trip all-around.

LYA: What do you like most about international ski travel?  

I really like seeing new areas and experiencing the different cultures that share the same passion for skiing and being in the mountains as I do.

LYA: What attracted you to the Eddie Bauer brand?  

Eddie Bauer’s longevity is one of the main things. My dad bought his first Eddie Bauer sleeping bag in 1973. That means a lot, and also the fact that they have amazing gear. It is also a brand that is backed by good people who have a clear vision of where they want to go.

LYA: What are the most distinct advantages of the First Ascent gear compared to what you’ve seen from other brands?  

Going through the gear, there have been quite a few times where I put it on and ask myself, “What is going on here?” And then I take a second and look at, say, the cinch on a glove, and realize how much thought goes into just that one piece. The fact that it was designed to be tightened and loosened without taking off your other glove shows how much thought and effort go into designing even the smallest or inconsequential part of the gear.

LYA: What is your favorite piece of gear so far?  

I really like the Haines Pack. First off, it is an awesome backpack, and second, the more you use that pack, you can just tell how the athlete feedback helps develop a product.

LYA: What is the next step for your skiing, or what is your next skiing goal?  

To push myself in the backcountry, doing bigger tricks off natural features, and to film with a big film company over the next few years.

KC Deane skiing at Revelstoke

Author: - Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
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