Elena hight arc'teryx

Chad Chomlack

Few riders have ever done it like Lake Tahoe’s Elena Hight. After dominating the halfpipe scene over a decade ago, Elena made the conscious choice to step out of bounds and into the backcountry in order to test herself in new terrain and elongate an already incredible career. Fast-forward to today and Elena is a Natural Selection Tour champion, a film star of the most elite order, and an ambassador to women everywhere who either want to ride like her or watch her do her thing in gargantuan terrain.
Backcountry riding is more popular than ever, but with that comes a responsibility to educate those who want to partake and the dangers that Mother Nature can pose. Avalanches, freezing cold temperatures and rapidly changing weather conditions are just a few of those dangers, and thus, Arcteryx has launched an initiative to help introduce and educate backcountry snowboarders of all ages and abilities in order to inspire them to go further. Recently, Elena not only attended Arc’teryx Academy, but was one of the teachers at said Academy, so we hit her up with a few questions, so please enjoy the answers from one of the best to ever do it.
—T. Bird

In ‘Choosing Big Mountain Lines’ @elenahight shared her knowlege in selecting and navigating the steps necessary to ride longer and more complex terrain in the backcountry. The team learned how to scope objectives, mentally map lines, manage potential risks and send it!

You were a teacher at the Arc’teryx Academy this winter. Did anyone bring you an apple?
Haha no apples! But great attitudes!

Was there a star pupil?
Honestly, everyone was so awesome. So many great questions, I can’t pick a favorite.

Professor Hight. p: Chad Chomlack

How DO you pick out a big mountain line?
It is all dependent on the terrain, conditions, and feel. Mostly I look for something that will flow!!

What is the importance of things like Arc’teryx Academy?
I love this event because it is really making the backcountry more accessible and inviting for more people. Sharing knowledge and spreading stoke about the mountains is such a pleasure and that is what the academy is all about!

What I think is so cool about Arc Academy is it can teach experts and introduce beginners. There seems to be no barrier to entry.
Agreed! We are trying to break down that barrier to entry and invite more people to be curious and hopefully get inspired to get out!

Also, is Jones Snowboards getting bigger? The brand seems to be everywhere.
I think Jones is crushing it. They are the best product out there so of course people are spreading the word

What does the rest of your winter look like?
Lots of really fun things on the horizon!