SALT LAKE CITY — SCOTT Sports Freeride team member and Salt Lake City native Sam Cohen has skied the Cottonwoods his whole life. His parents taught him how to ski at Alta when he was two years old. Read on to see what he’s getting into this winter and what gear he doesn’t want to live without.
What is your favorite memory from growing up skiing in the Cottonwoods?
I have so many amazing memories, but skiing with the Freeride Team through high school was incredible. We were all so hungry and having the most fun.
What’s your most gnarly and/or rewarding experience (on or off the mountain)?
Two years ago, a great crew and I went out to ski a peak in the North Cascades that I had been studying for many years. The 55 miles of walking to a 6,000-foot climb felt tedious until we had achieved our goal of skiing Mt. Fury. Any hard work paying off is so rewarding.
You’re heading out for a day on the mountain. What are you bringing?
Most days, I’m skiing in the backcountry, so I’m always bringing my avalanche safety gear (beacon, shovel, probe). I’ll bring my SCOTT E1 airbag backpack just in case of an avalanche. Third rule, safety first.
Favorite après situation, food, and beverage?
Stopping by the Peruvian Lodge at Alta is always nice. At the end of the day, any food tastes good to me, and my go-to drink is WATER!
Top bucket-list ski and non-ski destinations?
I would really love to go rock climb in France someday when I can make the time to get over there. For ski destinations, I would have to say the Himalayas is such an amazing mountain range with so many beautiful un-skied peaks.
What’s your can’t-live-without SCOTT gear?
My personal can’t-live-without SCOTT product is probably the Superguide Freetour ski; it’s lightweight, but I can still charge hard on the downhill.
The Cottonwoods is home, but would you live anywhere else in the world?
With the expansion and growth of the canyons (especially Little Cottonwood) I will definitely be looking to move somewhere in the coming years. This place is so amazing and has been great to grow and live my life, but all the drama surrounding the gondola and other potential changes is just too much for me personally. With a bit more research, I feel we could come up with a much better option that we have the infrastructure to make happen. Washington is a place I have thought about moving to for sure. Great mountains and fewer crowds.
What’s coming up for you this winter?
This winter is shaping up nicely so far! My typical rule of thumb is you never know until you are on a trip skiing pow! Conditions just change so rapidly that it’s hard to say things are a lock until you are on trips, but as of now, things are looking good! I’ll be spending some quality time in British Columbia come December and then training my body and mind for bigger spring missions in Alaska. Hoping to make a trip to Chamonix and Japan as well! Finally, Japan is open, so we need to make up for lost time!
What do you like about Scott?
Besides the quality gear, I like that Scott has remained a soulful and pure company thriving in the same way as the everyday ski bum.
Destination or project you’re looking forward to?
Really excited about a SCOTT project in December and an expedition or two come springtime. Hopefully have Matchstick in the mix on the spring missions. Should be a great winter season!