Words by Ilanna Barkusky
On any given day, each summer, on the Horstman Glacier high atop Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, the freeskiing stars of tomorrow are turning heads at Momentum Camps—a summer freestyle ski camp. One noticeable standout is Etienne Geoffroy, who laps the park all day long in between his duties as a digger, and can be seen throwing down in Momentum’s more recent edits. During the winter, Geoffroy globe trots as a member of Freestyle Canada’s Next Gen Team, and recently clocked an impressive first season on the World Cup circuit, highlighted by his victory in slopestyle at the Nor-Am Cup in Calgary.
Still based where he grew up, the wily 22-year-old improbably rose out of the dark and northerly outpost of Whitehorse, Yukon.
“Growing up that far north, the only way to battle through the Yukon winters of short daylight and cold temperatures was sports,” he says.
Getting into skiing as a family activity on weekends, his mother, Sylvie, who is a volunteer ski patroller at Mount Sima to this day, would drive Geoffroy to the hill, where he would try to keep up with his older brother and his friends. He joined the local freestyle club at the age of 14, competing in his first B.C. Freestyle Timber Tour slopestyle contest a year later. With Sima only open on weekends, Geoffroy built a ramp and a rail in his backyard to keep himself busy after school. When it would get too dark, he would head to the gymnastics centre. Six years later, he began representing Canada on the world stage.
After making the National Team, Geoffroy found he didn’t have to look far for motivation, crediting his teammate Alex Beaulieu-Marchand as his biggest inspiration.
“He was everything I wanted to be—a respected competition skier, and a trick and grab innovator. I first got to meet him when I was a camper at Momentum Camps, and loved how well he could juggle competition and film skiing.”
Geoffroy is now a fixture on the glacier thanks to his hard-working role as a builder and maintainer of Momentum’s park.
“It allows me to switch from a competition focus to a more fun-oriented one,” he says. “I can train with no stress or expectations and with some amazing people around me, which is exactly what I need after a long competition season.”
With his debut on the World Cup circuit behind him, his sights are set on what’s ahead of him.
“As of now, I’m focusing most of my energy on getting World Cup results, and am hoping that with those results come opportunities. Competing in those events forces me to ski at my very best, and I love the challenges that competition skiing brings. The Olympics are definitely in the back of my mind, but it’s just one of the many events I would love to compete in.”