May 18, 2017
BCA pro athlete Grifen Moller.
BCA would like to congratulate three members of our athlete team: Trace Cooke, Berkeley Patterson, and Grifen Moller, on qualifying for the 2017-2018 Freeride World Tour. The opportunity to compete on the Tour is one of the most sought after prizes in big mountain skiing. Next year, these three riders will compete on some of the world’s most extreme faces among some of the biggest names in big mountain skiing. This interview with Grifen Moller is part 2 of a 3-part interview series with the three BCA athletes who have qualified for next year’s FWT. At only 18, Grif will be the young gun among many veterans on the tour. Coming off his most successful season of competing to date, Grifen is excited to take his skiing to the world stage.
- Name: Grifen “Stiff Grif” Moller
- Age: 18
- Hometown: Vail, Colorado
- Home Mountain: Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
- Sponsors: K2 Skis, Backcountry Access, Strafe Outerwear, Giro, Buzz’s Boards
2016- 2017 Competition Highlights
- 2nd in the Revelstoke Freeride World Qualifier 4*
- 8th in the Crested Butte Freeride World Qualifier 4*
- 6th in the Taos Freeride World Qualifier 4*
- 2nd in the Crystal Mountain Freeride World Qualifier 4*
I started skiing in Michigan, when I was two years old. Before I was born, my parents took a trip out to Colorado and fell in love with it. My parents just had the realization that they would so much rather live in Colorado than in Michigan. So when I was five, they packed up the family and moved out to Vail. My dad is an electrician in town and my mom helps him run the business. It’s pretty hard to imagine what my life would be like if I had stayed in Michigan.
I first heard about Big Mountain competition in the 8th grade. At the time, I was competing in moguls with Ski Club Vail. Ultimately, it was the freedom of it that caused me to fall in love with the freeride competition style. There are so many less rules in big mountain comps than in moguls. You can ski wherever you want, you don’t need to be “certified” to do a backflip…. it’s just awesome. I’ve always felt that it’s exactly what I want to do with skiing.
My coaches have had a huge part in taking my skiing to where it is today. Once I started competing in freeride, I started to train and ski with Team Summit at A-Basin. Team Summit has always had a reputation for turning out really incredible skiers: Ian Borgeson, George Rodney… to only name a few. I would especially like to thank three of my coaches: Ryan Van Nuys, Chris Carson, and Ed Dujardin, for the influence that these three have had on my skiing.
Grifen Moller, standing on the podium in second place at the 2017 Crystal Mountain Freeride World Qualifier.
Last fall, I started school at Western State University in Gunnison, Colorado. Going to school at Western has given me the opportunity to ski as much as I possibly can while also pursuing a degree in business. I have my class schedule worked out so I can get up to Crested Butte or into the backcountry almost every day after class. The terrain at Crested Butte is unreal. One of highlights of my year was joining both the Freeride Team and the Mountain Bike team as part of the Western State Mountain Sports Program. There are very few schools that provide so much emphasis and support for athletes who compete in these kinds of sports. The Mountain Sports program definitely played a huge role in why I decided to go to Western State. There is an incredible collection of coaches and athletes who are part of the program. There really isn’t anything else like it. Even at schools like CU or Fort Lewis, where similar programs exist, you don’t have the same access to the mountains, the amount of support, or the level of organization that you get at Western. It’s pretty unique.
Thoughts on competing:
If I can make it, I would love to compete in Haines. It’s every skier’s dream to ski in Alaska, there really isn’t anything else like it. It would be really rad to finally get to ski in AK, while also competing on the Freeride World Tour.
I’ve always loved watching Reine Barkered, Kristofer Turdell, and Drew Tabke. The whole roster on the tour is so stacked that it’s pretty hard to pick favorites. To ski and compete among people who I have looked up to my entire life will be kind of surreal. To be honest, I’m still waiting for it all to sink in.
My philosophy in competing has always been to strive for consistency. Competing on the tour next year is definitely going to be a big step for me. I was able to score a top 10 finish in every competition this season. Ideally, I would like to bring that momentum onto the tour. The European venues are whole different ballgame. Next year, I’m definitely going to have be extremely careful about inspecting the venue and making sure that I have my line really dialed. That being said, it’s going to be a blast. I’m really excited.
Follow Grifen: Instagram: @stiff_grif
Thanks for chatting with us Grif! We at BCA are extremely excited to see what you’ll do on the tour next year. Best of luck!
Stay tuned for the final installment of this three-part series, where we sit down with the FWT rookie Berkeley Patterson to talk about his plans for next season. Missed our interview with Trace Cooke? Click here!
Interview and profile by Jack Beighle.