Interview by Mike Rogge
Hey Tim, start off by giving us a brief bio...
I grew up in Alaska, skiing Ayleska, racing and pretty much being at the mountain as much as I could as a kid. I moved to the lower 48 in search of terrain parks and since not much was happening in Alaska. I have had alot of good friends to ski with in Alaska, and everywhere I have traveled since I left my Alaskan homeland. It wasn't until these past few years that I have rediscovered how much real skiing means to me.
There's no reason to beat around the bush. I hear (and saw in the new PBP trailer) you're doing double flips in the backcountry and you've been stomping shit over at pyramid gap. WTF!?
Yeah, I pretty much told myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to try and learn a bunch if new tricks. I know most pros like to do the whole water ramps training ramps deal, but I went there one time and was pretty over it. I just want to learn new tricks the old fashion way, the way I learned double backflips when I was 15...build a jump into soft snow and just send it! I still haven't done any doubles in the park and probably won't (laughs), but it's just so much fun doing them into powder off a jump that we built in the mountains. As for pyramid gap, that was kind of a random thing. My snowmobile shit the bed, so I decided to group up with Ross and Collin Collins and Lukas Tanaka in Grizzly Gulch. They were just casually filming for the webisode on some of the gulches mellower jumps and I jokingly, but with a hint of seriousness, mentioned that we should build pyramid. It took some convincing but we got Brent Benson out there who actually documented some of the first sessions on pyramid ever. It was cool to hear Benson tell stories about Jamie Pierre hitting it on a snowboard and Marc Andre's sister attempting to clear it. Some of you may also remember Chris Collins Triple back attempt, which was insane!
photo: Collin Collins/PBP
Pyramid and Chad's are arguably the two most recognizable gaps in skiing and snowboarding. Many careers have been made and almost ended on those gaps. What were your thoughts dropping into Pyramid?
Well after I did my first few speed checks I decided not to hit it switch because that in-run is crazy, and we didnt have the man power to smooth it out. I was also stoked to be hitting it when there was a fat cornice on the landing, so if I did come up a bit short it would have been a soft smash into the wall. Also having Brent Benson and Steve Rozendaal there, two guys who have built the gap and filmed it before gave me a boost of confidence. I have hit jumps as big as pyramid before so I was ready for the airtime, and you can't go wrong with mine-tailing piles...arguably the smoothest landings in the world. All I was thinking in the in-run was go fast and stomp!
photo: Collin Collins/PBP
Your segment in Reasons was arguably one of the most talked about segments of the year. What kind of work goes into putting together a banger segment?
A lot of work. Last year was hard because I was filming with Ostness as well, and I had to juggle working with him and the Poor Boyz filmers. This year I am totally filming with the Poor Boyz guys and doing some webisode stuff with Ross Reid. Getting shots is not easy, but the feeling you get when you do get them is what makes all the effort feel worth it. As for making it a banger, that takes a little bit of creativity, a lot motivation and small bit of luck. This year has been good as I got some really cool shots at Mt. Bachelor, we had this huge freezing rain and wind storm that actually closed the resort for one day. I heard locals saying they have never seen so many trees fall in one storm since, well...before most anyone reading this was born. Anyways, there were a ton of really cool fallen trees after the storm and we took advantage of that and got some really cool shots. It's just an example of how getting creative, lucky and working hard can make something happen that is really unique.
Mt Bachelor. photo: Brian Becker
What inspires you to push the limits of the sport in the backcountry?
Their is so much variety and creativity you can have in the backcountry. Sure you can do creative stuff in the park, but it's just different ya know. You can do a 360 off a park jump and it's always gonna look and feel pretty much the same, but in the backcountry you can do a 360 off a pillow or a cliff or a tree, or a jump, gap...etc. I could go on forever you know! Another thing is the new rockered skis, they are opening so many doors with switch landings and take-off's, and making natural take off's more possible. I get excited seeing all types of skiing progress, but backcountry trickery is the one that I think has the most potential and I am right there pushing it as hard as I can.
photo: John Spriggs
Who or what inspires you on a personal level?
I will admit that watching That's it That's All really changed my perception on jumping in the backcountry. Honestly that movie is unbelievable, and I feel like skiing could have something that is on that level. I wish Red Bull would give Kris Ostness some skrilla and a helicopter and let us get bangers all day long, that's the dream. Ostness was real fun to shoot with last year, and I was really excited to get some of my first video nominations at Powder Awards with his movie. It felt good to me that our movie stood up there with the best of them, even with our extremely limited budget and short filming schedule. Also the 2bi4 crew, especially Creighton because I gave him a pair of powder skis and he hit a cliff in Cucci jeans, and he let me sleep on his couch one night when I was too drunk to drive home. That right there shows character. It's just awesome seeing kids love skiing, every kind of it.
It's one thing for a skier to watch a park segment, go to their local park, and try a trick and an entirely different thing to go into the backcountry. What advice do you have for skiers looking to adventure out on a sled or hike some terrain in the backcountry?
Wear your avalanche beacon, get creative and have fun. It is harder to learn to ski powder, but if you learn it, you will be able to enjoy it for a lifetime. Also if you want to learn new tricks, powder is the place to try it, and not get hurt.
Let's fast forward to IF3 or a PBP premiere next year. What can we expect to see from a Tim Durtschi segment?
Me holding a bottle of champagne in my left hand and a bottle of red wine in my right! (laughs) But if you're watching the movie and not me you will see some good shots. I have to keep getting more good shots so I can convince Johnny Decesare to give me closing segment!
And of course, here' your chance to give some shout-outs. Show some love...
Shout out to all my friends in Alaska who helped me push my skiing, Troy Murdough, Zach Davison, Tyler Veatch, Evan Hyde, Sean Poirot, Tiger Tasker, Zach Hoppas, Chris French, Erik Saugsted, Landis and Luke Tanaka, Cody Barnhill, Jake Roseaur, Collin Gordon, Logan Imlach, Erik Frampton, and every one else who I have skiied with at Alyeska. All my friends in Oregon, Utah, Creighton Elinski and the whole 2bi4 crew. All my friends at Windells and Mt. Hood, Tommy Ellingson, Seth Warner, Austin Stevens, Sean Harkins, my homies at Bachelor, Chris Jordan, Mark Devorak, Lucas Watts, and every one at Bachelor, all the homies at Skjersaa's, Jeremy Nelson, my brother Travis and sister Erica Durtschi. But most of all want to thank Johnny for letting me film with Poor Boyz even when none of my sponsors were a part of the movie. He really believed in me and I can't thank him and Pete Alport enough for being where I am with Poor Boyz today.