And just look at the way she skis…
She’s also got a really cool pair of leather mittens: made by Astis.
But mostly, what we love about her is her skiing.
“One of my nicknames on the US team was ‘Photoshoot’,” Richardson remembers of her time as a ski racer, “because my turns were so dynamic. But when it comes to racing, skiing like this isn’t a great idea – because it doesn’t translate into speed. They tried to coach the habit out of me.”
Clearly, they didn’t succeed; and the Utah is a better place because of it, because watching Richardson ski is a joyous experience. It’s something she can’t get enough of, either. “I love the feeling you get when the skis hook into the snow, and accelerate across the slope,” she says. “Turning is what I do best, and it’s the place where I feel most graceful.”
Sadly, skiing with Richardson is not normally on the menu at the Canyons. But I was lucky enough to see her in action yesterday: thanks to her guest appearance at the Canyons’ 7.30am First Tracks programme. First Tracks runs on Tuesdays and Fridays, and gives you a 90-minute head-start on the rest of the skiing public. Everyone says it’s the essential start to a powder day here, but even on an unpowdery day it was a blast, thanks to soft snow and freshly-groomed, mint-condition corduroy. As I’ve mentioned in my feature about the Canyons trail map, there are some cracking intermediate-level pistes in the resort, many of them fall-line runs which head straight down the mountain. My group gobbled them up with gusto.
We carried on skiing once First Tracks had finished. Not surprisingly, Richardson skis at Mach3, so we covered a fair bit of ground before an early lunch: nearly 6,000 vertical metres according to the resort’s EpicMix app. Which wasn’t bad, given we’d stopped for a breakfast burritos, and to have our picture taken by one of the EpicMix photographers.
Of course, in one respect skiing with someone of Richardson’s calibre is a sobering experience. You can’t help but notice the yawning gulf that separates someone with her balance, strength and brio from the rest of us. But mostly it’s just exciting and inspiring. Yesterday, we were all skiing out of our skins as a result.
We LOVE Kaylin Richardson.
The Canyons is 35 minutes’ drive from Salt Lake City airport – and you can book accommodation direct from the resort here. British skiers can also buy tailor-made flights-and-accommodation packages from tour operators such as Ski Independence.