News » Whistler

Weekend warrior charges the line

Stephanie Jagger decided to challenge the Guinness Book of World Records for most vertical feet skied in one year; in the process, she uncovered a new self



Forget the box of chocolates. Life is like a ski lift - if you don't raise the restraining device you'll just go round and round.

That was the reasoning behind Vancouver's Stephanie Jagger's decision to ski the most vertical feet ever recorded in a calendar year, breaking a Guinness World record in the process.

Unlike most other people who push the limits on skies, Jagger isn't a ski pro. She didn't race as a kid and laughingly refers to her old self as a "weekend warrior." All she did was set a personal goal to take a year to ski around the world.

"When I told my parents they were very excited, then when I told them how I was thinking of financing it personally, they were not very excited," she recounted.

"I explained to them that it was probably a similar amount of money that people would spend on something like a masters degree and that's kind of what I consider it."

Tackling a mountain degree in international ski relations, Jagger has since clicked into her bindings on almost every continent and is poised to break the previous record of vertical feet skied in a year set by a Brit in 1994. He skied 4,146, 890 feet in 365 days.

Jagger is about to break that record by two months and after countless adventures abroad she came back to her favourite stomping grounds of Whistler Blackcomb to do it. It's a poignant return to the place that sparked the idea to begin with.

"When I originally told my friends what I was thinking of doing they all had a good chuckle because I didn't have the money and I'm not a good enough skier and how is that even possible, etcetera, etcetera," she said. "So we were on the chairlift and I was feeling rather disheartened and we got to the top and there was that sign that can be found at almost every ski resort around the world 'Raise your restraining device.' I looked at it and said, 'what is it that is my restraining device about this idea? What is holding me back from really going after something that I feel quite passionate about?'"

It turns out her barriers were surmountable and her friends supportive so Jagger spent a year and a half saving, executed some creative financing of her assets and was off to Chile to start her odyssey last July. After skiing her way around South America, including a stint at Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego - the southernmost tip of the world, Jagger bounced over to New Zealand for the peak of their winter season. After a two-month stint in Indonesia waiting for the snow conditions to ripen in Japan, Jagger jetted for the land of the rising sun where she discovered the fine art of apr├Ęs, Japanese-style.

Add a comment