BY AMIEE WHITE BEAZLEY | November 2, 2010 | People
DeVore merges his two favorite activites—skiing and yoga.
DeVore in Alta, Utah
DeVore skiing the Col Margherita Dolomites in Italy
At the young age of 25, Nick DeVore has seen, skied and experienced more than most men twice his age. Many consider him the best telemark skier on the planet, and some pin the reputation of the entire sport on DeVore’s next move. It’s a big responsibility for a man whose life, he admits, is “still unfolding.”
The son of Karinjo DeVore and the late, famed National Geographic photographer Nick DeVore III, “Little Nicky” was raised in a few different places but calls Aspen, and more recently Marble, his home.
This 2008 Telemark Freeskiing World Champion has claimed first descents, podiums and drops that will give you chills, but Nick is also a dedicated yogi, locavore and college student of permaculture, holistic health and ecodesign. When we caught up with him, he had just finished the first day of a five-day yoga intensive focused on cultivating prana, or energy. He credits yoga with helping him build strength and focus. It also greatly influences his telemark style.
“I see skiing as yoga and as a dance,” he says. “I blend and play with the terrain instead of fighting and bashing against it.”
Yoga is a big part of his signature telemarking clinic, Portillo Big Mountain Telemark Camp. The camp is held every August in Portillo, Chile, in partnership with Nick’s mentor and former Colorado Rocky Mountain School telemark coach, Kayo Ogilby. They teach telemark skiers of different levels how to tackle challenging terrain.
“I grew up on skis; it’s second nature,” DeVore says. “But teaching this camp has taught me so much. I’m breaking it all down and figuring out how I can teach it to other people. It makes me look at what I’m doing.”
If you shadow DeVore—and Black Diamond-sponsored teammates Will Cardamone, Chris Erickson, Mark Welgos and Jacqui Edgerly—on a powder day at his preferred local mountain, Aspen Highlands, it’s immediately apparent that DeVore is not your stereotypical “extreme” athlete. He skis with a confidence, posture and style his own. And when “SICK” NICK’S TOP LOCAL TELE RUNS (SHH, DON’T TELL ANYONE…) he’s at the top of a run, Nick sees his line with a unique type of clarity. “I look at mountains and nature through that photographic eye, the beauty and light,” he says. “When I’m standing (at the top), the way I look at the mountain and how I would like to ski that line, it turns into a photograph.”
That gift has allowed him to spend the last decade consistently on the road, taking award-worthy photos, filming and skiing the world’s toughest terrain. “I don’t think I’ve been in one place for more than four months in the last 10 years,” says DeVore.
But constant travel can take a toll. Longing for stability and a way to balance his ecoconscious lifestyle with the carbon impact of constant jet travel, DeVore is sticking a little closer to home while he continues to push telemarking to the next level. He’ll also cultivate the energy, focus and desire to move himself forward, too.
“What I’ve been wrestling with over the past few years is what influence I actually have, not just in the telemark world, but in life in general,” he says. “I know I’ve been given this gift for a reason and don’t want to just throw it away, but use it to influence people in a positive way.
“SICK” NICK’S TOP LOCAL TELE RUNS (SHH, DON’T TELL ANYONE…)
• GZones (Highland Bowl, Highlands)
• G-8 (Highland Bowl, Highlands)
• Filip’s Leap (Highland Bowl, Highlands)
• Ruthie’s (Ajax)
• Kristi’s (Ajax)
• S1 in The Dumps (Ajax
PHOTOGRAPH BY GABE ROGEL