Solitude Athletes

Solitude is home to some of the most impressive and adventurous professional, competitive, and sponsored athletes around — and they each love Solitude for a different reason. Give them a follow on Instagram, and say hi if you see them on the slopes. The faces, form, fashion, and style of these pros can be found throughout Solitude's social and marketing presence, but we're happiest when they can be found on our runs and in our Village. Solitude is proud to be the mountain they call home. Check out the Spotify playlist which contains a collaboration of all their favorite ski tunes. 

Whitney Gardner

Whitney is an American World Cup skicross athlete and outdoor enthusiast from Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Aside from ski racing, Whitney spends her time traveling and teaching yoga. She is a student at the University of Utah and spends as much time as possible in the outdoors backcountry skiing, rock climbing, biking, hiking, and exploring. She loves skiing at Solitude because of the community.

What makes you unique?
Isn’t everyone unique? I’m unique because I’m the only ME!

What’s the best way to start the day?
Gratitude meditation.

What song is in your earbuds on a pow day?
No music can replace the sounds of the wild. Natural sounds are the best way to bring me into the present moment. Being present is the most empowering part of being in the outdoors and pushing your limits.

  Give Whitney a follow

Harrison Holley

A Park City, Utah native, Harrison Holley enjoys Solitude because of the laid-back feel, great snow, friendly staff, challenging terrain, minimal crowds, and the Thirsty Squirrel.

Words to live by?
Send it before you send it.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with no preparation?
How to fail at giving a presentation.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
I lost a bet requiring me to eat only bean and cheese burritos for two weeks straight. Sounds dumb, but I look at it now as more of a cleanse. I lost 5 pounds and made some new friends at the local Mexican restaurant.

  Give Harrison a follow

Graham Watanabe

Graham Watanabe is a Sun Valley, Idaho native and a 12-year veteran of the U.S. national snowboard team. He competed in two Winter Olympic Games, proudly holds three national champion titles ('04 Alpine, '05 & '08 snowboardcross) and an X-Games silver medal ('08), and landed on multiple World Cup podiums. Graham has continued his involvement by coaching snowboard athletes at all levels, including the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, where the U.S. team recorded a historic 13 medals.

Words to live by?
Every moment has the potential to be an amazing memory. Embrace these moments, and make "now" the greatest memory of your life.
What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
Obscure sports.
What makes you unique?
On epic powder days, you're just as likely to see me shredding it up on skis as on a snowboard!

  Give Graham a follow

Noah Elliott

Noah grew up in St. Charles, Missouri and is a lifelong skateboarder who always dreamed of . going pro. After having his left leg amputated above the knee due to osteosarcoma at the age of 17, however, he entered adaptive snowboarding and has excelled in the years since. Noah competed on the U.S. Paralympic team at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, winning gold in banked slalom and bronze in snowboardcross.

If you could turn any non-snow activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning?
Surfing. There is a lot of work going into making the debut of surfing to the Olympics and Paralympics. My goal is to be a dual sport athlete and compete in both!

What fictional place would you most like to go?
Pandora from the movie Avatar.

What makes you unique?
My motivation and perseverance.

  Give Noah a follow

Blake Hamm

Blake was raised near Seattle, Washington and made the move to Salt Lake City, Utah six years ago to pursue a college education and snowboarding. Since graduating from Westminster College, he has created a freelance business that maximizes his free time and allows him to fully indulge in his snowboard passion. Blake was the 2017 North American freeride champion and has been competing on the Freeride World Tour since. He continues on the tour this year, training and riding at Solitude, where he enjoys short hikes to steep, untracked areas unmatched in the Wasatch.

What movie title best describes your life?
I would have to say "The Pursuit of Happyness." I don't think the plot line describes my life, but the title alone describes what I'm constantly striving for.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with no preparation?
Economics.

What would you rate 10/10?
Fantasy Ridge (;

  Give Blake a follow

Shannan Yates

A Utah local, snowboarder and ER/ICU nurse, Shannan loves adventuring outside in the Wasatch Mountains with her husband and dog Lana! Adventures on her snowboard have taken her to many awe-inspiring places, and she has had the privilege to meet many amazing people along the way. Her dedication to snowboarding has placed her at the highest levels of the podium with the upper echelon of elite athletes we all admire, earning her the title of world champion. She loves Solitude because of its hidden terrain and many secret powder stashes.

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
The stop-watching-TV-and-go-outside-and-do-something channel!

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
Mow the lawn (push mower).

What’s the best way to start the day?
Hot cup of tea with milk and honey.

  Give Shannan a follow

Grete Eliassen

Grete Eliassen is a 6 time X Games Medalist, 4 time US Open Champion, 2 time Power Magazine’s Best Female of the Year, ESPN’s Best Female In Action Sports, Red Bull Cold Rush Champion and World Record Holder. She currently lives right next to Solitude in Brighton, Utah.  Her favorite thing about Solitude is the terrain, snow, and accessibility to the rest of the Wasatch Mountain Range.

What movie title best describes your life?
Mama Mia or the Sound of Music, I wish I lived in a musical.

What fictional place would you most like to go?
Whoville, I would love to ski in those trees. 

What’s the best way to start the day?
Breakfast! 
 

  Give Grete a follow

Zac Kay

Zac Kay is a former U.S. national snowboard team member who competed on the Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour for ten years. During that time, Zac became a four-time national champion and competed in the 2009 World Championships in Gangwon, South Korea. Zac is currently attending the University of Utah, pursuing a degree in multi-disciplinary design.

What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?
Basically everything.

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
A channel that never shows or mentions the Kardashians.

What would you rate 10/10?
First tracks on Fantasy Ridge.

  Give Zac a follow

Heather McPhie

Heather McPhie Watanabe was a 10-year member of the U.S. freestyle mogul team and a two-time Olympian (2010, 2014). Since retiring from competitive sport, she’s launched herself into a career in finance and can be found outside adventuring with family and friends whenever her schedule allows! Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Heather's favorite thing about Solitude is its low-key, welcoming atmosphere and great terrain.

What’s the best way to start the day?
“Sleeping in” past 6:30, breakfast, and outdoor adventure!

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with no preparation?
Transitioning from elite athletics into the “real world.”

What would you rate 10/10?
My daughter…can I give her an 11?

  Give Heather a follow

Tyler Peterson 

From Sandy, Utah, Tyler has been on skis since he was three. He's a former Dew Tour park and pipe athlete, powder snow fanatic, and lover of the Wasatch Mountains and surrounding areas.

What fictional place would you most like to go?
The Star Trek universe or Richards Scarry’s Busytown.

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
Sit around a campfire.

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
The original MTV.

  Give Tyler a follow

Devin Logan

Devin Logan is a multiple X Games medalist, two-time Olympian (Slopestyle & Halfpipe), and Olympic silver medalist.  Originally from Vermont, she now calls Utah home and is expanding her specialties to include big mountain and backcountry.  Balancing her time on the mountain, Devin is working hard to complete her degree.

What fictional place would you most like to go?
Candy Land

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
I like to listen to records

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
High altitude baking

  Give Devin a follow

Ben Michaels

Ben Michaels grew up in upstate New York and enjoys skiing off of Fantasy Ridge and stopping in at the Thirsty Squirrel — in that order. His favorite thing about Solitude is the untracked pow and no lift lines. 

Words to live by?
Dust on crust is like lipstick on a pig.

What did you think you would grow out of but didn't?
Being obsessed with skiing.

  Give Ben a follow

James Fleege

From the flat lands of Chicago to Montana to SLC, James is a man of the mountains that's always pushing peaks in business and adventure. You can see him in movies like Cloud 9, Wind River, and more. He loves spending his winters at Solitude because he appreciates the vibes, community, and terrain. 

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
Take notes by paper and pen.

What song is in your earbuds on a pow day?
Blink 182 and Rusted Root- Ecstasy.

Words to live by?
You don't know until you try.

  Give James a follow