Temperatures are warming and the sun is shining on budding trees and flowers. It's the perfect time to get outside, whether you’re skiing spring slush or shaking off the chills of a harsher winter. It's also a great time to reflect on this last snow season, and the best way to do that is with some of the ski industry's leading icons. These are the skiers whose funny, inspiring, and downright kickass photos put them on GrindTV's list of the top athletes to follow on Instagram.
Sierra Quitiquit @sierraquitiquit
Self-description: "Pro Skier. Model. Yogi. Surfer. Lover. <3…"
Why we like her: Sierra Quitiquit effortlessly glides back and forth between the worlds of skiing and modeling. American Eagle featured her image in New York City's Times Square. Warren Miller showcased her skiing some of Iceland's 4,000-foot mountainsides for his film "Ticket to Ride," which the former ski racer performed with ease. While her modeling continues to motivate much of her life, Quitiquit also has been playing on trampolines to implement freestyle moves such as 360s and backflips into her big-mountain lines. This combination makes her intriguing for companies and her photos a perfect collage on Instagram.
What to expect: An almost Japan-pop approach to captions. Photos mostly featuring herself and her new ski buddy, a husky named Paco. Lots of <3.
TJ Schiller @tjschiller
Self-description: "Vancouver, BC Twitter: TJ Schiller Facebook: TJ Schiller http://bit.ly/1EMvQWN"
Why we like him: TJ Schiller is totally a creative mind when it comes to freestyle skiing, and it shows. He's best known for his signature switch 1080 mute grab, which, along with several other tricks in his quiver, has earned him almost two dozen top-three placements in freestyle competitions, including four X Games titles.
What to expect: A man of few words, big air, lots of Whistler shots, and an unapologetic amount of cork 5s.
Chris Davenport @ steepskiing
Self-description: "Check out the new Ultima Thule video with the link below. https://vimeo.com/118724769"
Why we like him: As his Instagram title suggests, Chris Davenport is all about big-mountain skiing. He's got two world championship titles under his belt and a dozen other wins over his decade-and-a-half career. Davenport has guided and skied on Mt. Everest and also claimed several summit first descents around the world. He has received Powder's Reader Poll award four times and has been featured in more than 30 ski films.
What to expect: Plenty of selfies, mountain peaks, and alpine skiing shots.
Christine Kay Donaldson @chrissykay
Self-description: "Skier + Musician + Adventure Writer"
Why we like her: Skiing since she was 4 years old, Christine Kay Donaldson truly shines in deep powder. She can lay down some sick skills, too, which has earned her a spot on the University of Southern California downhill racing and freestyle team. Speaking of university, a fun fact about Donaldson is that she also loves music, which in fact may be her deepest passion. Graduating in jazz performance, Donaldson regularly shows off skills in music performance, songwriting, arranging, and sound engineering that match her prowess in the snow. Donaldson's more than well-rounded character makes for one of the most fun Instagram accounts among our featured athletes.
What to expect: Inspirational captions, shots from around the world, lots of ski pics, and even more shots with friends.
Erik Roner @erikroner
Self-description: "Professional skier…BASE jumper and member of the Nitro Circus Crew."
Why we like him: Erik Roner has developed a bigger cultural presence in the skiing community than anything else. He actually started adulthood playing soccer, but, fortunately for the ski world, powder won him over. With a degree in graphic design, Roner wanted to make a name for himself; looking at his accomplishments, we'd say he's achieved that goal. Multiple magazines such as Powder, Outside, Men's Journal, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated have featured him. His adrenaline addiction has also pushed Roner off cliffs, which suits him well since he was one of the pioneers of ski BASE jumping.
What to expect: One part skier, one part base jumper photo stream. Several random adrenaline-seeking shots as well—including the consequences, like a broken femur.
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