Icing on the cake

For almost all her life Kajsa Larsson has been skiing, and yet it still feels like the vast opportunities are now opening up and she’s just getting started. Soon, economics and marketing studies in Oslo will be finalized, and then she’ll follow her calling and “move to a mountain, somewhere.” Exactly where doesn’t really seem to matter, as long as she can ski and experience the mountains in her way.

— I don’t see skiing as an isolated activity, but rather as a part of the whole experience of being in the mountains, and that’s what drives me. I enjoy the seven-hour hike as much as the five-minute ski down, to me it’s a part of the same experience, although the skiing down is the obvious icing on the cake, very good icing though, the best in the world kind of icing.

The mountains have already played a major role in Kajsa’s life and together with friends and family she’s been traveling far and wide in search of adventure and pow.

— Mountains have been a big part of my life since I was a kid. My family took me skiing from a very young age and later, when I was a little older, I traveled to the Alps with my friends. All these experiences opened my eyes and soul to the beauty and meaning of being out in the mountains.

Relaxing, feeling clear and at ease in nature is one thing, but skiing also offers something that can’t be found anywhere else and is a major reason why Kajsa spends time deep in the mountains.

— It’s the incredible and unique sensation of thrill, I love it. If you read the dictionary, the definition of thrill is “A sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure,” and that’s exactly what skiing is to me. Just like skiing is a part of mountain life, or mountain culture, it’s also ever changing. It challenges me, makes me grow and never gets boring. But if I needed to boil my love for the mountains down to one word, it would be thrill. Skiing thrills me, every single time.

Thrill can quite often get mixed up with risk and an idea that they represent two sides of the same coin. But this is a perspective which does not fully appreciate the decisions and challenges professional skiers have to face every day, often every hour, minute, even second. Ultimately, skiers who open themselves up the mountains have the deepest respect for their primacy and returning home safe is always the first and main objective.

— Being in the mountains means taking an array of decisions, throughout the whole day. In the backcountry every move has to be a result of a wise choice. Some of those decisions will happen entirely by themselves, hardwired through the spinal cord, but very often you have to reconsider decisions you may have made, a minute ago, or the previous day. It’s not uncommon to find the line you’ve been busting a lung to reach ends up being highly questionable. It’s then you have to re-evaluate everything you set out to do that morning, listening to what the mountain says and if it means walking back down, or finding a more mellow run, so be it, the icing on the cake can wait for another day.