TOO MANY QUESTIONS W/ Colter Hinchliffe
I find myself briskly walking through still bustling New York City streets at quarter past midnight with Aspen local and city bike extraordinaire Colter Hinchliffe. We’re en route to Times Square for a quick tourist photo. We’re in a rush because I’ve got to somehow find my way back to suburban New Jersey before the trains stop running and Colter has to pee. We had only just left the REI Soho store where Colter, along with the full staff from Powder Magazine, had just wrapped the tour supporting Monumental, Powder’s film documenting a varied cast of skiers descending the national parks’ most iconic landscapes.
Colter made his proverbial “splash on the scene,” in Teton Gravity’s The Dream Factory and scoring the 2011 October issue cover of Powder Magazine. Most recently, he’s starred in TGR’s stand alone film, Sandstone & Snow, a short film that follows Colter and Tim Durtschi’s hunt for fresh first tracks in Utah’s Moab region.
A week earlier I had sent over a document of questions, forgetting to tell Colter to pick a couple questions of his choosing. What follows is entirely way too many questions with Colter Hinchliffe.
Who are you? Colter Hinchliffe is my name. I am a skier, a climber, and newly wannabe surfer. I am always a fun haver.
Where are you from? I am from Basalt Colorado which is just down the valley from Aspen, CO where I live now.
How old are you? 30 years young
Describe your average day in a poem.
birds chirping, this is my alarm,
grind the coffee, burn the bacon
scrape the window, warm the truck
lil wayne accompanies me
unload the sled and hit the gas
with my friends we find the zone
build the jump, hike the line
get the shot, drop the gram
reverse it all
drink the beer, eat the burger
dry the gear
check the forecast, make the plan
faceplant to pillow.
What’s your favorite movie? T.V. show? Westworld is my current dilemma.
Quick – quote a movie line! “Vail? Nah, it looks like the guy who designed Wendy’s went nuts in this place.” -Aspen Extreme
Favorite beverage/beer/wine/water? Well thats a tough question, they all have their place in my life, but I’ll pick water for now.
Favorite non-skiing activity? Climbing for sure. Although I recently caught the surf bug in a huge way.
What did you want to do for a profession as a kid? Baseball player actually.
What is the funniest thing that’s happened to your recently? Hmm…. well when I was recently surfing like a kook in Encinitas, I was borrowing a shitty wet suit and shitty board. As I put my suit on and went to paddle out my buddy pointed out that there was a huge tear in my wetsuit on the backside and you could see my backside quite clearly. I reached back and felt that he wasn’t lying, my cheeks were hanging out. Then I looked over my shoulder to find an older lady and her friends laughing at me harder than I was even laughing at myself.
What is your earliest memory? Seeing someone fall off the chairlift.
When was the last time you went skiing? This is one of the longest breaks in skiing I have ever had. Besides skiing to and fro the hut trip for thanksgiving I haven’t clicked into my skis since 4th of July and is now November 28. I am however going to hop on the chairlift as soon as I’m don’t filling out these questions breaking my spell of non skiing.
Where was it? 4th of July we skied Connundrum Couloir from a 14k peak outside Aspen Colorado. We were back in town in time for the noon parade and an incredible rest of the day.
How was it? The skiing was actually pretty sweet and I was with a bunch of babes who took their tops off in salute to our awesome country and of course they needed a photographer so I volunteered. I actually made a IG edit from the day. check it out @colterjh
Feeling pretty free this 4th of July! God bless Merica!! It might be July but we're still skiing cause we're not over it and what better way to celebrate this beautiful country of ours!? 📷: @colterjh @mtn_babes_ #mountainbabes #mountainbabesofcolorado @zealoptics @factionwomen #merica #notoverit #starsandstripes #freethetatas @surfgravity #surfgravity @babskiiii @lifeofair @rileysod @pandapoles #tribeup
Who’d you go with? Katrina and Bridget and Ariana. O and Riley, him and I made it to the top of the couloir and met the babes half way down and enjoyed the show.
What’s your setup? I have a few. Mordecai is my main ski and I have it mounted alpine another with a tech set up. I also really enjoy the sickday 110 alpine as well as the sickday tourist with a tech setup.
Best local spot (restaurant / bar / burrito place) at your local resort? There is a new spot I havent been but i’m excited to go to and I’m going to blindly give it my endorsement because it is exactly the place we have been missing. It is called Shlomos and its right at the base of the gondy and they preach good vibes and affordable food.
Top influencers growing up? Who’d you look up to? Shane Mcconkey and I still look up to Rory Bushfeild with his daily antics. Two I have never met.
What keeps you skiing? Passion. I just love being out there, its beautiful, and its insanely fun. The mountains are endless and that keeps me motivated as well. theres always a new adventure to be had.
When was the last time you were scared? Yesterday, climbing a route thats hard for me and I fell on lead a few times. This is a standard day for me, and one of the reasons I love climbing. You can climb at or above your ability and push yourself hard. You can get scared and take lead falls and be totally fine and do it all over again until you succeed and get stronger.
What’s on your bucket list (top 5)? Base jump, get barreled, go to space, scuba dive, 6 month surf trip.
What ski film / edit / segment had the best soundtrack? Tangerine Dream
Will you ever retire? I’m sure professionally but i’m sure I will ski until the day I die.
Safety bar up or down? Up all day shits in the way.
Only #oneday left to get your #nakedgondy on @aspensnowmass. #hereiam #gettingmine #inmyelement #noshame #lego #legos #legoskier #skiing #ski #bro #skiracer #stoked #thisisskiing #freeski #liveskirepeat #skiingislife #skiingisbelieving #bricknetwork #brickcentral #instatoy #legophotography #legophoto #legotography #legogram
What’s the best gondola story? Well we started a thing here in Aspen. its Called #nakedgondy. Go check it out, the story speaks for itself.
Would you rather try a switch dub front flip on a mono board or tele skis?Mono
Favorite LINE ski? (can be current or from prior years) Opus. I miss it.
What’s the best trick you could do when you were 12 years old? Lincoln loop
What’s the best day you’ve ever had on skis? There’s a million to count but I’ll think about the day in Sella Nevea where we had the tram all to ourself to lap Tram Spines in perfect conditions and then I got to hike a sick couloir in the pink sunset with my man Moo. I was freaking out on the way down. It’s documented in Almost Ablaze by TGR
How do you setup / tune your gear to your preference? Drill my bindings to pollards choice and I usually don’t tune my gear cuz I don’t have the time and I’m used to it the way it is. Its’ kinda broken in.
You can either spend the day in a bullet-proof terrain park or warm, wet heavy pow – which do you choose? Warm mank.
Ever had a run in with Ski Patrol?
Yes. They are very freindly here in Aspen and Alta where I have a good buddy JB on patrol.
What is the worst trend in skiing? Backcountry. Too many people are getting out there in places like Jackson with attitudes as well and its busy and tracked.
What is the best trend in skiing? Backcountry. its great to see so many peoiple out there enjoying it.
If you were only allowed to do 1 trick for the rest of your career on skis, what would it be? 360
What’s surprised you the most about where skiing is today? How many people are coming back from snowboarding.
If you were to take or have taken a Sick Day to go skiing from work or school – what was the excuse? I would just keep it simple “personal reasons” I need some “therapy”
What’s the biggest backcountry (and/or general skiing) FAIL you’ve ever committed? Maybe one of the many jumps I/we have built and never hit cuz it took us so long the weather came in and ruined our day.
Have you ever pooped yourself from falling while skiing? Not yet. maybe today.
You’re on a road trip across the United States but you’re only allowed 5 stops along the way – where do you go and why?
1. Aspen to see my homies and do some climbing or skiing.
2. Moab cuz its the raddest place on earth and I could climb and swim and ski,
3. Havasupai cuz its the coolest place i’ve ever been and I could swim and cliff jump and experience the magic.
4. Encinitas cuz the waves are good and the vibes are great
5. after getting on a barge I would finish my road trip in Hawaii cuz the waves are better and so are the vibes.
You’re allowed to rename one person on the LINE team – who is it and what’s their new name? Hadley Hammer – Hadley Hinchliffe
You’re offered $1000 to get the face of another LINE athlete tattoo’d on your ass – who is it & why? Do you turn it down? Erica Durtschi, cuz it’s my best friends sister, and yes I would do it.
Dog or Cat? Fish? Cat.
What was the last book you read? Dog Stars. Post apocalyptic world where the subject is still surviving in the Colorado mountains that I know so well.
Did you have a crush on any of your teachers in school? Yes. Sunny we called her. I don’t remember what her last name was any more – but she was a sweet heart and taught me how to art.
Favorite subject? (Math, English, Gym etc) Sience [sic].
What was your school mascot? Basalt Longhorns.
Were you the geek or jock? Dorky Jock. Baseball wasnt a popular sport and I was also a skier and the girls didnt care.
Quick – answer this question (convince me it’s the right answer!)
Train A, traveling 70 miles per hour (mph), leaves Westford heading toward Eastford, 260 miles away. At the same time Train B, traveling 60 mph, leaves Eastford heading toward Westford. When do the two trains meet? How far from each city do they meet?
Well in two hours train A goes 140 miles and train B goes 120 miles and those two distances together equal the total distance between Eastford and Westford so this is where they would head on. Boom.
Where do you find inspiration? In my environment and conditions.
Do you believe in a higher power? Maybe an internal higher power, inside each of us.
If you were reincarnated, what kind of animal would you prefer to come back as? A dolphin.
How lucky are you and why? I am very very lucky to live this lifestyle I get to live and have the friends, family, sponsors and health to support it.
Buddha and Jesus walk into a bar – who get’s thrown out first for drinking too much? Why? Jesus cuz[sic] he was a carpenter and we all know those guys earn their whiskey shots
What’s the worst thing you’ve seen written about you on Newschoolers (or internet)? Best thing? I dont remember that stuff. But I have gotten alot of compliments on my recent film Sandstone and Snow skiing the La Sals and climbing the nearby towers in Moab and I reallly appreciate that kind of stoke.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? LSD
The weirdest place you’ve slept? In a ditch
How does the internet work? Really well
Why is a tennis ball fuzzy? I’ll ask my mom.
You’re only allowed 3 ingredients, how to you make the following:
If you were to run for US President, who would you want to run against? Trump? Hillary? Trump! that guy.. seems easy to beat.
You’re only allowed to live in one place for the rest of your life – where & why? Aspen cuz the skiing and climbing are both good. and so are the people and the weather.
You can change one thing in the world – what is it & why? Snow more so I can ski more pow
Would you rather be allergic to gluten or dairy? Gluten
How long do you think you’d survive in the event of a zombie apocalypse? Forever. they cant skin through pow
Look at the objects in the room around you – if you were to be sent to a deserted island, which 3 objects would you bring? iPhone, Goal Zero, Surfboard
If you were cast in a movie, would you prefer to play the hero or villain? If it involved superpowers – what would they be? Hero
You’re told the finale of Game of Thrones (or any other popular show), do you spoil it via the internet or keep it to yourself? Keep it to myself
You’re the head of an internet startup – what’s the name of it and what’s it do/sell? I cant tell you that cuz someone would steal my idea that I’ll never actually do
You choose: Tiny, tiny hands or a very large nose. Large nose, cant climb or paddle with small hands.
What’s the best way to travel? Standby, always flexible
Your best memory from 2015/2016 season? The time in Moab filming for Sandstone and Snow. We had a great time, got a lot done, explored a new range, and got along well.
The best way to peel a banana? From the bottom like a monkey
The best topping on pizza is: Garlic
The best country to visit is: Canada
The best video game platform ever is & why?: (Sega Genesis, N64): Xbox so you can play Amped
The best kind of socks are: kneehigh, ankle, crew, tube? Ski socks tube
The best kind of dessert is? Terra masu
What activity are you really bad at but still do regularly even though you’re awful at it? Surfing
What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to your rental car / hotel room? We broke the window to Heather’s Rental car stuffing the boards in
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Grey Lady. They were stuffy & run by some couple that treated us all like shit. I walked out. Felt great.
What’s the worst haircut you’ve ever had? The one I gave myself in first grade
Where’s the worst place you’ve ever gone? Rosarita Mexico sucked. Kinda. Kinda sweet too.
The worst food to eat when you’re hungover? Apple pie
Are you single? Very
How could someone get a date with you? DM me
What’s the best pick up line? The worst? I might be small, but I’m quick – both
Describe your dream wedding? Flip flips, shorts, hawaian shirts obvioulsy on the beach with good freinds
Who’s your celebrity crush? Male & Female. What’s her name from Hunger games
Tell me about Prom… I cant even remember
If you were a DJ, what would your stage name be? Colt45 so cliche
Do you listen to music while you ski? Every time
What do you listen to on the car ride to the mountain? On the lift? Hip hop and electronic
Who are your top five bands/artists? I dont even know nowadays. If i hear a song i like I add it to my playlist and don’t pay attention to who it is most the time. But lil Weezy and Rae Surrmond are bosses. I also love burning man type deep playa music.
If you were in a band, what would your band name be? Colt45, so cliche
What kind of music would you play? Hip Hop
What instrument would you play in said band? Vocals
What’s the last song you listened too? black beatles
What song is currently stuck in your head? Black Beatles
If you had the rights to any song, past or present, for your next edit/segment – what would it be? Random Rabb
What song do you hate when it get’s stuck in your head? ABC’s