Crested Butte's Ripping Female Freeride Blog

Archive for February, 2011

“Not all those who wander are lost”

View of Targhee

…this quote has seemed to outline my life lately. Two weeks ago I left Crested Butte in a packed car full of telemark skiers and parental units bound for Grand Targhee, Wy. It was a smooth yet long 12 hour drive, and it seemed to take forever when we remembered Targhee had just gotten awesome amounts of snow. Pulling into Driggs, ID made our dreams of powder seem a little far fetched as there was absolutely no snow on the ground. When we got to the ski area, though, all of the rumors became true. The snow was amazing! The massive ridge line where the comp was set to take place isn’t open usually and the snow had accumulated. During inspection and the actual comp runs we ended up getting even more snow, it was amazing, you could land anything and everything, and you were sure to get more than one face shot. After an incredible comp at Targhee, we drove the seemingly millions of miles home. The very next day was inspection for the Junior Freeskiing competition here in Crested Butte, so of course I went skiing, just for inspection, I swear! The first day of the competition the Headwall venue got destroyed while the juniors absolutely killed it. Moving on to the next day we got to compete on one of my favorite runs, Pheonix Chute. It was fun snow and fast skiing. Overall I think it is safe to say everyone had a blast. After spending the weekend watching some of the best skiers in the world throw down in Crested Butte for the Freeskiing World Tour, I am getting ready to head to Alpine Meadows CA for a telemark comp where I hear it’s so deep it’s almost impossible to turn. I’m just a little excited! Hopefully everyone else is finding pow pow as well!


“Line of a Lifetime” or a “Lifetime of Lines?”

How do I pin just one line as my favorite? Six years ago my “line of a lifetime” would be so different than today. That is what I love about skiing, the progression of ever evolving possibilities! Looking back the most exhilarating line I have skied to date would definitely have been the “Big Hourglass” in the 2009 Subarau Extreme Skiing Competition at Crested Butte, CO. But, I would so much rather get to ski these lines with my friends and family. Then it would really be a line of a lifetime! Like the time that I went to Shasta Mountain in California and summited with my two close friends, Susan Mol and Jeff Troyer. Everyday that I get to be in the mountains and experience what those mountains have to offer, with the people I hold dear to me, is a great day. For example, when my sister comes out to visit and I get the opportunity to share what I love with someone I love, this is an awesome experience! This was how I was brought up skiing; skiing with my family.


Natalie Barefield, Line of a Lifetime

View of the North Baldy venue at Snowbird

One line that I will always keep in my memory was at the 2010 Junior Freeskiing Nationals in Snowbird. I made it to the finals, and when I was at the top of North Baldy I wasn’t 100% sure about the location of certain features and technical areas I was going to ski down due to visibility. Despite this, I had the most exhilarating run I had ever done in a competition.  While skiing down North Baldy I was thinking about where my landmark was, but unfortunately I could not find it. I ended up skiing through a more technical part which I never would have thought of doing for the actual competition. Reminding myself not to even stop for a split second, I had to keep on hop turning through rocks that were just longing to eat me up.  After a couple turns I came across a mandatory air and spotted the judges in the middle of the run, so I knew I had to give it my all. Stomping the unexpected air and coming across my next landmark fluidly was an awesome feeling. This time, improvisation awarded me with a thrilling run.

Natalie after her run on North Baldy

Mont Blanc lines of a lifetime

(All photos by Dana Allen)


In 2007, after I had just graduated from College, my boyfriend and I decided to move to a little town called Entreves on the flanks of Mont Blanc. Our plan was to ski as much as we could and then go home every night and eat amazing cured meats and cheeses (If you haven’t had fresh Burrata, you don’t know what you are missing). On Mont Blanc, no line is considered small. We looked up in awe at famous lines like the Gervasutti and the Dames Anglaises. Sadly, I am no Sylvain Saudan, but I did get the opportunity to ski a line visible from the Helbronner tram called the Canale Del Cesso, (in English, the Toilet Canal).This line does no boast huge features, but it is incredibly aesthetic. My boyfriend Dana, my friend Russ, and I skied in to the top of the line and dug a pit. We determined that the snow conditions were favorable, and then dropped in one at a time and popped out onto the Toula Glacier below.

Not much compares to skiing between two giant cliffs like in ‘Il Cesso.’ My future ski descent goals definitely include going back to Mont Blanc and skiing this line again. Now that I am older and bolder, I would also like to ski the Passarella Couloir, the Col d’Entreves, and many others. I will never pass up the opportunity to ski Alaskan spines, but in my opinion, there is no place more striking than Mont Blanc. Also, if you are ever in the Entreves area, you must eat at La Maison De Filippo. You will never eat so well after a hard day of skiing.