Mountain Idols are individuals who excel in their mountain sport (alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, climbing, trail running, biking, paragliding, adventure racing, etc.), are elevating the positioning of their sport in the Bow Valley's community, exemplify the outdoor lifestyle, are valued role models and/or mentors, and are, in general, valuable members of the Bow Valley outdoor community. Successful candidates will be males or females under 23 years of age who currently reside in the geographic area between Lake Louise and Exshaw.
Entry deadline September 30, 2013.
Peter Thompson, 2012 Mountain Idol
Peter Thompson, 2012 Mountain Idol © Gordon Wiltsie
The Mountain Idol initiative and getting youth outdoors is important from health and wellness, economic, and environmental standpoints. The trend toward a growing separation from nature is not only unhealthy from a physical standpoint, it's also unhealthy from a mental and spiritual standpoint. If our future decision makers have no physical connection to our natural resources they will be unprepared to make wise policy and budget decisions about them. Through Mountain Idol we are trying to positively inspire more youth to adopt a healthy, supportive, and active outdoor lifestyle, for their current and future well being.
As part of their honorary selection, Mountain Idol finalists and the 2013 Mountain Idol will receive recognition on stage at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, a cash award, and a selection of prizes from project sponsors.
Nominees must be:
- Under the age of 23
- Currently residing in the geographic area between Lake Louise and Exshaw
- Athletes who excel in their mountain sports, including, biking, climbing, trail running, hiking, mountaineering, paddling, skiing or snowboarding
- Role models in their sport in that they exemplify the healthy active outdoor lifestyle and inspire their peers to get active outdoors
- Contributors to their outdoor community
If selected, Mountain Idols will be recognized on stage and in the media and will receive a cash prize and a selection of prizes from project sponsors.
Mountain Idols will be selected by a committee of individuals representing the various mountain sports in the geographic area between Lake Louise and Exshaw. Finalists will be contacted by mid-October and awardees will be announced at the 2013 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival’s Radical Reels night.
Past Winners and Finalists
2011 — WINNER
Climber, 18 years old, Canmore
- 2011 Youth World Championship
- 2008-2009 Youth National Champion, Youth Cup winner
- Accepted to Lakehead University in Thunder bay, Ontario
- Flashed numerous 5.13a; on-sight skill is 5.12d
- Climbing gym instructor and volunteer coach, Zach won the 2009 Canmore Collegiate High School Dion Bretzloff Memorial Award, presented to a student who demonstrates a love and dedication for outdoor activities, a willingness to share their experiences, and attributes of leadership within their peer group.
2011 — FINALISTS
22 years old, Cross-Country Skier, Canmore
- Most successful Aboriginal athlete in Canada Winter Games history
- 3 gold medals and 1 silver at 2011 Canada Winter Games
- Junior National Champion, Whistler, 2008
- Member of the Alberta World Cup Academy, nominated to the National Ski Team
- Jesse is a leader within his team; his attitude and energy towards training and life has helped create a strong team environment. Jesse has worked at an Aboriginal camp in Ontario in previous summers, and wants to inspire and motivate the next generation of local First Nations.
17 years old, Climber, Banff
- Youngest member of Canadian Open National Team (Bouldering)
- Four-time and current National Champion, undefeated since 2009.
- Climbs 8a onsite 7c
- Ranked 33rd out of 103 female competitors in the world.
- A grade 12 student at Banff Community High School with a 98% average, Elise participates in the “Youth in Nature” panel, working with Parks Canada and other members of the outdoor community to motivate youth to enter into a healthy outdoor lifestyle.
2010 - Winner
Cross-country skiing, 19 years old
- Selected to the high performance Alberta World Cup Academy Team for the last 3 years, Multiple winner of Canadian Sprint Championship
- Represented Canada at the World Junior X-C Ski Championships for the last 3 years,
- Competed in World Cup Cross-Country Ski competitions since she was 17 years old
- In the community Heidi volunteers as an athlete ambassador with “Fast and Female” and at the Canmore Gymnastics Club.
- She maintained honor roll standing throughout high school and was awarded the Senior High School Athlete of the Year as well as the Tollestrup Memorial Award for Athletics, Academics and Leadership, and the Banff Opportunity/Marika Laub Memorial Fund Award for her achievements in academics, athletics, and community service.
2010 - FINALISTS
Cross Country Skiing, 19 years old
- Most improved skier 2008
- In 2009 won several North American Cup races, raced in France, and was a multiple National Champion
- Nominated to the Canadian Biathlon Development team 2010
- Emma has a positive personality and is big team player who helps create a very fun and supportive environment for teammates and coaches. She has developed a high level of mental toughness through hard work and dedication to self-improvement.
Climber, 16 years old
- Won Youth National Championship, 2009 and 2010
- Winner of the Youth Cup, 2009 and 2010
- 20th place, Youth World Championship, Valence, France, 2009
- In the community she is a member of the Banff Community High School Green Team, student council, Through the Lens Photography Club, plays saxophone in the high school band and has maintained honor roll standing since grade 7
2009 — Winner
Canmore, biathlete, 21 years old
- Elite level biathlete who excels in her sport of biathlon, a combination of cross country skiing and rifle marksmanship
- Also runs, does yoga, hikes, climbs and mountain bikes
- Volunteer ambassador with Fast and Female, Rosanna helps to lead sessions for girls age 9 - 19 to encourage participation in cross country skiing
- Generous with her time and enthusiastically shares her love of skiingÂ to help promote a healthy lifestyle
- Member of the Canadian Senior National Biathlon Team
- Consistently top 15 finisher in the IBU Cup Series
- Seventh, European Biathlon Championships 2008/09
- First and second place finishes in 2008/09 Canadian Biathlon Nationals
2009 — Finalists
Canmore, climber, 14 years old
- She volunteers at the her local climbing gym
- Also enjoys fishing, hiking, mountain biking while maintaining excellent academic standing, playing saxophone in jazz band, and performing in local theatre group
- First place at the 2008 Big Sky Regional Sport Climbing Championship in Bozeman, Montana
- First place at the 2008 USA Sport Climbing Divisional Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Second place at the 2008 US National Bouldering Championships in Boulder, Colorado
- Successfully climbed the 12ppitch traditional route up the 500-metre face of Ha Ling
Banff, freestyle skier, 16 years old
- Truly enjoys many outdoor pursuits, and also excels at team sports
- Rocky Mountain Freeriders Skier of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009
- Canadian Open Junior Competition winner at Red Mountain in Rossland and placed first in Fernie and Lake Louise
- All-star volleyball player at Banff Community High School
- Good academic standing
- Completely humble, quiet, polite, and unassuming making him well-liked and admired by his peers
- Encourages and inspires his peers to participate in outdoor activities
2008 — Winner
Eric, 16, was ranked first in difficulty and second in speed in the North American Continental Climbing Championships in Denver and placed 8th in the 2007 Youth World Championships. Eric helps with the climbing program at Banff Community High School and volunteers at summer climbing camps at the Vsion climbing gym in Canmore. A well-rounded mountain athlete, Eric is a very competent alpine skier, finished first in his age group in the 2007 Melissa’s run, and has his black belt in hapkido.
2008 — Finalists
Rosanna, 20, is a Junior National Biathlete with consistent top 15 finishes in the Europa Cup Series. Rosanna placed 16th in the World Juniors and first and second at the Nationals. She leads, mentors and inspires through participation in Fast & Female, Girls with Guns, and as an energetic and kind teammate, friend, and ski club member.
Bryce, 18, participates in numerous outdoor activities, from mountaineering and climbing to mountain biking and biathlon. Bryce paddles class five whitewater and has explored numerous remote rivers in Northern B.C. and the United States. For his age, Bryce is on the cutting edge of creeking and river running. He is a Junior National Kayak Team member, with third place in Junior National Whitewater Slalom and third overall at the 2007 Kananaskis Whitewater Festival. Bryce is also an effective leader and ambassador in his sport through his dynamic personality, willingness to help others and commitment to perfection while always having fun.
2007 — Winner
Zak, 18, an outstanding athlete in indoor and outdoor climbing, who has also contributed to the local climbing community as a coach and mentor. Zak has a great ability to motivate others with his approach and positive attitude.
2007 — Finalists
Sarah, 19, a top athlete in biathlon, has won medals and top-15 finishes at national and international events. Selected for the 2007 - 2008 Junior National Team, she exemplifies discipline in training and through her involvement in air cadets. Among Sarah’s goals: competing in the 2010 Olympics and climbing Mount Assiniboine.
Eric, 15, was ranked first in difficulty and second in speed in the North American Continental Climbing Championships in Denver. Eric helps with the climbing program at Banff Community High School and volunteers at summer climbing camps at the Vsion climbing gym in Canmore. A well-rounded mountain athlete, Eric is a very competent alpine skier, finishing first in his age group in the 2007 Melissa’s run, and has his black belt in hapkido.
Kayla, 12, is a well-rounded outdoor athlete who participates at a high level in backcountry skiing and climbing, and has trekked to Mount Everest base camp. She has a great appreciation for mountain culture and environment, and demonstrates tremendous potential at a young age.