Keely Kelleher
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Keely Kelleher

  • BIRTHDAY: 08 December 1984
  • HOME: 08/12/1984
  • DISCIPLINES: Alpine Skiing
    • Founder & Director of Keely’s Camp - the first ski racing, backcountry skiing, ski mountaineering, and whitewater kayak camp for girls in North America.
    • U.S. Ski Team Alumni - 8 Years
    • World Cup Downhiller
    • U.S. Super G National Champion
    • 2 Warren Miller Movies
    • Sweetgrass Productions - Valhalla (Night Segment… skied with fireworks blasting all around us!)
    • Rahlves Banzai Big Mountain Skier X Winner


I grew up skiing in Big Sky, MT. Big Sky was only 500 locals at the time and the only daycare option was the ski school. The mountain became my daycare and from an early age I loved skiing fast, chasing my sister and brother downhill. Flash forward and I qualified for the U.S. Ski Team on the World Cup downhill and super g circuit until I was 25. After ski racing I funneled my passion into my education, skiing powder, and coaching skiing. I loved the feeling of giving back to the sport that has given us all so much. In 2011 I founded the first all female staffed ski racing camp for girls in North America, Keely’s Camp. Keely’s Camp has since expanded into backcountry and ski mountaineering camps for girls.

What moment do you ski for?

I feel like I could say something supremely deep here, but I’m going to let the youtube video below speak for me. Channeling my inner kid is the moment I ski for.

How do you recharge your batteries for the next challenge? 

Ben and Jerry’s, yoga, and hanging with my dog Mr. Toes.

What’s your favorite quote? Why does this quote resonate with you? 

“Happiness is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it but only you can feel its warmth.” It’s funny and it’s true.

How do you conquer difficult situations? 

I like to think of difficult situations like I think of skiing. If I’m static, unadaptable, or arrogant on my skis it usually translates to negative energy, making the situation I’m in a lot harder. But when I am active, looking ahead, and humble to the process of the challenge I have fun and the difficult situation no longer looks impossible.

What sacrifices have you had to make to get to where you are today and were they worth it?

We all make sacrifices for our passions. I started my passion very young and hyper focused till this very day on skiing. Missing a normal teenage life to college at the ‘traditional’ age never bothered me. I was always focused on the path I was on and I have never lived my life normally. I think my family sacrificed the most and I do feel like ski racing took me away from them. I realize everything they gave for me to follow my goals and I’m so grateful to them for their support. I think my body more than anything has made sacrifices as well. I had seven surgeries in three years to make it back to the World Cup and I struggle to this day with the residual effects from my injuries. However, I would do it all over again because it never felt like a sacrifice to me. I’ve loved the journey I’m on and it’s led to the most amazing community and incredible experiences of my life.

What do you do when you aren’t skiing? 

I love to work and Keely’s Camp has created a job that I have never really felt like was a job. It feels like my way of life. When I’m not scheming up the next adventure for Keely’s Camp I love to be active and exercising with my friends and family. Whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, kite surfing, camping, climbing mountains, and being outside with my dog is what I love to do when I’m not skiing. I also love baking, reading, enjoying home projects, and random art classes (I’m not a good artist so it’s a fun challenge).

What strategy do you use to overcome pressure and stress for optimum performance? 

I visualize a lot before I do something. Ski racing has taught me the art of inspection that I take with me into any situation. I will ski something in my mind over and over tapping into what the snow, speed, and terrain will feel like. Now it’s always a different story once I’m actually skiing it, but if I have a plan and a feeling in my mind it’s almost impossible to feel pressure or stress because I am just following my game plan. I look at it as a game and it keeps it fun and fluid. This strategy didn’t happen overnight for me and there are so many situations where I have let my brain control me and the result is not what I want. But practicing visualization has taught me to distract my mind to the process of what I’m doing, helping me to overcome pressure.