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Carter McMillan
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Carter McMillan

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  • NICKNAME: Carter Mak
  • BIRTHDAY: 29 November 1990
  • HOME: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • DISCIPLINES: Big Mountain/Backcountry
  • CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
    • Winner - Candide Thovex’s One Of Your Days video contest
    • Cover of Explore Magazine - Winter 2018 issue
    • Cover of Ski Canada Magazine - Issue #44
    • The North Face Young Gun Award - Freeskiing World Tour 2013
    • Sickbird Award - Freeskiing World Qualifier Lake Louise 2010
    • 1st Place - Wrangle The Chute 4* Freeride World Tour 2016
    • 1st Descent - Loud and Proud Couloir - Sol Mountian Lodge 2017
    • CMH Heliskiing - Athlete Ambassador 2017- present

ABOUT ME

Short intro: I grew up skiing in the Canadian Rockies at Lake Louise, and moved into competitive freeskiing at a young age. When I turned 18 I qualified for the Freeskiing World Tour. After 5 years on the Tour I retired with many podium finishes, and held an World Tour top 10 position for my entire competitive career. I then gravitated toward the backcountry, and currently spend much of my winter chasing the steepest deepest powder I can find, and working with photographers, magazines, and backcountry lodges to produce awesome skiing content.

What MOMENT do you ski for?

I ski for that special moment of breathless anticipation, when you’re pushing off into an amazing looking line filled with perfect snow and a few big cliff hucks, and you know the next few seconds might just be to some of the most exhilarating moments of your life!

How do you recharge your batteries for the next challenge? 

My favourite place to recharge is at some local backcountry hot springs, where I can clear my mind and soak my aches muscles in the waters. That always get me ready for a competition or a big trip.

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

I made many sacrifices to end up where I am today. Early on, I managed my competitive ski career while completing a Bachelor of Biological Sciences degree at the University of Calgary. Upon attaining my degree, I chose to continue skiing professionally over going back to school to pursue a veterinary medicine degree. This was probably the best decision I’ve ever made, and I’ve had some amazing experiences since that fateful choice, but it was a major sacrifice in my life to chase my dream.

What do you do when you aren’t skiing? 

When I’m not skiing you’ll likely find me hiking up a mountain, collecting fossils and crystals, flying my paraglider, mountain biking, river surfing, petting other peoples dogs (see Adam McCraw), or running the service department of an lawn sprinkler company!

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

Competing on the Freeskiing World Tour taught me many valuable lessons on how to manage stress in a productive way. If I let the stress overwhelm me, then I could lose focus on the important details of a run, which could be dangerous. Before competition run or dropping into a big line, I always mentally visualize myself stomping a perfect entire run from the skier’s perspective, then when I dropped into my line it would feel like I’d done it before. This allowed me to have confidence to hit cliffs that I had never jumped before, or not get lost during a run. Mindful mediation in the start gate would also help me block out the stressors of the noise and excitement happening all around me, and focus on what I needed to do.