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She is very likely to be the hardest rocking girl you’ll see dropping a cliff: American/Norwegian freeskier Grete Eliassen speaks about rituals, Bambi, relaxation and her soft spot for nerds.




Have you got a weakness for nerds?
Ha ha, how do you know me so well and this is just the first question? I am a closet nerd, not too many people see that side of me unless you are in a class with me at University. I love guys that can keep up and hold an intellectual conversation. I wake up watching CNN or another news station and go to bed watching it, “60 Minutes” and PBS’ “Frontline” are my favored shows. So yes, I have a weakness for nerds. They also help me with my studying.

Which is your favourite Harry Potter book, and why?

I would say #7 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) was my favorite. Just because finishing that series was such an accomplishment for me and it really clears everything up. Reading the Harry Potter series is an emotional experience. Once you reach Deathly Hallows you become filled with joy and sadness. Because you finally finish it, but then when it is done, Harry is not a part of your life anymore – you really get connected to the guy.

Is there a colour you couldn’t handle wearing?

I would say orange. In the summer time when I am tanned, I can pull it off, but in winter when I am paler than snow, it just makes me miss the sun and my summer tan.

What’s the best Norwegian cooking recipe?

Vaffler! I love Norwegian waffles. There is nothing better.

How do you get drunk responsibly?

I do not think you can.

grete-eliassen_questlove How did you get to meet with drummer Questlove of The Roots, and which of their songs can you recommend?

I attended this event in Washington D.C. with the Women’s Sports Foundation called the “Tween Summit” and then we took the train up to NYC the next day and while I was waiting to get on the train I saw ?uestlove walk by and he had a comb in his afro, and I was like, “Oh my God, the Roots are here! So I asked to take a photo with him and that was that. My favorite and first song I ever heard from the Roots is “The Seed 2.0 ft. Cody Chesnutt“.

Was the 80-ies ski film Fire And Ice with Suzy Chaffee a big influence on you?

I had actually never seen it before, but I just Youtubed it and wow! Now, I understand where I am coming from. HUUUUGE INFLUENCE. But I didn’t even realize it. Suzy Chaffee is my hero for sure though!

Were you ever in a real haunted house?
A real one? Yes, well at least I think so. Haunted houses are my favorite pastime. I can not think of anything that is more fun than scaring the crap out of yourself over and over again and not having to worry about getting hurt.





What’s your favourite rock’n’roll band?

As of right now, I have no rock’n’roll in my iTunes but I went to a Skid Row and Quiet Riot concert once and I was front and center and it made me listen to rock for a solid week. Soo great! I like 80s rock the most.

Have you heard of the Big Mountain ski film Mt. Saint Elias? It should be up your alley, not just by the similarity of names.

There is a Mountain named Elias, and a saint named Elias, and a film named Elias? Wow, this the best interview I have ever had. I think this means I am related to a mountain and a saint. I need to learn more about this mountain.

Which track in your music collection has the most counts at the moment?

Ok, I am going to look and be honest. #1. “Night & Day” by Lloyd – 154 Counts. What can I say, I am an R&B softy. My computer deleted all my music the other day so it is kind of messed up, but kind of correct.

Three tips for absolute relaxation?

#1. Take a bath, baths are my favorite.

#2. Stay home and do nothing all day.

#3. Lay on the dock at your favorite lake and just sit and tan.

A moment of undeniable danger in your life?

Back when I was 17 I did my first road gap. We had a snowmobile towed in and I ended up jumping over a moving double-decker semi truck and a guard rail. It was one of the craziest and stupidest moments of my life, but I did it because I am Grete and that’s what I do.

grete_freethekingWould you rather have raven black hair?

I have actually never even dyed my hair black before. I don’t think it would work with my skin. Would be cool to have bossy Hair like Kelis or Rihanna, just for one day.

Are your mum and dad great skiers themselves?

Yes, they are amazing skiers. My mum taught me the spread eagle which I am so well known for. My dad taught me how to hike mountains and ski down them. He actually cut down a bunch of trees this summer on his favorite mountain to make himself a tree run for this winter in Norway. They are the best skiing parents. Drove me to every race and contest without one complaint this whole time. They just love to ski too.

Have you got a ritual before hitting the slope at a contest or a video shoot?

I always like to listen to my music. I like to be in a happy mood because then I have a lot of fun skiing and I always ski better as well. So don’t touch my radio!

Which photographer would you like to be portrayed by one day?

Lauren & Abby Ross, those sisters are amazing! Their perspectives are unreal and it’s so refreshing.

Your favourite cartoon character?

Ariel, the Little Mermaid and Bambi, ha!







Photo credits: Red Bull Photofiles, Grete Eliassen