Mike Gardner was chosen by Power Magazine in February 2010 as one of the “Best Skiers in the World Under 18.” Mike, son of deceased Exum Guide George Gardner, is a graduate of Exum’s annual Hans Sari Ski and Snowboard Steep Camp.
The article featured the top 20 skiers (18 years of age and under) in the world. The choices were compiled by team managers, coaches, judges and various other ski industry professionals.
Mike grew up near Telluride and was skiing shortly after he began to walk. George, an avid skier himself, introduced Mike to backcountry skiing. The two spent many weeks together in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains on extended backcountry ski trips. Mike soon found that making turns was not as much fun as going straight downhill and that jumping off cliffs was more fun than skiing around them.
In the 2009 competitions, Mike placed first at the Targhee Tee-Off, second at Snowbird’s Junior Nationals, and fifth at Telluride’s Freeskiing Open (where he competed with 125 adults).
Last July he ventured to Bariloche, Argentina, at the foot of the Andes. At their invitation, he spent over a month as a coach in training with South America Snow Sessions (SASS), a premiere backcountry-freestyle ski and snowboard camp.
The time, Mike says, “was filled with long days on the mountain and late nights in town, a dream lifestyle skiing deep powder in July and August with some of the nicest people in the world.”
We are extremely proud of Mike and congratulate him on this outstanding honor and achievement.