We are psyched to announce our newest ambassador Henry Hall. Born and raised skiing the East, Henry raced throughout high school before joining the freestyle team and heading out to Colorado for college. We'll let him take it from here...
Where are you from and where did you grow up skiing?
I’m from Philadelphia originally. Ever since I can remember our family would pack up our car and drive two hours north to ELK Mountain near Scranton. It was sick! We had a pretty small community up there, and we were all on the race team together. The mountain was 1000 vertical, which isn’t bad for Pennsylvania. We were total menaces back then, sending Chinese downhills, chucking snowballs at random dudes on the lifts, and just doing the classic grom stuff.
How old were you when you learned to ski?I have no idea, I was so young. I want to say it was when I was around 3-years-old. My mom used to spend her winters in Vail, and my dad grew up skiing in Illinois, so when they moved to Philadelphia they needed a spot to get their skiing fix. Once I was born they were already headed up to ELK every weekend. I do remember I hated ski school though. I used to pee my pants all the time to get out of it.
Tell us your life story as seen through skiing (skip all that boring stuff that doesn't involve playing in the snow).
Yeah so like I said I started out ski racing at ELK, and I loved it. I was always a solid ski racer growing up in PA, and racing was really all you could do since we didn’t have a nice park or anything. Once I got to middle school though, we would spend our winters in Big Sky, and that’s where I really fell in love with freeskiing. Out there I got to ski some gnarly speed skiing events, but every day that there was too much snow (which was most days) for training, I would toss on my brothers old pow skis we would go out and rip the mountain.
After spending the winters in Montana, I decided take my racing career to the next level and go to Holderness school in New Hampshire for high school. I raced for two years there and basically got kicked off the team for spending too much time freeskiing, and not doing well at any races. So junior year I joined the park team, which was sick! We competed in slope, rail jams, and I got to compete in some Nor-Am skier cross as well. The move to park skiing gave me a whole new appreciation for just going out and skiing with the boys for training. We didn’t focus on every little detail of skiing, it was more just going out and building off of each other’s energy, which I liked way more than training for ski racing.
Now I’m at the University of Denver ripping with the boys 3-4 times a week. I’m the head of freestyle skiing for DU Freeride, and we compete in a bunch of big mountain competitions as well as some park stuff. DU is wicked fun too.
What's your home mountain? Tell us a little bit about what makes it so great.
I would say ELK will always be home, given that I grew up there. The mountain is pretty small, the lifts are slow, and the management is pretty bad, but the people there are undeniably some of the best people I have ever met, and the fact that everyone was there to ski in Northeastern PA, made the place so darn cool. It makes me appreciate all the mountains and sick snow I get to ski today.
Lately though, I’ve been going to A-Basin most days, and that place is sick! If the skiing is good we rip for the whole day. If the skiing is pretty bad we take a lot of drinking breaks on the beach. It may not be the best ski mountain in Colorado, but it’s a good place to be when it’s not too crowded and the vibes are high.
Most epic ski day of your life?
I have had some killer days with my family, my coaches, with the boys at DU, and the Holderness guys, but the most epic would have to be one of the days with Parlor Intern, Kelley Attenborough. We’ve been skiing together since we were around 9 years old, and if I had to pick one day, it would be this past president’s weekend at Big Sky. The snow was deep, and everyone on the mountain couldn’t be more stoked and happy to be there. So we just started absolutely charging. We skied endless pow from open to close, hit some of the biggest cliffs that I have ever hit, and we had an all-around sick day. But there will be plenty more epic days to come.
What do you like about working with Parlor?
I really like working for Parlor because I get to stay true to my roots. When I click into those skis and they announce my home mountain before a competition, people know that I was raised skiing in the east. In Colorado, it is so competitive, it feels like I can’t walk into a ski shop without someone asking how many days I have, just so they can talk about how many they have. Parlor is a brand that run by people who like to have good time on skis, with some great people, and that is what’s important about skiing.