The North Face + SNOWBOARDER Roundtable: Facets

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It was in 1988 when The North Face signed their first female snowboard athlete, Bonnie Zellers, a pioneer—though she’s too modest to tell you that—whose love of the mountains, first as a climber and then as a rider, took her deep into the backcountry of the Sierra, AK, Europe, Nepal, and countless other ranges. While at the time, Bonnie and her cohorts were living in the moment when breaking trail, they were also setting the stage for the individuals who would step out into the mountains in the decades to follow. Two years ago, building on the legacy catalyzed by Bonnie, The North Face assembled a heavy hitting group of five female riders to add to their snowboard team: Leanne Pelosi, Jess Kimura, Amanda Hankison, Marion Haerty, and Mary Rand. This crew, whose backgrounds are all unique, rife with rails, contests, and more, has set a pace in the backcountry. Last winter, they met up all together in the mountains for the first time (minus Marion) to film for TNF’s new short film, Facets.

Facets is an exploration of these individuals who form the whole. These riders that come together to explore the mountains and the way that their perspectives, experiences, and aspirations coalesce. While the trip to film for Facets in Retallack, British Columbia, was cut short, the experience for Jess, Leanne, Amanda, and Mary was significant. Recently, this crew linked up with Bonnie to discuss where snowboarding has been, where it is, and where it’s going, to share stories about winter camping in Retallack, and to look ahead at this coming winter and offer advice about getting into the backcountry. Below, enjoy excerpts from the roundtable discussion. You can watch the full conversation presented by The North Face and SNOWBOARDER, here, and be sure to check out Facets, while you’re at it. – Mary T. Walsh

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