As a competitive halfpipe rider for 16 years, Elena Hight ventured from her local mountains in Lake Tahoe to places around the world and ultimately to the top stage of the Olympics. In “Breaking Through Comfort Zones: Pipes, Powder and Post Holes,” Elena reflects on a 19 year long career as a professional snowboarder.
As her career continued, her eyes and heart began to wander beyond the perfectly shaped transitions and into the surrounding natural terrain. Between an inaugural trip to Alaska and her first winter camping expedition in the Sierras, she fell in love with big mountains and dreamt of how she could potentially make the pursuit of big mountain riding her main focus. After a massive personal failure, a moment of fate brought her into the High Sierra mountains on foot, and upon her return, her eyes had been opened to an entirely new path. She knew that her comfort zone at the top of the halfpipe would no longer fill her soul and that the choice to leave everything she knew behind for a new chapter was a risk, but one that she had to take.
“Breaking Through Comfort Zones: Pipes, Powder and Post Holes” traces Elena’s larger than life successes and failures: 2 Winter Olympics, 7 X-Games medals, 1 US Open Championship, 1 million travel miles, 1 “never been done” before trick, 12 concussions, 1 hip surgery, 6 lost toenails, 9 days crossing the Sierra, 3 feature films, countless failed river crossings, many endured sandbags, and more smiles than recordable.
Proceeds from Elena’s show will benefit SOS Outreach. No matter what social, societal, or economic barriers exist, SOS Outreach believes every child deserves the opportunity to thrive. SOS Outreach starts with powerful outdoor experiences, because it’s on the slopes or the trail that kids unearth the courage to step outside of their comfort zones, discover new strengths within themselves and develop lifelong skills. Through their proven curriculum, they empower kids in our communities to discover their true potential.
The Donor Party, the anonymous philanthropic arm of the Winter Speaker Series, will supplement the funds raised.
For the 16th annual season, we are excited to welcome the community back to in-person shows at Olympic Village Lodge, but only in a limited capacity with Covid-19 safety precautions in place. Proof of vaccination, valid identification and masks are required for entry, without exception. There will be limited capacity (350 total) seating so please arrive early. We, just like you, are DYING to gather again as a community. Accordingly, while we will still have our massive giveaway for each show, we will NOT be conducting it in-person for Covid safety reason. All giveaway tickets must be purchased online (NOT in-person) and winners will be notified after the event. We realize this isn’t perfect but gathering will be SUCH a win … and hopefully we’ll get back to our traditional model next fall. For those who cannot make the shows at Palisades Tahoe, we will continue to present each show in a virtual capacity