Hall of Fame Skier/Mountaineer, Full Certified L3DT PSIA Instructor/AMGA Apprentice Mountain Guide/Sportsman
The first time on skis at age two had a lasting impression on Glen Plake, he’s dedicated his whole life to the sport. Growing up in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains it is easy to understand Glen’s unconventional thinking and unique place in the sport of skiing. “California is not your typical place for a skier to be from” as a featured skier in Greg Stump’s early films (Blizzard of Aahhh’s and License to Thrill), Glen was exposed and introduced to Chamonix, and to the skiing world. “I wasn’t trying to prove anything, I just loved skiing and I guess it really showed through on film.”
Ski racing and stints on the US National Mogul Team sharpened his technical skills, mix that with California’s lifestyle and you have Glen. With the success of the films, the possibility of being a professional freeskier became reality, until then the title “pro skier” came only with FIS results. “It never made sense to me that the best “skiers” on the hill couldn’t even get free skis even though everybody wanted to ski like them.” Working with believers/sponsors Glen began to change peoples perception of pro sports, he is honored as the ESPN pioneer of action sports opening the door for many of todays heroes. “It has been a great journey and responsibility that I take very seriously and devote every day too, I have been blessed with the ability to inspire people but I have to keep inspiring myself”. Chamonix exposed Glen to the world of mountaineering and following in the traditions of extreme skiing, he has had the success of first descents in the Sierra Nevada’s of California, Europe, Japan, North/South America, and Asia. “Skiing 50 degree slopes at 20,000 ft is a game where the rules have not changed.”
Glen’s continual quest to promote the sport also leads him to other unlikely ski places “Americas Heartland”. He and his wife, Kimberly, travel to the smaller ski areas in North America in grass roots form, skiing with other skiers at their “home mountains”, “ It gets me stoked to see the enthusiasm at these little hills, we have been to around 200 of them some of which only 200 ft high.” This has allowed Glen to see what skiers need or want and with the support of Elan, Julbo, Leki, Screamer and Mammoth Mountain, this has led him towards the development and design of new products for todays skiers. In 2011, Glen has been honored by the US National Ski Hall of Fame, he has been inducted into the “Class of 2010” and is forever a part of ski history.
Glen and Kimberly are skiing vagabonds living continuously on the road and vacationing at their home in Nevada or their apartment in Chamonix, France depending on the season. Glen is not only a snow skier he is a National Champion Waterskier in both Slalom and marathon waterski racing “skiing at over 100 mph”. He has also won multiple titles in Off-Road Rally Racing including the Baja 1000 and 500, and has participated in the Dakar Rally and is a 508 (endurance cycling) solo finisher. Today Glen is creating a learn to ski program for the developing countries of Nepal, Ecuador, Peru and many more within the IFMGA mountain guide association which will educate these aspirant mountain guides with the life long skill of snowskiing; this will help them go faster, be safer and confidence in their chosen mountain guiding career.
“Skiing, mountaineering and my other ‘distractions’ can be summed up with this word – ‘Adventurer’ in snow or when it melts…..”
It is our great privilege at SMG to be able to offer the experience of skiing in the backcountry with such an influential skiing ambassador and developing ski guide. A day out in the mountains with Glen is about as memorable and fun as it gets.