Employee Gear Closet: Sisters Ali & Liz
Employee Gear Closet: Sisters Ali & Lizby Liz Dean & Ali Thackeray
Sisters Liz Dean and Ali Thackeray give us the lowdown on their ski setups. Ali likes to dip into the terrain park, and Liz loves to make turns in the resort and go deep into the Wasatch backcountry.
Howdy, I'm Ali Thackeray and have worked at Backcountry.com for over 3 years. I manage the Customer Solutions department and love talking about gear all day. I grew up skiing and remember hating it because it was cold and I always had to use hand-me-downs ... but my parents' hard work paid off because I love to ski and be outdoors now. I started skiing [the terrain] park about 6 years ago and love being able to ride that terrain in addition to the rest of the mountain. Although snow is the best form of precipitation, I love the summers when I can trail run, road bike, swim, and camp.
Hi there. Iím Liz Dean and work as a Trainer at Backcountry.com. I also oversee all vendor clinics that happen in Customer Solutions. I have been with Backcountry for 3Ĺ years now and love it. I grew up skiing at Solitude and Snowbird with my parents who were avid skiers and made me go! I will admit that as much as I hated skiing when I was younger (started skiing when I was 4), I didnít really know how much good gear really helps out a skier. My main focus of skiing is Big Mountain or All Mountain if you want to call it that. I love the feeling of making huge turns down West Rustler [at Alta] or any place with powder and a smooth, flowly line. When Iím not skiing, I mountain bike as much as I can, hike, camp and travel when I get the chance.
Roxy Black Magic
Ali: 92mm underwaist + wood core + twintip = perfect! Before the 165 black magic, I had never skied something that short Ö but now I love it! If I wanted to hit a box or rail Iíd have no problem doing it on those skis since theyíre a little shorter. Theyíre perfect for hitting jumps, I feel stable landing because of the width and core. I ski all over the mountain but have to hit a jump here and there and Iíve found these skis to be best for what I like. Theyíre also super twinned out so I could ride switch all day long if I wanted to Ö er, if I had the skills to.
VŲlkl Gotama Ė For everywhere
Liz: Great for all mountain riding, deep snow, carves well, twin tip if you want to take Ďem switch and the perfect flex (in between a Seth and Explosive as far as how stiff they are) This is my everyday ski, as it can rip on groomers when there isnít any crud or powder to ski.
Rossignol Ravens - For touring
Liz: Perfect flex as well, a bit softer than the Gotamas, but no noodley. Put my Fritschi Freerides on these and LOVE them. Light and easy to tour plus they ski really easily as they are a true fat ski.
Salomon Idol Origins Boot
Ali: I've been using Salomon boots for a few years now and prefer them. I have a fairly flat arch so I have to have footbeds to make my boots comfortable. I have an average width foot and have had the best comfort in Salomon boots (thatís right, no black toe nails on this girl. ever). But don't take my word for it; boot comfort largely depends on how weird your foot is. P.S. custom footbeds are a must.
Nordica Speed Machine 12ís
Liz: I have a wide foot and a calf full of muscle similar to my sister. The toe box and comfort of the calf is always an issue for women like us. This is THE only pair I have found that doesnít hurt, even the first time I put it on, it felt like a slipper. Perfect flex to it, as I like a boot that is aggressive, but not overly stiff. Can adjust the width of the calf by using a simple Allen wrench (one of the best features Iíve found in a boot!). P.S. custom footbeds are a must but in reality but the liner is so comfy you may not need it depending on your how crazy your feet are.
Ali: I love any Rossi, Look, or Roxy (since theyíre all the same company). I love the Look PX12 (but we donít have it in stock), so I would choose the Rossi Axial 120. The pivoting toe piece is SO much easier on my knees than regular bindings and allows me to fall somewhat gracefully without tweaking out my precious ligaments. It allows you to come out of your binding horizontally, vertically, diagonally, whateverally. They are also the longest lasting bindings Iíve ever had. I currently have 3 pairs. Having a binding like this is KEY for me because: (1) Everyone in my family has had knee surgery except me; (2) I love to ski park and all over; (3) Consequently I fall more.
Liz: This is my resort binding. Great for all mountain. I like my DIN around 8-9 and these are perfect since they go from 3.5-12, no need for anything higher. Easy in and out, plus they look cool!
Fritschi Diamir Freeride
Liz: SUPER easy to use, tough and all around good for touring. I do wish they were a bit lighter, but they will last forever.
Roxy Strawberry Alarmclock Jacket
Ali: Good collar, wrist gaiters, and I get tons of compliments on the style.
Marmot Ama Dablam
Liz: 650 down fill, super warm, really comfortable, cut is perfect and as far as looks go, itís not a ďpuffyĒ look, itís more mellow but really warm. The pattern on the down makes it extra stylie for women-thatís mainly why I got it, looks less marshmallow-ish! Oh, and itís lightweight, which is another bonus for camping when itís cold. I wear this all around town, out at night and skiing when itís really cold.
Sessions Driggs Pant
Ali: I used to always buy men's pants because women's didn't fit me (small waist, big hips...any other females out there know what I mean?). I then got a pair of women's Sessions pants and they actually fit! I also love the fleece lining on the butt.
Sessions Zoom Pant
Liz: These are actually mens as they fit the best. They fit a wider hip and butt like a lot of women have while still looking stylie and baggy-baggy is key as itís most comfortable. Have had Sessions pants for 4 years and may replace them soon, but the waterproofing has lasted this long, love them. Oh, and the pockets are perfectly placed as well-good venting to go along with them too!
Ali: The Phenoms are super comfy with or without a helmet. The turbofan version is sweet if you're doing any hiking and need some a/c inside your goggles.
Liz: Iím with Ali on this one. I have this in White/Platinum Mirror and the Burgundy/Platinum Mirror.