As a pro skier, Katie Francis took to the slopes for an impressive 28 back to back seasons. Today she works with professionals and beginners to provide fantastic private lessons in the Buttermilk Ski Area. We just happened to catch up with her to get the low-down on all things Aspen.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.
I am the Private Lesson Coordinator for the Buttermilk ski area in Aspen and I run the Ski School Sales and Reservations Desk here, assigning all the private lessons. It’s my job to make sure I match the best possible instructor with our guests to ensure that they have an incredible experience.
How did you first get into skiing?
I was lucky enough to be born into a family of skiers who took me skiing from a very young age. I grew up skiing in the Ruapehu Ski Club in New Zealand.
And at what point did you realise you wanted to make a career out of skiing?
From a very young age. I thought that mountain employees were the coolest people in the world. I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else.
Where have you skied around the world?
I have skied all throughout New Zealand and Australia as well as Argentina, Chile and North America.
Why is Aspen such a special ski destination? What sets it apart from others?
Aspen is so special because of its diversity. It has a rich history as a mining town and boasts beautiful historic buildings juxtaposed with world class modern architecture. It’s a very special place to me. The skiing is beyond compare in terms of uncrowded slopes and all levels of terrain.
Do you have a favourite ski run in Aspen?
The G zones in Highlands Bowl.
Where would you go for the perfect après ski scene?
Ajax Tavern at the Little Nell. It has to be one of the world’s best spots for people watching. Oh, and they serve great truffle fries too.
Do you have a favourite local’s hangout you can let us in on?
Mezzaluna for happy hour pizzas and drink specials.
Aspen has a great winter events calendar. What’s your favourite of the season?
My favourite is the Winterskol Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. My family and I participate in the torchlight parade every year and there is something magical about seeing the fireworks off above the snow.