1. When did you become an astronaut for Spacecraft?
Fall of 2012 I was invited onto the Spacecraft Crew!
2. How do you “Make It Happen” daily?
My goals everyday are to have as much fun as possible, try new things, new places and share it with rad people… it just happens from there!
3. What has been your favorite mission so far?
My most successful mission was to India last winter to film a movie with Soul Ryders. We got super lucky with conditions, got in the heli for two days, skied Gulmarg and toured the backcountry of the Himalayas. I had the most incredible experiences including skiing one of the longest runs of my life with a helicopter buzzing over my head and diving into the completely unique culture of India.
4. Who inspires you?
Jim Jack. He was the head judge of the Freeskiing World Tour who passed away. He was the funnest person I’ve ever known. He brought the best out in every person and every situation. He was always smiling, laughing, or giving someone a big hug. His passion for life bubbled out of him and was incredibly contagious.
5. When you aren’t in space, what are you doing?
I love going on long runs or hikes while rocking out to good music, I practice yoga as often as possible, traveling will always be a passion of mine, backpacking, editing.
6. What does it mean to you to be an Astronaut?
I think exploring new options. There is always room in everything you do to make it different and new. I think it’s important to stay positive, a frustrating situation can turn into a new adventure, just get creative and have fun with it. That what it’s all about!
7. How long have you been riding/creating?
I’ve been sliding around the snow for about 22 years.
8. Where’s your home base/home mountain?
I’m from Seattle, I spent 6 years skiing Utah and now live in Truckee, Ca and ski Squaw.
9. If you had a million dollars, you would ___________ ?
Travel to exotic places, learn their cultures and find a way to contribute to their world.
10. Favorite nick name you’ve been given and why?
My first year in Utah I lived at a mid-mountain lodge and my boss made fun of my groggy smile every morning so he called me Sunshine, all the customers thought it was my real name. My friends call me V and Ness.
11. Personal Mission statement:
Never let your fear decide your fate
Check out this edit of Vanessa skiing in India and Utah.
I’m taking a step away from competing this season and a big step towards filming. It’s a whole new challenge and I’m LOVING IT! Last year I went to India with Soul Ryders this year Europe, Japan, and Silverton… depending on snow.
Tell me about your skiing background.
– I grew up in a ski family. We would go on ski road trips in our Euro van, sleeping in parking lots and hostels. Both my parents get after it, shredding and mountaineering on Tele’s and Alpine, I’m pretty sure they love skiing more then I do. Growing up, my ski partners included my parents, my two brothers and my dad’s crazy telemark friends. Unlike most young skiers, I never took a lesson, I never raced, and I never skied park. I just chased the people having the most fun at a steep little resort in Washington called Alpental.
You recently spent a lot of time in Central America. Was it to take a time out from skiing? Tell me about your travels down there and what you learned, both about the culture and about yourself.
Instead of going to the southern hemispher in search of snow in the summer, my feet needed to be free’d from ski boots and play in the sand. The majority of my friends in Costa Rica had never even seen snow and many had never left their country. The tiny town I lived in was stunning but not the easiest place to live. I was broke %100 percent of the time, finding a job and a good place to live was tricky, and I was humbled to the floor learning how to surf. I did do a Yoga Teacher Training while I was there and was soon teaching my friends and surfers coming through town. It was such an amazing experience! I’d say over all Costa Rica really yanked me out of my comfort zone, but I made life long friends, learned the strength of the ocean and the beauty of an extremely simple life.
Aside from being a skier, who is Vanessa Aadland?
– I’d say I’m a bit off the wall, but I work hard. I do my best to stay positive, things hardly go as planed so the more you learn to go with it, the more fun you can have. I just want to meet everyone, dance a lot, have a beer and moon people.
After doing a BN of Mt. Superior in Little Cottonwood Canyon last winter, you got a lot of media exposure. Most of it was super positive, but some of it was down right ridiculously obnoxious. How have you dealt with the exposure?
– Skiing naked is just a trilling, goofy thing to do and thats why I like it. Life’s too short to care about someone thinking you’re weird or crazy. I just want to have fun while I’m here because you just never know how long you or your homies got.
My Mom and Dad. My brothers Nick and Tony. Shane, Flyin Ryan, Jim Jack, Sarah, Jamie P., Jake, CR, THANK YOU for inspiring me to throw my ego into the sea, figure out what it is I want, and give’r hell.
In one sentence, why do you love skiing?
Skiing gives me wings!
I’m glad this is the last question cause I’m going skiing!