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Big Mountain Freerider
Welcome to Nature, Forrest! We are extremely happy to have you onboard as a Norrøna ambassador! Tell us about yourself.
My Name is Forrest Jillson in 33 years old, I call Jackson Wyoming home. I have yet to find another place in the world like it, and will always call it home. I spend all of my days plotting and scheming on how to have the most fun times in the mountains mostly via skis but also bikes or on rafts over rivers. I got my foothold in the skiing industry as an athlete by winning the Freeskiing World Tour in 2016 and solidified my place in the sport with multiple appearances in 3 major ski films along with many short films, magazine features and commercial work with the likes of Samsung and Olympus and more. I’m a outdoorsman through and through and enjoy mountain biking, rafting and hunting and commercial salmon fishing which I have done for the last 9 summers in Nikiski, Alaska.
You’re a movie star! Tell us more!
I’m a budding ski movie character. Let’s say that, movie star does sound nice though, lol. It’s something I have worked towards for a long time now. I got my first taste of ski movie production in Warren Miller’s “Face of Winter” in 2018 when we ski toured in Denali National Park for ten days, which was the most amazing place I’ve ever skied by far. I have been on the following two movies from Warren Miller being filmed at my home mountain in Jackson in 2019 and last year I went to Cordova, Alaska.
What do you actively do to cut back on your carbon footprint?
I’m a very big advocate of using my bike to get around town, I even use my bike to make a living in the summer/fall where I use it to shuttle river users vehicles along the Snake River.
What do you see outside your window, right now?
Elk, and a sunset.
Why are you drawn to nature?
For sanity reasons. It’s the best medicine.
How did you become a skier?
I had an early intro to life in the mountains since my Father has been a member of the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol my entire life, following him around the mountains as he responded to wrecks, did recon in avalanche terrain and my favorite, avalanche reduction work with explosives. An upbringing I am very appreciative of and I blame him for my love of this place and my early start to skiing at the ripe young age of 2.
When did it all start?
Maybe “it” would be considered the moment that I undoubtedly fell in love with skiing to the point of no return. Which would be the winter of 1996/97. Jackson just had a storm that closed all roads home so I stayed at my grandmas for 20 days straight and I was forced to go to work with my dad every day and ski powder all day. It was rough, ha. I was ten and wasn’t quite big enough to ski powder with the skinner skis of that day but after that storm cycle it all clicked, and I was hooked. I missed 30 straight days of school and came back to school with a whole new outlook on life and huge expression of surprise from my friends who thought I just up and disappeared.
What is your mission?
My mission is to take care of myself and my people and live an extraordinarily rich life for as long as it lasts.
What inspires you?
People who live! Not just people who get by, I’m inspired by people who take the route less traveled and the visionaries who do what most say can’t be done. Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnald, Jimmy Chin and others.
Do you think best outside the box?
Yes I definitely do, I’m a nonconformist by nature and don’t see the need to do anything other than what my heart leads me to do.
How would you describe last year?
I met the love of my life and had a blast! I skied, biked, rafted and worked harder than ever! I’m naturally the “social distance” type so I didn’t have any problem extending that idea. I was like, “ cool, so society wants me to get further away, I can do that.”
What’s your expectations for 2021?
I plan on marching to the beat of my own drum and focus on making myself happy and healthy. What’s the best way you can help others? Take care of, fine tune and maintain yourself. So I will carry on with goals to ski more and on the side I’m going to build a solar powered tiny home on wheels complete with a loft and a sauna and take my little pup “Oslo” and my gorgeous girlfriend on off the grid adventures and live life in style!
How did you stay fit during lock down?
I trained in a friends home gym, we were very exclusive with who we included but my life during lockdown was very ordinary.
Where will we find you skiing this season?
I will likely be close to home with all the travel and covid restrictions, which is fine by me! There’s plenty to do here!
Your best powder turn!
The left footer I made on the banks of the Ruth Glacier that resulted in me getting the cover of the Warren Miller movie we were filming for!! I knew it when I made it, I thought to myself, “ooooo, that was a good turn.” Lol
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
These little honey based chocolate brownie type things called Honey Mama’s, they are so expensive and my girlfriend and I have to hold each other accountable and make sure we collectively only have one.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
A smoothie with spinach, carrot, celery, banana, cilantro, and creatine accompanied by coffee with a small amount of cream and ghee.
Which song is the soundtrack of your life?
Is This Love by Bob Marley
Tell us about your last epic skiing day!
So I still am easing into the season here in Jackson. We aren’t doing bad with snow but we are dealing with a very touchy snowpack and need to heed the warnings. So I skinned up into Teton National Park and skied a friendly line from a peak called 25 short “because it is 25ft short of 10,000ft.” It is a classic and the views are stunning everytime!
Tell us about your favourite product from Norrøna!
I’m a HUGE fan of the 45 liter lyngen ski pack. It’s so ergonomic and well thought out. I’m really impressed by its simplicity, nothing more than everything you need. There is such a thing as too complex of a design, and this pack is perfect!