Being able to mountain bike and ski well doesn’t make you any more interesting than wearing flannel in a mountain town makes you a fashion icon. Tons of people in the ski industry are extremely capable on two wheels, but with that said, none may be as adept at both as KC Deane. The 33-year-old dual professional athlete has accomplished everything from riding in the rowdiest mountain biking event out there, Red Bull Rampage, to starring in Level 1 films and graving the covers of iconic publications like Skiing and Bike. Through it all, he’s maintained a sense of adventure that’s brought him across the globe multiple times and back again. We got him on the phone amidst all his travels to hear what’s next for the globetrotting athlete.
So what have you been up to during the offseason?
Well, the offseason for me isn’t too much of an offseason, it’s just an offseason from snow. As soon as I hung up the planks, I went right into mountain biking. And with that I spent my year just traveling like crazy¬–[this year,] I was in El Salvador, SoCal, India and Iceland. I was just bouncing all around until Crankworx. From there, I moved down to San Diego for the fall to ride and train for ski season.
How do you like the SoCal riding compared to Utah and British Columbia? It can tend to be a bit dry down there.
I Iove it. Some think it’s sketchy, and while I wouldn’t say I prefer it, I really do like riding loose desert-type terrain. I started my riding in Green River (Utah) and freeriding in that type of terrain, so it [feels like] home for me. Plus, being down with the close proximity to the ocean, it’s great to be able to surf for a couple hours, go the gym and then have all afternoon to ride mountain bikes.
So what’s your favorite spot to ride in SoCal?
Man, I don’t know–maybe Ted’s in San Clemente? I also really like Carlsbad and Vista is really fun and techy. I’m always a big fan of morning rides out in Noble Canyon as well.
Are you looking forward to the transition into winter?
Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to winter after filming with Level 1 and Blank [Collective] last year. Last season was arguably one of the best seasons I’ve ever had, so I just want to keep building on that.
I’m really looking forward to doing some skiing and filming at home (in Whistler) and pushing further out into the backcountry with sleds and touring. I’ve been talking with Parker White about trying to focus on hitting some really big pillow lines, and he’s of the same mindset. I’d also like to return to Hokkaido; I’m hoping to maybe even get two trips in there this winter.
So, your winter home is in Whistler, but you’ve been living in San Diego. Quick-fire question: After a day of skiing–poutine or tacos?
Tacos over poutine, easy. Tacos in Baja over everything.
Any big plans on the horizon for this season?
I’ll be filming with Level 1 again and–after starting Blank Collective four years ago–will be filming with Blank again. I also have a couple magazine stories here and there. I’m hoping to ski some technical lines and some big pillow missions, too.
Beyond that, I’m actually about to head out to Red Bull Rampage in a couple days to judge the event. I’ll be getting in early to go eye things up and look at how the venue is coming together. Todd (Barber), the organizer of the event, said the builds are even more next level than last year’s event and I’ve seen on social media that some of the guys are building one of the biggest drops I’ve ever seen, so I’m excited for that.
Back to ski season, what gear are you stoked to ride this year?
I got to test out the Ranger Free boot last season, and it’s so next level to have a boot that light, that stiff and can still go full walk-mode. You have to hike and tour quite a bit to hit the pillow lines I like, and having that capability in the boot is massive for me. The biggest stuff I hit last season was in that boot with a pin-tech binding.
I was [also] among the first round of testers for the Ranger boot last year and it’s been awesome to watch Fischer develop it. I’ve always been pretty strong on foot-powered missions, but especially in BC when you’re working into certain places, you really need to work for it.
A lot of what I’m skiing you use a sled or a heli for access, but still end up touring a little while to reach. There’s just so many good skiers and snowboarders across the board in BC that a lot of that low-hanging fruit–the easy-to-access pillow lines and all that–are mobbed with people. On a normal day, there are so many people riding it or trying to create media on the terrain that you have to go further out to be by yourself in a new area. I’m glad to have the touring setup because I feel like, in many ways, foot-powered missions are the way home.