Action Filmmaking: Watch This Skier Make It Big

Freeride World Tour title? Check. Powder Video Award for Best Female Performance? Check. Learn what’s next for Elyse Saugstad in this Teton Gravity short film.

After winning the Freeride World Tour title in 2008, Elyse Saugstad decided to change paths. She “felt it was time to pursue her dream of filming,” Teton Gravity wrote in the film description.

After Saugstad struggled to break through to the male-dominated, top-action sports production companies, she decided to make another change. She built her own production team, recruited her own camera crew, and filmed in her own style — all in pursuit of a ski film dream.

For Saugstad, moving into the film industry meant investing in a snowmobile, learning how and where to shoot, filming without any major funding, and applying for TGR’s Co-Lab film competition. And through all that, she advocated for gender equity in snowsports and filmmaking.

The short film “On My Own Terms” tells Saugstad’s story from ski racer to big-mountain freerider to film producer — and beyond.

lael wilcox standing next to bike applying sunscreen to arms
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skier dropping into narrow gulley in Sawtooths.
'Marriage Test in the Mountains': Ski Couple Takes on the Sawtooths
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Mary Murphy
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Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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