“We are Ian and Isabel! A rad(ish) couple from Salt Lake City, Utah. Now, however, we call anywhere home as we travel North America in a decked out ’91 GMC Vandura.” Ian originally grew up in Carson City, Nevada, and found his passion for skiing in the Lake Tahoe area. Early on, Ian discovered his love for freeskiing and quickly fell into the competition circuit, doing halfpipe eventually making it to the World Cup level. He moved to Utah on the day of his 18th birthday in search of fresh terrain and snow. Isabel grew up in Park City, Utah. Since the age of 3, she’s been in love with the Wasatch Range, but it wasn’t until she began attending the University of Utah that she started assembling her kit for backcountry skiing. Since then Ian and Isabel have spent the past 3 seasons exploring the mountains together, and traveling to where they could find the best snow.
This past Spring Isabel graduated school, and together the two of them decided that now would be their only opportunity to put adulthood aside, stuff all of their belongings into a van, and adventure. For Isabel and Ian, the GMC is everything they could possibly want crammed onto 4 wheels; of course it’s small, being just too short to stand up in, and most of the space is taken up by a tremendous amount of climbing and skiing gear. When you peek in you’ll most likely find one of them hunched over a tiny counter top preparing a cup of coffee, and the other laying diagonally on the bed. You’ll also spot Rigby, their dog, lounging on the driver’s seat waiting for his share of the adventure. The van has cabinets and drawers, just as any other home would have, but some of the angles are askew, a few pieces of trim have fallen off and wood glue has become their new best friend. The reason for this is the entire thing was built by hand, by Ian (who hadn’t previously done any cabinetry) with some help here and there from Isabel.
“If you take time out of your day to envision our living situation, don’t think of a shiny Sprinter Van, instead think of when you make pancakes and the first one always goes just slightly awry, but it will also be the one to quell your hunger and give you that first, delicious taste.”
The van is the couples house for the next year. During the non-snowy months, they embrace their love for climbing, attempting to recreate an infamous list of the “50 Classic Climbs of North America”. This list comprises of rock climbing and mountaineering routes, all 50 of which have yet to be recreated by a single partnership. They are happily ticking off summits as they move from climbing area to climbing area, and on their rest days they are drawing, hiking or listening to podcasts. However, as soon as snow hits, they will put the checklist aside and pick back up their foremost passion for touring. They will be going all over Canada and the West this season, following snow wherever it hits. Ian has found a new ski discipline alongside touring and ripping hard, this time being airborne. Teaching himself, Ian has started speedriding, think paragliding but faster and closer to the ground with skis on.
“We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to lead this lifestyle, and are trying to make it count as much as possible. We’re also incredibly grateful and psyched to have Liberty skis to shred on!” If you want to check out the couples progress they have a website up, called imavan.com, where you can read about their adventures, failures and everything in-between!
Ian will spend the year skiing on the Origin 106. The Origin 106 swept magazine tests and is setting a new standard for everyday drivers on bigger mountains; the Origin106 hits the sweet spot. Plenty of float for deeper days, and the torsional rigidity to carve harder snow at high speed.
Isabel will be skiing on the NEW Genesis 106. The Genesis106 features X-Core Carbon and a big dose of awesome for women who rip. Your snow-day collaborator provides plenty of float for deeper days in a light package that will still blast and carve through all the leftovers on your way home. To check out 2017 -2018 collection of skis visit libertyskis.com.