Perhaps no one was more shocked than Angel Collinson when the 25-year-old pro skier became the first woman ever to win the "Best Line" award at the POWDER magazine annual industry awards show Friday night in Salt Lake City.
"Thank you all for everything you contribute," said the visibly moved Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, local. "But I really think this one goes out to all the men … who support us women and bring us into your fold and give us all these opportunities and support us and believe in us. I would not be here without you."
A panel of ski-industry judges deemed her route selection down big, big Alaskan peaks — captured in Teton Gravity Research's film Paradise Waits — more impressive than that of her three male competitors in the award category: Josh Daiek (blank. The Movie, We Are Blank), James Heim (Fade to Winter, MSP Films) and Ian McIntosh — who appeared alongside Collinson in Paradise Waits.
Adding to the surprise factor? Collinson is also the first woman ever nominated for the distinction in the gala's 16-year history.
"Angel's win is a huge deal, and it speaks volumes for female skiers," POWDER Executive Editor John Clary Davies told GrindTV. "Her skiing is riveting. She skis with a wonderful combination of technical fluidity, power and grace, even among the chaos of the massive mountains around her."
Collinson also took home the award for Best Female Performance, besting Lexi Dupont, (#WhySoSerious, Stept Studios), Tatum Monod (Small World, Level 1), Michelle Parker (Fade To Winter, MSP Films) and Elyse Saugstad (Conquering the Useless, Team Thirteen), and made the night a trifecta by sweeping longtime fan-favorite big-mountain skier Ingrid Backstrom from the top of the Women's Reader Poll, which is determined by online voting by POWDER readers.
Backstrom had held the No. 1 Women's Reader Poll position for nine consecutive years, and took second in 2005.
For Collinson, it seems attitude has given her the advantage. "When is it work and when is it play?," she recently told POWDER. "Because it could always be work if you don't change your mentality."
Complete results, photos and videos from the 16th Annual POWDER Awards are available at powder.com/powder-awards/.
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