Frame of Mind Series 1: Harrison Hogan Holley
For our fourth interview of the Frame of Mind Series, we spoke with Solitude Ambassador Harrison Hogan Holley. Harrison is hands-down one of the nicest guys you’ll find on the mountain and is very much responsible for helping the Spread Stoke crew fall in love with Solitude Mountain Resort. Born and raised in Park City, Utah, Harrison grew up competing in freestyle moguls on the Park City Freestyle Team. He then started competing on the Freeskiing World Tour and continues to compete on the Freeride World Tour this season. Between competitions and work, he also spends all season making us drool with his pow shots on Instagram.
Spread Stoke: Where is your hometown?
Harrison: Park City, Utah.
SS: Who can you usually find yourself on a chairlift with?
Harrison: My good buddy Eric Dyer aka Derr, Benny Mikes, the Spread Stoke ladies or any other members of the Solitude MYST.
SS: Conditioning off the mountain is an essential element to performance on the mountain. Do you have any training techniques (whether physical or mental) you would like to share?
Harrison: Hate on it as much as you want, but CrossFit has gotten me in the best shape of my life. I haven’t been to any other gym other than Alpenfit in Park City so maybe other gyms fit the “bro” mold that is associated with CrossFit’s negative image, but the coaches at Alpenfit are nothing short of amazing! They focus on knowledge and progress in life outside the gym, making you a better athlete in whatever discipline you enjoy. If you want to get in shape for skiing give it a shot, I swear by it.
SS: What’s been the most challenging aspect of being an athlete?
Harrison: The mental aspect of competitions is by far the most challenging aspect. Nerves can really take over when you are competing. I always say that the worst feeling in the world is standing on top of a comp venue waiting for your start and the best feeling ever is being at the bottom after stomping a good line. Focusing on skiing and having fun in comps always seems to help me ski better.
SS: Besides shredding the white wintry wave, what else do you enjoy doing?
Harrison: In the summer I love to mountain bike and whitewater raft. Mountain biking helps me keep in shape and there is nothing like rafting to help escape reality.
SS: What is your life motto?
Harrison: “Send it before you send it”. The phrase was created while on tour with my good buddies Connor Pelton and Connery Lundin. It basically means don’t let the present hold you back from the future or vice versa, live life to the fullest, do it all!
SS: What fuel goes into your body before and after a day on the hill?
Harrison: Before skiing: Coffee and a smoothie. After skiing: Beer and mostly pizza.
SS: What does skiing do for your soul?
Harrison: I love getting away from crowds by exploring the mountains which is often the case while skiing (especially since there are no crowds at Solitude), but I don’t see skiing as anything ‘spiritual’ like many people talk it up to be. I think it was a quote in an old TGR or Matchstick movie that said something like “everyone talks skiing up to be this spiritual cleanse, but I look at it more of a funny concept that we hike up a mountain just to go back down and if we are lucky we will have sh!t hit us in the face the whole way down”. I guess I always try to keep things light and comical while on the hill. I’m not very mature.
SS: Solitude, it’s all in the name. What are some of your favorite attributes of Solitude and how is it unique from other Utah resorts?
Harrison: More powder per person. There is never the powder panic you get at other resorts where people freak out, push and shove, cram like sardines into trams or track an entire mountain out in an hour. The overall atmosphere is laid back and fun, which is exactly what skiing should be. You can ski untracked snow in Honeycomb days after a storm or get into some of the steepest most challenging inbounds terrain offered anywhere in the world. If you disagree go hike Fantasy Ridge.
SS: What goes through your mind before, during and after executing or capturing a technical line or feature?
Harrison: Before: Nerves. During: Blackout and/or concentration, I usually can’t remember. After: Stoke! Or a need for redemption. Or, where are my skis?
SS: When you’re not on the hill or working out, what can we most likely find you doing?
Harrison: I bartend at Highwest, so come stop by and grab a delicious Old Fashioned from me and I’ll tell you how much better of a skier I am than you. Just kidding. But really, the Old Fashions are delicious!
SS: Let’s talk 2017 Goals: What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?
Harrison: #1: Stay healthy. #2: Ski often. #3: Defend my title at the PCMR Chinese Downhill.
SS: As athletes, you serve as role models in the outdoor industry. Any advice, reflections or ideas on the types of things you would like see the outdoor industry strive for?
Harrison: Being from Utah, I would love to see the state recognize the value of its open spaces. This article by Black Diamond Founder, Peter Metcalf perfectly sums up my point.
SS: What’s bumpin’ in your earbuds?
Harrison: I like my beats like I like my cereal, crunchy.
SS: Spread Stoke’s values are: Do what you love, leave this world a better place than you found it, and spread stoke to those around you. How do you demonstrate these values?
Harrison: On the mountain I always strive to be the person who brings the morale of the group up. That may be pumping a buddy up on a cool line or most often cracking terrible jokes. Everyone talks about not leaving a footprint on the world insinuating a footprint is a bad thing. I think everyone should strive to leave a footprint on the Earth, but have that footprint be an improvement in whatever you enjoy.
SS: Do you have any shout-outs to sponsors?
Harrison: Sego Ski Co., Soul Poles, Solitude Mountain Resort and Spread Stoke for putting this together. Looking at the list above, I guess anyone else that has a company that starts with an “S” please contact me for sponsorship.
We hope you enjoyed our Frame of Mind interview! Be sure to say “What’s up!” to Harrison on the hill this season and give him a follow on Instagram @harhoghol (seriously though, he ALWAYS gets the shot!).
Stay tuned for our next Frame of Mind interview. If you know someone who should be featured, let us know.