BYU skier’s creativity and drive push him to the pros

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Mitchell Brower enjoys a day in the backcountry. (Ethan Stone)

Skiing has been part of Mitchell Brower’s life as long as he can remember. Growing up in Draper, Mitchell always looked up to his older brother, Kevin, who also skied and owned several ski movies on VHS.

Mitchell started ski racing at a young age and raced until he graduated high school, but he always dreamed of being a sponsored free skier. He would rush straight to the park after race training with Kevin, who always pushed him to learn new tricks and hit the bigger jumps.

Mitchell and Kevin skied together their whole lives, spending a lot of time at Snowbird and Alta. They perfected new tricks and went off larger jumps, honing the skills of free skiers.

After Mitchell served a Korean-speaking mission in Los Angeles, he and Kevin started filming each other “because no one else wanted to film us.” These two brothers started a web series called “The Brothers Brower,” which has been going for four seasons and has drawn a large amount of attention in the skiing community.

Mitchell has learned how to balance the life of being a full-time engineering student with pursuing his passion for skiing. This passion led him to be nominated for this year’s Rookie of the Year and Best Crash at this year’s International Freeski Film Festival. Mitchell has managed to accomplish all of this while staying on the graduation track for this coming December.

Using the footage from his adventures in Utah’s backcountry, Mitchell entered Level 1s Superunknown contest, “similar to American Idol for skiing,” described Mitchell, and won it in 2014. This spring-boarded him into professional skiing, landing him a spot in the company’s upcoming film, “Small World,” which was released on Sept. 21 on Vimeo.

Mitchell Brower skies midway through a 540 in the Alta backcountry. (Kevin Brower)

Mitchell talked to The Universe about the most difficult trick that he accomplished during this film. “I did a gap over three fences and onto a long flat rail. It was a big impact on the rail and I almost gave up after a hard fall,” he said.

But this trick drew some of the biggest cheers of the night at the premier in Salt Lake City. The film premiered in over 20 cities all over the world.

“He is really humble,” said Mitchell’s longtime friend and roommate, Paco Smith. “He lives his life by the thrill of what trick is next. He takes winters off school to ski, skateboarding as well as mountain biking to stay in shape during the summers. You don’t see many mechanical engineering majors doing that.”

Along with local skateboarders, Mitchell was a part of an independent skate film Headlined “BEEP BEEP VROOM.” Max Matesen, a skater in the film and Mitchell’s old roommate, said “Mitch will try scary stuff and slam repeatedly, but get up and keep going. He’ll go to a spot at 3 a.m. to ski to build a jump and then ride it after setting up jumps, landings, cameras and lights.”

During the filming of “Small World,” Mitchell had an opportunity to build a jump line using a snowcat. Many of the skiers were pushing him to try his first double cork, a 1080, describing it as really scary. He finally convinced himself to do it and landed it on his first try.

Mitchell Brower ollies off a loading dock during the filming of “BEEP BEEP VROOM.” (Chandler James)

Max talked about a trip to California when they spent a day skating some school benches. As soon as it was Mitchell’s turn, he started to stack the benches in all different formations instead of leaving them flat. Mitchell ended up getting his final trick for “BEEP BEEP VROOM” doing that.

“It premiered in Summer 2014. We were blown away at how many people came to watch it,” Max said.

Max said Mitchell is known to push himself when skateboarding. “Not in the same way other people push themselves sometimes, but he pushes himself creatively,” Max said. “Where someone might push themselves to jump down a bigger set of stairs or a huge handrail, Mitchell tries to look for something that no one else would skate or (will) have a different approach on an obstacle that everyone else is skating. He’s fun to watch skate and it always seems to be influenced by his style of skiing.”

Mitchell has several sponsors: Atomic Skis, Saga Outerwear, Spy Optic, Snogression, Hestra Gloves and The Lifthouse. He traveled to Korea last winter, using his language skills learned on his mission to inspire young Korean skiers. He also travelled to Whistler, Canada to film a segment for “Small World.”

“Skiing culture is not an environment that is conducive to being a member of the church,” his roommate Paco said. “Many are getting high before skiing and drinking at night, especially on trips.” But Paco said Mitchell is an example to kids who want to be a professional skier. He said Mitchell shows how you can be part of the culture without participating in some aspects.

With graduation coming this December, Mitchell hopes to combine Korean, skiing and engineering into a career, saying, “a guy can dream, right?”

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