Alma Johnson, Team All Mountain (Recreational)
Alma is a mountain goat born from her folks’ grit and grace at home in Ridgway, Colorado. Grown under the sun and snow at the gateway to the San Juan’s, Alma stepped into her first pair of skis at 3. Since then, any day with skis on her feet is the best day ever. Alma was an instructor for itty-bitties at Telluride Ski School throughout high school and for a couple seasons over breaks from university. She graduated from WSCU in Gunnison in 2017 with a BA in Recreational Outdoor Education and Leadership. Alma rode for Western’s Freeride team in 2016-17 and it felt so GOOD. Alma fell fast for the competition scene but had already started guiding ice on glaciers in Alaska, and after 5 years of working with kiddos in various contexts in the outdoors, Alma switched to working with adults in the backcountry. The next five years she spent summers and winters working and playing on ice and snow. Alma trained through the American Mountain Guide Association in rock, alpine and ski disciplines, and continue avalanche education through AAIRE (highest certification is Avy Pro 1). Alma learned the most on personal trips with mentors on big mountains in the Alaska range and right here in our San Juans.
Alma’s favorite contract to date has been working a few seasons for the Alaska Mountaineering School guiding on Denail, because it was an absolute delight to expand with clients and the environment over long expeditions. Day trips were great, but traveling on snow over weeks with the same group of individuals enabled Alma to nurture deeper relationships and instruct, as well as guide. She was lucky enough to hone individuals’ technical skills as well as love for the craft. Snack breaks at the summit were a bonus- she was in it for the joyride: hoots-and-hollers, heartache and high-fives.
Alma’s experience as both teacher and guide has created a potent opportunity for her to explore a new role as a coach. She is in a transformative season of her soul and is ready to get back to her roots: catching flying chairs and riding ‘round with rippers. Alma is ready to work with kids again because she has a deep capacity to nurture young athletes’ magic, meet them where they are, and empower their individual growth.
Skiing is Alma’s heart art and she will gladly spend her whole life as a student. There is nothing that makes us feel more competent and humble, capable and human, than to create connections and collective masterpieces with happy humans on skis. Having a role in training our next generation of Big Mountain competitors is a dream.