Free Drop Off to the Bow Valley and Calgary
Meet the Dream Team: Joel Desgreniers
Joel is the technical guru behind the products that we carry at SkiUphill. If you follow our blog, you’ll see ‘‘ we carry this product’’ and he is the one behind the ‘we’ by staying up way too late researching, getting up impossibly early for alpine starts to test out new gear first hand and the one with endless technical knowledge. If you have a gear question he is your guy and he is generous in sharing that knowledge with our team at SkiUphill. He occasionally wears spandex for Skimo races but his real thing is ‘’checking out’’ big and steep lines in the Rockies. Meet Joel...
Where are you from? Riviere-Du-Loup, Quebec
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Quebec City. I discovered mountain sports and backcountry skiing during a semester in Europe back when I was studying at Laval University. I moved to Canmore in 2016 to work as a physiotherapist at Rocky Mountain Rehab and Sports Medicine, and to spend more time trail running, climbing and skiing.
What sports did you practice as a child?
I did many years of short track speed skating and did a bit of cross-country running and track and field back in high school. I also did a few years of triathlon and dabbled a bit in cycling, cyclocross, snowshoe running and other endurance sports.
What brought you to the mountains?
I had the amazing opportunity to work as a physiotherapist in Canmore. The playground in the Rockies is just so much better. There is so much world-class terrain accessible right around town. And the people are super inspiring. It is so awesome to live in a town where I don’t feel like I’m crazy if I get up at 1 AM to go skiing!
What “personal touch” do you bring to SkiUphill?
I’ve always been a huge gear geek, whether it was about bicycles, skis or climbing. I think my personal touch at SkiUphill is that we want to be as knowledgeable as possible about gear, parts and compatibilities. My background as a physiotherapist is also helpful when it comes to injury prevention, advice, boot fitting and shoe fitting.
What draws you to trail running?
I like how trail running never feels repetitive and how the terrain really changes the experience. It is also much easier on the body than road running and that allows me to run more while having less risk of injury.
What is your favourite area to ski?
The Icefields Parkway (93 N). The scale of the peaks is huge, and the mountains are right there in your face. The ease of access to big terrain is incredible up there!
What are your other hobbies/interests?
Climbing, cross-country skiing and a bit of mountain biking
What’s your ideal day out in the mountains?
A super early start and a sunrise on the approach, a bootpack up a technical couloir with some anchor building and a bit of scrambling-climbing. Then a steep descent on perfect spring snow back down and a beer at the car after a long day out.
What is your ski setup this Winter?
I use a Movement Session 89 ski with a Plum Race 150 binding. I was on a Blizzard Zero G 95 last year and was looking for a ski that would be a bit more lively and playful while still having some character. The Movement floats like a much wider ski than its width and it is very fun to ski. I am looking forward to testing it on the steep slopes this Spring.
What is your go-to running shoe?
The Inov-8 Trailtalon 250 is great. I use a thin cutting board to add some protection against rocks and it works very well for shorter runs and racing. The sole is so grippy.