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Meet the Dream Team: Stephi Ganseneder
Meet Stephi, the sunshine-infused, giggling dynamo from Germany. Behind her laid-back demeanor lies a true European mountain conqueror. Whether she's gracefully gliding on skis, strolling with a skip in her step, or scaling rock walls, Stephi unleashes her Alps-infused experience to make every adventure seem like a piece of Black Forest cake. So, buckle up and get ready to chase her up the peaks, all while trying to keep up with her infectious laughter!
Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town in southern Germany with the Alps as my backyard.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I just finished university last year. I'm going to be a physical education and English teacher someday. Other than that, I just love to run and ski as much as I can in a fast and light way. When it comes to racing, I'm more into shorter trail races up to 35km with a lot of elevation gain.
What sports did you practice as a child?
I was a cross-country skier for a while, but mostly for the candy we got from our coach. I finished last in most races and didn't want to train more, so I quit and started rock climbing instead. Rock climbing and ski touring were my main sports for many years until I injured my shoulder. I wasn't able to climb as hard as I wanted, which was my kickoff into trail running. From there it was more trail running, some easy rock climbing in the summer, and ski touring in the winter.
What brought you to the mountains?
I spent a lot of time in the mountains growing up. My parents used to take me out, and with the Alps being only a 2-minute drive away, I've spent a lot of time in the mountains.
My best friend's dad owns a trail running and ski touring shop in my hometown. They took me climbing and later ski touring. Their passion was always to go light and fast in the mountains, which fascinated me more and more.
What "personal touch" do you bring to SkiUphill / RunUphill?
I'm the only German on the team…. Also, I've been skiing on skinny skis my whole life, so I'm trying to represent more of a European ski touring mentality on the coast.
What other sports are you interested in?
I've always been interested in all kinds of ball sports. When I was a kid, I loved playing soccer and handball. In summer I like to play beach volleyball with my friends. To relax my legs from running, I also like to swim and ride my MTB or road bike.
What is your favorite area to run/ski?
I love Squamish, the running trails are amazing. The skiing here is pretty deep. I'd never skied powder that deep before I came here. It's pretty special. Although I'm pretty happy with the running and skiing in the Alps. The snow isn't as good as here (when there is snow, haha), but the access is super easy. And in the Alps, it's more about tagging summits, which I like, because why not?
What are your other hobbies/interests?
I'm pretty bad at finishing a book, so I usually stick to watching a movie instead. Aside from all the sports that I do, I just love to hang out with my family and friends and talk and play games with them.
What's your ideal day in the mountains?
I like to get up early, but not too early. Some clouds would be nice, just makes the photos a little more interesting, but it has to be sunny. A long day of skiing with some technical terrain on the way up and a SUMMIT is a must. I don't care too much about the skiing, but either some nice powder turns or corn snow would be amazing. And I'd love to do my perfect ski touring day on race skis, because why not?
As for running, I prefer some technical terrain like long ridges with lots of scrambling and connecting some peaks.
What's your favorite piece of running gear?
I love my Dynafit DNA shorts. Amazing in a race and just the most comfortable shorts I've ever worn.
Some people say I only drink tea, but an oat milk latte is actually my favorite.