Casey Andringa is just getting started
Not many get the opportunity to spend significant time doing what they love while traveling to beautiful places. Casey Andringa does. The Colorado native is 23 years old, and skis moguls on the US national team. For elite skiers like Casey, winters are spent largely on the move, traveling to and from competitions on the Ski World Cup circuit, and training hard while the snow is falling.
Casey grew up skiing Winter Park and Vail, but the Freestyle Ski World Cup takes him all over the world for competitions. Right now he’s about halfway through the season; this past weekend he competed in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Next up are events in Utah, Japan, Kazakhstan, then the US National Championships at the end of March. It’s a demanding schedule.
These Ski World Cup events are how athletes qualify for the Winter Olympics. Last year as a relative newcomer, Casey won his event in the US selections, then did well in the following competition. Forty days later he was walking a lap around Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium alongside the likes of Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn.
Representing the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea was a whirlwind of an experience for Casey, who took fifth overall in the men’s moguls — a mighty feat for a 23-year-old competing against the (other) best skiers in the world. Understandably, many athletes at the Games take it very seriously, but Casey embraces a different attitude. “You start skiing with the USA flag on you and all of a sudden there’s all this pressure to perform,” he says. “I feel like a lot of people don’t even enjoy themselves there. So my whole thing is to keep having fun, because at the end of the day, we’re just skiing.”
For skiers on the US national team, the team pays for all travel and lodging for competitions and training sessions. But in the summer Casey likes to save money and road trip to training camps with his brother in their 2009 Ford Expedition. They camp out of the Expedition when they can, surfing and skiing their way around North America. Sometimes Casey hops on Turo to find some local wheels, like in this recent trip to Telluride.
This type of life on the road practically begs to be documented and shared. So, many years ago, Casey took up photography and maintains a magazine-worthy Instagram feed of his travels. “It’s a perfect hobby to pair with skiing,” he says. “It’s also just a really good way to show my parents everywhere we go.”
What are the favorite ski areas of a young pro skier? Telluride, Colorado, where Casey does much of his training. It’s his favorite mountain and ski town, close enough to home for the Coloradan but far enough away from most of the big crowds. Another favorite is Apex Mountain Resort in British Columbia. This is a tiny, secluded town with A-frames nestled away in the forest — the type of cozy wintery haven you chop your own wood to heat up your cabin.
As you might guess, Casey absolutely loves the places skiing is taking him. He’s traveled to places far and wide and competed in the Olympic Games. It’s a grind. He wakes up early, trains hard, and is often on the road. He wouldn’t trade it for anything, and is working to enjoy the journey as it unfolds. He’s well on his way.