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Yuki Tsubota

Born and raised in Whistler, Yuki has been on skis for as long as she can remember. She was given the opportunity to give all sports a go when she was young, and ultimately it was skiing that stole her heart.

She started skiing at the age of three, joined her local freestyle team at the age of ten, and later made the switch from moguls to slopestyle – a decision that made her dreams come true. Yuki was part of the Canadian Slopestyle Ski Team for eight years, and ended up competing in two Olympic Games (Sochi and Pyeongchang) finishing sixth at both – her proudest accomplishments.

In early 2020, Yuki retired from competitive skiing and shifted her focus to backcountry skiing (fun fact: she prefers to tour uphill with her boots completely done up and in ski mode). Now that she’s not chasing snow year-round, having a real summer has been great – she’s fallen back in love with biking, camping and getting into the mountains. She’s even starting to like mountain biking as much as skiing…

“I would have never made it to where I did without all the support I’ve had since I was a kid, so I continuously hope I can give back to the outdoor community.”

Instagram: @yuki_tsubota

Get to know Yuki

Yuki and friend in sleeping bags in the backcountry

If your life had a theme, what would it be?

Organized? I love to constantly organize things. My day, my week, my emails, taxes, everything. I just love the satisfaction of ticking things off.

Where do you go to escape?

Any place that involves a lot of adrenaline and I can’t think of anything else but what’s in front of me.

What’s the most radical change you’ve made?

When I was 17, I made a sudden switch from being a mogul skier to park skier. It caused a lot of uproar in my family but I knew that was where my heart was at… and in the end it was the right decision!

What’s your longest lasting piece of gear?

I’ve got a pair of long johns that I can’t let go of. My dog chewed through the butt but I patched it back up. They are running around 15 years or so.

What gear has been the biggest game-changer for you?

I remember getting my first pair of powder skis and it was like falling in love with skiing again.

MEC Ambassador Yuki Tsubota skiing powder

Who inspires you?

I will always and forever look up to Sarah Burke. She was a big reason why I chased my dreams to become a professional skier. She always encouraged young girls to follow their dreams and believe in their skiing ability, I would not have gotten to where I did without her.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

I was in a helicopter accident six years ago and getting back into one after was no doubt the hardest thing I have ever done. I still have crazy anxiety flying in them, as well as airplanes.

What’s your go-to backpacking meal?

Annie’s mac and cheese with a can of tuna.

How has the outdoors impacted your life?

I’m lucky enough to have been born and raised in an outdoor community and thankfully I love it! I would never want anything different and this is where I want to raise my kids. I think when you live your life for the outdoors and things you love, you just end up living a healthier life. As I’ve grown older, work-life balance has become so much more of a priority for me. The outdoors changes your perspective of life in every way possible.

Yuki’s gear picks

  • MEC Synergy Jacket: I’ve been wearing it for the past couple of seasons and it hasn’t let me down once. A good shell is crucial for the backcountry, especially in wet coastal weather.
  • A multi-tool: I never leave home without one – it’s saved the day numerous times.
  • MEC Amp 3-Person Tent: My favourite 3-season tent I’ve owned. I love that the entire top is mesh and you can fall asleep watching the stars.
MEC Ambassador Yuki Tsubota smiling with ski goggles, surrounded by snow