Feb 20, 2013 - Season: 2012-13
Halley O’Brien is a freelance videographer and on-camera personality based in Boulder, Colorado. She contributes to the Weather Channel, the Ski Channel and SnoCountry. She visited the Canadian Rockies in early February to cover the Fairmont Banff Springs Sports Invitational held in Banff and at Sunshine Village.
Do you ski or snowboard?
I have been a snowboarder for eight or nine years now and I absolutely love it. I had a group of friends who couldn’t wait for winter every year and I thought they were crazy. I figured I would see what all the fuss was about, so I asked them to take me out and teach me how to snowboard. I was immediately hooked on snowboarding and in turn, my life will never be the same.
How did you turn this into a career?
After studying public relations and communications at Montclair State University in my home state of New Jersey, I made it my mission to break into the ski industry however I could. I started working at Mount Snow in Vermont doing communications, writing, and social media, but my true love was video production. I started hosting “the Mount Snow Minute” during the 2008-2009 ski season. It was great timing as social media was really taking off at that time.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m not sure I know what a “typical day” means anymore. The only thing that’s guaranteed is that I will be outdoors. When I am shooting “No Boundaries” for the Weather Channel, I could be in Brazil, or anywhere else in the world, but when I am shooting a segment for “SnoCountry Snapshot” I could be at any given ski resort in North America.
Tell me about your experience at Sunshine Village?
My trip to Banff and Sunshine Village was jam-packed with fun; it was also my first time here. We started it all off with a ride up the mountain in Sunshine Suzy (basically a Ford Excursion with huge snow tires) and were brought to the Sunshine Mountain Lodge which is literally on a mountain. The views at Sunshine Village are like nothing I have ever seen before. I show people the photos and they wonder if the ski runs are clouds. Standing at the top of the Continental divide chairlift with this ridiculous scenery all around you, you really feel as though you are standing on the top of the world.
You were at Sunshine for the annual Fairmont Banff Springs Sports Invitational. What was that like?
The celebrity ski event was the reason I was visiting Sunshine and it was so crazy to see a whole bunch of celebrities just hanging out in the snow. I was able to speak to stars like Susan Sarandon, and Matthew Gray Gubler and I saw James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) in snow pants! I also tried out their snowshoe and toboggan course which was a lot of fun, but much harder than it looked. That was a highlight because no matter where I am, I like to be hands on. I like to experience everything a place has to offer and thanks to all the great staff and guests at Sunshine Village I was able to do just that.
See Halley’s video on the Fairmont Banff Springs Invitational at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTSS_dnn94Y.