Working to Live
New Zealander Michelle Clark-Smith, 32, who is now based in Durango, Colorado, is “building a semi-professional ski career for herself in tandem with her partner-in-crime and husband, longtime local photographer Scott DW Smith”. In the autumn of 2007, Clark-Smith came to “check out Durango” and never left. First it was a Purgatory season pass, which she worked off as a ski model for the resort. Then came other sponsorships from Wagner Custom Skis, BCA, Leki, Smith Optics, Flylow Gear, Hestra and Osprey Packs. She has also been seen in Colorado Ski Country USA, Durango Magazine, Pagosa Magazine and various catalogues and resort marketing publications. This winter, I-70 commuters will see her on a billboard ad for Chicago Ridge Snowcats. Clark-Smith grew up around New Zealand’s Southern Alps. In 1999, she secured a job as a chef at a club field in Castle Hill Basin near the Craigieburn Range where at the age of 20, she taught herself to ski. By 2003, Clark-Smith was turning out notable results on the New Zealand freeskiing competition circuit.