For years, Christina "Lusti" Lustenberger trained with–and competed against–the top ski racers in the world on the World Cup circuit and in the Winter Olympics, where she represented Canada in 2006.
But ski racing is an unforgiving sport, and Lusti was snakebitten by injuries: By the time she turned 25, Lusti had already endured a combined five ACL surgeries on both of her knees. Suddenly, after a quarter-century of competing at the highest level of athletics, Lusti was faced with a life-altering decision: continue to attempt to comeback from gruesome injuries–and hopefully prolong her World Cup career a few years–or preserve her body, so that she could continue to try to ski for the rest of her life.
The 33-year-old Lustenberger chose the latter, and began her career in backcountry guiding and ski mountaineering. Now, years removed from the fateful decision to give up competition, Lusti sat down with Black Crows to talk guiding, and finding peace in self-preservation and ticking off first descents in her home of Revelstoke, British Columbia.