Five Questions With Mountain Guide Lilla Molnar

Our athletes and ambassadors shred gnar and send hard lines, but there’s much more behind the scenes: other careers, balancing family life, creating art, giving back. To dig deeper into the adventure lifestyle, we’ve created Five Questions, an ongoing feature asking OR athletes the hard questions. And sometimes more than just five.

How did you get started in your sport?

Thanks to my mom, who has always been a passionate skier. She introduced me to the sport when I was two, on a beautiful spring day right after a late-season storm. She rode the t bar with me over and over until her back and hips could no longer take it. I loved skiing from that day on!

What keeps you skiing and climbing? 

The never-ending tick list, pursuit of the seemingly impossible move, the ice routes that form only once in a decade and those weather forecasters promising the snow storm of the century. I get restless and feel empty inside if I don’t get outside, up high and push myself.

What is your typical day/week schedule? 

A typical schedule doesn’t really exist for me. I have a one-year-old, so I try for her sake to keep a bit of a routine. But we still live a nomadic lifestyle. In the past seven months we’ve only spent six weeks at home in Canmore. My husband, daughter and I have traveled to five different countries, I’ve guided skiing in backcountry lodges in the Bugaboos and northern BC, have spent several weeks in Whistler, on Vancouver Island and at Silverstar Mountain Resort. Now we will uncover the van from its winter hibernation and hit the road with our skis, climbing gear and mountain bikes.

Any advice to young people getting started in your sport?

Seek out good mentorship. Find a partner who’s on the same page and with whom you share the same goals, someone who will push you but also knows your limits. Learn from your successes and from your failures. Be critical, but not too hard on yourself!

What’s your favorite piece of OR gear?

Lately, the Ferrosi Hoody. It’s my most versatile layer now that it’s spring and I wear it for everything: ski touring, skate skiing, mountain biking, trail running and multipitch rock climbing. It cuts the wind and provides a bit of warmth but breathes well once the body starts heating up. I also like the added warmth the hood provides.

Where do you live now and why? 

We’re very lucky to call Canmore, Alberta, home. It’s a mountain sport mecca. Hundreds of world-class ice climbing routes form every season, and though it doesn’t snow much right in town, the backcountry skiing possibilities are endless, not to mention a lifetime’s worth of alpine routes are all within an hour’s drive of town. I look across the valley from my living room at many multipitch rock routes and out my backdoor at the sunny crags boasting hundreds of steep, techy limestone sport routes. Or I can get on my mountain bike and ride singletrack all day. We have an amazing community of like-minded, active mountain folk.