Growing up in Glacier, Wash., eating buttered noodles at Milano’s Italian restaurant was like a religious ritual for skier Micah Evangelista, he says. Like many kids, he shunned the puttanesca and carbonara to order the same thing each time his family ate there for the first decade or so of his life. Of course, like most kids, he eventually began to branch out. But unlike most of us, he took it a step further—he started cooking at the restaurant himself, diversifying his palate and learning to create those next-level dishes on his own. Working at the restaurant may not be a forever job, Micah says, but it has taught him a lot—and might be a metaphor for his progression as a skier, too.
Micah spent his youth on the slopes of Mount Baker, skiing with his older brother Mattias and a tight group of friends—and what the mountain lacked in ski schools, terrain parks and freeride teams it made up for in being a blank canvas for their imagination. A quick look at Micah’s Instagram account is plenty proof that he’s long graduated from buttered-noodles. (Sending a triple back flip in nearly blind conditions, anyone?)
“It's a pretty small mountain with a lot of backcountry,” he says. “So it was a fun way for us to explore and get to know the backyard. That was super impactful on my skiing and personality.”
A blank canvas
Micah and his brother explored the mountain’s nooks and crannies for themselves, sniffing out the good spots, building their own jumps and trying out tricks. “I think that definitely added to the creativity, just going with the flow rather than having a strict regimen set up or anything like that,” he says. “That was huge.”
Of course, there was inspiration from ski videos. “Because being in Glacier, we spent a lot of days just watching ski videos on repeat,” he says. “You know, there's not a ton going on, so we did that a lot.” Perhaps it was inevitable that the brothers began filming their exploits.
An inexpensive camcorder Christmas gift from their parents was all they needed to get the ball rolling and soon they were taking turns filming each other hitting jumps. Putting together edits gave the brothers a peek into another realm of creativity.
Both sides of the lens
These days Micah is wrapping up a major in visual journalism and still loving both sides of creating media. “In the winter, I focus on the ski side of it because that's where my life and career is right now,” he says. “But over the summers I love putting the thought and time into filming stuff and thinking about cool film projects.”
Micah worked with Mattias on his Vimeo staff-picked film Aizu about their trip to visit snowboarders in Fukushima, Japan, where the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster deeply affected the local community. He’s also collaborating on a new Faction film on Mount Baker. But it’s a longer-term personal project with Mattias, who’s been in L.A. working for a production company for the past few years, that seems to really light Micah up.
“Being able to work on new things with people I love is super important and valuable to me, and I'm trying to do more of that moving forward,” he says.
The brothers are crafting a film about growing up in the town of Glacier, mixing in some of their archival childhood footage. They’re also aiming the camera at other more relatable parts of life, like work.
“Trying to include that stuff is a big film objective,” Micah says. “Having a cool combination of skiing and other parts of life.”
The brothers are aiming to launch the film in fall 2021.
A full life
As Micah progresses as a skier and a filmmaker, he applies one of the lessons he learned while working at good old Milano’s. “There have been a lot of things low-key in my mind that have been shaped by that,” he says. “I think patience is a big one.”
He remembers as a kid watching the guys cooking, and thinking, “Oh, that's so badass. It's so cool to see what they're doing.” It was the same feeling he had as a 13-year-old, dreaming about being a pro skier, thinking, “Damn, they're killing it, but I probably won't do that. Yeah, I probably won't ... you know, I might ..."
Over time, having patience and chipping away at a goal paid off. “I think both of those different jobs have taught me to be determined but also patient,” he says. “And to keep working at stuff if you want it to change and to develop.”
We at Outdoor Research are excited to welcome Micah to the ski/ride team—and we’re psyched to see where his patience and determination will take him next!
Get to know Micah
“An all-time favorite movie is Lord of the Rings for sure, just because I love the trilogy. Same with the books too, because that was one of the first books that my dad read to us as kids. I think that's got to just go down as my classic favorite.”
“I'm really bad at bringing lunches and preparing for a ski day. That's kind of my notorious fault when it comes to skiing, because I love to sleep in. But I'm a big sandwich guy. I love breakfast sandwiches. I've been trying to get in the habit of making frozen burritos to be able to heat up in the mornings and to have on the hill. And I'm pretty much getting this El Salvadorian taco truck burrito about three or four days a week here in Bellingham called Super Mario's. And that's kind of when I'm lazy and ready for a great meal to take on the road with me or just to eat at home.”
“Food is probably the biggest splurge for me, constantly. Whether I'm eating out or just going grocery shopping on a hungry stomach and just being like, ‘Huh, I want to try to make this.’ And that's like my constant Achilles' heel when I'm trying to save money.”