We recently caught up with US Ski Team member and VBSR pro ambassador Nellie Rose Talbot, who grew up skiing in Vail and is now ski racing across the globe. At Vista Bahn Ski Rentals, skiing and ski racing are a part of our family history. The sport continues to widen our circle of friends, and sometimes these friends become like family. VBSR brother and sister co-owners Sacha Gros and Dominique Underhill both have a ski racing background. And Dominique’s husband, Matt Underhill coaches ski racing athletes at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
Matt began coaching Nellie Rose Talbot when she was in middle school, but Nellie has been a part of the Vail skiing scene long before that. Even before she could walk, she began skiing with her dad, Tom Talbot, a Vail ski instructor and firefighter who is a former ski racer himself. And she was also a part of Vail’s Devo program, which involves ski instruction and coaching for kids. A high school senior, Nellie is now a member of the US Ski Team’s developmental team. Her ski racing events include Super G, GS, and alpine combined.
Read on to find out more about Nellie Rose Talbot and her ski racing career, Vail mountain favorites, ski gear, VBSR memories, and more.
Interview with Nellie Rose Talbot: Vail Beginnings & Beyond
Vista Bahn Ski Rentals [VBSR]: What is your earliest memory of skiing?
Nellie Rose Talbot [NT]: At first, skiing was a family thing—something I did at Vail with my mom and dad. My first memories aren’t about training or racing. They’re more about the little things, like being up at Mid-Vail and sitting outside on the deck with my parents, having a good time being outside, drinking hot chocolate with the mountains around us.
VBSR: How did you get started skiing and ski racing?
NT: My dad was a ski racer, and he got me into the sport, but then I just really jumped into it on my own, too. My dad had me skiing before I could even walk, which is pretty fun and crazy, now that I think about it. I started out with the Vail Devo program, and by the time I was 7 years old, I was already racing well. I then began training with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.
VBSR: At what point did you know you wanted to pursue ski racing at a high level?
NT: Probably when I was at the U16 National Championships a few years ago, I got 3rd place in the GS. I was 14, and that was my first big national race against girls who were older than me. I thought, “Wow. I could really do this!” It has been really important for me to be around my teammates—they’re like my family. And the skiing community, too. At some point, I realized that I want to stay a part of this community as long as possible.
VBSR: What are some of your skiing and/or racing highlights to date?
NT: Some of my most memorable races have been the Junior Hahnenkamm in Austria and the NorAm GS in Whiteface, New York in 2016. In Hahnenkamm, I got 2nd place in the GS, and that was a really big win for me. I got 3rd place in the GS in Whiteface. Both of these races were before I got in a crash, and this is my first season back racing since the crash. Before my injury, I was ranked 2nd in the world in GS for my age group, and now I am currently ranked 1st in the world for Super G. This season, highlights include getting 1st place in the Super G run of the alpine combined at the U.S. Alpine Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho. I also got 3rd place in the Super G at Sun Valley.
VBSR: What do you like to do when you’re not racing?
I love drawing. It’s a stress reliever for me. I also really like being social and exploring with my friends—freeskiing, hiking, or going on adventures.
VBSR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20 years?
I don’t really know. If we knew, then life wouldn’t be as much fun, right? But I hope to graduate from high school and move forward with skiing. I want to keep having a good time with life and skiing, and hopefully continue on road to success with skiing.
Nellie Rose Talbot and the VBSR Family
VBSR: When did you first get introduced to VBSR?
NT: Through Matt, when he began coaching me in middle school. Honestly, if Matt didn’t have my back through this whole process, I wouldn’t be where I’m at currently as a ski racer and as a person. Matt and Dom have been a second family to me. They’ve changed and impacted me way beyond skiing. They keep me in line!
VBSR: Do you have a favorite VBSR memory?
I remember going into the shop with Matt’s crew of skiers after a huge powder day. We hung out in the back and drank a lot of hot chocolate together. VBSR is more than just a ski shop: It’s a little family. Everyone who works there makes life better with smiles all around. I also like going in to say hi to Dom—she’s always got good life advice.
The Details: Nellie Rose Talbot Top Picks
When Nellie Rose Talbot is in Vail, where does she ski? And what kind of gear keeps her going? As a member of the US Ski Team, Nellie’s sponsors include Head (skis), Leki (poles), Shred (goggles and helmet), and Slytech (gloves and protection).
Vail skiing favorites:
- Favorite Vail groomed run: Riva, when it’s fully groomed.
- Favorite Vail powder run: Lover’s Leap or Steep and Deep
- Race ski: Head World Cup Rebels
- Powder: Head Kore
- Boot: Raptor B3 RD
Not a Ski Racer? No Worries: VBSR’s Got Gear.
At Vista Bahn Ski Rentals, ski racing is as much a part of our family as Vail ski rentals and ski tuning are a part of our business. Our pro ambassadors like Nellie Rose Talbot help give us insight into ski gear and the skiing lifestyle. But you don’t have to be a ski racer to make the most of our gear or our shop’s services. Come in for VBSR’s professional ski and snowboard services, offered in a stellar location. Just steps from Gondola One in Village, we’re the closest ski shop to the slopes. Reserve ski rentals online in advance to save time, and use our Vail ski storage to walk hands-free through Vail Village at the end of the day.