One of the best skiers to emerge from Montana, Adam Delorme is still chasing lines and flying high with distinct style and skills
Story by Dillon TabishAdam Delorme is more comfortable launching a double backflip off a mound of snow than he is talking about it.
Since growing up in the Flathead Valley, Delorme has earned a rare level of respect in the world’s mountains and terrain parks as a professional skier who lets his skills do the talking. In this era of social media and flashy hype, Delorme keeps it low key, out of the growing spotlight of a new-age sport.
But don’t be confused: At 32 he’s still out there everyday and one of the best on skis.
Need proof? Check out one of his film edits or features, including “After Dark.” Released in 2011, it still stands up as one of the most breathtaking, innovative ski segments released in the last decade. It showcases Delorme’s all-around abilities and unique style; it also features a triple backflip.
“One does not simply film an edit with Adam Delorme,” the producers at Jiberish, who filmed one of Delorme’s most popular edits, “A Walk in the Park” in 2013, said after its release. “First he must be tracked down, which is no small task in itself. Then he needs to be followed with a camera at very high speeds for long stretches of time, because he does not like to wait around to set up shots. And most importantly, you have to keep the camera rolling because you never know what you might miss.”
A modern-day explorer, Delorme spends his winters chasing powder and adventuring in the highest, steepest elevations available.
This is the dream he had as a kid, and he’s living it.
Moving to Montana has its advantages when you are an audacious boy with a thirst for thrill.
After all, this is the same state that produced Evel Knievel.
Delorme arrived in the Flathead Valley when he was 9. His family moved here from the sunny surf life of West Palm Beach, Florida. For Delorme and his older brother, Mark Jr., it might have seemed like the end of their adventures.
Not so fast.
Their father, Mark, who grew up in Vermont and skied when he was younger, was eager to take his boys to the slopes. He bought them used gear from the local ski swap and began teaching them the fundamentals at Whitefish Mountain Resort, formerly Big Mountain.
Mark bought his boys season passes their second winter in the valley, and they became regulars at the mountain. Instead of sticking to groomers, they joined the resort’s freestyle ski program, which at the time focused on mogul skiing.
“My brother won everything he did. He would just fly through the moguls with his feet together,” Mark Jr. says of Adam. “I eventually got into snowboarding but he kept with it and flourished into a good skier.”
Delorme developed into one of the region’s best mogul skiers and one of the top skiers to come out of Montana, alongside the likes of Tanner Hall, another Flathead Valley product who pioneered the freestyle skiing landscape. Delorme developed a broad range of spectacular tricks and moves, using all the mixed terrain that Big Mountain has to offer.
“Big Mountain is my favorite place to ski,” Delorme says. “We had an awesome freestyle program and so many rippers around in general. You can ski all day as fast and hard as your legs will take you at Biggy and never see the same place twice. It’s a special place.”
After high school, Delorme moved to Colorado in pursuit of a professional skiing career. As the sport of freeskiing began evolving and gaining widespread attention, he honed his skills in the terrain park, where he has been described as one of the smoothest park skiers around. Today, he spends most of his time exploring unbelievable lines as an all-mountain backcountry skier.
“(Delorme’s style) is my favorite out of anybody,” Phil Casabon, another standout professional skier, told The Ski Journal. “He’s had a very big impact on the way I ski today.”
From an early age, Delorme skied with that distinct style — effortless confidence — that has become his trademark. He also approached skiing with a workmanlike mentality, which he credits to his father and growing up in Montana.
“For sure, Montana’s full of badasses, man – humble people that respect one another and the great outdoors,” Delorme says.
He adds, “My pops taught me about style and it was always something I was willing to put the time into because I wanted to keep up. Skiing is my favorite thing to do because the more you do it the more effortless it becomes and the more fun you can have with it. The more you put in the more you get out. I had no idea that I could make a living doing this full-time when it started. I’ve just been super fortunate and passionate to really want to be good at it.”
What are his goals now? Once again, he’d rather show than tell.
“Big things to come I hope,” he says. “I find that talking about goals sort of lets the air out of the tire and it can be difficult to get it back in.”