Ashleigh grew-up alpine ski-racing and got into Ski Cross in January 2003. She immediately qualified for the X Games—dominated the X Qualifier at Tahoe despite dislocating her shoulder in training—and went on to have an amazing season as the youngest on the Ski Cross circuit. Her natural talent and ability, in conjunction with unmatched charisma drew TV producers in and she was often the featured athlete on programs covering the events. She got used to racing with a mic on her jersey and quickly became an ambassador for the new sport. EXPN followed Ashleigh for an insider’s look at what goes on at the X Games as part of an hour long special, called EXPN 2Day, which boasted 145 million viewers.
After returning from an extremely successful trip to Europe in ’04—2nd in her first World Cup Ski Cross—the rookie went on to win the US Freeskiing Open in Vail. These events were heavily televised by CTV’s ‘Roger’s Sportsnet’ and NBC Sports, respectively. The media exposure that Ashleigh received in response to her results and her friendly, outgoing personality put her in the public eye as the face of Skicross. This put her in a good position to expand her ‘brand’. Ashleigh began shooting with the industry’s most renowned photographers, namely Blake Jorgenson, Scott Markowitz, and Paul Morrison, as well as top fashion photographers like Bryce Duffy. TV shows including Pontiac World of Skiing, and Ride Guide had her travelling the world to different events and heli-skiing with other pros. She even made her runway modeling debut in New York City at an event Vail Resorts put together called “Skiing is Sexy”.
Ski Cross went through a bit of a lull when it was not sure to be picked up by the IOC as an Olympic sport; the North American circuit was fading out due to a lack of funding. This was the perfect opportunity for Ashleigh to focus on these other avenues and have fun skiing some fresh Powder!