Exploring Skimo with Joe Howdyshell and Grace Staberg

Exploring Skimo with Joe Howdyshell and Grace Staberg

Ski mountaineering athlete Grace Staberg and her coach Joe Howdyshell discuss Skimo and its addition to the 2026 Winter Games.

Ski mountaineering, or Skimo, has been gaining traction among winter sports athletes for years. With the recent announcement that the sport will be included in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan, Skimo will soon be elevated to a worldwide stage. 

Grace Staberg, 19, is an accomplished ultramarathon runner and a hopeful to represent the United States in the inaugural Skimo event at the Olympics. Grace and her coach, Joe Howdyshell of Summit Endurance Academy, join Dirk to discuss the sport of Skimo, the Olympic inclusion and the training and preparation that has led to Grace becoming one of the top female ski mountaineering athletes in the U.S.

Stand-Out Quotes

  • “Grace has made a huge jump in the last year going from a very good U20 runner to being a very good mountain runner, period. A big reason for that is we’ve spent the last five years gradually increasing volume.” 
  • “When you get into the 5-minute power, 10-minute power and 15-minute power — which is the world of Skimo — you can’t carry these enormous loads and work on some true VO2 max adaptations.“
  • “I’m really curious to see how we get this influx of new athletes who are brought in by the allure of the Olympics.”
  • “I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the sport and am just motivated in seeing how much better I can get. I want to  discover what the best version of myself is, and I want to see what kind of Skimo athlete I can be.” 

Resources

Grace Staberg:

Joe Howdyshell: