Dreyson Rahlves: Future in skiing looks bright

Dreyson, left, and Daron Rahlves. | Stellar Adventure Travel, Reggie Crist

More than 20 years ago, I interviewed Daron Rahlves, arguably one of the best skiers in the world, for Tahoe Weekly. Since that time, he has competed in three more Olympiads both as a downhiller and ski cross racer, became the first American to win the Hahnenkamm Downhill, won a gold medal at the X Games, started a namesake racing tour on four local mountains and participated in and won a variety of ski events along with starring in Warren Miller ski films.

Besides skiing and serving as ski ambassador to Palisades Tahoe, the last 15 years have been spent raising twins with his wife, Michelle. Their combined genes have contributed to two more skiers in the making, as well as terrific human beings. Sister Miley prefers big-mountain skiing and lacrosse to traditional ski racing and brother Dreyson is still racing but loves to charge the rest of the mountain when not bashing slalom gates in training.

“Drey” loves the repetitiveness of slalom training and the sound the gates make as he whacks into them. His dad says Drey can push it hard and hopes he can rein that nerve in and combine it with flawless technique to survive any ski situation.

How many people on the planet can claim to have done a ski flip heliskiing in Alaska before they’re old enough for a driver’s license.

When Drey was 9 years old, he was landing 60-foot tabletop jumps and the next season he beat me easily in Sugar Bowl’s Banked Slalom. While he is a typical high-school student in most ways, he belongs to his own elite (needle in a haystack) club. Imagine how many people on the planet can claim to have done a ski flip heliskiing in Alaska before they’re old enough for a driver’s license as he did last winter.

The Warren Miller film crew was stoked to film the father-son duo skiing in Alaska and local cinematographer Jeff Wright was there to film it. Daron’s only regret is that Drey’s flip didn’t make the final edit of “Daymaker,” he says. But Drey was featured and is one of this year’s film stars, along with locals Michelle Parker, Connery Lundin and Jonny Moseley.

But he’s no prima donna seeking the limelight; while the film crews were getting set up and in position, fired-up Drey was not content to wait around, preferring instead to ride in the client-guided chopper to get in more laps. He got in five laps that week to add to his 100 days on skis last winter.

He’s also skied in Europe with his father to check out the downhill courses at Wengen in Switzerland and the Hahnenkamm in Austria, another perk of having a dad who’s the world’s greatest skier. He lists his dad as one of his heroes along with World Cup racers Mikaela Shiffrin, Chris Benchetler and Dominik Paris. With those role models, a great future lies ahead.