May 15, 2013

Community Profile: Francesca Pavillard-Cain

On her way to second at Snowbird. Photo: Mike Schirf

photo: Mike Schirf

Next winter, Francesca Pavillard-Cain is set to represent Crested Butte on the biggest stage in competitive freeskiing.  The 22 year old Crested Butte native took first overall in the Freeride World Qualifier series for the Americas, winning events in Taos and Crested Butte while taking second at Snowbird.  We recently got a chance to catch up with Francesca, who just completed her junior year at Western State Colorado University.


Photo: Trent Bona Photography

Pavillard-Cain is one of those people fortunate enough to grow up in Crested Butte.  However, the young lady is well travelled (a characteristic that shows in her demeanor).  When Francesca was ten years old, her family lived in Tumbacco, Ecuador.  During high school, she spent her summers in Leysin, Switzerland.  As a result, Francesca is fluent in both French and Spanish.  At the same time, Francesca supplemented her strong cultural education by attending schools that allowed her to develop her skiing potential. She attended the Crested Butte Ski Academy before attending the Lowell Whiteman School in Steamboat Springs.  Currently, Francesca balances her budding ski career with a Spanish major, a Business major, and a minor in Economics.  Despite her rigorous academic schedule, she manages to do it all very well.  “Im not sure I could do the same thing anywhere else. The school’s new Mountain Sports Program is a one of kind ski and snowboard program that allows athletes to train and compete in many disciplines while attending school.”


On her way to victory in Crested Butte. Photo: Eben Wight

Though she was always passionate, Francesca never thought she would be in her current position in the freeskiing world.  “When I was younger I always dreamed of being a pro skier but it didn’t happen until I gave up the expectation. This year I was simply looking to have fun and push myself, and that is when it fell together. After a win in Taos, NM and a third place at U.S.C.S.A Intercollegiate Nationals I kept telling myself I was content with my season and it didn’t matter what happened at other events. This took the pressure off and I could focus on having fun. The FWT didn’t even seem possible until after my win at Crested Butte, and it was an awesome surprise to make it.”


Francesca can hold it down in the park as well.

Like most Crested Butte natives, Francesca’s no slouch in other outdoor sports.  She hikes, bikes, and climbs very well, in addition to her newfound love for water skiing.  Despite being well travelled, it remains one of her passions. “My favorite place in the world is Montezuma, Costa Rica. I studied abroad there my sophomore year of university, I have never seen such an amazing sunset. If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to New Zealand. A few of my friends have traveled there and the views looks unbelievable.” In addition, the Freeride World Tour will take her to some of the coolest places in Europe.  “I am really looking forward to next season. Like I said this is an amazing surprise and opportunity. I would never be able to do it without help from Western State Colorado University, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Rossignol, Colorado Freeskier, and Habervision.”

We look forward to seeing Franny crush it next year.  It’s awesome when such great things happen to good people.

About the Author

1. Ed Dujardin
After moving out west for college, Ed took summer school so he could spend winters in Crested Butte. These days, he coaches the Western State Colorado University Freeride Team, and spends as much time as he can fishing the incredible rivers of the area.