Pros and Joes: Leanne Pelosi Wants You to Know This Whistler Rider

words :: Ben Osborne.

Here at Mountain Life, we admire the underdog. The undercover skier, rider, biker, climber, hiker, environmental advocate who’s a total badass, but nobody seems to know—they just go about their day crushing it, leaving their accomplishments for those who are close to them to be in awe of.

While we love their low-key badassery, we also believe that sometimes they deserve props— which is why we’re starting Pros vs. Joes. In this series, we reach out to a well known professional athlete, and they nominate someone who they believe deserves some recognition.

This time around, we reached out to professional snowboarder Leanne Pelosi for her nomination. Take it away, Leanne.

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Pro: Leanne Pelosi

Leanne Pelosi is an icon when it comes to big mountain boarding—so it’s no surprise her nominated ‘Joe’ is earning his chops in the BC backcountry. Photo :: Ben Girardi

Let’s start off with your pick. Who do you nominate for the first ever ‘Joe’?

I’m nominating Keenan Filmer, a snowboarder who kind of went on his own prerogative to figure out how to ride big mountain lines. He’s pretty young and has a lot of potential.

How did you get connected with Keenan?

I met Keenan through my fiancé Jeff Keenan at Mount Seymour.  He’s also one of DWD’s team riders.

He’s riding every day, putting in the time and effort to gain experience in big mountain riding and it’s admirable to see him ripping in such a short period of time.

Why did you choose him to be recognized?

I’ve been seeing him in the Whistler backcountry quite a bit, shredding some classic zones that we all love. He also had some insane standout imagery in Scott Serfas’ ‘Uprising’ slideshow this past winter.

Any specific moments that stood out?

Seeing his social media you can tell he’s shredding pretty hard.  He’s riding every day, putting in the time and effort to gain experience in. Big mountain riding and it’s admirable to see him ripping in such a short period of time.

Best advice for those unknown folks out there who want to get noticed?

Using social media is a no brainer for visibility in the community. Also, reaching out to people you look up to and asking questions.  For me, those people were Kevin Sansalone and Jeff Keenan in the early days of being in Whistler and connecting me to the industry.

Thanks Leanne! Now it’s time to get to know Keenan. Ladies and gentlemen, Keenan Filmer.

You might not recognize him now, but that will change soon. Photo :: Rob LeMay

Give us your background—where are you from, where are you now?

I’m originally from Coquitlam B.C. but have been living in Whistler for the last 11 years.

Tell us a bit about your snowboard history.

I grew up riding Grouse Mountain but now whenever I visit the city you can find me at Seymour. I’ve always been a huge park rat, hitting the jumps and rails. I still love the jump game,  but now the rail scene really just doesn’t do it for me. I ended up diving in and buying a sled two seasons ago to try to figure out this backcountry thing.

Keenan lays one down for the Uprising Photo Competition. Whistler Backcountry. Photo :: Rob Lemay

Leanne mentioned that you’ve been killing it in the backcountry—what’s the transition been like?

The hardest part was definitely learning how to drive the machine. I’m two seasons in and can finally get to the spot without getting stuck every time, haha. I’ve definitely learned that videos don’t do big mountain lines any justice—it’s scary stuff.

How do you know Leanne, and why do you think she chose you for this series? 

I have known Leanne because, well, it’s Leanne. Who doesn’t know of her in the snowboarding realm? Honestly, I’m just shocked that she chose me for this— very rad and I’m so grateful.

When you do things like this, you get recognition. Photo :: Rob Lemay

Best moment in boarding so far?

This past season was filled with amazing moments. Loads of firsts.  Getting to shoot in a photo contest with my homie Rob Lemay and legend Scott Serfas was definitely a highlight.

 Any big plans for the upcoming season?

As for next season only plan right now is I need to make money so I can buy a new sled and keep getting after it.

We’re stoked to see you keep shredding and evolving your style. Cheers, Keenan!