Robbie DeCourcy, Software Engineer and Skier

Hi, My name is Robert deCourcy, and I am the Lead Software Engineer at a small contracting company. I travel a lot, but I am based out of Manhattan. I moved there from my hometown of Seattle and, although I miss the outdoors from time to time, my travels satisfy most of those cravings. New York is always a wonderful place to come back to. There is never a shortage of excitement, and I am privileged to have a group of friends from all walks of life and disciplines to share them with.

When it came to my job, I was looking for something challenging with good room for growth, and I could not pass up on the opportunity I was given. The position has given me access to mentorship from some of the top minds in the industry. Some of who have been in charge of billion dollar projects… I am hoping I can take a few things away from that. I am also lucky to have the autonomy to be able to move around to interesting projects. I am currently working on a plane that I designed and programmed that flies itself via voice commands.

I started skiing when I was five years old, and I would go up with my parents every weekend, every year, until the mountain closed. I just could not stop. During the winter, I will travel with my skis and hit the slopes wherever possible. Sometimes I go every day for a week straight if time permits. Spring skiing is also a must to satisfy that itch before the summer hits. Growing up in Seattle, Crystal Mountain, Alpental, Mount Baker, and Mount Hood were always my favourite places to ski. It is hard to pick a favourite, but Whistler and Blackcomb would have to be at the top of the list. There is no beating that fresh Canada snow.

When I grew older, I transitioned to freestyle skiing, after I realized I could not go much faster down the mountain. It was definitely a creative outlet for me. I will never be in the X-Games, but the experiences with ski racing and freestyle definitely complement my interest in cars and drifting.

Backcountry skiing is completely different. It takes time, preparation, and a lot of planning. The best runs are after getting dropped off at the top of a mountain via helicopter with endless untouched fields of snow below. Gliding over clouds of fresh powder on some white mountains and nobody else in sight is a surreal feeling.

The scariest moment for me was the time I was in some backcountry and went a little off course. I ended up over a 20-foot cliff. Luckily there was some thick powder at the bottom and a slope to cushion the landing. Unluckily, it started a mini avalanche but I was able to ski off to the side and avoid it.

I do not think that skiing has directly benefited anything I do in my work, but the experience of finding something I enjoy and pursuing it to my fullest ability has certainly had a profound effect on my life. The drive to find things I enjoy and can commit to has helped me summit peaks, break records, and be successful. It has also led to disappointments, injuries, and rejections, but knowing there is something great on the other side makes it worth pushing through.

Freedom has been a big part of my life. I stay as far away from limitations as I can, and the mountains were my first taste of that feeling. When you are going faster than some highways allow on two planks strapped to your feet, the only thing on your mind is what you are going to do next. The speed and being in that zone are the greatest stress relievers ever.

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