Nicholas Acord is no stranger to adversity. His introduction to the world was a helicopter ride to the Children’s Primary Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, while just hours old. Born with a blood disorder so rare, he regularly baffles medical professionals who cannot believe he climbs mountains many will never try.
With little help for this so-called incurable disorder, Nick was given a long list of things that he could not achieve, including being an athlete. When told that something he wants is impossible, Nick is the kind of the person only driven to do it more.
With limited options to treat his condition, he has not stopped seeking other ways to heal. Traditional medical practices weren’t serving him, so he turned to modalities like Qigong, Tai Chi, yoga, good nutrition and breath work. Rigorous training at high altitudes and recovery tools such as float tanks, IR saunas, massage, bodywork, and meditation helped him improve his health and accomplish extreme athletic pursuits. Now, doctors say to him: “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”
The Uinta-Wasatch Mountains were a constant backdrop for his youth, and he spent most of his life exploring them. His first backcountry experience was at 9-years-old. He rode on the back of the snowmobile, high into the Uinta wilderness, to figure out how to get down on a snowboard. He’s guided 10-day trips on horseback as a teenager, and continues to explore as many mountain ranges as possible today.
Years of studying, practicing, and self-healing has not only saved his life, but has helped him develop a unique style of snowboarding that combines elements of Qigong, both on and off the snow.
Nick teaches others this style, emphasizing the importance of safety and making wise choices--in any situation, but especially on a mountain ridge. He does this through remaining centered and calm through these techniques. Nicholas’ goal is to make a positive impact on everyone he meets, and spread the stoke of riding snow.
Today, Nicholas travels around the world, exploring new mountains to climb and ride.
Revelstoke, in British Columbia, is a favorite of his.
He has competed on the Freeride World Tour Qualifiers. Making connections with athletes from around the world. Developing communities with the small percentage of people who share the same passion for big mountain riding is what keeps him going.
A favorite Utah cliff drop