Upwardly Mobile: Drew Tabke

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Detected
Born in Utah, Drew spent his formative years in Hawaii before returning to his snowy element. He dabbled in the Park City terrain-park scene but eventually threw his hat into the big-mountain ring, surprising everyone with a second-place finish at Snowbird's 2004 U.S. Freeskiing Nationals.

Confirmed
Known for throwing back flips off 40-footers during competitions, Drew went on a tear in 2005, charging through the tour-points rankings. By the final stop in Kirkwood, California, he was leading the pack, nabbing The North Face Young Gun Award—even after losing a ski in the finals.

Projected
The real bonus with Drew's Young Gun award is his $2,000 travel budget from The North Face. He'll keep his dishwashing job at Alta's Shallow Shaft restaurant next season, but when the time comes he'll leave scrubbing to the other rippers and head off to Les Arcs and Verbier for the World Freeskiing Tour. "I'd like to get to Alaska too, but I'm probably getting ahead of myself.

Says who
"Drew is always pulling technical tricks off big jumps and drops, says Utah big-mountain legend Rick Greener. "He's driven and determined to work tricks and fluidity into everything he does on the mountain.