Chris, a California native, grew up with the Eastern Sierra and Mammoth Mountain as his playground. Being Inspired by an overwhelming thirst for outdoor adventure, surfing, and influenced by a unique sense of expression has established Chris as one of today’s most recognizable names in the world of skiing. He got his start chasing gates as a ski racer then transitioned to competing in slope-style. However, it was after meeting the Poorboyz Production’s film crew, that he knew his passion for powder, drawing creative lines, and working all season on film segments would forever replace the structure of competition.
His humble personality and influence in the ski world extends well beyond his smooth style on skis, and can also be witnessed in his revolutionary ski design. Having an uncanny sense of how a ski performs led Chris to a partnership with Atomic Skis. Born from that partnership was a game changing and award winning design known as the Bent Chetler, which continued to evolve into an entire family of Bent Chetler skis.
Chris, the professional skier, has been able to travel the world on skis and has been featured in films from Teton Gravity Research, Sweet Grass Productions, Warren Miller, MSP, and Poorboyz. Then in 2008, with fellow creatives, Eric Pollard, Pep Fujas, and Andy Mahre, Nimbus Independent was formed; A film production company that Chris played an integral part in for the better part of a decade. As Nimbus evolved and took a break from skiing, Chris created the GoPro Series’ “Chasing El Nino” and “Chasing AdVANture”, as well as starring in many other GoPro edits.
Chris’ creativity continues to evolve and has transcended his performance as a professional skier.
Chris, the artist and designer, drawing from his nature-driven influence and passions, has been featured on several other signature models with Dakine, Dragon, Smartwool, ClifBar, EVO, TGR, and more… Additionally, he was able to find a unique and close partnership with muralist Skye Walker, which has brought many collaborations onto products with a number of companies, ranging all the way to a couple large-scale murals on the EVO wall in Seattle, WA and the epic Mammoth Mountain, CA - Canyon Lodge masterpiece.
Most recently, and most notably, Chris and his art have taken on an entirely new dimension as the Producer, Director, and Visionary of the genre expanding collaboration with the Grateful Dead in a groundbreaking film co-directed and created by Flagship Independent, titled “Fire on the Mountain” alongside an entire capsule of Grateful Dead products.
“My biggest achievement? The fact that I’ve pursued this life,” Benchetler says. “I’ve figured out how to make a job out of this. It’s all an extension of me.”