Meet Fancy Rutherford, a member of Tahoe Mountain Realty with a passion for the snowy mountains of Tahoe. It’s easy to understand why she—or anyone, for that matter—would be captivated by the picturesque views the area has to offer. But Rutherford doesn’t just enjoy looking at those mountains in the distance. She has conquered them as a pioneering snowboarder.
Raised in Southern California, Rutherford took to competitive sports early in life. She started with horseback riding, participating in equestrian events at a young age. Once she picked up a snowboard at the age of 13, it wasn’t long before she traded in the reins for a board. She spent years perfecting her skills as an urban snowboarder, teaming up with like-minded athletes to ultimately create an entirely new subculture of the sport. Combining the appreciation of the style-driven urban snowboarding with the in-element adventure of backcountry and powder snowboarding, Rutherford and her partners developed a new genre of snowboarding.
Earlier this month, Rutherford participated in the Uninvited Invitational: a women’s snowboarding competition that celebrates the best and brightest in the unique niche of snowboarding Rutherford helped create. “I was so excited that 60 women from around the world all came to my town to showcase the amazing riding ability that we’ve seen.” The 2023 competition held the largest prize purse in history and signaled that the subculture has come into its own. “It just felt so cool to be able to be a part of something that we didn’t have when we were coming up in snowboarding.”
This type of snowboarding isn’t just about the tricks—and there are some incredible tricks!—it’s also about getting those moves on tape. Rutherford stars in one of the longest-running female snowboarding videos to date, Remedy. The film, made with her husband filmmaker Kieth Rutherford and Christine Savage, started a movement. “The filming for these movies—when you watch the movie you would never understand how much time, dedication goes into creating a two-minute snowboard video.” The Uninvited Invitational pays homage to such films and offers a chance for athletes and creators to do more of what they do best. “This contest was born to give a space and platform for all the movies that have been made.”
Excited by the bright future of the sport on display at the Uninvited Invitational, Rutherford feels ready to pass the torch and channel her competitive spirit into her new big adventure: luxury real estate in Tahoe neighborhoods and surrounding areas. Now a member of Tahoe Real Estate group, Rutherford is combining her love for the area and her competitive nature in new and different ways.
Rutherford’s love for the mountainous area around Tahoe led her and her husband to move so that they could more easily spend upward of 100 days on the mountain. “When my husband and I planned to appear for one ski season, we saw what Tahoe has to offer for a lifestyle.” This translates directly to why she feels called to help people who have a “sparkle” for Tahoe find a place of their own. “I am so excited about the dream … , Being able to share what Tahoe really offers is what excites me.” Her extensive knowledge of the community and its attributes are exceedingly valuable, as she understands the needs and desires of those looking for property in a mountain town.
The worlds of competitive snowboarding and luxury real estate aren’t so far apart. When it comes to snowboarding, “It is a single-person sport,” Rutherford explains. “You’re competing against yourself and bettering yourself every day, but the camaraderie that exists is what drives me.” Working in real estate is much the same, and it was this dynamic that helped Rutherford find a home with Tahoe Mountain Realty. The supportive culture of the agency immediately felt like home. “I could just see that in them,” she explains. “Our entire team is comprised of amazing athletes who love to get outside and adventure and at the same turn work really hard.”
Rutherford’s love for the outdoor lifestyle helps her connect with clients and her competitive nature helps her strive to reach new heights in the luxury real estate sector. “Whether it’s working with new listings or buyers, this job is set up for somebody with a mind like me: a driven mindset.” Similar to the sometimes unpredictable terrain of snowboarding courses, Rutherford enjoys a career that challenges her every day. “You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”
While she is concentrating on her real estate career these days, Rutherford isn’t leaving snowboarding in the powder. Prior to the Uninvited Invitational, Rutherford—via a program started by her friends Jess Kimura and Sharalee Hazen, who helm the competition—mentored several women, walking them through the park and helping them plan their courses. “I travel local and international, coaching intermediate snowboarders how to get comfortable with the park.” One of Rutherford’s mentees, Taylor Elliott, won a Heart Award at the invitational.
One of Rutherford’s recent listings happens to be one of the largest properties in Gray’s Crossing. The mountain estate is listed at a record price for the area. But setting standards is nothing new for Rutherford. As she puts it, “Historically I’ve set bars in snowboarding and now setting bars in Tahoe Real Estate/Gray’s Crossing.”