I never want to see another hard-boot snowboarder. I never want to duct tape and zip-tie my bindings back together every third run. I never want to go back to trying every trick in the book to make my boots not feel like miniature iron maidens. I certainly don’t want to go back to the days of Grateful Dead jams in every tram ride… wait… I guess that one still happens. Anyway, I say let’s move on to the future. Join me and let’s embrace this new culture of twerking, obnoxiously colored outfits, fast lifts, stash parks, and hot babes. Your “back in the day,” can stay that way.
Something strange was in the air during the pro-women’s portion of Dick’s Ditch last winter. The women competitors just weren’t acting like, well, competitors. High fives were gleefully thrown around, sincere words of encouragement were spoken and copious smiles exchanged. Some of the contestants might tell you first place winner Halina Boyd helped brighten the scene. The aspiring pro-snowboarder, often spotted sending it in a maniacal fashion off Kicker Cliffs, possesses none of the traits that have stigmatized more than a few JH women riders. Ladies, I know you know the type.
In today’s state of snowboarding it takes a certain combination of hard work, personality and balls to stand out from the crowd. Especially in Jackson Hole, home turf for riders like Rice, Iguchi, Kingwill, Carter, Rodosky, Yoder, Paul, FitzPatrick and Hessler. Tricks once reserved for well-maintained park kickers are finding homes in the most unexpected backcountry and urban locales. Lines once considered unrideable are bagged regularly. For the up-and-coming shredder, the path to greatness is an increasingly insane pursuit. Creativity and style coupled with a massive amount of dedication now play a bigger role than ever in getting recognized, and this is exactly why Jack “Wildcat” Wiley is dropping next.
“We’re going up Aguille du Midi with Douds. You should come!” Douds (pronounced- dudes), a.k.a. Jonathan Charlet, is a former world champion and professional mountain guide in Chamonix. The infamous L’Aguille du Midi holds the world record for highest vertical ascent cablecar. The twostage tram ride takes passengers from town at about 1,000 meters to the jagged peak at 3,842 meters. The only way to really put it into perspective is to imagine a two-stage tramcar stretching from the valley floor to the top of the Grand Teton.
The story of Franco Snowshapes began more than 30 years ago when Mikey Franco caught the early wave of the snowboard “fad,” growing up on the slopes of Pennsylvania. His dedication to the shred life and a passion for teaching got him into snowboard instructing while he was still in high school. After graduation, Franco and his close friend, Mot Gatehouse, headed west for Jackson Hole, where the folks at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort immediately offered them jobs as snowboard instructors, because … well, they were some of the only people in the country with experience teaching snowboarding.
Visitors gawked as local artist Erin Ashlee Smith spray painted a mural for the premiere of TGR’s Way of Life on the soon-to-be demolished building housing the Village Cafe and TGR offices. The last standing structure from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s 1964 opening, the Village Center was torn down less than a month after the premiere in October 2013.
When Remy Milosky moved to Jackson Hole, he walked into his first day of sixth grade with dyed cheetah print hair and pink grip tape on his skate. Already crushing kick flips, Remy would sow a legacy of raw artistic talent and kookiness in Jackson Hole.
Oh, Jackson! You make it so easy. Every photo is a postcard, every sight a religious experience. We farm beauty with the bare-knuckled determination of a kid scribbling out a Christmas list. But what happens when you look away, inward, upward, or deeply at the weird? If you were to do this, who would you be? What would you create? I rapped with local artist Meagan Schmoll about this very thing.*
It was a mild March day when I found myself standing at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, along with hundreds of other individuals, to celebrate the lives of two amazing men, Chris Onufer and Steve Romeo. Less than a week earlier, they perished in an avalanche while ascending Ranger Peak in Grand Teton National Park. Chris was one of my best friends.
I met MarkCarter more than 10 years ago, and we have been good buddies ever since. Talk about two kids from opposite backgrounds, but there was something that brought us together — and that same thing has kept us best buds and business partners. We both met our first year in Jackson Hole while working for the Park & Pipe crew, and I’ve been taking photographs and video of Mark ever since.