Early Season Stoke

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Jax n’ Lance here. We are two adventure seekers that spend our Summer’s nestled in our home of Hood River, OR and are stoked to spend our third winter season shredding in the mighty Tetons.

We are entrepreneurs, adventure partners, and best friends who have a lot of passion for skiing and living life to its fullest. Oh, and we are getting married =) We believe that if you dream it, you can do it. We are excited to share our tales of shredding this season with you and hope to give insight into the passion we have daily to get after it.

Our drive to town is always an adventure in itself. Two cars packed to the rim with all of our toys, and this year we have our new addition LOKI. A white swiss shepherd of almost 7 months old to share in the powder filled adventures. After 13 hours of driving through rain and snow, we arrive hooting and hollering as we cannot even put a cap on the stoke we have to be here for another winter.

As Lance is on his 19th winter in a ski town, I am on my 2nd. Last year was the big transition year for me from Corporate America to starting my own business. Ambitious in spirit, I decided to go all out and try to ski 100 days at JHMR and join in on the 100-day club that includes an extra ski day after the slopes close. 126 days later (116 spent at JHMR), I am amped for round two and 11 days strong.


First up on deck upon arriving to another season is getting gear dialed for a long season ahead. Each year, the first week on a mountain is full of different blends of stoke. Shops are loaded with gear, locals are making turns and “getting in shape” as they do hot laps on any run that is open with new terrain opening daily. Employees have training and kick off parties, and restaurants are getting dialed. With over 200 days on my skis and boots it was due time to freshen up the toys. It is the time of year to get every piece of your equipment dialed and ready to take on the powder days from bell to bell. Dialed equipment, leg fitness and the cheer of running into old friends fills the air with stoke.

Oh leg fitness. This one is rough yet gets better each day. We are really good about avoiding the ego and just working through the burn. Technique, form, and fundamentals and turn after turn are the focus. Too often, folks get too pumped and get hurt, so we try to dial in our work schedules for the first two weeks while showing up each afternoon where the slopes are quiet and we can just do lap after lap.  With Lance’s photography business and my Marketing business going full throttle we take these first few weeks to really dial in waking up very early and staying up late to split up work segments to shred. There is time for it all in our opinion. It does take a few weeks to manage the time so that we can prepare for the powder days ahead.

First on deck the boot project began. Matt and Pat at JH Sports were the lucky guys to help me for 3 days on not only finding a boot (my feet are difficult) and from there dialing these bad boys in.


If you are in the market to buy boots, this is not an easy feat. It is downright painful, yet the rewards are exponential. I am so grateful for Matt’s patience and boot experience. We found the Salomon Quest Max 130 to become the boot of choice. Super stiff flex and ready to take things up a level this year. Here is a glance at how gnarly this process gets…


With a few tweaks in and most likely a few more to go, we are getting these bad boys dialed.

Beyond boots, there are new skis and bindings hitting the slopes this year. Lance and I are both joining the Armada family this year with JJ’s and Magic J’s. We chose super light Marker F12 touring bindings this year for our stops to the side country and beyond. As we spend time in the first days skiing on our “rock skis” we are really excited to mount up our new skis.

At JH sports the technicians are top notch, a real joy to be around and boy is there a lot of history in that room. We were lucky to witness long time buddy Thad mounting up both skis and enjoying really special company.


It is a meticulous process that takes precision to allow us all to shred run after run.


We met gentleman such as Rick Wilson who just rolled through over 20 seasons at the shop, earning a lifetime pass and touring us around the tech room explaining each station, piece of equipment and mark of history. Ever heard of Doug Coombs? The legendary skiers nephew is rocking all of your ski tunes! Vegas was a hoot to say the least. Such a great guy! He is the one waxing your skis and fixing all of our nicks. And if that wasn’t cool enough, shop Legend “Stew” stopped in for a spell. All I can say is a lot of work goes into the precision of tuning and mounting your boots and skis and these guys work on commission and they are flat out legendary folks. Check out the additional slide show below for additional peeks into the legendary shop and all of it’s history.

And a tip from us: show your appreciation by bringing them a “tip” aka 6pack (or two) of beer, the good crafty kind, on your next visit.


With gear dialed, skis mounted, and terrain growing with all lifts opening over the weekend we hit the tram to give it all a shot.


Each day we have battled negative temps on the mountains. Doesn’t stop us from shredding!


Wearing 5 or 6 layers solves the issue for the most part and taking a moment one day to enjoy fresh suds next to the fireplace at our first visit to The Handlebar was an additional plus.




Enjoy our daily adventures here:




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