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At Summit

Andrew Whiteford

Most people know at least a little about Jackson before they get here.  I, being a complete ski dork, wanted to know a lot.  Prior to my first trip to Jackson I had been studying trail maps and photographs online for months. I really built things up in my head.  So when I found myself at the front of the tram line at 7am on the first morning of my college ski trip with over a foot of new snow, I figured things were just going according to plans. However, after the first run - Rendezvous Bowl to the Hobacks - complete with first tracks and face shots on every turn... well, that simply blew my mind! The second run - Corbet's and up to Casper Bowl - sealed the deal.  I realized my ideas of staying in New England or even moving anywhere else in the west was foolish.  Jackson or bust!  (I know, it's a familiar story for this town.)

Almost 6 years later and my life is exactly how I want it.  I live in a tight knit community where everyone shares a love for the outdoors.  The mountains provide us with amazing opportunities to challenge ourselves while teaching humility and respect. Immersing myself in something as dramatic and beautiful as the Teton Range absolutely keeps me in check, reminding me that most problems in my life that I encounter are small and trivial. These mountains provide me with peace, motivation, and stoke my passion for athletic endevours.

During the winter my single favorite situation to be in is late afternoon in the middle of a huge storm.  It's been dumping all day and everyone is full and tired from gorging on powder- but the tracks keep disapearing and I speed up the "last run" to catch last tram and have a bonus lap. Waiting on the deck and in the tram, you see people you know and a few you don't, but everyone fully understands exactly how great it is. At the top there's no need to hurry. I'll let my skis run deep and take a well known path through the trees- maybe Alta Chutes or Mushrooms- and roll into the base area reminding myself that I need to get to bed early, because tomorrow will bring more of the same.

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