This photo is from my first trip to Jackson Hole. We've all seen the images & endless film segments from Jackson... and we've all drool'd over them.
Photo: Will Wissman
Boy did I time my first trip there right. We rolled into town fresh off a 50" storm to bluebird conditions. It was me, Billy Poole, Cody Barnhill and photographer Will Wissman. Conditions were anything goes...
We linked up with local Vinnie Urgo, cinematographer for Wink Inc., I was like, "yo Vinnie, where are all those classic cliffs I've seen in all the movies?". He was like, "yeah we'll get to those, but I have a special one for you Julian."
He pointed this one out to me in Rock Springs, it was a face, a close out line that led to a 60-footer. I went straight to it, got on top of the line, felt really good about it, if anything went wrong, Billy was tucked up underneath the cliff to ski right to me. I gave the 10-second count, dropped in, made a few turns, a point release of the top few inches of snow fell away, quite a bit of sluff, enough Billy confused it with a slide and thought he saw me go off with it. So Will called me off the line and told me to stop. Once Billy realized I was stil up top, he got out of the way and I was able to proceed with a front flip off the cliff. It was awesome. But I wanted to ski the face and flip the cliff in one continuous line.
Lucky for me, it snowed a bunch more over the next few days. All of us we're shredding everything in sight, Cody was spinning off everything, Billy was stomping everything in his path, him and I even tandem'd an awesome cliff.
After another 20" fell and another bluebird day presented itself, we went back to this cliff. Billy joined me this time. Once it was go time and everyone was in place, I gave Billy the "look", he said flat out, he was pretty nervous, I told him to breathe it out and to make a decision, and whatever decision he made, make it 100%, nothing less. And coming from Billy, that was intense, he is the most capable skier I've ever skied with. He did things that boggled my mind routinely.
I gave the 10 seconds, breathed, dropped in, made one turn, another, another minor point release dropped away, major slough at this point, amazing to be alive and living in such an interesting and intense moment. I LOVE this feeling, you are so acutely aware of all things NOW, past and future do not exist, it is that moment only that exists.
I made it to the end of the cliff and flipped away from the direction of the slough, landed and skied away in one continuous motion. I saw a small group of dudes far down the slope to my skiers right, I instantly realized it was the TGR crew, Micah Black, Kina Pickett, etc. I skied up to them and they gave me a warm greeting, made me feel like home. It was cool to see TGR drop their project to watch Billy and I enjoy their terrain and be down with us.
I was happy to see Billy up there with a confident stance, and confident radio talk. He was ready and announced he was ready to roll.
He gave the 10 second count, dropped in, skied continuously to the end of the cliff, dropped a proud straight air, stomped, skied away like a champion and joined the group of us at the bottom to a high spirited round of high fives.
We all went for beers at the base of the resort. What a great trip to Jackson.
The resulting photo landed me a Photo Annual spot in Freeskier Magazine.