Tami received her adventure scholarship back in 2016. She used her funds to help pay for travel and expenses while she was competing in several FWQ events. Since then she has found her way out west where she’s still sending it big with some other Vermonters. Here she tells us a little about how she pivoted when the pandemic came around.
Due to the global pandemic, year 2020 has proved challenging to achieve my goals, as I’m sure for everyone. My Spring Teton summits plans, as well as the April Alaska trip fell through. However, in spite of the setbacks, I was able to accomplish a majority of those big lines late Spring when the national park re-allowed entry. Even during the early stages of the ‘lockdown’ resulting in the shut down of ski resorts everywhere, I ventured out nearly everyday to the terrain around the immediate Jackson area. Due to social media pressure, I avoided posting details of my skiing excursions to avoid negative reactions.
This past season I decided to spend a little less time in front of the lens (and on my phone/computer) and more time focusing on navigating the backcountry, learning the terrain around Jackson while perfecting my ski technique. I skied almost every day and worked most nights. I also coached for the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club’s Freeride Program on the weekends. In January and February I had the best ski days of my life, enjoying great powder days with close friends. When the pandemic hit, and both Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Teton National Park shut down, I thought my spring skiing was over, but it turned out to be far from over. There were so many other zones that I ended up
exploring and so much snow left to be shredded, so I enjoyed a little cabin trip in the wilderness behind the town of Jackson. When the National Park Service lifted its ban, I ventured into mountaineering mode and skied some big lines in the national park. I summited and skied the East face of the Middle Teton and did the Ford-Chevy Stetner on the Grand-though was forced to turn around just shy of the summit; along with some other lines on Teewinot and Disappointment Peaks. I skied far into summer (lots in June!) with a multi-day mission in August. I definitely kept getting after it and was pretty stoked about that!
I also went on a short RV trip to the beartooths to film for Powder Magazine with KGB productions. Caite Zeliff, Veronica Paulsen and I had a great few days on a sunny weekend in Montana. Here’s the edit from the trip:
I am also releasing a little self-edit which will be finished this month and am excited to post it and send it out as soon as it’s ready! KGB productions is helping with the editing process.
As seasons changed, I started spending more time on my bike, as well as continually training for the upcoming winter. I have summited/hiked more Teton peaks than ever before, some of which are hardly explored which forced me and my partners to navigate using vague route descriptions, satellite and topographic maps and lots of route finding. I increased my climbing and rope management skills which will come in handy for future ski missions. With all this training, I feel like I am in the best ski fitness shape of my career. As the snow starts to settle in the Tetons, I am so excited for the winter, and am very much looking forward to the ’20-’21 season!
My goals for this winter include continuing the following:
- Increase my knowledge of the Jackson terrain and the ability to navigate the backcountry with varying snow conditions
- Further expand my snow safety knowledge with plans to sign up for an Avy 2 or Avy Pro 1 Cert as well as WFR
- Continue to coach for JHSC’s Freeride Program
- Seek out more filming opportunities with intentions to put together a multi-day Winds film trip, for a little KGB productions project
- Plan a trip to Alaska this spring, since I was never able to make it last year
- To continue shooting photos with friends and photographers alike and expanding my mountaineering knowledge