by Sloane Gordon
I've always been fond of traveling, and although I've known many places over the course of my lifetime, I've only ever known one as home: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Amidst snowcapped peaks, frequent animals, meandering creeks, and a hearty local culture, I find myself situated in a place unlike any other. That is to say, the wilderness is my backyard. Literally–the walk 5 minutes through the forest behind my house and you'll find yourself aside the great Snake River. Jackson has a small-town aesthetic, with plenty of arts and liveliness, while being located in one of the most adventure-convenient places on earth. I've always grown up exploring: hiking, biking, photographing, paddleboarding, camping, kayaking, skiing, cliff jumping, floating, sledding... The list goes on and on.
My parents raised me from the very start to live within the wilderness instead of experiencing it from urban, outside world. With that being said, I've developed into a bit of a risk-taker. I never planned it–in fact, taking risks seems so far outside of what my personality used to be that when I face my fears, I surprise myself. These past couple of months building into winter, I was silently wishing it could be summer again, and I wouldn't have to deal with the cold, the lack of hiking, the inability to run around outside, and the difficulty of finding places to take pictures. Somehow, this winter has managed to change everything for me, and I'm going to attribute it to my risk-taking. I left the comfort of activities I've been doing for four years to join the freeski team here, and I've loved every second. I find in skiing twenty times the joy I could have ever looked for in watching TV. I've fallen more times than I can count in just 3 days, and I've also grown as a person more than I can believe. I ask friends to go adventure with me on a whim, and I take photos along the way to make my heart happy. I've found that this winter has been as, if not more enjoyable so far than summer was. So take some risks. Get your friends, get out of whatever city you may live in, and find the wilderness that surrounds you. Don't just experience it- live it. Breathe in the air, smell the fresh scent of trees, or grass, or the ocean, and remember to take time more often to appreciate the nature that surrounds us.
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"Create Your Own Experiences"
by Kettler Thomas
The Summit is created by a team of guest writers and photographers.
Header photo courtesy of Kyle Sipple