Year-round Mountain Guide & Jack of all trades
Brian has served the Jackson community for 25 years as a year-round, dual-seasonal worker who upon graduating college came to Jackson after learning about the Tetons from a friend’s older brother. The friend's brother came to visit them in Boulder, CO with eyes popping out of his skull after the experience of skiing the ‘96-’97 season, or rather, the “90 sick and 90 heaven” season.
At any given time, Brian wears a lot of hats, working for anywhere between 5-10 employers, depending on the time of the year.
In the summer months, you’ll find him guiding guests - locals and tourists alike - up the Grand Teton and other technical climbing objectives. Come winter, Brian works as a backcountry ski guide for JMHR and as a ski guide for Exum, guiding people on Teton Pass and in GTNP. Brian also has a penchant for keeping people safe and has previously worked as a ski patroller for over 10 years at JMHR and at Snow King. These days, he focuses on teaching avalanche courses with American Avalanche Institute (AAI) and private avalanche courses through Exum.
“Through all those different hats that I wear, I have impacted a lot of people whether that’s through avalanche education or just loving and being able to travel through the mountain environment in both summer and winter, and teaching people how to do it safely, with respect for the environment and other people. I find a lot of meaning in the work that I do.”
In the off-season, Brian can be found working as a carpenter or for local companies like Give’r gloves, or taking a much needed break from the harsh winters of Jackson by heading down south to simultaneously picking up a few guiding jobs to help support his family as the seasons transition in the Tetons.
In his spare time, Brian finds as much time as he can to spend with his daughter, Stella, fly fishing, skiing, biking, and finding meaning in taking part in the community, by giving back to the Hole Food Rescue, Habitat for Humanity Restore, and Coombs Outdoor. He loves living in a community that takes care of each other and feels like family.
As far as housing, Brian moves each season, splitting his time between the cabins near Jenny Lake and an apartment in town. Moving around adds strain and uncertainty each time it comes to transition.
“Last summer, there was uncertainty around my housing which was extremely stressful, especially thinking about having to move far away as it would be very difficult to be able to afford to live here, which is a very scary thought as a father.”
This said, “I’m very optimistic about the future of our community. There’s so much in the pipeline and I know the community cares and our commissioners care, I know they’re dealing with a lot. For me, securing an Affordable home for myself and my daughter would lift an incredible amount of stress off my shoulders.
While I’m not considered a critical service worker, my hope is that folks value other vital members who have lived here for a long time and are recognized for their contributions. If you have taken an avalanche course, hired a mountain guide or a ski guide, ask yourself what value do you place in the people who are with you, teaching you and keeping you safe?"