“I never thought I would fall in love with a mountain”. I remember saying these words when I first left JH after a whole season of snowboarding – I think that was the winter of 1994.
Now I return to JH every year for at least a few days of shredding the snow and for a few days in summer, when we go down the Snake River and immerse ourselves in sweet running water and rapids.
No – it is not easy to get there, but once you are there… you will come back! I arrived at the small airport after a direct flight from LAX into a warm 25ºF and clear sky. The weather forecast reported maybe a small snowstorm but I was totally in, “I don’t care, and it’s going to be great”!
My cousin, Aaron Pruzan, was the first to invite me to JH when I was 22 years old.
Last Week, I joined his family at their home with Tamsen, his wife, and their kids, Noah, Nate, Nave And of course… Angele the ‘Angel Dog’ and Kitty! I have the perfect family in the perfect place.
1st day – took a warm up. Got on the Teton Village Tram and ran some gummers. The snow was perfect to test my new board to get the feel of it and get some speed on the steeps.
2nd day –probably the best experience. I got to do something I had never done before. I climbed a mountain with a split snowboard and skins and then boarded down the mountain in perfect conditions: off-piste terrain with no humans and fresh powder. We borrowed a split-board from Case, Aaron’s friend, who is a radical and super generous local. After a few words about safety and how to walk uphill with skins we headed up. On the way Aaron was throwing all kinds of tips on how to make it easier to walk. I was so stoked and grateful for the experience: to share the day again with my cousin; get the workout and to be in such a pristine environment which can only be described as pure and unbelievable!
3rd day – all shredding the Village. Case was waiting for me on the mountain with his buddy. They took me through some mountain tree runs in the search of magical powder. Those guys were not looking for long… they knew exactly where to go and how to get there. Between so many trees I tried to follow their line. With some cool turns, fresh powder and a few 360s by Case, I was following somebody who was better than me and all I had to do was learn – no ego but fun to get instructed by those kinds of master dudes.
4th day – Friday. I got a few more runs with Aaron and then was back to the airport… Sunday is a big day and we are going to have 75 Freedom Snow Riders at Bear Mountain – we are ready to GO!
** I wanted to share this experience because I believe that we all deserve to live life to the fullest and experience what we are trying to fulfill. The Pruzan family are living a life committed to sharing their passion with others through adventures in the outdoors.
I feel that the Freedom Family is following this path and is always trying to learn and share knowledge and fun. All of this comes through our respect for each other, for nature and our responsibility to our community. I can’t wait to introduce you to the JH experience through the eyes, mind and heart of the Pruzan family – get ready!