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Don Watkins


Don Watkins

In some way, shape or form, I try to make outside a part of my day. It all started in Western Pennsylvania with my parents. Both avid snow and water skiers, I was fortunate to be on the mountain by the age of three and behind the boat soon thereafter. If it was winter and I wasn’t in school, chances were I was in the Laurel Highlands snowboarding at our local mountain. Summertime was similar, but school was replaced by working construction with my father and the mountains swapped with water.

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Given my love of the outdoors the University of Vermont was perfect for the next chapter in my life. Lake Champlain to the West, Green Mountains to the East, and good academia of course. UVM and Vermont gave me my first taste of rock climbing, winter camping, lake-side cliff jumping and backcountry snowboarding. I was hooked. I finally got a full suspension mountain bike and a longboard that turned paved roads into rideable mountains (I quickly learned pavement is harder than snow).

UVM also gave me my first taste of the Tetons on January 2nd, 2004 when some of my best friends and I walked under the infamous antler arch entryway at Jackson Hole Airport on a ski and snowboard club trip. Needless to say, that trip would change my life.

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After a few more winter trips to Wyoming in college the job search as a graduate soon shifted from a finance career in the city to securing a ski pass in Jackson Hole. During the fall of 2006 I road tripped to Jackson with several of my closest college friends to spend the winter chasing snow. One winter turned into a summer, and then another winter, and then another 11 winters.

Today I am very fortunate to continue to call Jackson, Wyoming home with my wife Shea and our dog Pepper [and soon-to-be child]. I’m also a proud member of Teton County Search & Rescue. And though my schedule today as the Director of Marketing for a private equity investment firm is a bit different from my first winters as a hotel bellman, getting outside is still a big part of my life. Early morning turns on Teton Pass and midday mountain bike rides in Cache Creek are a few of the things that soothe the soul and keep me balanced.

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