From their outdoor activities to their professional means, these locals are fueled by their passion of pursuit and place. It's not always easy living in a mountain town, but from powder mornings to post-work projects, it’s this shared love that creates a community and connects us all. Through drive, sacrifice and creative determination, these locals have chosen passion first. This season, we bring you their stories - stories that continue to inspire us in our ever-evolving pursuit of the mountain life.
Growing up in Eugene, Oregon, Garrick developed a connection to the mountains on weekend micro-adventures in the Cascades. After he secured his graduate degree in education he set out in pursuit of a job where he could fully immerse himself in mountain life. Garrick landed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming as the physics teacher at Jackson Hole High School. Outside of the classroom Garrick is the leader of the High School Mountaineering Club, an Exum Mountain Guide, a father, a husband, an outdoor enthusiast and an active community member. The mountains called him early in his life and he constructed his career path so that he could live amongst them. This is how he's made his passion a reality...
Once I got my Graduate degree in education, it occurred to me that I could teach anywhere. I cold called the principal of schools from a handful of mountain towns to see if they needed a physics teacher. Turns out Jackson Hole High School did.
I have been teaching at Jackson Hole High School since the fall of 2003. We feel fortunate to have been able to obtain a lot from the housing authority in 2005, and had the flexibility with summer break to build our own house on it.
Housing is the largest challenge to life in Jackson. We were lucky enough to come in at the right time and have a great situation, but it is hard to see talented friends leave so they can provide reasonable housing for their young families. It is our loss as a community when they go.
To us, “home” is the place where we raised our kids. Fortunately for us we got to raise them with the Tetons as our backyard.
We have incredible outdoor professional organizations in Jackson that are dedicated to giving back to our community. Exum Mountain Guides, the American Avalanche Institute, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides… I’ve yet to propose an idea to these organizations about how we can better serve the local kids without getting an enthusiastic response, even when there would be no financial gain for the companies.
Kids that grow up in Jackson ought to grow up in the mountains. Kids that grow up climbing and skiing in our park, will grow into leaders that are equipped to make good decisions about the future of our parks and wild places.
We want kids to graduate and move on from high school with the skills to travel and recreate safely in the mountains on their own.