Video: Adam Clark (@acpictures)
Backcountry educator, writer, founder of Party Shirt International
They say the Mad River Valley is a small drinking town with a big skiing problem.
The villages in this quaint part of central Vermont were an amazing place to be a kid and to grow up. Freedom reigned king, we were welcome to roam the green hills, exploring and getting lost in the woods. When I was five my parents strapped skis on my feet and it was all downhill from there. The 4,000 foot mountains were an ideal playground to learn to ski, and understand the power of winter. My folks supported my early love for the sport and let me take it in whatever direction I wanted. I raced until I mastered edge control on those icy slopes, then switched to freestyle skiing in 2005.
Moving to Utah in 2008 was the natural progression for me, both for my skiing and growth as a person. Sometime through college and the subsequent couple of years, my interests went from partying and park skiing to an environmental ethos and backcountry touring. The landscape here fosters both the physical and philosophical elements that I have molded into my focus for life.
Throughout my time in the Wasatch Front, I have learned to communicate the environmental issues of our time. And as such, my full time position is the outreach director for a local environmental non profit. Similarly, since 2015, I have written dozens of essays for online and print publications about skiing, the environment, and wilderness. I also like sharing what I’ve learned with the younger generation. I instruct introductory snow and backcountry ski classes in the winter through the University of Utah.
But, part of me is always drawn back to the good times of a jovial youth: wild Vermont summers full of exploring the woods, rivers, and raging bonfires; red rock romps in the desert with a crew of great friends; a beer shotgun on some remote powder filled peak during a raucous yurt trip. In that spirit, with my oldest friend, I launched Party Shirt International in 2018. It is a “technical party shirt” company that makes hilarious and colorful patterned shirts and accessories. From the skinner to the barstool, our shirts will keep you and everyone around you stoked.
All about the balance, am I right?
Yes, I wear many hats (helmets, buffs, etc) and stay busy. But skiing is life so I still usually spend 75 to 100 days on the skin track in the Intermountain West and abroad. I strive to push myself mentally, physically, and in my idea of what skiing can be, every season. Party on!
Salt Lake City, UT
• Masters Degree with a focus on Wasatch history and recreation.
• Pit Viper team athlete! Very fast.
• Completed 50 lines in the infamous Chuting Gallery
• Have never been caught and carried in an avalanche
• Party Shirt International co-founder and CEO (technical party fun haver)
• Glen Canyon Institute Outreach Director (talk about wilderness and rivers and things!)
• Essayist - writes for Utah Adventure Journal, Holiday River Expeditions Blog, CycleUtah, and more. (Writes about wilderness, mountains and things!)
• Educator - Takes “the youth” out into the mountains and talks about snow and skiing