Blake Paul, Curtis Ciszek, and Mark Carter head out insearch of powder. Photo: Darcy Bacha

Stomping Grounds

Glimpse the Jackson Hole backcountry through photographer Darcy Bacha’s lens.

Shooting snowboarding photos for me is all about the search for new terrain to document. Usually this chase leads me deep into interior British Columbia, Alaska, or somewhere exotic like Kazakhstan. But this hunt for new far-off places can sometimes blind you, and closer destinations get overlooked. I never thought I would feel the same sense of awe while driving through and exploring the vast terrain around Jackson Hole that I got from foreign destinations. I was wrong.

This past winter, I got the royal treatment of having Bryan Iguchi, Mark Carter, Blake Paul, and Curtis Ciszek show me the secrets this land has to offer. Going out with such a legendary and local crew that lives and breathes Jackson certainly has its advantages.

Avalanche conditions in the Wyoming backcountry can be notoriously variable. Iguchi and Carter’s ability to scan the terrain and pick out no-go zones, along with their general terrain choice, was a privilege to see in action.

Blake Paul gets real high in the Jackson backcountry.

At times it almost felt like we were playing “the floor is lava” game, picking the safest options without getting burned. Most of the mornings we went out, it was minus twenty degrees Fahrenheit so lava might not be the most accurate comparison. These insanely cold conditions created snow instability, yet ultimately made two-week old powder feel as if it just fallen.

We only explored one drainage in the area. Knowing what I know now, I’d say the search has only just begun. I’m already scheming future trips to come back to this stunning part of the country and I’m eager to explore its incredibly vast terrain.

Curtis Ciszek launches into the abyss.

Darcy Bacha is a man of many talents, and one hell of a fly fisher. @bacha.photo

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