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Explorer Spotlight: Jackson Smith

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Name: Jackson Smith  | Age: 21 | Location: Salt Lake City, UT.

What’s your day job? 

I work on the Grounds crew at the University of Utah.

What are your favorite things to do outside?

During the winter I do a lot of backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering all throughout the Wasatch mountains. In the warmer months, I train for and run ultra-marathon mountain races all over the west. I also enjoy rock climbing and bouldering with my friends and family.

What first drew you to the outdoors?

When I was a kid my family and I would go camping and skiing almost every weekend.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure?

My favorite hometown adventure is backcountry skiing to and mountaineering to the peak of the Pfeifferhorn in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?

My most essential piece of gear is my North Face Stormy Trail rain jacket. It's perfect for a day of touring through the backcountry or for keeping the rain off during a run. It can also serves as an awesome wind breaker for when you're going over windy mountain passes.

What’s your favorite trail snack?

My all time favorite trail snack are peanut M&Ms! I always have a handful of them whenever I go adventuring in the mountains.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?

Lord Huron is my favorite band to listen to while hitting the road or the trails.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?

My dad is definitely my partner in crime. We have been adventuring the Wasatch as far back as I can remember. After watching him complete several ultra-marathons, including five 100 milers, I was very inspired to start running these races myself.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?

My top destinations for adventure travel are the mountains surrounding Telluride Colorado and Yellowstone National Park. The San Juan Mountains have some of the most incredible trails and peaks in the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone offers some of the most beautiful landscapes and best fishing rivers in the country.

What's on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?

The adventure on the top of my list is to do some backcountry skiing in the giant mountains of British Columbia.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!

During March of 2015, I took a ski mountaineering course at the University of Utah. In this course, we toured into an area in the Wasatch known as Maybird Gulch. Towering over Maybird is a peak known as the Pfeifferhorn. We then started our approach up (pictured here) and eventually to the 11,326ft summit of the Pfeifferhorn.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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