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Explorer Spotlight: Noah Couser

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Name: Noah Couser | Age: 30 | Location: Whitefish, Montana

What’s your day job?
I teach 8th physical education and health at Kalispell Middle School and manage my photography company

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Everything...hiking, biking, fly fishing, snowboarding, paddle boarding, hunting, backcountry skiing, backpacking.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
Moving from North Idaho, growing up in the gym playing basketball and organized sports, Montana opened my eyes. I found myself skipping class to fly fish, skipping meals to save money for gear for all my new hobbies. I couldn't get enough, and still can't. The captivating beauty, sweeping landscapes, and towering mountains became my classroom, my respite, and my favorite place to be.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
Paddling McDonald Creek in West Glacier and then cruising back into Whitefish with the crew for a burger and a beer at The Buffalo Cafe.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
Rain shell. Weather changes on a dime in NW Montana. Once you get caught out without a shell, you never let it happen again.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Kashi sea salt and dark chocolate granola bars. I've probably consumed over 1,000 over the last year :)

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
Mumford and Sons. Gets me in the mountain vibe without fail.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
Scariest was photographing a backcountry ski jump and watching one of my best friends hit a tree on a 60' gap jump and having to provide first aid and rescue support. Funniest would probably be accidentally brutally burning oatmeal to the bottom of our cook pan on the first night of the backpack trip and having every meal taste heavily like scorched oats for the next three days.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
Hands down my beautiful and adventurous wife Megan. She is up for anything. Even 3 months pregnant (yay!) she will follow me just about anywhere with a smile on her face. I'm constantly inspired by the young people that I teach on a daily basis that have a more difficult life than I could ever imagine, yet they persevere and keep fighting for their future.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
Patagonia, New Zealand, and Costa Rica. But in all reality, there are few better places I've ever been than our little corner of Montana.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Right now next on our list is a 7 day sailing adventure in the SW Caribbean Sea for Christmas.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
Most memorable photo is the ski image below. This isn't the scary moment I was talking about; however, it is the same friend who got really hurt. We had this jump we spent days building, and his first time hitting it (I'm standing below the jump on a sunny but -3 degree day freezing), he throws a cork 5 off the jump and clips the tree. I was pissed because it ruined the whole location as far as aesthetics for the rest of the shoot, but nabbed this killer frame that ended up running in Powder Mag.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
Abe Lincoln said it best, "It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years that count."

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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