Life in Jackson Hole has always been about drive, determination and grit. From the time when settlers first began laying down roots for year-round living, the adventure was only for the hardy — those willing to push through long, isolated winters and short growing seasons. These residents adapted to the challenges that came with harsh mountain living, and found new ways to thrive.
These days, it’s those innovations that have led to a more luxurious lifestyle, but for most, a new set of challenges remain. Residents willingly brave the high cost of living, long commutes and lack of affordable or stable housing in order to live in the area, a testament to their everlasting love for the mountains. This passion for high country living has propelled many to work that much harder, to achieve new heights only dreamt of until recently. With that in mind, we’ve dedicated this issue, Pushing Boundaries, to those who’ve taken the leap to achieve more.
When it comes to pushing boundaries in Jackson Hole, I think our minds instinctively jump to skiing and other athletic endeavors. And for good reason — the limitless opportunities to pursue challenging feats in the Tetons have drawn thousands of supreme athletes to these hills. Determined locals like extreme adventurers Brendan O’Neil and Adam Fabrikant, who are setting new standards in mountaineering, and young athletes like Cadel Carrigan, who is forging her way into scholarships and ski films while still in high school.
But this issue is about a lot more than athletic feats, we wanted to encompass science, the arts, and those who are pushing boundaries in conservation and education. We’ve highlighted ecologist Trevor Bloom, who has dedicated his life to upholding the legacy of conservation that has been built here despite pressures for development, and scientist James Metcalf of the Brain Chemistry Labs, who is developing a way for recreationists to easily test for cyanobacteria in our waters, which has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Francesca Romo of Contemporary Dance Wyoming is using improvisation in modern dance, and Melissa Brumsted Snider, a local school librarian, is striving to develop the next generation by offering books that help kids build strong connections with the world, showcase diversity and enhance curiosity. And we profile Sheila Walsh Reddy, a recent transplant who encompasses it all — an accomplished climber, skier and scientist. Sheila runs an international branch of The Nature Conservancy on climate change and is on the board of the Teton Climbers Coalition — all on top of being a mom to a young daughter.
We hope these stories about our passionate, dedicated locals encourage you to push your own boundaries and discover new ways to thrive, play and give back to the community you call home.