Santiago Vega Makes First Ever Disabled Ski Descent of the Grand Teton, WY

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Santiago Vega just became the first disabled athlete to complete a ski descent of the Grand Teton. 

TGR reports that Vega was accompanied by IFMGA guide Mark Smiley. They made their descent by the Ford-Stettner Couloir, one of the 50 Classic Ski Descents on North America.

Read about the accomplishment below, in Vega’s own words:

Some Dreams just take more work to come true.

I’ve been dreaming about skiing the Grand Teton ever since I saw it for the first time when I was 7 years old.

Getting up and skiing down the Grand took every ounce of skill, strength, and tenacity I had. I doubted myself so many times leading up to it and I was scared and nervous right up until the very moment I did my first turn. Everything went as well as I could have hoped and I’m proud to say that the Grand Teton has finally been skied by a person with a Disability, 50 years after the first-ever ski descent by Bill Briggs.

This project was as much of a personal goal as well as to show the people and the Adaptive community that People with disabilities are getting rad out there and that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

I was so lucky that @smileysproject and @timmycohn joined me on this objective. These two amazing human beings were with me every step of the way, they encouraged me when I needed it and made the climb and ski one hell of a time. This feat is a much theirs as it is mine.

I also want to thank @arcteryx and @onxbackcountry for supporting this project and also thank all my friends and family who helped in many different ways

More to come soon, but now it’s time for some Gatorade, food and so much sleep.

Grand Teton, at 13,775 feet (4,199 m), is the highest point of the Teton Range, and the second highest peak in the U.S. state of Wyoming after Gannett Peak. The mountain is entirely within the Snake River drainage basin, which it feeds by several local creeks and glaciers. The Teton Range is a subrange of the Rocky Mountains, which extend from southern Alaska to northern New Mexico.

Grand Teton, WY

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One thought on “Santiago Vega Makes First Ever Disabled Ski Descent of the Grand Teton, WY

  1. You guys are only off by 50 years or so.
    “In 2008, Bill Briggs was inducted into the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, with his citation reading in part:

    Bill Briggs is regarded as the father of big mountain skiing in the United States. He was able to imagine and believe it possible to ski in places where no one else had skied before. His first ski descent of Wyoming’s Grand Teton on June 15, 1971 is regarded by most as the single crystallizing moment in American big mountain skiing. ” – wikipedia

    William Morse Briggs was born December 21, 1931, in Augusta, Maine. Briggs entered the world without a hip joint, and at two-years-old surgeons chiseled out a socket in his pelvic bone. – wildsnow

    I have skied with Bill Briggs at Lake Louise with the ISHA. I had no idea he had a fused hip until he got off his skis. The hip was fused to accommodate skiing not walking.

    Thanks for a stellar memory, Bill

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