A labor of love among friends, this was our attempt to convey the adventure and camaraderie of skiing a difficult route on the Grand.
We presented it at the Banff Film Festival in 2006, after Doug’s untimely death. Every day spent skiing with Doug Coombs was a great day. The days spent making this were no different.
Produced by Doug Coombs, Doug Workman, Andrew Chapman, John Griber, Rick Hunt, Jason Winkler, and David Gonzales in 2005. We had help from numerous others.
The ultra-classic Otter Body route on the Grand Teton was first skied in 1996 when Jackson locals Doug Coombs and Mark Newcomb headed up to give it a try. It was Newcomb’s job interview for a guide position with Coomb’s heli-ski operation in Alaska. He passed the test, and the duo headed up north shortly thereafter. The route has seen more skiers since then, including a few in 2013, with Exum guides Zahan Billamoria, Brendan O’Neill, Dan Corn, and a few others pulling off winter descents, and Kim Havell completing a first female descent in the spring. This short film documents some of what goes into skiing one of the biggest lines in the US with The Otter Kind.
Unsung heroes: John Griber, who doesn’t appear on film, but shared the descent with Doug Coombs and Doug Workman, on a snowboard, making the first snowboard descent of the Otterbody Route, while carrying a brick-sized HD camera on his chest, and filming. Burly!
Unsung hero 2: Rick Hunt, who climbed and descended a 5.6 route on Teepe Pillar with Dan Starr and me, carrying an old-school HD cam and pro tripod – probably 60 pounds – in his backpack. Burly.
Unsung hero 3: Andrew Chapman, for all the hours he spent on this elegant edit.