In the winter of 2020-2021, Santiago Vega completed the first-known disabled ski descent of the Grand Teton via the Ford-Stettner Couloir, one of the 50 Classic Ski Descents on North America. Santiago dreamed of skiing the Grand Teton since he was seven years old. Alongside IFMGA Guide Mark Smiley and local guide Tim Cohn, he accomplished his dream
“Below The Knee, Above The Clouds” documents this first-of-its-kind alpine adventure.
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.