Tyler Hislop’s Jackson Hole

We’d like to believe Tyler moved to Jackson to work for us at Barker-Ewing Whitewater… but, as it turns out, what drew Tyler here was a summer of rocks and a winter of riding. A link to Tyler’s world opens up the kind of adventures that the Tetons bring for many. Here’s one of his entries, also found at http://wanderslog.blogspot.com/.

Yesterday, I completed the Guide’s Wall route on Storm Point in Cascade Canyon with my friend Kevin. If you have been following along, I had been eyeballing this route earlier in the season in hopes of bagging it. Yesterday, we got an early start and took the first boat across Jenny Lake to begin our hike into Cascade Canyon. The weather was very foggy in the morning from the last day’s rains, but the day promised to be warm and sunny. Conditions were perfect for a long day’s climb.

Remember, Guide’s Wall is a mega classic, six pitch, alpine grade II rock climb rated at 5.8 difficulty. The climb was a spectacular success! We were first party on the wall, and encountered only one party below us. Weather was perfect and the climbing was excellent, especially the hand crack variation on pitch five, and pitch six at the top. Upon repelling back to the bottom, we looked forward to the boat ride back across Jenny Lake to follow our hike out. My kind of mechanized climbing!

-Tyler Hislop

Jessica Moore’s Wanderlust

With the end of the season drawing near (at a seemingly exponential pace), I find the craziness of high-season in Jackson has been replaced with a swarm of friends in need of help packing, organizing and consolidating, all ready and eager to embark on the next chapter of their lives- college. Although I am also in the midst of preparing to leave Jackson, my to-do list has nothing to do with course catalogs, room-mates or picking a major.

My parents were far from surprised when I casually informed them one night at the dinner table that I would be deferring my admission to the University of Montana for a year so that I could embark on an eight month journey throughout South America. Although my mother was quick to tell me that she would be billing me the full cost of disguising all the new grey hairs I would surely be giving her, they were both incredibly supportive.

Growing up in Jackson has instilled within me a deeply rooted appreciation for both nature and adventure. However, it has also given me a slightly skewed perception of reality. Thus, in planning my trip, my number one priority is to not be just a privileged Jackson youth enjoying a year-long vacation. I have tried, and I like to think successfully, to combine my love for the outdoors with a desire to help others (all the while operating on a very limited budget).

I will spend the first two months right outside of Sucre, Bolivia as a volunteer trail-guide for an organization called CondorTrekkers (http://www.condortrekkers.org/). This Bolivian based non-profit uses the money from guided backpacking tours to help local children and communities in need. From there, I will spend three months in Guatemala with a completely separate, although practically identical, organization called QuetzalTrekkers (http://www.quetzaltrekkers.com/xela). Subtract a few weeks in Ecuador (to explore) and a few in Argentina (to visit a friend) and the rest of my time will be spent in Peru. This is the last leg of my trip and therefore is intentionally vague- I intend to go with the flow, meet new people and see what types of opportunities present themselves to me south of the equator.

From the moment I first started speaking, my parents have both cursed and admired what they refer to as my intuitive sense of wanderlust. I intend to live minimally and maximize my experiences every second of my trip. I know how fortunate I am to have this opportunity and plan to return to Jackson with an even greater appreciation for this beautiful valley and everything it has given me throughout my childhood.

Maybe I’ll even do some rafting while I’m down there…. Jessica Moore

Maria Wyllie’s “Staycation”

Following graduation from the University of Virginia in May of 2012, I immediately packed up the car and headed west. What was initially intended as a four month summer break before entering the so called “real world” has now become a 14-month break– a little something I like to call “staycation.”

It’s safe to say my parents have been a little concerned about my line of work out West– cleaning toilets, folding t-shirts and handing out wetsuits does not require a college degree (so they like to remind me). I keep explaining to them that I am fully aware of this and that I am simply working to support my staycation before I commit myself to a full time career.

This summer I’ve gone on staycation with both locals and tourists, allowing me to experience a wide variety of summer activities. I kicked the summer season off with a moonlight rafting trip down the Snake River (ask our guides why it’s called that). I unsuccessfully went fly-fishing in Kelly, successfully jumped off the cliffs in Kelly, went for a not so refreshing dip in the Granite Hot Springs, tubed down Flat Creek, did some disco dancing at the Coach and some bluegrass dancing at the Wort, hiked to Goodwin Lake for a quick dip, got down at Targhee Fest, sailed on Jackson Lake, drove over the Pass for a huckleberry milkshake, kayaked on Lake Yellowstone, played disc golf in the Village, poached a hot tub or two, went up the Gondi for some margaritas and fried mushrooms, and enjoyed some tasty wild rice pancakes with my mom followed by a ride through the Big Kahuna on Barker-Ewing’s scenic/whitewater Breakfast Combination trip (my personal favorite). While my list might seem long, these excursions are just a sampling of the many activities Jackson has to offer.

Being endlessly enthused about the place you live and being able to go on so many adventures without having to travel far is a wonderful thing. This past winter, for instance, I went paragliding off the Tram during my lunch break. I don’t think most people can admit to having done something as cool as that in the middle of their work day. Every season continues to offer new challenges for even the most experienced athlete. However, regardless of expertise, the impressive Teton Range physically and mentally challenges hikers, climbers, and skiers ranging anywhere from novice to expert. So, even if this is your first time in Jackson, I hope you will not be fearful of exploring these beautiful, humbling mountains.

I won’t be here forever, but I’m not ready for my staycation to end yet– there are too many mountain trails and ski slopes that I have yet to conquer. I hope you enjoy your time here in Jackson amongst the river rats and ski bums, and I invite you to keep coming back, as there will always be new adventures waiting for you.  – Maria Wyllie

Dick Barker, a Legend of the Snake

Dick Barker’s passing on July 23rd was a day that will never be forgotten. His memory will continue to flow through the hearts and souls of his family and family and all the lives he’s touched since visiting the valley since he was a kid. Dick will always be remembered for being an integral part of the history of Jackson Hole and the Snake River, from the river outfitting business to bringing music to the valley as co-founder of the Jackson Hole Hootenanny. Freelance writer and longtime Barker-Ewing river guide Jim Stanford posted an article on JH Underground that we’d like to share to all those that have been a part of the Barker-Ewing family at large. Thank you to all who have floated with us over the course of Dick Barker’s and Frank Ewing’s 50 seasons on the Snake River. Dick, you will be missed.


43 North in a place called Jackson Hole

Traveling south for a couple months, I found myself loving a place at 43 South. Futaleufu, Chile. It’s all in the latitude. I’ve yet to travel to any mountains or rivers within the Himalayas, but I was lucky to make it to the southern hemisphere’s Andes this winter. Mountains and rivers draw me near, far beyond any desert ever has; hence, I live in the Tetons. In the Andes, I found some magical places including Peru’s Macchu Pichu, Chilean Patagonia’s Torres del Paine Mountain Range, and Argentinian Patagonia’s Fitz Roy Mountain Range and Perito Moreno Glacier. It was an incredible journey, but I am always happy to find my way home. I hope you find your way to Jackson Hole, the Tetons and Yellowstone this summer… and if you do, we’d love to share a piece of our paradise down the Snake River with you. Enjoy a piece of my paradise this winter!



Grandma Leta in Old Bill’s Fun Run at 103!

Leta Deveraux, otherwise known as Grandma Leta and Patty Ewing’s mother, participated in Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities once again this fall. It was such a huge event, with record-breaking everything, that we couldn’t find Leta among the masses to snap a pic, but she was there and rearing to go! This photo is of Leta at Old Bill’s last fall 2010. There’s something about those Wyoming natives… Leta will be 104 on March 29 this year! Wow.

Trivia: Who is Old Bill?
“Old Bill is the spirit of community philanthropy. Everyone who participates in our community is Old Bill!” An event inspired by an anonymous couple known as Mr. and Mrs. Old Bill and put on by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities continues to raise awareness, support and funds (over 75 million in the last 15 years!) for non-profits throughout Jackson Hole. Thank you, Old Bill!

Allie Knetzger’s first day on the job

There’s no way I could forget my first day working at B-E. I arrived at the main office sometime around 9 am, only to learn that I had come to the wrong office for training. Christa (our manager) had accidentally texted her cousin Allie instead of myself to let me know that we were meeting at our location down the road. So, when I showed up at the main office, a confused Christa told me to hop in her car and we’d drive down to the other office together. It’s only a mile down the road, but there certainly wasn’t a lack of excitement present in that quick ride. We stopped briefly for Christa to grab a cup of coffee at the Whole Grocer, and as we pulled into our check-in office parking lot, we were met by a very strange scene. A disoriented black bear appeared suddenly from behind a parked car and ran past the car we were in, as Christa and I frantically tried to capture the image on our camera phones. A failed attempt to say the least, we still couldn’t wait to share the news with our co-workers inside. Our owner Frank greeted us at the front door and was the first person we shared our story with, who responded by telling us that he had never had such an experience in the 45+ years he has lived here (Christa then confessed that she had initially thought the bear was a dog, which Frank said he would never let her live down). We are now approaching the end of our summer season, and I have yet to have an experience in Jackson Hole that matches the unusual spontaneity and unforeseen excitement of my first day working at Barker-Ewing.  To this day, I don’t think I could imagine a happier mistake than arriving at the wrong office that fateful morning in the beginning of June…mostly because I can’t imagine a more thrilling way to kick off my first summer in Jackson Hole!

Legend of the Snake, Frank Ewing

What do you get when a boat load of old-timer river guides and long-time locals get together on the Snake River? A boat load of tales, some small, some tall, followed by a boat load of laughs! Last Friday, August 12th, the 6th annual Legends of the Snake brought together some of the pioneers of Jackson Hole’s rafting and fishing industry. The river trip kicked off the evening, floating from Dead Man’s Bar to Moose with a lineup of Frank Ewing, John Simms, Dick Barker, Jack Dennis, John Turner, Bill Guheen, Davey Hansen, Paul Bruun, Denny Becker and more, as they took to the oars to tell their stories. The evening of river running history continued at Dornan’s with dinner & drinks… and delightful tales of the Snake River! In the photo, Frank Ewing floats the Snake, circa late 1950s.

Mark Bryson’s back for a 4th season!

Mark’s back for his 4th season in Jackson and 2nd season with us this summer…

“I spend my summers guiding river trips on the Snake and leading backpacking expeditions in Yellowstone. When I’m not guiding, I’m probably still on a river kayaking, fly fishing or climbing in the Tetons. Currently, I’m studying Accounting at BYU where I’ll graduate next year.”

Come jump on board one of Mark’s rafts this summer!

Likening the Office Managers to Ice Cream

A Trite Allegory: Likening the Office Managers to Ice Cream

All three of the office managers have a uniqueness to them, which blends their strengths and abilities – each a compliment to the other. Their combination could almost be compared to Neapolitan ice cream. Heather is chocolate because she is tough, the boss (and let’s be honest, chocolate is definitely boss) and also because she is probably the darkest (in terms of skin color). Christa is vanilla, consistent and reliable, sweet and gentle. Janet is strawberry, quirky and fun-loving, charming the customers over with her fruity appeal. However, none of them melt under pressure, but keep up their hard work day in and day out to make this company what it is!!

Thank you Office Managers!  -Marie Cudd