24 Aug 2015

26 years ago this week I was able to make the first snowboard descent of the iconic Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. My partners, Thomas Turiano​ and Andy Matz, believed in me and through team work and trust gave me the opportunity to fulfill a dream. The tent in the photo above looks similar to today’s tents, but check out Tom’s ski boots and skis. And to think of the gear that Bill Briggs​ used on his historic first ski descent of the Grand in 1971! Simply incredible!

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As a corporate and association keynote speaker I take the lessons I’ve learned from a 20 year career of adventuring and tie them into business.

In my new keynote I focus on decision-making and creative problem-solving in the midst of extreme uncertainty — pretty much what extreme athletes and executives are facing everyday. I offer the audience some compelling takeaways in how to think effectively about your options when the pace is fast, the dangers extreme, and need to decide imminent. I weave in my own personal story of leading teams into danger in the mountains — and bringing them back safely — over twenty years of adventure and exploration from the Tetons to Tibet.

I’m very happy that Tom had good self arrest skills on June 9, 1989. Because I pulled a total rookie move and cut above him on my snowboard in the wet snow, starting a small avalanche that carried Tom towards the edge of large precipice. The only casualty was a ski pole. The lesson I learned from this mistake was to not let my guard down when I get tired and stay vigilant about safety protocols throughout the event.

Have you been in a situation where you let down your guard down in a safety situation, possibly due to fatigue or laziness, that you’d like to share?

 

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