Every year Teton Gravity Research pushes the boundaries of extreme winter sports with the unveiling of a ski and snowboard film.
TGR’s latest winter film, “Far Out,” will premiere Saturday, as always on its home turf. To celebrate the release the media company will host a new iteration of its annual bash in Teton Village.
TGR will take over Teton Village on Saturday for a free, all-day, communitywide event to celebrate the film’s release, as well as the beginning of ski season. (Only in Jackson is that appropriately celebrated in September.)
In previous years the premiere consisted of two screenings and an after-party at the Mangy Moose that went into the wee hours of the morning. This year Teton Gravity Research is trying something different.
“It’s always been a community event,” co-founder Todd Jones said. Traditionally the premiere has always been a benefit. “So we just looked at it and asked, ‘How can we make it more inclusive, bigger and an all-day celebration?’”
Besides all the markings of a great festival — face painting, food, drinks and a dunk booth — Far Out Fest will host live music from Canyon Kids, Roots of Creation’s Grateful Dub, the Terence Hansen Trio, Karee Miller and Friends and the Floozies.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will reopen the bike park from noon until 5 p.m., giving fans the opportunity to ride with their favorite TGR athletes.
“Just thinking back to when I was a kid watching ski films how cool it would have been to be able to go ride with Scott Schmidt or Glen Plake,” said Steve Jones, who founded the company with his brother.
Though the day’s events and music are free, the movie, which will screen at 4 and 6:30 p.m., costs $15 in advance and $20 the day of. Tickets can be bought online at TetonGravity.com.
Food and drinks from local vendors will also be available for purchase.
See the sidebar for more details on the day’s events.
Community ‘thank you’
Since TGR’s first premiere 23 years ago, Todd and Steve Jones have always made the opening a way to give back to the community that makes their silver-screen dreams possible.
“We did that Year One because we realized pretty quickly that TGR wouldn’t be what it is without this community,” Steve Jones said.
Saturday’s Far Out Fest will benefit several charities: the Doug Coombs Foundation, the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center and Friends of Pathways.
Partnering with the Doug Coombs Foundation, this year’s main beneficiary, is an intimate tie-in for the Jones brothers.
The foundation is run by Emily Coombs and named in honor of her late husband, a skiing legend. The nonprofit’s mission is to give underprivileged kids access and experience the mountains.
Coombs was Teton Gravity Research’s first high-profile athlete, even owning the closing segment in the Joneses’ first film, “The Continuum,” in 1996. The brothers met him while guiding for him in Alaska.
“When we did our first film, after we were done guiding Doug would let us take the heli out with the athlete and go film in the evening,” Steve Jones said.
Twenty-three years later the Jones brothers are still filming athletes doing incredible things in hard-to-reach places.
“Far Out” paired the idea of far-out places with far-out ideas. The story line is centered around the team’s “mega journey” into the deep mountains in Albania.
Heard much about skiing in Albania? We’re guessing no. And, well, that’s because there isn’t much.
“There’s very little information on backcountry skiing there,” Jones said.
The Teton Gravity Research crew has heard rumors about the wild mountains of Albania for years.
“We kept on hearing it’s like Alaska,” he said.
For three years the team’s dreams of getting to Albania kept getting shut down. This year all the pieces fell into place.
The relatively unexplored mountains presented a new frontier for the crew, plus a never-before-seen location for viewers.
Conveniently, the country’s maritime snowpack allowed the athletes to ride really steep terrain in less-than-normal avalanche danger, so get ready for some especially rowdy segments.
TGR’s worldwide set also included the Crazy Mountains in Montana; Crested Butte, Colorado; Girdwood and the Hidden Mountains of Alaska; the Julian Alps of Slovenia; Kamchatka, Russia; British Columbia; and of course, Jackson Hole.
Kai Jones debuts
The Jackson segment of “Far Out” is shown through the eyes of Todd Jones’ son, Kai, who at the ripe age of 12 is making his Teton Gravity Research debut.
Kai is not your average middle schooler. Already a legend in the making in the ski world, the young shredder has made a habit of taking home golds in freeride competitions throughout the West. Follow him on Instagram at @kaijonesski and you’ll see why.
“It’s a trip because we’re 23 years in and here’s my son, who wasn’t even an idea when we started TGR, and now he’s in a film with his uncle Jeremy, our brother, who was in our very first film,” Todd Jones said.
Kai, who was 11 during the shooting season, followed veteran TGR athlete Tim Durtschi around the backcountry of Jackson.
“Seeing this 11-year-old open up to the ideas and possibility of Jackson Hole, and seeing how far out the whole idea of the backcountry and the Tetons are through the freshness of his eyes, is how the ‘Far Out’ theme really carries through in that segment,” Kai’s Uncle Steve said.
“He’s hitting these big lines and doing these pretty far out stuff for an 11-year-old,” his proud dad said.
The other athletes in this year’s film include Angel Collinson, Cam Riley, Clayton Vila, Colter Hinchliffe, Dane Tudor, Elyse Saugstad, Fabian Lentsch, Griffin Post, Hadley Hammer, Ian McIntosh, Jeremy Jones, Johnny Collinson, Mark Carter, Nick McNutt, Parkin Costain, Robin Van Gyn, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Sam Smoothy and Sean Jordan.
Many of them will be hanging around Teton Village for Far Out Fest. Catch them and the rest of the madness Saturday.
Here we go, winter! ￼