Stephen Koch fired as guide from Exum

Stephen Koch was fired from his 15 year guide gig at Exum this week for using a snowmobile to cut 12 miles of approach skiing from his tour for his day’s target, the Skillet Glacier on Mount Moran (article).  The story is compelling for a few reasons:

  1. Snowmobiles are LEGAL in the Grand Teton NP for use by ice fisherman.
  2. It’s Stephen Koch.  Not many people have snowboarded Everest.
  3. He took responsibility for his action.  Doesn’t he know that personal responsibility went out of vogue in the 80s?

“In this instance, I failed to resist the temptation to snowmobile with friends over the lake to ease the approach on a one-day ascent and descent of this magnificent mountain.  For my selfishness, I must apologize first to the National Park Service, to my family and also to my friends, my clients and former associates at Exum Mountain Guides, my coworkers at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, my colleagues at Art Hazen Real Estate, to the Grand Teton Climbing Rangers, and to the climbing, skiing, and snowboarding communities in general.

As a mountain guide, and a longtime member of the Jackson community, I know well that observance of the regulations governing the use of public lands is important to preserve the qualities that make Jackson Hole so extraordinary…”

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