Mountain Story 2017

Epic adventures from the Grand Canyon to the Tetons

JAN 22-25

Teton County Library

Leah, 307-733-2164 x229

All events are free (non-ticketed) and open to the public, thanks to your donations, large and small, to the Teton County Library Foundation. Photo by Pete McBride (see below for details about his Photography Workshop: Chasing Light).

Thank you to Nancy and Hans Johnstone of the Alpine House for generously providing lodging for Mountain Story presenters.

Matt Hansen: Branding and Social Media: Cool Story, or just Good Marketing?

SUN JAN 22, 7 PM
Pink Garter Theater

As digital media continues to influence our world, everyone from print titles, gear manufacturers, and professional athletes seek to capture audiences in an ever segmented and competitive space. In the digital era, editors partner with advertisers, athletes become their own editors, and readers are left wondering if what they’re seeing is authentic—or just slick marketing. In this multi-media presentation, we’ll dissect the pros and cons of the digital age as it relates to outdoor adventure.

Molly Loomis: Writing Workshop: Finding the Story Within the Story

MON JAN 23, 3-5 PM
Ordway Auditorium
Personal narratives about the great outdoors dominate mountain literature. But what makes one adventure worthy of a reader’s time while another would have been best saved for the family holiday letter? Learn the difference between creating a memorable essay about a tent-bound expedition and the forgettable tale of a first ascent. Find venues for publishing mountain stories. Writers and mountain travelers of all skill levels welcome.

Cabin Fever Story Slam: Lost and Found

MON JAN 23, 7 PM
The Rose
Tell a true story, inspired by our theme “Lost and Found” without notes, in less than five minutes and win two FRONT-ROW seats to MOTH MAINSTAGE at the Center. Tell us about that time you got lost in the woods, or lost your wallet or your mind.  Or perhaps you found a stray animal, or love letter in the pocket of a thrift store coat, or a diary on the bus… Get more details and storytelling tips at

Kevin Fedarko: The Making of the Emerald Mile

TUES JAN 24, 3-5 PM
Ordway Auditorium
When Kevin Fedarko started writing his award-winning book, The Emerald Mile, a renowned editor let him in on a secret: one of the most important tasks you will confront as an author is listening to what your book is trying to tell you about how it wants to be written. Fedarko wondered WTF? Through a slideshow of his journey, learn how he abandoned preconceived notions of good guys and bad guys, and how to write a book, and let the story evolve on its own.  For writers and fans of the “Emerald Mile.”

Keynote: Kevin Fedarko and Pete McBride: The Grandest Journey

Pink Garter Theater
Spurred by his experience writing “The Emerald Mile,” Kevin Fedarko teamed up with National Geographic photographer Pete McBride for an epic, illuminating, blister-inducing odyssey of nearly 750 miles through the heart of the Grand Canyon. Through McBrides’ gorgeous photos and video, these two storytellers tell a tale of adventure and defiance complicated by politics and environmentalism, as they relate to the challenges facing the Grand Canyon and our entire national park system.

Pete McBride: Photography Workshop: Chasing Light

WED JAN 25, 3-5 PM
Ordway Auditorium
This photography workshop will explore chasing light, patience and creating a visual story in the most remote corners of our wild lands – from the Grand Canyon to Everest, from Africa to Antarctica. For photographers of all skill levels.

Backcountry Rescue: Made for TV

WED JAN 25, 7 PM
Pink Garter Theater
Veteran Jackson filmmakers Dirk Collins and Arden Oksanen give a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to tell the story of a dedicated squad of volunteers for Teton County Search and Rescue. See clips from their new TV series of real rescues in Jackson Hole. Watch what it takes for volunteers to rescue people who get into trouble in the backcountry and learn how to stay out of trouble. 

Mountain Story: Manuscript Critiques with Molly Loomis

Get personal, professional feedback on your nonfiction manuscript, including a one-on-one 45-minute meeting with author Molly Loomis. Spaces limited. First come, first served. Submit a nonfiction manuscript of up to 3,000 words. To reserve a spot, email:

Presenter Bios

Dirk Collins

A veteran filmmaker and entrepreneur, he co-founded Teton Gravity Research, a pioneer and ongoing force in action sports filmmaking. After 23 films and more than 70 television episodes, he started OneEyedBird Marketing & Entertainment in 2008. Collins has a passion for storytelling, especially when it involves adventure – no matter the athletic challenge, remote location or harsh environment.

Kevin Fedarko

Author of the bestseller, “The Emerald Mile,” which features a complex interweaving of adventure, the history of American exploration, and the art of rowing extreme whitewater deep inside the Grand Canyon – all cast against the backdrop of a record-setting speed run in a small wooden dory during the largest flood to sweep the Colorado River in generations. Fedarko’s freelance work has appeared in Outside, Esquire, The New York Times and other publications.

Matt Hansen

Editor-at-large for Powder Magazine, his story “The End Game: The delicate balance of risk versus reward, relevancy, and staying alive in the digital age,” was nominated for Best Feature by the Western Press Association. Originally from Salt Lake City, Hansen started out as a reporter for the Jackson Hole Guide before becoming an editor with Paddler Magazine. He contributes for The Drake magazine, and skis and fishes across the globe. He lives in Jackson with his wife and their 3-year-old mini Aussie.

Molly Loomis

Writing from her home in the Greater Yellowstone, her work has appeared in over 50 publications, including Outside, Backpacker, Powder, The Wall Street Journal and National Geographic. Co-author of the popular “Climbing: Self Rescue,” she is a Regional Editor for the American Alpine Club’s “Accidents in North American Climbing.” She has worked as a mountain guide in China, Central Asia, Antarctica, Alaska and most recently Myanmar. She is writing a book about medicine in the Himalaya. Follow @LoomisInk

Pete McBride

Nicknamed the “Lorax of Rivers,” he is a self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer and public speaker, and has traveled on assignment to over 75 countries for the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian, Outside, Esquire, Microsoft, The Nature Conservancy and many more, documenting remote expeditions from Everest to Antarctica. When not on assignment or grumbling about his blisters, you can find him exploring the Rocky Mountains, practicing mandolin on his back porch in Colorado, or dancing.

Arden Oksanen

Born and raised in Jackson, he has filmed from the deck of a Volvo 70 sailboat racing across the ocean to a remote river in Madagascar to snow covered peaks in Kashmir. He has been producing, directing, shooting and editing for over 18 years. His work has been seen on National Geographic Channel, NBC and Showtime to name a few. Follow Arden’s new project at