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Jeff Steele

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Hometown?

Santa Clarita, CA

How did you get into Snowboarding?

I’ve always loved to climb mountains. As a kid, I grew up hiking, backpacking, and peak-bagging with my dad in the Sierras in California. And I’ve been snowboarding for about 20 years. About 9 years ago, I went to the Pear Lake Ski hut in California on snowshoes. We met these guys who had splitboards, and we immediately realized how much easier backcountry snowboarding would be if we procured some splitys. My friends and I made our first splitboards ourselves and the rest is history! Since I already loved to climb mountains, it was a natural transition to combine both my passions and snowboard down the mountains that I climbed.

What is your favorite shred spot?

Summer descents of Cascade Volcanoes; Chile is pretty rad too.

Backcountry, Park, or Street?

Backcountry. All day, every day.

If you could have dinner with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

1. If God counts as a person, and I certainly think he does, then I’d like to have dinner with him sometime—preferably after living a long and fulfilling life!
2. Saint Augustine: because his writings pierce my soul.
3. Thomas Aquinas: smartest dude(monk) who ever lived.

What are your goals for this season?

Spiltboard the Trans-Sierra High Route (50 miles, 6 days)

Who is your favorite pro athlete and why?

Jeremy Jones. He manages risk well, and balances his family life with his career.

What are 3 things you like to do outside of Snowboarding?

Read and write about medieval moral philosophy, smoke high end cigars, and spend time with my wife at our family cabin in the Sierras.

Who are the top 3 bands/artists you're into right now?

1. Bad Religion
2. Strung Out
3. Good Riddance

What sets you apart?

I snowboard year round - literally 12 months of the year. My streak right now is 27 months straight. In the summer it gets hard, but it's so much fun to earn your turns when everyone else is sitting at home waiting for winter.

Oh and I have a Ph.D.

What advice would you give kids that want to make in your sport?

Stoke is fleeting. And it will get you killed. If we want our backcountry experience to be more than a fleeting stoke, we’ve got be the type of partners that over time exemplify human virtues such as courage, prudence, wisdom, generosity, humility, and patience. In the end, embodying these virtues will make our time in the backcountry more than simply a collection of fleeing moments of stoke, but will lead to a life well-lived. If our ultimate end is to “be stoked,” then we run the risk of either getting ourselves killed, or falling prey to the hedonist paradox: the more pleasure we seek, the less we find. Instead, focus on being a good partner, mitigating risk, and living a long and healthy career as a backcountry rider. And guess what? You’ll find an abiding satisfaction that won’t fall prey to the whims of conditions, your ageing body, or what others think about you.

Other sponsors / supporters?

OZ Snowboards, Snocru, and The North Face (TNF Local brand ambassador)

 

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