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    Bryan Iguchi

    By Britney Magleby
    Bryan Iguchi artist sits in front of painting in Jackson Hole Bryan Iguchi artist sits in front of painting in Jackson Hole

    Perhaps the greatest appeal of the Tetons, and of the mountains in general, is the person you become when you're surrounded by their greatness.

    In the slopes and crevices of the Tetons, Bryan Iguchi became a world-renowned snowboarding legend. In the Valley below, he became an inspired artist, writer, and designer. In Jackson Hole, Iguchi built a life, a family, a career, and the truest version of himself.

    Bryan was called to the Tetons by their "wild and raw" spirit, as if the two entities sensed soemthing mutually beneficial in each other. It's a feeling that those who choose unconventional lives in the mountains know well. The inspiration that comes, at last, to create and build and explore. As though that which we're capable of is multiplied when mountains are added into the equation.

    It all started with a High School ski trip…

    When asked what first brought him to the area, Bryan Iguchi responded like so many residents of Teton County – “the mountains”. His Jackson origin story, like many others, started with a short trip that would ultimately change the trajectory of his life.

    Growing up as a skater and surfer in California, snowboarding captivated Bryan instantly. “It just blew my mind and my imagination went wild. I didn’t know you could ride boards in the mountains,” Bryan explains. “There was so much unlimited potential of the mountains… connecting to nature, being able to explore places, find solitutde and peace. It’s kind of an unlimited canvas for expression.”

    The journey of a professional snowboarder

    The Teton Mountain Range and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort attracts professional athletes from all over the world, but Bryan was one of the pioneers of pro snowboarding in Jackson Hole. He explains that when he started getting into snowboarding, at age 15, he was largely focused on park riding. “It was the same time that they started building snowboard parks,” Bryan reminisces. “I was on the first, original Park crew… then snowboarding just took off during those years and so did building park.”

    Quickly his attention turned to something deeper he found in snowboarding. “I felt [being in] the mountains was such a powerful experience… being able to follow storms and ride in this environment… just the beauty of it, the solitude, the small community of like minded people.” Like so many that find a sense of home in the mountains, snowboarding brought Bryan a connection to the people and the place that make up Jackson Hole.

    After years competing, Bryan realized he needed to make a shift and prioritize his own passion, creativity, and joy. “I felt like it compromised my creativity and took away of the fun of it. So I made a conscious decision to pull back on the competition and move to Jackson to grow as a rider in a different way.”

    Becoming an artist

    In many ways, Bryan Iguchi was an artist long before he professionally painted any canvas. The way he rode a line or built a park feature was artistic expression and even the way he viewed the world, in rich colors and textures, made Bryan an artist. But it wasn’t until he started painting, in down time between adventures in the mountains, that he was able to share this beauty with others in physical form.

    “I was having these profound experiences being in mountains… and then a storm would come in and it’d be locked down and it’d be gray and dark for days,” Bryan explains. “So then I’d have all this time on my hands. And that’s when I got inspired to paint.”

    “So I take the most vivid colors and paint these pictures that brought this kind of energy into these dark days of winter, these down days.”

    Bryan Iguchi artist sits in front of painting in Jackson Hole

    Calling Jackson Hole home

    “There’s no shortage of inspiration,” Bryan Iguchi says of his home, Jackson Hole. It’s difficult to behold the Tetons and not speak of them with awe. I wonder, however, if someone like Bryan was always destined for the mountains. When he found the Tetons, it was just like coming home.

    “After four years of traveling and competing, I wanted to settle down and there was nothing that had made an impression on me like the Jackson Mountain Resort and the town of Jackson and the surrounding area of Wyoming.”

    “I just found myself getting lost in the mountains, looking at them, thinking about them. It becomes this obsession, I suppose… you look deeper into it the more time you spend.”

    We’re all stewards of the land

    A relationship with the mountains is just that: a relationship. There’s give and there’s take. If you protect our precious ecosystem, it will give the greatest gifts imagineable in return. Thus, Bryan invites everyone to take part in the incredible relationship.

    “Stewardship is central, it becomes everyone’s responsibility,” Iguchi explains. “You become a part of it and it becomes a part of you – the land, the people. We’re all connected. It’s all our community.”

    Bryan Iguchi snowboards in Jackson Hole Wyoming Bryan Iguchi stands by his snowboards and painting in Jackson Hole

    What do you hope for others exploring Jackson?

    “I hope that people who visit Jackson Hole leave with inspiration,” says Bryan. As he speaks the words, his own inspiration rings and a smile graces his face. “[I hope] they find passion and enjoyment and understand how special this place is.”

    The Mountain of Youth

    When the Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board created a campaign called “The Mountain of Youth”, it was never just about Jackson Hole or the Teton Region. It was about the transformational experience that takes place in these mountains. The campaign captures a sense, a feeling, a spirit.

    To capture that spirit in images, videos, and words, we found locals who live big, beautiful, bold lives in these mountains. Bryan Iguchi, at 50-years-wild, encapsulates what it means to exist among the Mountain of Youth. He elegantly describes the feeling through the experience of riding the mountain. “When I’m riding, I feel like a kid. I’m having fun and laughing and giggling. It’s so ridiculous how much fun you’re having. The joy that it brings is incredible.”

    The Mountian of Youth is for everyone. It’s for visitors exploring for a day and locals exploring for a lifetime. It’s for those who are 92-years-wild and and those who are 12-years wild. It’s for anyone who has ever sought purpose, direction, or inpiration on these slopes or in this Valley. It’s for anyone who’s looked upon the Tetons and thought “I am home.”

    #VisitJacksonHole