Men and women who commit their lives to the mountains are a unique breed of human. They stand apart from the rest, combining prodigious talent with countless hours of dedication to safely take others into the mountains. They inspire, inform, and impart the passion in lives that they touch. "Guide Life" is a series dedicated to sharing the stories of these special few.
Last winter a crew of TGR athletes that included Sam Smoothy, Angel Collinson, and Johnny Collinson headed to Alaska in the middle of January. The goal? To ski elusive south-facing lines in the weak winter sun. January in Alaska is a harsh time of the year, marked by short cold days. On average you may only have a fleeting five hours of sunlight which makes filming a ski segment especially difficult. In order to succeed we needed the help of someone intimate with the area and knowledgable in the mountains. We found that and more in Jeff Hoke.
Jeff Hoke is a world-class snowboarder, heli ski-guide, and elite firefighter - a true Alaskan Renaissance Man. He transplanted to Alaska when he was young, quickly becoming enamored with the high white peaks that surround Anchorage. He was drawn to the mountains, hoping to pursue snowboarding professionally, when an injury made him consider a career as a firefighter. In that work, he found a purpose and a skill that he continues today, working to handle the direst emergencies in Anchorage.
In the winters he can be found guiding for Chugach Powder Guides all while balancing his career as a firefighter. Jeff effortlessly bounces between these two environments. He was an essential cog to our success filming last year and shared his quiet wisdom with the entire team during our time in Girdwood. This inaugural episode of Guide Life explores the essence of Jeff's life and how he handles the challenges of the firehouse and the mountains.