By Jonathon Sharp


Professional big-mountain skier Griffin Post hails from the Midwest. He spent his early boyhood years in Chicago and learned to ski at Wilmot Mountain, just across the state border in Wisconsin.

While he now lives at the foot of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, he was back in the prairie this week, traveling with a new ski film that features him and other pros exploring and shredding in some of America’s most iconic national parks.

“The national parks, in the winter, I kind of compare it to Disneyland with no one being there,” he said in an interview this week. “It’s crazy.”

The film he’s touring with is called “Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks,” a work presented by the retailer REI, KGB Productions and Powder Magazine.

It plays Thursday at the St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, and Post will be in attendance.

As a ski film, “Monumental” is a different beast. It’s less a collection of action shots – although there’s plenty of impressive sequences – and more of a PSA that many of the nation’s most beloved parks are great for skiers.

After all, this year is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and the film honors both the history of the parks and skiers who first shredded iconic mountain majesties.

The national parks highlighted in the film are Yosemite, Grand Teton, Glacier and Olympic. Post is featured in the segments on Grand Teton and Glacier.

However, he said he wishes he’d been on the Olympic trip to northwest Oregon.

“I mean, there’s a crazy 18 mile approach through the rainforest and then you ski these glaciers and you can see the ocean from the top peak,” Post said. “It just looks like a wild experience…I was really bummed that I missed it.”

Post says that you don’t need to be a pro-level skier to appreciate the national parks in winter. You just need to be ready for a bit more adventure than going out of bounds at the resort.

“Generally, [skiing the national parks] takes a little more motivation than the typical jaunt through the backcountry,” Post said.

For those not interested in skiing slopes, there are milder options, too.

“There’s also scaled activities, like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing,” Post said, “these low-impact, less extreme ways to visit the parks in the winter.”

 

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Jonathon Sharp

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