Teton Backcountry

Location: Jackson Hole & Teton Range, WY

Dates: July 2020

Dates Coming Soon! 

Deposit: $1,200 / Tuition: $3,995

A Backcountry Expedition and Storytelling Workshop With Acclaimed Photographer and Filmmaker Jenny Nichols

 

            Imagine waking up inside your tent, the campfire is crackling nearby, hot coffee is boiling over the flames, and horses winnie in the alpine meadow. We hike under the stars to the top of the Teton Crest and begin photographing as the sun rises over Jackson Hole and the mountains around us turn a vibrant orange. After a while we wander back to camp for hot breakfast before photographing fly-fishing in a nearby lake and spending the day capturing expedition imagery throughout the high-altitudes of the Teton Range. The evening will be free to lounge in the camp hammock, explore the beautiful alpine terrain around camp, or shoot the cowboys working with the horses. After a catered dinner, well spend a few hours relaxing by the campfire followed by a quick star photography session before we bed down for the night.

            The Teton Backcountry workshop will be unlike anything we have offered. Using horses and cowboys, we will travel deep into the wilderness of Wyoming’s Teton Range to experience its stunning alpine landscape. The Tetons are one of North America’s most majestic mountain ranges, and while photographing them from the valley floor is always stunning, getting to spend time amongst the towering peaks is truly unforgettable.

This workshop will primarily focus on storytelling, conservation, and expedition photography. However, as moose, bears, foxes, and wolves frequent the area, there will be plenty of opportunities to photograph wildlife. Students will work with faculty to learn the aspects of developing a story, shooting a series of images that have a strong impact, and completing a mock assignment on the trip. There will be so many opportunities for photography on this workshop that what we ultimately shoot will depend on what we encounter, and what we decide as a group. Light painting, star trails, sunrise/sunset, fly fishing, cowboy lifestyle, trail running, and landscapes are all possible.

            Summit Backcountry will be run as a luxury pack-trip with Linn Brothers Outfitting who are permitted to operate in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. All of our equipment, tents, and food, will be transported to a base camp at 10,000 feet in Alaska Basin near the Teton Crest Trail and our camp cook will prepare hot meals everyday on the campfire. You won’t find any freeze-dried food on this trip, instead, think eggs benedict, poached salmon, thai curry, and cold beer at the end of the day. As a group we will hike in to the camp and spend each day exploring and photographing the passes, lakes, glaciers, and peaks of the high Tetons.

 

Please email matt@thesummitworkshops.com to register.

What To Know

Fly in and out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We strongly recommend you arrive an extra day early (July 26th) to give yourself a full day to adjust to the altitude. We will have some hotel rooms available at additional cost. Let us know as soon as possible if you would like to reserve one.

Plan to hike on this workshop, at most 8-10 miles in a day (although many days will be much shorter). Because horses will be carrying our overnight gear, we will not have to carry any heavy packs.

Most of this workshop will be spent above 10,000 feet in elevation. You don’t need prior camping experience, but should be comfortable hiking each day.

While we encourage participating in all the workshop activities and hikes, everything is optional and there will be opportunities to have a rest day or explore the area on your own. 

Each day will be spent photographing sunrise and/or sunset, hiking to a different destination, and shooting lifestyle around camp.

The Tetons can get chilly, even in the summer. Plan for cold mornings (30 degrees) and hot afternoons (80 degrees)

Prepare to be spoiled. Camping on a horse-supported pack trip is luxurious with great food, prepared lunches, and solar showers.

You do not need to own your own camping gear for this workshop. Items can be rented in Jackson or from the outfitters. 

Spouse and companion discounts are available for this workshop! These discounts are for non-photographers who want to share in this amazing experience with you. Please contact us for more information. 

Topics We Will Cover

Conservation

Photography

Nature

Photography

Storytelling

Expedition

Photography

2019 WORKSHOP INSTRUCTORS

Jenny Nichols

Jenny Nichols

Workshop Faculty

As an award winning conservation filmmaker, Jenny Nichols harnesses the power of visual media to tell stories. Jenny works to create films that will act as tipping points in conservation campaigns and thrives on multidisciplinary projects. She collaborates with a dedicated community of photojournalists, filmmakers, writers, illustrators, scientists and conservation organizations and helps to create media that can be propelled to audiences through many media platforms. Jenny's films have been screened at Banff Mountain Film Festival, Hot Docs, Telluride Mountainfilm, DC Environmental Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, National Geographic Short Film Showcase, Crested Butte Film Festival, Port Townsend Film Festival and many more. Jenny has worked with Wildlife Conservation Network, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Sea Legacy, World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic, New York Magazine, SONY, The Wild Foundation, The International League of Conservation Photographers, Conservation International, Cristina Mittermeier Photography, Paul Nicklen Photography, Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Magazine among many others.

Matt Stirn

Program Manager

Matt is the Program Manager at Summit Workshops, a photographer and archaeologist from Jackson, Wyoming. The majority of his work focuses on travel, nature, and cultural and environmental conservation. He is a National Fellow for the Explorer's Club and has worked as a senior photographer and on assignment for archaeological and conservation projects on four continents. Matt's work has been published in National Geographic Adventure, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Wild Planet Photo Magazine, Archaeology Magazine, and Photographers Without Borders Magazine. When not on assignment or digging in an excavation, Matt can be found sampling strange food or sipping artisanal beverages while planning the next grand adventure.

Workshop Information & Itinerary

Workshop Highlights:

A week-long catered pack trip in the Teton Mountains

Small group experience (6 students / 2 faculty)

Hike up the stunning Teton Canyon to our base camp

Unbelievable scenery and no crowds

See the Tetons from a new perspective each day

Photograph Sunset amongst the glacial lakes of Alaska Basin

Photograph the Tetons from the striking West side

Perfect the craft of expedition photography and storytelling

 

Topics We Will Cover:

Storytelling:

Finding a story

Finding characters

Knowing your audience and outlet

Importance of bearing witness and encouraging responsibility in storytelling

Conservation Photography 

Expedition Photography:

Capturing a story as it unfolds

Working with brands and sponsors

Techniques and solutions for working and editing in a remote, backcountry setting

 

Costs Included In Tuition:

 Outfitter fees, all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, camping permits, tips

 

Not Included:

Flights

Jackson Hole Hotels on Day 1 and Day 8

Please email matt@thesummitworkshops.com to register.

Workshop Itinerary

2019 Sample Itinerary

July 27

Arrive in Jackson Hole. Pick up any rented equipment, group dinner in Jackson.

 July 28

You will be picked up early from your hotel and as a group we will drive over Teton Pass to Victor, Idaho where we will meet the horses and outfitters. After passing our gear to the outfitters and photographing the packing, we will hike 5-6 hours up Teton Canyon to our basecamp in Alaska Basin. Our first evening will be spent setting up camp, exploring, or relaxing by the fire.

 July 29 – August 2

Each day in the Tetons will be different. We may rise before the sun to photograph the sunrise over the great plains of Idaho, spend the day shooting and hiking to far above the trees, photographing the cowboys and their horses, or shooting the amazing night sky. While we will always focus on wildlife, lifestyle, conservation, and spectacular landscapes, our day-to-day itinerary will be flexible and decided by the group’s interests.

August 3

We will wake up early, help break down camp, and hit the trail so we can meet the outfitters back at our car. We will drive back to Jackson and meet up for a final dinner after some hot showers.

August 4

Depart Jackson