The Otter Kind: The Story of First Female Descent of Burly Grand Teton Line

In May, Kim Havell became the first woman to ski the beautiful, obvious, sometimes sketchy line on the east face of Wyoming’s Grand Teton, known as the Otter Body. In mostly flawless conditions, Havell, Brian Warren, and Pete Gaston carved sheets of corn in the early morning light — a straightforward, uncomplicated descent made possible by watching all season and waiting with patience for the right conditions.

This video, exclusive to AJ, tells the story of Havell’s accomplishment, with a fair bit of do-not-fall POV skiing, and also features Mark Newcomb recounting his first descent, with Doug Coombs in 1996. Not surprising to anyone who knew Coombs, the idea was hatched when he and Newcomb were skiing on nearby Buck, the clouds parted, and they got a quick glimpse of the Otter Body. “THAT’S the line,” said Doug, pointing excitedly. Indeed, it was, and is — committing, radical, and, 17 years later, skied beautifully by a woman.

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{ 2 comments…read them below or write one }

  • D

    I have been searching for the otterbody video of Doug and Mark shown at the Banff film festival and I have no idea where I can find it. The Snaz is no more. Someone needs to have it, that should not be lost.

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