BACKCOUNTRY ZERO AMBASSADORS are committed to being agents of positive change for our community.
Our ambassadors are outstanding athletes and amazing human beings who share the same philosophy, core values and dedication we do to the goals and mission of Backcountry Zero. They have a passion for our community, backcountry adventure and a demonstrated commitment to safety, training and user ethics.
Our ambassadors work to increase awareness of our mission, to create relevant and engaging content for our followers, to increase participation at events and programs, and most importantly to improve community dialogue about backcountry risk and safety.
RYAN BURKE is a Jackson Hole endurance mountaineer who was lucky enough to gain a mentor in valley local, Jarad Spackman. In honor of his mentor who died in an avalanche in 2013, Burke would like to continue the tradition of passing along knowledge to the next generation as a backcountry zero ambassador. Burke sees the BC zero program as a innovative way to spark discussion about the root causes of accidents in the mountains in order to prevent further tragedies in the future. Working with the BC zero team, Burke is currently developing a risk composure seminar that connects mountain novices with veteran alpinist. The program is called The Mind-Strength Project and is an effort to provide a safe venue for mountain athletes to practice survival coping strategies under stressful mental and physical conditions in order to prepare them for wilderness settings.
CADE PALMER has been an air sports athlete for ten years and a Jackson Hole resident for six. He is among the top aerobatic paragliding pilots in the country and is a speed wing test pilot for a leading glider manufacturer. He skydives, flies small planes and is happy doing anything in the sky. Throughout his career he has strived to keep safety and risk management a priority.
ANDREW WHITEFORD joins the Backcountry Zero Ambassador team as a mountain biker and skier that enjoys sharing his experiences through his “POV". He represents a number of companies as an athlete, and as he nears his first decade calling Jackson his home, he finds inspiration in our community of athletes and our incredible surroundings. Andrew is excited to help Backcountry Zero share it’s message, while continuing to grow his own skill set to push on with new adventures.
JENNY WOLFROM discovered her love of mountains and spending time outside while growing up in rural Maine. Her passion for adventure has brought her all over the world, and 5 years ago landed her in Jackson by way of Kodiak, Alaska. Director of Development and Communications for the Land Trust by day and endurance mountain bike racer by night, Jenny loves the Jackson landscape and community and all it has to offer adventure-seekers from all walks of life.
CRISTA VALENTINO had never camped, hiked, climbed, ridden a mountain bike, or been above 2,000 ft. before moving to Jackson 7 years ago. Now an avid all around adventure athlete, and fueled by a love of backcountry burritos and ice cream, Crista finds every opportunity to push her limits in the mountains and her mind. Her affinity for nature, exploration and new connections has brought her around the world and inspired her to co-found and lead an international initiative galvanizing young change-makers to create a better future for the planet. While adventure is key, her experiences have taught her the fragility of humans in wild places and the value of listening to her gut in order to stay smart and safe in the mountains. You can learn more about Crista in our Q&A with her HERE.
CRYSTAL WRIGHT was born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming. She is a 2 time Freeskiing World Champion and Jackson Hole Ski Club alumni. She co-founded the Jackson Hole Babe Force, an organization that educates local women and gets them out skiing in the valley. The Jackson Hole Babe Force plans to partner with Backcountry Zero to educate the local community on safe travel and survival in the backcountry. Crystal is also the owner and head trainer at Wright Training. Crystal is stoked to be an ambassador and represent safety in the backcountry and help people know before they go and choose the right partners.
BRENDAN BURNS began his guiding career in 2001 as a mountaineering instructor with NOLS. Since then, he has worked and honed his skills in the mountains as a climbing guide, snowboard guide and instructor. Through his work with NOLS and Exum, Brendan was introduced to and has adopted into his practice the “American” style of guiding which focuses on education through guiding. Conservative decision making has always been a top priority with Brendan while working and playing in the mountains. Working as an Exum Mountain Guide and a Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Alpine Guide, Brendan’s goal is to continually expand his personal skill set and he is psyched to share this knowledge with others.
DAN ADAMS grew up snowboarding and became a pro in his early 20's. He started snowmobiling to access the backcountry and it became his winter sport of choice once he became as comfortable riding a sled as a snowboard. Dan started snowmobiling in 1996 and 2016 marked his 9th year riding for Polaris Industries and his 8th season at Next Level Riding Clinics. Snowmobile enthusiasts from all over the world travel to NXT LVL to learn from Dan and his crew of instructors. They emphasize not only how much fun you can have on a snowmobile but also the dangers you sometimes face and how to be prepared. Dan’s advice to snowmobilers is to always leave the trailhead prepared and remember this; "Ride safe, ride smart, ride often and ride to ride another day". Check out a video of Dan HERE.