John started Vertical Change when he first set out to set the Guinness World Record® for the most vertical feet snowboarded in a given year – leveraging this challenge to bring awareness to fundraising for the charities Conservation International® and Protect Our Winters®
Vertical Change is documenting John’s travels across the globe to share the stories of the people and places he encounters – snowboarding in places such as Iran, Alaska, Lebanon, Wyoming, Germany, France, Macedonia and many more.
After years of snowboarding in Jackson Hole where the vertical drop is 4,139 feet and greater than any other ski resort in the United States, I started asking myself, “If I snowboarded every day throughout the winter, how many vertical feet could I go?” Then I thought, what is the most anyone has ever skied or snowboarded in one year? With a quick Google search I learned that back in 1994 a British journalist named Arnie Wilson and his girlfriend Lucy Dicker skied a whopping 4,146,890 vertical feet that year. When I looked up the comparable accomplishment for snowboarding, it appeared that currently no record exists and my curiosity grew…
A few weeks later in September 2013 over lunch with a friend I shared with him these thoughts about my potential ambition to set this record. A seasoned traveller himself, and one who had once organized and led the first expedition to circumnavigate Siberia’s Lake Baikal, looked at me encouragingly and said, “You’ll regret it your whole life if you pass up the opportunity to do something no one’s ever done before.”
And so I endeavored to match or beat the record that Arnie and Lucy set on skis, along the way setting a new record for the most vertical feet snowboarded in one year, which the Guinness Book of World Records stated must exceed 1,640,417 vertical feet. I began in Jackson Hole, Wyoming then traveled to Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America, Alaska and Vermont where I first learned to snowboard then finish the mission right where I started back in Jackson Hole.
Help tell the Vertical Change story, play your own role in environmental conservation or donate to the non-profit organizations that Vertical Change supports.Learn More
© 2022 - Vertical Change - All Rights Reserved