The Frank Church Experience

The Frank Church Experience


What the hell is Frank Church? A place so wild, so remote, so unforgiving, so uninhabited; that is the attraction.

In the Spring of 2021, Weston Guide Sam Thackeray, Brian Peters, and Jess Asmussen, set off to traverse the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Covering a large part of Central Idaho, the Frank Church totals 2.3 Million Acres. As the largest wilderness area in the lower 48, the Frank Church is the definition of remote, and it’s becoming more so. The trio’s plan is to snowboard and ski from East to West across the expanse of the wilderness and experience a place few have ever had the opportunity to see in this way. Over 16 days, the crew covers 130 miles and 67,000 vert, finding some amazing descents, maddening travel conditions, and a lot of time to reflect.

"The Frank Church Wilderness is located in Central Idaho. It’s 2.3 Million acres and is the largest wilderness in the lower 48. It’s very rugged and wild. Outside of the Salmon River and a few main trails used for hunting it sees almost no visitation.

We splitboarded, skied, and walked across the expanse of the wilderness. The trip took us 16 days in which we covered 130 miles and 67,000 vert. We had a resupply via airplane on day 9. There is very little information about riding in the Frank Church, but most likely we are the first to complete this route. A few other groups have done traverses, but via different routes. We also likely made 7-10 first descents.

However, we chose not to highlight these statistics in the film because we felt they don’t really do the trip or the place justice. For us it was a much deeper experience of overcoming challenges and the unknown. An opportunity to grow individually and as friends and ski partners. To really appreciate what we have and just the intrinsic value of the place. And to be fully immersed in one of the last and most remote places in the country, which is highly unforgiving and presents obstacles at every turn." - Sam Thackeray, Weston Guide Ambassador. 


Follow @samuelthackeray for more pow slayin' greatness! 

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