FACTION X COOMBS OUTDOORS

By Becky Robertson. 14th July 2020.

Coombs Outdoors Kids Chairlift

The Faction Collective is incredibly excited to partner with Coombs Outdoors, the Jackson, Wyoming-based non-profit that is committed to empowering children and youth to reach their full potential through the life-changing power of the outdoors.

Access to ski slopes and mountains, as well as sporting goods equipment, are luxuries that countless individuals and families simply cannot afford. The Faction Collective is honored to support Coombs Outdoors in its mission to empower kids through skiing and the outdoors, irrespective of socio-economic, racial or cultural barriers.

COOMBS OUTDOORS

Jackson, Wyoming is known for its natural beauty and world-class skiing. It’s a hot spot for wealthy travelers, and as of 2015, the ski town sat in the county with the highest average income in the United States; in that year, Teton County residents boasted a median household income of $72,000. In the same county, immigrant households reported $26,000 in earnings, underlining the stark inequity that is often seen in mountain-town communities around the world — between the so-called “haves” and the “have nots.” Lower-income families simply do not have the same access to recreational opportunities as their neighbors, and Coombs Outdoors exists to try and flip the scales.

Coombs Kids Magic Carpet©Orijin Media

In an effort to create a healthy community where all children thrive, Coombs Outdoors provides year-round outdoor programming for youth ranging from the Kindergarten level all the way up through high school graduates. The programs grow as the needs of the kids grow, beginning with basic instructional programs that introduce kids to a variety of activities that may spark a passion for the outdoors; then adding a cohort-based mentoring component in middle school to help youth build deep relationships with their peers and trusted adults; and finally, training high school youth to serve as mentors and coaches to the younger kids, explore careers and college, and become passionate outdoor enthusiasts.

At every stage, the outdoors remains at the center of Coombs Outdoors’ work, whether it’s a hike with a Forest Ranger, a ropes course with a mentoring cohort, or an internship working at Jackson’s in-town ski area, Snow King Mountain Resort. The goal of Coombs Outdoors is not to create world-class skiers or rock climbers, but to develop “world-class people” ready to embrace the future with confidence.

Coombs Outdoors Gondola©Sofia Jaramillo

COOMBS OUTDOORS HISTORY

Doug Coombs (1947 – 2006) was an iconic American steep skier who starred in many Warren Miller ski films, TGR’s The Continuum and also performed stunts for mainstream films such as the Fantastic Four and Aspen Extreme. Doug sadly perished in a skiing accident in La Grave, France, on April 3, 2006.

To keep Doug’s love for skiing alive, his wife, Emily, founded Coombs Outdoors.

Whether in the remote backcountry or in ski resorts throughout the world, modern skiing is connected to the tracks Doug Coombs left behind. Doug had the opportunity at a young age to alpine ski at a small local ski hill, and the passion he developed empowered him to live an extraordinary life. But perhaps his greatest legacy is the one that lives on in the people he touched throughout his life, both on skis and off.

Coombs Group Skiing©Sofia Jaramillo

Emily Coombs has always been passionate about equality and access. While watching her son participate in recreational sports in Jackson, Emily noticed there was a growing disparity between the “haves” and “have nots” in the community she loved. Children from low income families, especially Latino children, were vastly underrepresented on the ski slopes, soccer fields, and hiking trails of Jackson.

Today, Coombs Outdoors carries on Doug’s legacy of helping others achieve their highest potential and Emily’s legacy of ensuring that all kids have a chance in life. The children and youth of Coombs Outdoors have an opportunity to experience the joy of a variety of outdoor activities, to follow their dreams, and to live their own extraordinary lives.

Coombs Outdoors Volunteer©Sofia Jaramillo

FACTION X COOMBS OUTDOORS

Faction is supporting the Coombs Outdoors Mentor Program – a group of dedicated community members that guide and empower more than 100 kids each year. Coombs also serves over 200 kids in ski programs annually. If you’re interested in joining the Coombs Outdoors Mentor Program, or helping in other ways, you can find out more about volunteering here.

Coombs Volunteer and Kids©Stephen Shelesky

Faction’s donations to Coombs Outdoors are facilitated through 1% for the Planet, a mutual partner of both Faction and Coombs Outdoors. As part of our partnership with 1% for the Planet, one percent of sales of Faction's Agent Series skis benefits non-profits taking action against climate change. Our team believes that social equity and sustainability are inherently tied, and therefore we are excited to include Coombs Outdoors as the social component of our 1% for the Planet donations.