Kai Jones is still very young, but he’s already making a mark in the skiing world. At only 16 years old, Jones has made five films, all of them progressively more mind-blowing than the last. At the tender age of 11, he had a segment go viral on YouTube, and according to him, that helped him secure a spot on the crew for the next movie.
He was subsequently flooded with sponsorship opportunities from some of the biggest brands in the world — Atomic, JHMR, Dakine, Mammut, to name a few — and landed a spot on the Red Bull team. He’s made a name for himself for a variety of reasons, but among them is his willingness to throw himself down lines most people wouldn’t even think of skiing, like the 1,000-foot couloir you see in the short clip at the top of the page.
“My mind goes into this hyper-focused world,” he told TGR. “I snap into flow state at the top of my line, I plan where I’m going to ski, I lean into my instincts and embrace being totally in the moment. All the gnarliest things I’ve done have been nearly spontaneous. I don’t plan ahead very much, I observe and then use my intuition. When in the zone, I see a vision of my line and I know it’s possible. Then all I have to do is drop in and have fun!”
As a Jackson Hole native, Jones is pretty comfortable in the backcountry in the area. This particular couloir came with a few hitches: no trail map, barely any snow information, and nothing about the width or length, he decided to just send it and basically straight-lined down a chute that probably won’t be straight-lined again for a while. In March, Kai ended up breaking both legs, which he’s trying to recover from as we speak. Heal up kid!