Meet Ben Hoiness: An Exum Mountain Guide and 4FRNT Team Rider
Q (4FRNT): Give us the basics...
A (BEN HOINESS): Born in Montana, currently still Based here skiing out of Cooke City. I spent most of the last decade as a mountain guide, with most of my guiding being done out of Grand Teton National Park with Exum Guides.
Q: What have been the challenges of breaking through into the guide world?
A: Honestly the hardest part of getting into guiding is making it work financially. I had no money when I first started. Training and getting my certs were unpaid, and I was living in my friend and mentor’s basement. His family was kind enough to move their son in with their daughter and I slept in his twin bed. I’ll be forever grateful to the *Billimoria’s for all they did for me.
*Patagonia did an amazing piece about Zahan Billimoria and his family called 'Solving for Z'... it's worth the watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHVSeqzI1vU
Q: What's the favorite line you've ever skied?
A: Probably one of the most memorable ski descents I've done was the first time I skied the Grand Teton with my partner *Leslie Hittmeier. A close second was also on the Grand Teton... when we skied insane powder from top to bottom. Skiing snow that good... in that kind of mountain environment was unforgettable. You can read that story here: https://4frnt.com/blogs/blog/grandteton
*Leslie is Ben's partner who shot all the photos for this blog. She is a world class photographer, you can check out more of her work here: https://www.instagram.com/lesliehittmeier/
Q (4FRNT): Best Guide Story?
A (Ben): One day I Piggy Backed a tired client at the end of a long 1-day ascent of the Grand Teton. Literally, put him on my back and skied him out (no, he wasn't injured).
Q: What's your favorite 4FRNT ski for Guiding?
A: 4FRNT skis are the best skis for the Tetons because the lineup has everything you need for any condition and type of terrain those mountains throw at you. I grab the Raven 4-LOCK when the snow isn't as deep, especially for early and late season, but honestly, i could ski it all year. Both are so efficient and straight-up fun. When it's deep the Renegade is the absolute answer. ("Always Bring Your Renegades.")
Q: What's your favorite 4FRNT personal ski when you're not guiding?
A: Can't pick just one. 191cm HOJI 4-LOCK for everyday powder touring. MSP 107 in 181cm for resort ripping.