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Shelter: Inside Noah Howell’s Yurt

In this new video series, we first go inside the hand-built yurt and off-beat lifestyle of backcountry skier and Flylow athlete manager Noah Howell.

Check out Part 2: Eben Mond & The Cabin >>

Noah Howell

Noah Howell

When you’re a kid, you’re often told there’s a certain, approved life trajectory to follow as you grow older. You go to school, you get a job, you follow the path that many others before you have followed. But what if that paved highway is not for you? What if you’d prefer, say, a barely-trodden trail through the forest? Well, let us introduce you to Shelter, a two-part video series that takes you inside the homes and lifestyles of two skiers who took their path through life.

First up, we get to know Noah Howell, who built himself a yurt high on the mountain in Utah’s Wasatch range, where he can ski lines from his back door.

Noah grew up in Utah, but it wasn’t until after high school that he got into skiing. He dove into the sport full-on from there, getting into the backcountry. He and his brother, Jonah, started Powderwhore Productions—a telemark ski movie company that made rootsy films with a cult following for a decade.

Noah finding fresh tracks in the Wasatch Mountains. Photo by Adam Clark

Noah finding fresh tracks in the Wasatch Mountains. Photo by Adam Clark

Back when Powderwhore first started touring around with their annual ski movie, Noah approached Flylow co-founder Dan Abrams for a sponsorship. Dan agreed, then accompanied the two brothers on many movie tour stops to set up a table and hand out stickers and free beer koozies before the movie. It was grassroots marketing at its finest.

Noah working his way up to the Landry Line, one of the 50 classic ski descents of North America. Photo by Adam Clark.

Noah working his way up to the Landry Line, one of the 50 classic ski descents of North America. Photo by Adam Clark.

But by 2015, Powderwhore had made its last movie, and Noah moved onto steeper pastures. He had quietly started skiing some of the rowdier lines in the 2010 book, “The 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America.” But it wasn’t until pro skier Cody Townsend also started skiing those lines, with his well-loved YouTube series called The Fifty, that people realized Cody wasn’t the only skier checking off those lines.

Noah is a skilled athlete and top mountaineer, but after doing 30-some-odd lines in the book, he decided he’d had enough. He’d reached his limit. He’d pushed his comfort zone too far. He was battling depression and wondering if life on the literal edge of a mountain was really a life he wanted to live after all. So, on a list of things he wanted to do in life, he wrote: “Build a cabin.”

So, he bought a piece of land in Utah’s Wasatch mountains and built himself a yurt. Noah spends as much time there as he can now, alongside his dog, Hugo, enjoying a quieter life the way he wants it. This video, made by Utah-based photographer and filmer Adam Clark, tells the story of Noah Howell’s evolution as a filmmaker, athlete, and eventually yurt dweller.

Watch More SHELTER with Part 2: Eben & The Cabin


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