SPC’s founder and visionary powderhound Jupiter Jones passed away this weekend. We wish his family, his friends and acquaintances all the power in this difficult time.
“We went heli skiing and some friends on the trip convinced us to purchase a snowcat and give it a try in Steamboat” Jupiter told us in 2013 when we were organizing our 30th anniversary celebration.
It was 1983, when Jupiter and Barbara Jones started Steamboat Powdercats. It was a time when the Steamboat Ski Area was booming and started to really market it’s Champagne Snow™ as the lightest snow in our skier universe.
“We knew the powder on Buff Pass was amazing and with the Steamboat Ski Area bringing in nearly a million skier visits a year, Steamboat Powdercats was bound to be a success,” Jupiter said. “During our first year in 1983, we skied about 400 guests and most of them only saw a fraction of the terrain we had under the realm of the permit terrain.”
Back then, backcountry powder skiing was just beginning to become a complimentary experience to the traditional on-slope activity of skiing. Fledgling cat and heli operations in North America had started catching on and the permit process to start an operation on Federal lands was much different than it is today.
The Snow Ranger at the Forest Service was more than willing to allow us to give it a try so we asked some friends to help us tail guide and we were off and running.” Jupiter said.
Jupiter owned Steamboat Powdercats till 1999 when he and Barbara sold the operation to SPC’s current ownership team.
Since the beginning, Jupiter loved the guests, the camaraderie and adventure in taking people to the powder paradise that is Buffalo Pass. His charm and passion for fresh powder was contagious and evident in the returning clientele Jupiter was so proud of. Many of his deepest friendships were established in the ski fields off Buffalo Mountain and to this day we at SPC are forever grateful for Jupiter establishing the heart and soul of what we do.
Jupiter last skied with us in 2012. His stories about broken down snowcats, exploring new routes, the ski films he helped create, the people he met, the skinny skis and one piece suits they wore, the parties and the powder days were all wonderful to hear about.
We can only hope that Jupiter is now standing peacefully on top of a mountain with a powder field in front of him, a shit eating grin on his face and an old ski partner by his side, the cold crisp air and 10+ inches of the purest, lightest, freshest snow waiting for them to effortlessly and endlessly glide thru.
R.I.P Jupiter Jones we will certainly make some turns for you in the near future.
Check out this recently uploaded video from Chuck Richardson who helped create a promo video during the first season at Steamboat Powdercats.