Cody Hughes grew up outside of Nashville, TN before making his way west to attend the University of Utah at the age of 18. Having never seen real mountains before, Cody was hooked immediately and dove head first into mountain travel. After getting his skills dialed at the resorts around SLC, Cody discovered the splitboard and left the resorts behind. In college he obtained a two year internship with the Utah Avalanche Center working under his now mentor Craig Gordon in the Western Uinta Mountains one hour east of SLC. Cody fell in love with snow and everything that it encompasses. He began guiding and teaching for Utah Mountain Adventures in 2013 while also working for several other local companies teaching avalanche courses. Cody holds a Professional Level 2 avalanche certification and is now a lead guide and avalanche forecaster for Utah Mountain Adventures during the winter months.
Cody’s passion for splitboarding and riding big mountains has taken him to some of the greatest ranges of the world. He has climbed and skied in Alaska, New Zealand, Norway, and of course in the local ranges of the intermountain west. Cody’s latest adventure involved riding his bicycle from his home in Salt Lake City, UT up to Alaska, where her then climbed and snowboarded Denali. This trip was fully human powered, making it the longest human powered approach to Denali ever recorded.
Cody currently resides is Salt Lake City, UT where he spends his winters working for the snow safety team at Park City Powder Cats. He also guides splitboarding in the Wasatch and Uinta ranges, and teaches recreation level 1 and 2 avalanche courses for Utah Mountain Adventures. The thing Cody says he loves most about his work is being able to share the backcountry experience with people of all ability levels, and to see the fire and stoke in his client’s eyes when they get ride fresh lines in the backcountry with no one around.
Check out the links below to the latest article about his adventure, and keep an eye out for a movie dropping this winter about the adventure to Denali titled “Must Be Present To Win”.
Cody’s Utah based guiding service - Contact him for avalanche education courses and guided splitboarding trips!
Q & A with Cody Hughes:
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Pleasant View, TN
Q: What was childhood like?
A: Focused and working toward a golf scholarship which I obtained at the University of Utah.
Q: What do you remember about your first day Splitboarding?
A: That I am going to figure out a way to make this my job.
Q: Tell me about a day in the mountains or a trip that you’re proud of.
A: Riding my bicycle to Alaska and climbing and skiing Denali fully human powered from my house in SLC.
Q: What drew you to the phantom set up?
A: The comfort, ease, and efficiency.
Q: What’s something you love about the phantom setup that wasn’t on your radar when you got into it?
A: The downhill responsiveness.
Q: What is your stance & how has it progressed since making the switch to Phantoms?
A: Positive 3 in the back and positive 24 in the front. It got more narrow and more positive.
Q: What is your favorite board to ride with your Phantom System?
A: Weston Carbon Backwoods 163.
Q: Any tips & tricks with the Phantom system?
A: Play with you stance a lot in the beginning to get your setup dialed.
Q: What do you appreciate the most about the mountains?
A: The freedom to explore and the present moment it puts you into.
Q: What does life balance look like to you?
A: Work, spend time with my girlfriend, recreate.
Q: Tell us about a mentor you've had in your life.
A: Craig Gordon went out of his way and took me under his wing early on in my career to teach me about snow and the mountains. I am forever grateful for his friendship and mentorship.
Q: Favorite song?
A: Over the hills and far away - Led Zeppelin
Q: What’s something you’d like to tell someone just getting into Splitboarding?
A: Take it slow. Find a mentor, and make your decisions in the mountains based on logic and not emotion.