Lunch Hour Adventure: Escaping the Lab for Some Backcountry Skiing

The Gaynes

Names: John, Brooke and Oliver (the fearless Border Collie) Gaynes

Home Base: Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lunch Break Adventure: Backcountry skiing


If anyone knows the demands of a high-stress job, it’s the Gaynes: John is working on a Ph.D. in Neuroscience while his wife, Brooke, works in human genetics at the University of Utah. “In Salt Lake, you’re never more than a few minutes away from some amazing trails that stay dry most of the year,” says Brooke of the couple’s work hard, play harder attitude. “After work we love to mountain bike or climb together. After the sun goes down, John heads back into the lab to check on experiments.” But when their lunch break hits, the lab coats come off, and the snow pants go on: It’s time for some backcountry skiing in their picturesque home turf of Salt Lake City, Utah.


John Gaynes makes the jump

What they keep in their trunk: Skis, climbing skins, touring bindings and boots, avalanche beacon (along with safety gear), breathable clothing, helmets and some Pistachio Chewy Bites.


Where they go: Little Cottonwood Canyon, just 20 minutes away from their work.


How they find time: “We usually try to set up longer experiments just before we leave work so we can feel justified playing!” says Brooke.

The best part: “The fresh air! The snow! Playing with each other!”

Brooke Gaynes deep in some fresh powder


And when they’re late getting back to work? “ We always take longer than we plan. Both of our bosses already know about our skiing addictions, so we figure honesty is the best policy. As long as the experiments and work get finished, everybody stays happy!”


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