Joseph K. Philpott
Joseph Kitchin Philpott was born and raised in Durango, CO. As a child, Joe quickly became a student of the environment and a lover of the outdoors. His passion led him to attend colleges in various mountain towns including Gunnison, Flagstaff and Fort Collins. Always with a career in mind that would place him outside as a steward of the environment. Six summers of his life were spent as a wild land firefighter, three as a BLM hotshot and three as a Great Basin Smokejumper. Joe believed, that in nature there is always something to explore and to learn, always something to do and to see, always somewhere to go, and there is always time to get lost.
Joe was immersed in his passion for the natural world and all of its spectacular sights, sounds and smells. It was there that he took note that you could feel the strength of the wind, softness of the snow, the power of stillness. He often found time to absorb and translate his surroundings by scribbling down an authentic poem, or painting a watercolor depicting nothing less than a landscape of amazement. Joe’s passion in the winter months focused on charging straight up a burly skin track, often breaking trail, and then whooping and hollering down countless backcountry ski runs with the best of friends and family. Joe was a desirable ski partner because of his avid, adept and well educated reputation in the backcountry. Every tour, Joe was armed with the proper avalanche tools and conversations were never ending, regarding snow conditions and tour dynamics. His days were filled with hard work, even harder play, good friends, family and fresh air. From his first day to his last, this life was always wonderful and new, an amazing gift. Joe died in an avalanche on March 2, 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in an area called Paradise Bowl, just shy of his 27th birthday. Joyful and enthusiastic about life, Joe was and will be loved & revered by everyone that knew him.