Three Weeks in The Tetons
March 14 – April 7, 2014 (Jackson Hole, WY; Driggs, ID; Alta, WY):
We went to the Tetons intending to stay for a week and ended up staying for over three. It’s hard to leave when you’re having so much fun with friends and enjoying great skiing.
Our time in the Tetons started with a skin up the Jackson town hill, Snow King, after we arrived from Lost Trail. Snow King allows uphill traffic inbounds and it was an easy and pleasant skin on a sunny but windy day.
After several days of living in Tigger, we checked in to a hotel (Jackson bans RV camping) and went out for a good meal at Rendezvous Bistro where V continued her chicken & waffles taste test.
Tired from back-to-back-to-back powder days and then our skin, we had planned to sleep in. Alas, we awoke to 8” of new snow at Jackson, so we had to hit it. We headed to JHMR to use our free tickets, and were reminded of why we prefer smaller mountains to mega-resorts like Jackson. We waited 45 minutes in the tram lift line, and the gondola was no better.
When we finally made it to the top, we were greeted by good snow and bluebird conditions.
We enjoyed a few top to bottom laps down the Hobacks before the sun baked the snow . . . . as well as me.
After a weekend of being overwhelmed by Jackson’s crowds/development/prices, we were happy to head back over the pass to see our friends at Targhee.
We arrived to find Chris and Trey’s house full of energy — it was spring break and their three teenage children and one friend of their oldest son were there for the week. Plus, four of Carson’s girlfriends would arrive a few days later. We arrived to another fabulous meal prepared by Chris, as well as copious amounts of wine.
We awoke the next day to a blizzard and high winds shutting down the lifts so spent the day relaxing and reading. Because V can rarely sit still, she also hung all the pictures in the house that had not yet been hung. (Chris and Trey bought the house only a few months ago so are still getting settled.)
The following day dawned with 14” of fresh snow, bluebird conditions, and what turned out to be *the* ski day of the year. Even better, we couldn’t have asked for a better group with whom to ski. Everyone was stoked.
We started out strong because Trey managed to herd all the cats sufficiently that we actually made first chair. It was worth the effort as the snow was bottomless and blower.
We lapped our favorite part of the mountain for hours, enjoying the turns of the year. Everyone in the group ripped, and the kids were a blast to ski with.
After a few hours, some clouds rolled in, so Trey and V hit the bar while Chris and I tried to keep up with the kids. Visibility soon dropped to nil, at which point one of the kids – cough cough, Carson, cough cough – said that she loved skiing in low visibility because she had grown up skiing at Targhee.
Within seconds of this statement, the only thing I could see was a “Danger Cliff Sign” that I almost took out. It was almost like skiing with Big Dan or Pete.
After two low-vis runs, the clouds broke and we enjoyed untracked turns until 3:15 when I finally keeled over. The kids of course caught last chair.
We returned home with perma-grins.
After napping, I walked into the house to the cacophony of 18 year old women; Carson’s four friends had arrived.
Terrified, I tried to retreat to Tigger before being spotted.
Talked down from the ledge by Chris and Trey (“you can’t show any fear”), I returned to the house for another great meal. After dinner, we enjoyed s’mores on the fire. And then some hysterical rounds of Catchphrase where generational gaps were obvious (one of the teenagers: “what’s Doctor Who?”).
The rest of the week was spent in spring conditions and with great food and friends. And a beer or two.
We also went for a cross-country ski around the neighborhood and had some good laughs.
Sadly, the kids had to return to school so everyone headed back to the real world. Except us, of course.
Because Trey and Chris are so generous, we got to stay in their fabulous house.
Which was good because we soon lost our house.
We sold Tigger the day after everyone left. We had listed it for sale a few days earlier, thinking we should sell sometime before leaving for Costa Rica on April 12, but we weren’t expecting to sell so quickly. But a lovely couple from Laramie, WY drove 8 hours to come check Tigger out, and we quickly agreed to a deal. It took us less than an hour to clear out our gear, and Tigger was on his way with happy new owners.
Sad to see Tigger go, but recognizing that he would have been sitting unused for eight or nine months every year, we settled in to life at the base of Targhee. Targhee offered free skiing the rest of this season for buying a 2014/15 pass, so we snatched up two passes and hit it as often as we could.
We caught one more really good (and empty) day and lapped the Northern Boundary.
Spring was in the air, though, so it turned heavy by 1pm. And by “heavy,” I mean what anyone in the Sierra’s would call blower powder.
The heavier snow had the benefit of sticking to many of the steep lines and we finally made some laps through the cliffs off the Sacajawea lift, thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
After a couple more spring days, the season wound to a close for us and we loaded up a truck and moved to Beverly Hills.*
* We actually went to San Diego not LA, but who’s paying attention anyway.