11/27/03 - 11/30/03
The Grand Teton with clouds clearing;
Of course with 4 days off for Thanksgiving...gotta go somewhere! This time it
was to Jackson Hole since Peggy and I have never been there and been meaning to
go. We did about half of the drive Wednesday night, we had enough of the blowing
snow and high winds so we crashed in Rawlins. Finished the rest of the drive the
following morning and were checked in around 11am. This was a great time to go
to Jackson Hole 'cause its considered their "off season" and rooms
were about half price.
After we got there and settled we headed into Grand Teton National park for some
backcountry skiing. Only about half of the roads are plowed and open, and there
was no rangers in the booths to collect park fees. We chose to start off at the
Taggart Lake TH and ski from there. The views of the peaks and the "Grand
Teton" itself were beautiful and the trail was in great shape with deep
snow on either side. We followed the trail back toward Taggart Lake and before
the lake made a turn north towards Bradley Lake. The rest of the way was
breaking trail and we had the whole place to ourselves. The terrain was a bit
more challenging, but with some wipeouts and lots of laughs we got there. We
didn't stay too long because it was going to be dark soon and followed our same
path back. Couldn't find a turkey dinner that night so we settled for burgers
and wings in one of the few local bars open.
The next day we drove farther into the park towards Jackson Lake and Signal
Mountain for some more backcountry skiing. Along the way we saw a few moose in
the field eating away and the occasional headbutt. One crossed about 5 feet in
front of my truck, of course the camera battery decided to die right then too!
D'oh! We were breaking trail once again on the way up Signal Mountain and just
followed the road. The sky was crystal blue and it was a beautiful day. After a
couple miles we turned around and followed our untouched fresh tracks back with
plans of skiing at the Snow King Resort in the afternoon. Snow King is about 3
blocks out of the Town Square and mostly black diamond runs. We each got a two
hour pass and tried as many of the slopes as we could. Definitely some
challenging terrain for the first time on tele's for the season!
On our last day to play, we headed west over Teton Pass and to Grand Targhee ski
resort on the Wyoming/Idaho border. The main lift was broken, but they took $10
off the lift pass due to it! Luckily by noon the lift was fixed and running
again. We skied as much of the mountain as we could and found tons of fresh and
deep powder! It was amazing skiing. The lift lines were no more than 2 or 3
people deep and as the day went on the snow came down heavier and heavier! By
the time we were doing our last few runs we were in complete whiteout with about
10 feet visibility and some cold-ass temps.
Jackson Hole was a fantastic short vacation and I can't wait to get back up
there in the summer to climb "The Grand Teton".
Peggy BC skiing to Taggart Lake;
Fresh tracks; Near Jackson Lake
Near Jackson Lake; Jackson Lake
Near Jackson Lake again; The Grand Teton
Lovin' life tele skiing at Grand Targhee