Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2009 Mar 1 - Jackson Hole, WY

A group of 8 ski buddies reconvened for the annual ski trip at Jackson Hole for 4 days of great skiing, eating, and fellowship. One afternoon, as we skied back to the house, a mother and juvenile moose paid us a visit, eating the tender twigs at the tip of the wispy aspens. The mother moose would bend the larger branches down to within reach for their yearling. They were quite accustomed to people and continued their eating while we watched from the house. Once they were finished with theh branches, they looped around and licked off the cars in the driveway - perhaps for the salt?

Andy swinging some fine turns.

This is the view to the south of the resort, to the slopes above the Cody Bowl. This is all lift and hiking served terrain, but we did not know the skin route back out to return to the area boundary so we left it be for this trip. Next time, we'll do our homework and hit these north facing slopes which beckoned like sirens after the in-bounds snow had been trounced.

Here is the new tram approaching the summit docking station. The car holds 100 skiers - tightly packed for the 22 mph 10 minute ride rising 4,140 feet from the village below. The river crossing the valley below is the Snake.

Tram cable machinery - sculpture to an engineer's eye.

Chris stands atop "Headwall" directly above the Gondola top station along the Tensleep traverse hike. Ten minutes of spirited boot packing brings you to the ridgetop. From here we once continued along the ridge and dropped the north east facing Caspar Bowl. Another lap we dropped right here above the Gondola 800 feet down to the cafe at 9,000 feet. The tram rises along the ridge in the distance to the top of Rendezvous Mountain (10,450'). Corbet's Couloir can be seen just to the left of the last tram tower, at the the notch to the left of the rock band. We looked in, but the entrance required a 15 free drop onto the 50 degree slope below, the landing zone,, already scraped off and looking bony. We were however able to ski some other classic routes - Tower 3 chute, and the Alta Chutes many times during our visit.

The group of eight - we managed to ski together for 3 1/2 days without loosing track of each other. On the last afternoon we split into two groups of 4 and still managed not to loose track of skiers - despite our determined individual quests for the perfect line. In order from left to right: Scott, Chris, Paul, David G., Andy, Dave D., Bob, Sam.

Le Grand Teton, in afternoon light - shot from the top of the tram.

Dave stands upon a narrow ridge, tighter than the length of his skis, looking for a nice place to drop into the adjacent gully. By the end of our trip, this was the only sort of place we could find fresh tracks. After a shaky set-up to get into position, two swooping turns brought him blasting out of the gap and onto the broader snow apron below the rock band.

The swoopster at it again.

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