Getting Ours

Teton Pass powder

Jackson’s finally been getting more snow the last few days, which has eased my anxiety after hearing reports of storm after storm dumping on the San Juans back home in Colorado the last few months. It was an “official” powder day at the ski area today, meaning that every man, woman, and child in Jackson were waiting in line for the lifts to open. We were up early and waiting at the front of the gondola line, only to be informed that it was having mechanical problems and would be delayed for who knows how long. Seeing as every other line was jammed with people, Jason and I bailed and went hiking on Teton Pass instead. More mellow. And we rode a sweet untracked line with perfect cream-cheese Wyoming powder.

Teton Fly By

Grand Teton Aerial Photo

On Thursday morning last week I flew out of Jackson airport and was treated to some incredible aerial views of the Tetons! I reserved a window seat (as always) and had my camera ready, but was disappointed when I realized that I was on the wrong side of the plane to see the mountains during takeoff. Soon, however, my hopes rose from the dead as the plane banked a hard left, turned around, and flew right alongside the Tetons as it gained altitude – giving me a perfect view of all the big peaks of the Teton Range. Needless to say, I was snapping photos as quickly as possible!

I could hear several other passengers gaping and wowing at the views, but what struck me as odd is how many fellow passengers I noticed seated at windows in front of me who barely glanced up from their magazines/books to look at the incredible views! I couldn’t believe it! Here we are airborne, flying right past some of the most amazing peaks in the United States, and these people hardly bother to turn their necks??!!! Do they have no souls? What were they doing in Jackson anyways? Maybe they live here and are just soooo bored of looking at the Tetons. Or on the other hand perhaps there were some killer pictures of the Tetons in the in-flight magazine…

But I digress… check out the rest of my aerial photos from the flight here.

Carving the Turkey

Buck Mountain view

Today Ann and I skinned up a 3,300 foot slope in Grand Teton National Park, and rode down an aesthetic cliff-walled couloir called the “Turkey Chute”. Though the center of the chute was pretty tracked up from previous skiers, the sides were full of untouched old powder which we happily sliced and diced. Just as sweet as the line itself was the spectacular scenery of Avalanche Canyon, with its surrounding ramparts of Buck Mountain (above), Mount Wister, the South Teton, and Nez Perce.

Snowboarder: Jack Brauer
That’s me laying out a savory carve on a steep powdery wall. Photo by Ann Driggers.

Skiing the Turkey Chute
Ann Driggers skis down the Turkey Chute, with Avalanche Canyon below.

Skiing powder under Buck Mountain
Ann Driggers skis the powder with Buck Mountain looming overhead.

Special thanks to Ann for visiting this week and motivating me to get off my ass and into the mountains for some surprisingly good riding!