Montana was amazing, but the snow forecast was starting to look really good in Jackson so I decided to head back that way. I tried to time it perfectly with the snow, but I got caught in a whiteout blizzard / road closure outside of Yellowstone National Park. I thought it would just be a few hours, but by 4pm I started to realize that I was going to be stuck there for the night. I didn’t have great snacks or anything, but I did have good cell reception and was able to stream the series, Yellowstone. I figured watching Yellowstone IN Yellowstone would be a fun activity, so I tucked into my down pants and sleeping bag and fully binged Season 1 on the side of the road. While Yellowstone was a great show, Netflix became a vice and bad habit. I would stay up too late, then sleep in, and I got down on myself for that.
The next morning, the road opened up and I continued onward to Jackson. I had two days at the resort still left on my Ikon Pass, so I was trying to be very strategic about when to use them and ended up saving them for the last two days of season before the resort closed. So, when I first got into town, I was skiing Teton Pass everyday. It was really nice because spring had sprung and with warmer temps, I fell into a beautiful flow (despite the Netflix addiction) of yoga at Inversion Yoga,
going for runs, and taking laps in Teton Pass. I skied a few days solo which was quite enjoyable too and also with some new homies, Brian, Matt, and Barron who sort of adopted me into their friend group. It was really sweet. I hardly knew these guys and they fully let me into their crew and treated me as if we’d known each other for a lifetime. It was really special and I had a ton of fun skiing with them.
Here are a few pics from these days in the Pass.
And soon enough, it was closing weekend at JHMR so the plan was to ski with some friends to close out the season. We made a plan to ski a zone I had always dreamt of skiing. I’ve stared at these two peaks for so many years, wishing that I could be out there. And finally, it was my time. My friend Brian led the way while me Matt and I tagged along. It was so cool because Matt has lived in Jackson for about 7 years and had never skied this one particular line. How lucky was I that I’ve been around for only a few weeks and am skiing lines that people who live here full time (and ski hard) had never skied. I felt very fortunate and grateful. Some of this is luck, but I also worked really hard to make this shit happen. Throughout the entire trip I was constantly putting myself out there, connecting with people, and making it happen whether reaching out to strangers, someone in line at a store, the person next to me at the bar, in the sauna, etc. It was always a delicate balance of letting it happen organically vs. putting in a lot of effort to make something happen. I suppose I would consider my ability to connect with people one of my strengths, and this trait was surely the primary reason that I was able to ski so much backcountry. Anyways, this day with Brian and Matt was a dream come true. We skied off the tram, then up, then down, then up, and out across this open bowl/underneath these massive cliffs before a super sick line down the hill.
This day was so fun and I ended up going back out with my friend Lucy
the very next day. I recall waking up knowing she wanted to go back there.. and I was hesitant. Not for any reason in particular, just kind of hesitant. It’s big country out there and I’m really trying to stay humble, grounded, and not push it. However, we knew the main hazard would be overhead hazards breaking off from warming, and thus, we decided that we would try to get out early and keep our eye on the temperature. If it stayed cool, we would go, and if it warmed up, we would stay back. At the top of the tram, the temp was even lower than expected, so we continued onward. Lucy and I had a great day out there and she is another person who lived in Jackson and had never been back to this zone.. and here I was going back for the second day in a row. Going with Brian and Matt was amazing, but going with Lucy was really cool in a different way because the first time we had Brian leading the way, and this time it was just Lucy and I. Lucy is a talented and badass skier. She knows her shit and is in a really cool mentorship with Exum Guides. This program sounds so cool and I really respect that she and her crew take education and safety so seriously. Lucy would definitely fall into the ‘Jackson Angels’ category. We skied and hung out a lot and I am grateful for her constant support during my time in Jackson.
After two great days in the Jackson side country, Jackson Hole was officially closed for the season.. but this didn’t mean my time in Jackson was over. There was one more mission in the works..