Chasing the pow-that wasn’t

I’ve mentioned it before, but I am dating a powder chaser. In case you might be unsure just what a powder might be, well it is someone who watches the weather religiously to see where the best powder, aka lots of snow, will fall. And I am not talking about watching the weather channel. I am talking about reading hard core weather websites that use meteorology phrases that I have never heard of. Once a powder chaser tracks down a storm that will leave copious amounts of snow on mountains, they throw all of their ski gear into the car and go-thus chasing the powder.

I always thought that this might be a little ridiculous. I mean who has the time and money to do this. It seems like a dream. Until, I got sucked in. JWail called on Monday to check in and told me that one of his editors had offered him a free pass to Jackson Hole if he covered the area for the winter. Coincidentally, the area was on “winter storm watch” for Wednesday and Thursday. He wanted my blessing for him to go. For him to go? Why couldn’t I go? I’m on vacation, why not?

We drove up Tuesday and stayed at The Motel 6 in Jackson. Kyky came too.

Ky chillin' in the Motel 6

Her home in the back of the truck

On Wednesday I dropped J-Wail off at Jackson Hole to ski. Since the lift tickets cost about a third of my graduate assistantship monthly paycheck, I opted for the local ski mountain-Snow King. It cost me $25 for two hours instead of $125 for a day at JH.(I think I should do a separate post on what  a rip off lift tickets are these days).

Anyway, the mountain didn’t open until 10 and I had dropped Josh off at 8. Ky and I decided to go on an adventure. We stopped in a local ski/bike shop and they gave me a map and pointed us in the direction of hiking trails. We tromped around in the snow and woods for a couple of hours then headed to the mountain so I could ski.

At some point a rock ate a good chunk of my new ski. Awesome


I finished up around the same time as Josh. The conditions at both the mountains that we skiied were bare. As we headed over Teton pass into Targhee, the snow of the predicted storm started to fall. We made it into Victor, had a beer at Teton Brewery, picked up some powder leashes for me, and hit up apres ski at The Trap. At this point, the snow was still falling and we were stoked for what tomorrow would bring.

We crashed on the couch of a friend in Alta, and woke up next morning hoping for first chair. JWail went to get our tickets, but came back with bad news. The lifts were not opening because of high winds.

Here is the lift-not running

Our options:

1.We could buy a ticket and if the mountain didn’t open, get a voucher for another day. Ok, but we could really use the extra gas money to get us home or for lunch at Snake River.

2. We could buy a half day ticket. Ah, I didn’t want to wait until 12:30.

3. Wait and see what happens.

We chose unlucky door number 3. We waited until 10:30 and when it started hailing, or as the powder chaser calls it, grommel, I threw in the towel. We packed up our hurt egos and defeatedly made the 8 hour drive home. But, not before a beer and pizza at Snake River Brewing.



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