A while back the idea was mentioned to take part in a storm that was going to leave Jackson soft and deep. The proposition barely had time to resonate in our powder choked minds before bags and base layers were flying around the house. We quickly packed the car up and began the journey to Wyoming. The excitement to explore a new area was overwhelming as the desolate terrain passed beneath the Blizzacks. We punched it toward the Wyoming border as gummy worms and coffee kept us fueled.
Good times? Check.
Covering ground is easier during the day light hours as wildlife is abundant after dark. As the mountains grow larger on the horizon the excitement begins to brew within. The possibility to explore a new place while the snow was soft and plentiful had us rowdy, fired up and pinning it towards the Tetons.
When you hit the road…
The Tetons are a large and expansive range surrounded by relatively flat terrain. Each new peak that your eyes pass over seems to reach higher towards the heavens and with a greater pitch than the previous giant. It would be near impossible not to feed off the energy that seems to pour out in abundance around here.
The Grand Teton is a simply stunning mountain. Monolithic and photogenic yet elusive due to her commonly clouded summit, the magnetism and power is undeniable. Although we wouldn’t be on our skis anywhere near the Grand, simply gazing upon the intricate terrain seems to fuel the soul.
The turns at the resort were perfect. Really. We didn’t see a touch of hard pack, just seemingly hero snow coated on every aspect of Jackson Hole. The experience of having the entire mountain going off at once aligning with my first time skiing in a new location was overwhelming. It’s as if everything, or anything is possible. I feel lucky to have scored JH let alone on my first trip.
During one of many stops to attain different vantages of the grand I asked Abby to pose for a photo with the grand. As I lined up the shot she screamed a howl of excitement that signaled something special.
Pointing towards the flat frozen plain Abby spots something that looks wolf like. Our attention switched in the opposite direction, apparently the dogs attention had already switched. Locked on the target Zion practically tried to stare his way out of the car.
Zion locked on the grey wolf
I was surprised that upon further investigation what Abby saw was a grey wolf. Two grey wolves in fact that were roaming the flat lands of Teton National Park and hunting for critters below the heavy snow pack.
looking for dinner
The wolf would casually stroll, sniffing following a scent along the snow. Then as if achieving missile lock it would stand upon the hind legs, lift the front paws off the ground and pounce. Slamming the front paws deep into the snow and brining up prey.
Spending some time watching this animal in the wild was amazing. We were also fortunate enough to see a Bald Eagle, countless Elk, Deer and something resembling a cat that given the hour of the night and hours driven well we couldn’t quite confirm or agree upon it’s species. What we could agree upon was the beyond exceptional skiing combined with the experience as a whole, taking in both mountains and wildlife.
Sadly Jackson Hole closed for the season April 8th despite a 94″ base. Until next time…