This was the day we had all been anxiously awaiting... a powder day at Jackson Hole. Matt and Alicia had been to Jackson Hole the previous year. Sarah and I had planned to join them on that trip, but Sarah broker her humerus the week before we left. A year later we were stoked to finally get up close and personal with the place. Here's a quick pose at the top of the gondola before our first run of the trip. The snow was really coming down.
looking up the gondola line into the snow-filled clowds above
Alicia, Sarah, and Matt are all smiles in the powder
a gondola car looms above us in the trees
the tram coming into the dock through the driving snow
My hands were literally trembling with excitement, fear, and anticipation of our first ride on the "Red Heli," which delivered us and 99 of our closest friends to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain for 4,139 vertical feet of unforgettable skiing.
Sarah and Matt waiting as the tram approaches the dock
passing the other tram car on our way up
Our first run from the tram took us down Rondezvous Bowl and eventually into the Hobacks. We were so occupied with navigating and skiing that I didn't think to pull out the camera.
The following morning the skies had cleared, leaving us a bluebird powder day. We headed straight to the tram for our first run of the day. The queue was enormous, but we managed to get on the third ride of the day.
Sarah eagerly awaiting her turn for a ride to the top
crammed into the tram like canned sardines
The views from the top were absolutely stunning. The Grand Teton towers iconically over the Snake River Valley.
We met up with Tina, a friend of Matt's from Santa Fe who took a few months off work to live and ski in Jackson Hole. Her boyfriend, Keith, and two of her friends from Santa Fe, Justin and Becca, joined us numerous times throughout our brief stay in Jackson Hole. They were all really great people and were always willing to show us around. Having them to show us where to go made our trip tremendously better than having to find our own way around this place.
Andy hitting a cool line from The Headwall
Andy taking a breather before getting back on the lift for more
Later in the day, Justin took us on a tour of the Jackson Hole sidecountry. This is one of the few ski areas in the country which fosters skiing out of bounds. The surrounding terrain is endlessly complicated and massive, so we were greatly thankful to have Justin show us around. Here, Sarah skis through the choke in a couloir below Rondezvous Bowl. He told me the name of the line, but I can't remember it.
Once through the choke, Sarah opens the throttle a bit and lets her skis do the work.
looking back up the line from below
The line we did (right of center) was just a drop in the bucket on this face alone.
We then did a couple of short boot packs to cross a neighboring drainage in order to access the Four Pines area.
Matt, Sarah, and Justin getting ready to start down Four Pines. Justin lead us to loads of untracked powder on this run. I made some of the biggest turns of my life on this run.
It's two days after the storm, and Sarah is still finding plenty of fresh tracks on Four Pines.
looking up Four Pines before we traversed back to the ski area boundary
On our third day, Matt stopped to demo some skis in the morning, so I took a ride in the gondola with the girls. We had the car to ourselves...
Later in the morning, we joined up with Keith, Tina, Justin, and Becca for a hike up to the Headwall area.
Keith and Tina pose in the howling wind near the summit of Rondezvous Mountain. Justin was hoping to take all of us up to Pucker Face, but the weather didn't cooperate. We opted for mellower terrain instead.
For our final run of the day, we hiked up to the Headwall from the top of the gondola. This time, our destination was to do a sidecountry tour in Granite Canyon. Here, Keith, Tina, and Sarah finish the final few feet of the boot pack up to the Headwall.
Justin and Tina were our guides for this adventure, and they decided to take us to the appropriately named Endless Chute. Keith eyes his line in the untracked snow.
Keith leaving nothing on the table
Justin taking his turn while Sarah and Tina watch from below
Sarah and Tina are dwarfed by the scale of this line
Justin enjoying the powder before Sarah and Tina take their turn
The enormous cliffs made this such an incredibly aesthetic line.
Tina showing us how it's done
Keith sizing up the huck potential of a nearby rock
looking back up the lower half of Endless Chute
Endless Chute left the crew with nothing but smiles. Justin and Tina really picked a most excellent line to show us.
cool snow pillows on the boulders near Granite Creek