Sunday January 22, 2012
Oh, Jackson Hole, how I wish you really had a hole somewhere. What a beautiful place. I keep hearing from the locals how this place is much more of an attraction all seasons outside of winter. That makes no sense to me right now. Many national parks, the Snake River, and tons of outdoor activities are available here year round. I had a great day on the mountain again. I was completely back country today. I was in areas where it looked like no human had been before, or at least not since the most recent snowfall, which was only yesterday. I got completely stuck a few times today. I am assuming that was payback for teasing people with shovels yesterday. They still deserved it.
The day started with what I was told was “avalanche delay”. I wasn’t familiar with those, we really only get a few per year in Maryland. At least that is why I tell people I was late for something…”No, seriously I’d have been here on time but there was an avalanche delay.” There was dynamite steadily going off. The booms could be heard for miles. They have controlled avalanches on these giant mountains. I guess if they control them there is less of a chance for an untimely avalanche. I wasn’t even going to go out today. Somewhere back home on the east coast the prettier half of my family also went skiing today. I didn’t think we should both be on a mountain at the same time. Probably for the same reason that the president and his wife don’t fly on the same airplane. I decided to not wait around on avalanche control and headed to another lift that simply did not go up quite as high. It was a great decision. I ended up finding untouched powder and made completely fresh tracks for 2 runs. Sexy. After that something bad almost happened. I got off the lift and started down a trail. The sun was coming out so I decided it was finally a decent day for some snapshots. I pull out my phone, grabbed the picture, and then fumbled the phone into the snow. At the time I was in waist high power. I didn’t panic because the phone sort of rested on the top layer of snow. I calmly went to grab it and the phone just slowly sank…disappeared like it was in quicksand or when those people from the “left behind while scuba diving” movie finally gave up. I still did not panic. I unstrapped my board and threw it off to the side. Within 10 seconds my mind was whirling. It is sooooo sad, but in 2012 if some people lose their phone it might feel like the end of the world. I was already figuring out how fast I could find a Verizon or Apple store. I started scooping snow away slowly and methodically. Thankfully it only took about 1 or 2 minutes and I had retrieved the phone. It was completely covered in snow and soaked. I assumed it was ruined. Again, thankfully, it never even shut off. I stuck it in my pocket and have yet to have a problem. the entire thing is on video. I really am the luckiest boy alive. I just remembered, Open Water was the name of that terrible movie.
I have been meeting so many nice people and informative locals. The people in the know are giving me the tips on where to and where not to go. It has been helpful, and also nice having the company and conversation. I think I am picking up on some of the local and mountain lingo, but I will refrain from using it here. I still don’t know what most of it means, just when to use it. I keep thanking people for keeping me company when we get off the lifts. I was having a pleasant conversation with a guy from London and another guy from Austin when it almost happened again. I looked around while on the lift and thought what a lovely day it was with the sun out, maybe I should take a few photos. This time I reached for my real camera. In my own head I jokingly noted the pole number where we were at on the ski lift just in case I dropped the camera, ha ha, that’ll never happen. As I was getting the camera out I juggled it. It made it down below my knee, but luckily I grabbed it just in time before it plummeted to the ground. My 2 best friends at the time gasped and then laughed. A lost camera would stink, but it’s no phone.
I was only out just over half the day; it was much colder today and for some reason I wanted to watch the football. Oh I feel so bad for the Raven’s fans. I went hard for the morning, then had a nice smoke break for myself with this amazing view, then did a couple easy groomed runs, and then called it a day.
Since the sun was out there are a few pictures here.