Early in the morning, Wednesday, Jan. 18th, the snow began. By the time lifts opened up it was snowing hard, but the moguls from the previous weeks remained at large. That didn’t stop us from pretending it was a full on powder day from the start.
The wind was absolutely rocking the mountain and temperatures at the summit, despite rising, never seemed to get above 15 degrees. This lead to a white nose on anyone who wasn’t fully covered while in the bowl. A hasty retreat into ones’ jacket for a few seconds did the trick.
The southwest winds continued to rapidly load most of the slopes, favoring the usual suspects. By mid day, the metamorphosis was becoming more evident.
A couple shots from Tower 3:
I’ll just go ahead and say what you already know. Storm skiing kicks ass. Walk on trams carrying you 4k ft to stagger out into a 60mph wind before you feel your way down into the trees where you have nothing but silence and you know the mountain is transforming from perpetual early season conditions to full on winter… THIS puts a smile on your face.
By closing on Wednesday, things were skiing a lot better. We also had more people enjoying it. Our easy walk on trams turned into waiting…well, just a 1 car wait, at most. Not bad! It’s also these mid week storm days where you see the same faces in the tram line and around the mountain- you might not really know them, but you all share a special connection. Finding your own path down the mountain, occasionally encountering one of those storm skiing accomplices in an otherwise empty area, and knowing it’s completely acceptable to high five. More often, it’s just a head nod and a “yeaaaaaah” while you’re on the move. This was a nice afternoon to share a beer and look forward to the next morning. Leaving the village around 5:30PM, bombs were heard up on the hill- patrol getting a head start for the next morning.
Of course, Teton Pass closed Wednesday night. It didn’t end up opening till around 11AM Thursday, with both Glory GazEx tubes getting significant movement in addition to the Twin Slides GazEx busting out a class 3 that put debris in the road.
Thursday morning’s tram line= not walk on. If you expect something different on a powder day, check yourself. With a significant amount of snow caking the mountain between closing Weds afternoon and it completely dumping Thurs morning, I was expecting it would take patrol a long time to get the mountain safe and open. The temperatures had risen (and continued to), the winds remained 50+, and surfaces below before this storm were ripe for slide action. Based upon previous storm mornings, I was fully anticipating a really late start- so I was pleasantly surprised when the red blinking light on Corbet’s Cabin went green a little before 10AM. (I’m not really exactly what time it was- I wasn’t about to pause and check my watch.) Kudos to the patrol!
So…Thursday was a good day. Puking snow all day long, winds accentuating the snowfall rates. Fat ass flakes at the base making you squeegee your goggles. Temps at the base were right around freezing and the whole lower mountain put your Gore Tex to the test. Highlights? Well, the Hobacks were as I like to always remember them. Clean slate, soft, and several thousand feet of big turn fun.
I got a fair amount of GoPro footage. I also got punched several dozen times by friends playing the GoPro game. However, it’s time to get out there and hit it again today. I’m feeling pretty fresh- as I should, seeing I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30PM. Until next time- here are a few more frame grabs.