A Retrospective of the 2009 Jackson Hole Official Gathering of the Barking Bears
For being grassroots organized on the website, I'm always impressed by how well organized EpicSki Gatherings are, and last year's set the bar. People came from as far away as Australia, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Tennessee! Our local hosts were Harkin Banks at Targhee and Bob Petersat JHMR. Bob, his wife Ruth, and his business partner Andy Chambers hosted the group one evening for a wine and cheese party that jgiddyup described:
It was a not to be missed event for those here in Jackson and the turnout along with the enthusiasm displayed for the Epicski community and skiing in general I have never witnessed. While the usual small talk was present, it was quickly apparent that all things skiing eventually dominated most conversations...
One Day in the Life of the Gathering
Okay, so the snow conditions in JH aren't what you'd call ideal. Did that stop us from having a blast? Absolutely not!
I woke just a bit late and had to rush to be ready when Uncle Louie and Ski3PO arrived to whisk us off to Teton Village. As we meandered around looking for a place to stowe gear and boot up we ran into Bob Peters and he gave us the lowdown.
Soon we were all (24 of us I think) in line for the gondola and a great day was underway. The agenda for the AM was to stick to groomers for the most part and become familiar with this otherwise intimidating mountain. Bob did an awesome job showing us around. Thanks Bob, I'll be the 254th person to say that you are an absoulutely wonderful embasador for JH and for skiing in generalThumbs Up
I had quite a few highlights today. The first was that I met Sunshine Tom, an Alyeska local here all the way from Anchorage. A real cool dude and an awesome skier. At one point late in the morning the whole group was gathered at the top of Thunder lift. Bob had just finished informing us of the plan for the run and we were pushing off when I noticed that Tom and Harkin Banks were pointed in the opposite way. They yelled for me to follow and follow I did. HB led us to Tower Three Chute. In this company I was proud just to keep up. IMO, best snow, best run of the day.
After lunch we broke off into smaller groups. I was way happy to be skiing with mdf, WILDCAT, Ridge Hippy and nolo. We did Tower Three again,Lower Sublette, Rendezvous Bowl, some Hoback action and some other stuff that I can't really name. That was a stellar afternoon. As I said, JH was not at its best snow wise but this elite crew led us to some pretty fine goods.
After the skis were wiped and stowed there was just enough time to clean up before Bob and Ruthie Peters hosted quite the happening cocktail party. Wow, just don't know how to express the appropriate thanks. Just outstanding. Thumbs Up! Wherever the Gathering ends up next year, there are some very high standard to be met.
Related thread: EpicSki Gathering Trip Report for Photos and Anecdotes
Contributed by jgiddyup:
Greg(friend of garyskr), garyskr, Batgirl, Bonni, Skierj, Comprex, Uncle Louie, Bumpfreaq, Ski3po
Skierj foreground and Comprex background in some small bumps/crud in what were excellent conditions in the AM
Skierj and Comprex 20 seconds after previous picture
garyskr stabbing Comprex while Ski3po skis in the background
Batgirl and Bonni cruising along
Town of Jackson from near the top of Snow King
Batgirl left and Bonni right laughing at me as the lift stopped and they were just barely able to get off at the top while I was dangling in the light winter breeze
Uncle Louie, Bonni, Skierj, Ski3po and Batgirl relaxing after a nice dinner
Contributed by Wildcat:
After catching a gondola at 9:10 we stayed away from the lines on the lower mountain and skied of the Apres Vous lift until 11:00. We were a bit surprised to find boot-top powder and soft conditions in Saratoga Bowl:
After an 11:00 break at the Casper Restaurant, Madeline, Tim, "mdf" and I skied the Casper Bowl Triple and the Thunder Quad Chair. "mdf" skied the Tower 3 Chute;
Contributed by jgiddyup:
Bumpfreaq, HarkinBanks and Uncle Louie as the Bear herding begins
Bob Peters, HB daughter Gabby(ripper), UL and at_nyc exiting Dreamcatcher
Tromano wife (Madeline) nailing the face of Dreamcatcher liftline
HarkinBanks pointing the way off the cornice on a run called The Bad (some of the best snow of the day)
garyskr (lower left) and Comprex (upper middle) after dropping in
Ski3po dropping in with Uncle Louie waiting
Uncle Louie X2
Batgirl showing off one of the several tshirts purchased from the Targhee Ski Patrol benefiting one of the always great ski area organizations that can use our help
A little apres at The Trap Bar. Faces visible are garyskr(forground) and Harkinbanks(host), Bonni, mdf, Pete No Idaho(background)
Contributed by mdf:
Towards the end of the day, it was just Wildcat and me skiing together, and we decided to kick it up a notch. Here is a pic of Wildcat escaping from Tower 3 by traversing out through the trees.
As W. noted above, Saturday we skied with Tramano and his wife at JH.. After awile, the three guys took off to explore Saratoga Bowl. It has some nice stuff, but the traverse out gets annoying quickly.
Here are two pics of Wildcat I like cause they are close ups and a different view angle than you usually see. One was in Saratoga, the other was on the lower face (South Colter Ridge, IIRC) we skiied with Tromano & his wife.
We had a 2 O'clock beer break at Nick Wilsons under the Tram -- does JH know the new tram has holes in the bottom? I hope it's covered under warranty.
Day two was at Grand Targhee. As Jgiddyup said, Harkin Banks did a fantastic job showing us around. He used his kids as sheepdogs to herd us Bears, and they did a marvelous job putting up with us. Here is the group being gathered at the bottom of a run under the lift.
Later, we skied a cornice called "The Bad". I went first and was waiting to take pictures when a non-Epic person had a spectacular crash
This would have been a great picture of Harkin Banks coming down from the cornice, but half of my lens had condesation on it.
Garyskier and Comprex just after the cornice, in the dry half of my lens.
Contributed by U.P. Racer:
Here we are right before dropping in to Air Force Couloir.
Contributed by nolo:
Here are a few pictures taken today at Jackson Hole. Bob Peters, second to the left, was a terrific guide.
As you can see, the group was too big to fit into one picture.
Bumpfreaq finishes out Tower 3 chute in style.
Contributed by Bumpfreaq:
Here's mdf ripping it up in Lower Sublette
Ridge Hippy, nolo and mdf freaqin' some lines =)
nolo in fine form.