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Yet another Jackson Hole Report

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We're down to only about 44 days remaining until the 2004 Epic Ski Gathering in Jackson Hole. Any of you fence-sitters out there ought to get off the pot and make a reservation.

In the last few days, we've gone from saying the "skiing is unbelievable for this early in the season" to simply saying the skiing is unbelievable. We had roughly three feet of new snow from last Thursday through yesterday. The skiing is excellent at all elevations.

On another note, I had an interesting day today. As a former (back in the "old" days) guide with the JH Alpine Guides


I was allowed to participate in this year's three-day guide re-orientation session. A lot has changed since my days as a guide, and it was quite an eye-opener to see the level of training and professionalism that exists on the current guide roster. It's amazing how much big-mountain experience from all over the world these people have amassed.

Today, they went over various policies/procedures and then we went out-of-bounds. We did many transceiver searches, looking for beacons that were buried by a very devious person. Some of the multiple burial simulations were extremely difficult, but I guess that's the point of training. Just be glad you weren't the second victim in one of the three-victim scenarios. Not only would *I* have missed you, but several of the others would have as well. I actually would have boot-packed the snow on top of you while I dug out the victim next to you. :

We also spent a lot of time learning (refreshing, actually, for most of these people, as several of them are also Alaska heli-guides) how to organize a helicopter rescue. We built a full-scale landing zone on the side of a mountain out in Rock Springs Bowl, then learned the proper signalling and "scene safety" procedures for bringing in a helicopter. I had no idea how many things could go wrong when a helicopter lands/takes off in the mountains in the winter.

Tomorrow involves a full day of non-heli-aided training in rescue, treatment, and evacuation techniques. Wednesday will be spent entirely on avalanche forecasting.

I'm learning a lot of stuff but I'm worn out.


[ December 15, 2003, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: Bob.Peters ]
post #2 of 15
Perfect. I'll be safe when you show me JH's backcountry. Where do I get one of those beacons?
Do you have me on your calender? I'm serious, you know..... you can't keep posting all these updates without serious consequences
post #3 of 15
Hi Bob,

Sounds like a great session. Maybe I can get a little of what you've gone over some time?

I spent Sunday in the Whistler backcountry with Fernando, a Whistler local and a guide from the Whistler guiding program (not run by the mountain). It had been snowing lightly for the previous 2 days and snowed lightly most of the day. We had some great runs, a bit reminiscent of the milder stuff off of Teton pass. Lots of fresh turns to be had. They too are having a great early season that's statring to look more like great mid-season skiing.

During a quick practice search I learned some good techniques for the close up part of a search using the Tracker which has some specific "peculiarities" when working close. You may already know about these but it would be interesting to discuss sometime and reinforce.
post #4 of 15
Hey UP Racer, give me a call when you get a chance!The wife and I are thinkin about JH this year...
BTW, I got a beacon for ya if we can hook up!

Bob, is Mark Kozak involved with the program? He's a GREAT guy -- tell him if I get out that way, I'm definately lookin him up!

post #5 of 15
Feb. 10 through 15 we'll be there. Why don't you guys plan on that? Christie doesn't plan on skiing out there this year..... or racing.... That reminds me, we have a bit of news. :
post #6 of 15
U.P. Racer, Magoo, Bob, and all-

I will be there for Feb & March. My wife and friends will be there on and off during the 2 months. I'm always looking for people to ski with. I'll see some of you at the Annual Gathering. If you're not going to be there than, PM me if you are looking for someone to ski with while you're in Jackson.

Bob- It's hard to concentrate on work when I see all the snow that keeps falling.
post #7 of 15
Wait a minute..... you'll be there ALL of February and March???
How do I sign up for a gig like that??

I'll look you up
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm really looking forward to meeting all of you. The skiing is very good all over the mountain right now, so if we just get "normal" snowfall (knocking head) between now and the Gathering, the conditions should be outstanding for youse guys.

Magoo - I don't know Mark's name but I'll ask some of the guides this morning.

mannsj - sounds like you've got the program figured out for this winter. You should have a great time. I'd be happy to show you a few of the local highlights.

U. P. Racer - I've got extra beacons/shovels. I'm sure we can arrange some kind of low-danger backcountry excursion while you're here. What's up with that cryptic reference to your wife and skiing this winter? Is there some good news hiding in there?

Si - we'll talk it over. I'm learning so much right now it's bordering on info overload. It's been great.

post #9 of 15
There IS a bit of good news! (bad news for our race league team)
Child #2 is coming in June!
post #10 of 15
Way to go. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
My wife's still trying to work out her schedule in two jobs so I haven't made reservations yet.
post #11 of 15
Originally posted by Bob.Peters:

Si - we'll talk it over. I'm learning so much right now it's bordering on info overload. It's been great.

I can appreciate that. One day with a guide in the backcountry with a few pointers and I have trouble remembering a few new things. I can only imagine the amount of information they're dishing out in the orientation session for guides at JH!

Talk to you soon (after you've digested things)
post #12 of 15
post #13 of 15
Originally posted by U.P. Racer:
(bad news for our race league team)
So, the other teams have a chance this year?

Congrats on the news!
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by ryan:
JH today.
Ooooh. Nice shot.

We were digging snowpits today about four hundred vertical feet straight down from the guys in the foreground of that picture. They are standing on the ridge that leads to Cody Peak (which is at top left in the background).

It was a glorious day.

post #15 of 15
Originally posted by Magoo:
"So the other teams have a chance this year?"

I didn't say that........

I wouldn't be surprised if a 5th straight championship was on the horizon.

Can you say "Dynasty?"
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