Short-Form: The Nitty-Gritty
Weather: mid-20’s at the base, 5-25 at the top of the tram; 50% bluebird sunshine, 50% clouds; no new snow
Conditions: ranged from soft-pack to windblown chalk to cut-up crud to a smidge of scratchy hardpack
Overall Impressions from a First-Timer: Wow, what a big, serious mountain! Endless variety of fun, challenging chutes, tree shots, and wide-open runs, with a few outstanding groomers thrown in for good measure. Reminded me of Snowbird on steroids, with a dash of A-Basin and Stowe’s front four (sans ice) for good measure.
Favorite Runs: Tower Three Chute, Expert Chutes, Rendezvous Bowl (when it was sunny) and carving big arcs down Werner. Plus a slew of spots Bob led me whose names I can’t recall…
Me on Alta 2... the light was a leetle flat at times...
Long-Form: Happenstance and Skiing with Bob Peters
Day 2 (Thursday): First run. The gondola doors close in our face and my wife and I hop into the next car with another couple and an instructor. Midway up the ride, I overhear a mention of “epicski.” I interject that I had just discovered epicski and that “some dude” had posted about sixteen pages of in-depth guide to the mountain on the site – really great stuff! The couple chuckles and points to their instructor, Bob Peters.
So after two 30,000+ vert days with old college friends & their wives, I walked up to the Bridger Center at 8:45 on Friday and found Bob, whom I had hired for a full morning of skiing. While I was buckling my boots and Bob was taking care of some business with the ski school director, a good-sized mule deer bounded through the meeting place and around the tram building. Mule deer must be good luck because that encounter began one of my best ski days of the past decade.
I won’t bore you all with the blow-by-blow, but I had a fantastic day with Bob. He led me through numerous unmarked chutes and lines, flew down groomers, and made big, fast turns through the lower faces’ cut-up crud as the blue sky and sun painted a beautiful scenic backdrop. While Bob chuckled a bit at my appreciation of some moderately scratchy conditions in a few spots, my east coast roots were loving every minute of it – it never got any worse than a good day at Stowe or Loon. All the while, Bob was a top-notch ambassador for Jackson Hole, regaling me with stories about the mountain and exchanging life experiences – both skiing and non-skiing related, and providing me with some truly valuable tips on handling crud, magically stretching one’s aerobic conditioning, and attacking the hill.
Bob is an excellent skier – he has an easy, smooth style that belies his power and quickness – sort of like a kung-fu master who breaks your nose before you see his fists twitch. The man accelerates with the ease of a Ferrari – following him down on the groomers, I found myself at Mach Schnell by the third arc. And yet, he skis nasty chutes, bumps, and wacky snow with the smoothness and confidence most only pull off on a flat blue groomer. I learned a ton just by following him!
I’m determined to get back to Jackson Hole – it is by far the most fun and challenging mountain I have ever skied. Days later, I'm still trying to shake the perma-grin! An awesome experience.
Edited by gfabbri - Tue, 03 Feb 09 18:36:56 GMT