In an era of $160 lift tickets and overpriced hot dogs, the ski vacation is growing significantly less affordable. This is especially true for 4 extremely broke, extremely dirty college kids. On January 1st, the "Boys Club" piled into my Subaru outback and headed to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. After 8 hours of driving, we pulled into the Motel 6 in Jackson. Four dudes, two full beds and an excessive amount of ski gear made for a tight fit but as we cracked the door into our room, we realized we had stumbled upon 90 square feet of dirt bag heaven. The goal of the trip was to maximize fun and minimize spending. Between groceries, gas, lodging, lift tickets and an absurd amount of beer, we managed to spend less than 200 dollars each.
The forecast predicted that 2 days of bluebird would follow the massive incoming storm cycle. We thought we had hit the perfect storm. We spent two days at Teton pass, one day at Grand Targhee and 2 days at Jackson Hole. In the end, higher than predicted temperatures accompanied by high winds created a set of conditions that were not ideal for maximum Jackson shreddage. We escaped the funky inversion layer and 21 inches of pow turned death crust, by heading over the pass to Grand Targhee for the best day of our trip. Grand Targhee offers similar aggressive terrain to Jackson, minus the crowds of people discussing the pros and cons of their 40k fully waterproofed outerwear.
In traditional dirt bag fashion, the day started with a four star breakfast in the parking lot. With skis in hand, we headed to the Dream-catcher lift for our first run of the day. Off of Dream-catcher, we found steep, untouched glades on a few inches of wind affected yet sensually surfy snow that made for some of the best turns of our trip. As the pow on Dreamcatcher slowly turned into crud, we ventured into Toilet Bowl, one of the many zones off of the Sacajawea lift.
Jason slarvin around in the Glades on Dreamcatcher
Noah, Fixn' to Givr'
In the TOILET bowl, we found faceshots, quite a few faceplants, and some of the largest airs that we had been able to hit all season. After hours of patrol work, Mary's NIPPLE, one of the many gems of the resort, was opened. We stepped off the lift as soon as patrol flipped the open sign for the NIPPLE. What was going to be our last run of the day turned into a frenzy to beat the rest of the public to the access gate. . As the final run of the day, this experience solidified that the best day of the trip was spent at Grand Targhee.
A crowd of 50+ other people accompanied us on the hike to the top of the NIPPLE
The next day, we headed back to Jackson. Higher than predicted temperatures accompanied by high winds created a set of conditions that were not ideal. An inversion came in, resulting in a 20-degree swing from the bottom to top of Jackson Hole. The inversion layer was visually awe inspiring, but made for sub par snow conditions. Our days in Jackson were rad but our days in Targhee were Radder(er).
Admiring the Scenery
As we skated towards the gate for the Mary's Nipple, we were suddenly brought to a halt by the sight of the Grand Teton poking out of the clouds.
Article: Jack Beighle
Pictures: Nick Braun
Edit: Jason Siegel (not the actor)