Recently I was digging through old work and realized I had a bunch of trip report comics that I'd never published. During the 2019-2021 season I'd just started to draw comics, and I resolved to draw a page for every "significant" day I skied that winter. What follows is the resulting chronicle of a winter in the Tetons.

Back then, art didn't pay the bills (heck it barely does now) and I was installing flooring as the first snowflakes fell.

Opening day was rough. I was out of shape, and the snow was terrible. I was still figuring out the format for these, and they weren't great, this one really drags in retrospect, and I'd make a lot of changes if I was to do it again.

Early season touring was weird and sketchy and thin, pretty typical.

I owned a minivan this winter, and I used every excuse to include it. Sometimes I miss that Sienna.

This day could have been shitty, but wasn't. Also, watching Dan (a very competent snowboarder) learn how to ski pow was great. And now he's a great skier too.

When I tour solo my inner nerd really shows through. This one is dorky. I still haven't skied any of the lines I got eyes on this day. Maybe this spring?

This was one of my favorite days in the mountains ever. Good snow, great company, and a super pretty line.

We drank a lot of Naturdays that winter, I get a little ill just thinking about them now.

Kanye West visited our tiny mountain town the year before, bought a bunch of clothes from the second hand store, and was spotted at a few local restaurants. Someone photoshopped him overlooking one of Targhee's scenic vistas, and I had to give that a nod, with him waiting at the top of the boot pack.

This line is weird. It's not that long, or interesting, but it has two rappels that are fun and interesting. It's a good place to get reacquainted with skiing with ropes.

Lord, this day was silly good. Untracked. Perfect snow top to bottom, we skied the whole continuous 3000' shot continuously, one by one. When it was my turn to drop my partners radioed back up and warned me about a mandatory air. Turns out they'd gotten a little off line and dropped an extra cliff. What a great day.

I drew the linework for the this comic but never finished it, mostly because this day wasn't that extraordinary. The snow was shitty, we were in a shitty place mentally and physically, and instead of going big we went for a nice walk. No regrets.

Finally, our last big line of the season. I usually start the drawing process by just putting down some notes. This line was cool, a long sunrise walk across a lake, followed by some straightforward climbing, and an aesthetic ski. We brought ice axes and crampons because we had no idea how bad the climb would be, and at the top we ran into another group that was too cool for helmets, let alone pointy things. They gave us a hard time, and I think the theme of this comic was going to be that it's ok to bring extra safety gear, there's no reason to be ashamed. But I never finished it, or even really started.

We skied the Black Hole on a Saturday. That Sunday we went for a chill walk in the woods with the dog, and when we got home, the world had ended. COVID shut down the ski resorts, and any desire to backcountry ski. I kept coming back to this page, trying to get excited to draw a comic, but I never did. I just left it there as a reminder of how the season ended.

So there you have it, a winter in 14 pages. That year we felt like we were getting after it. We skied a bunch of fun lines, in new-to-us areas. I don't think I've had that "productive" of a winter skiing wise since. But I also think I cut it a little closer safety-wise more that winter than I'm comfortable with. What are your winter highlights so far?