by Dave Wall
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12:20 pm - We just rolled into the Motel 6 in Jackson. I have mad butterflies and I am so stoked to go ride. The drive wasn't bad at all. Five hours away and I'm at a really GREAT resort and a vacation!
Like madmen we are unloading our gear and bags into the $40 hotel room we just scored. The room isn't 5-star or anything, but hey, were ghetto snowboarders so its all good. We have 2 full size beds and a shower that doesn't have a bathtub. I am bummed about that because that's the next best thing to a hot tub after a long day of riding.
12:40 pm - Almost geared up and ready to hit the mountain. Gear check… gloves, boots, goggles, mp3, coat… coat? Oh CRAP!!! I was in too much of a hurry to get on the road this morning and I totally left my coat like an idiot. Worst part is the digital camera was in my pocket. Shit… I guess I'll just have to buy a fun saver for the trip. Me: "Hey Britt… I don't have a coat." Britt: "DAVE!" Oh well, I'll just hit the nearest board shop and rent one or get something cheap. I need some new gear anyway. It's a good thing I brought an extra $100 for crap like this. The only problem is I have no idea where to go and I have to hurry on this. I need a map of the city and a phone book.
12:50 pm - I'm in the motel's main office trying to figure this out right now. Let's see, we have a map of the city, no phone book. I'll just talk to the guy at the main desk. I just found out there is a Gart's just up the road. He said they are having mad sales right now and that is the place we should go. Lets hit the road!
12:55 pm - Garts! Yeah, we found it. Ok, I'm looking at our selection here and it's not bad. I spot a cool red and grey coat…. "Hey Britt, what do you think about this one?" Britt: "You can do better. Check this one out. It's a convert." Me: "I like it, how much? On sale $75. Perfect, lets do this." We are at the cash register to pay for my forgetfulness. Well hey, at least I get a new coat out of it. Cashier: "Total is $56." I am a little confused but ok. This didn't turn out too bad at all.
1:15 pm We are at Jackson!!! The drive from the city to here isn't bad at all. Just like 15 minutess. Parking is going to cost us $5. I can handle that, especially since we are in a hurry.
1:30 pm - I just got our tickets. I have to say, they have a cute PR rep. She was really nice and was able to comp me and Britt for both days we are going to be riding. THANKS JACKSON!
We start out on the tram. It is the last year of the tram so we have to get in on some of that action. It is the oldest tram in North America, I believe. It holds 2400 pounds and has a 6 minute ride. There is only one tram on the cable so we have to wait 12 minutes for it to come down. The line isn't moving very fast, but I have a feeling it will be worth the wait. We just got some new snow overnight and it looks like it's been snowing off and on throughout the day. I'm crossing my fingers for some freshies. The tram ride up is amazing. Jackson Hole has a lot of really cool terrain. The rock and cliff features they have here are really sweet. We are just getting to the top and just to the right of us is a closed off area. The locals say it is permanently closed off and there is no way I could go over there. It is really cool though. There is a really steep, fresh powder face into some little cliffs, then another steep powder landing into some really big cliffs. It intrigues me so much because there is some really cool shoots you could navigate and not even have to drop the big cliffs. It is definitely video quality and I want to hit it so bad.
We are just strapping in at the top and looking at the map trying to decide where to ride. I want to run into a cool local to show us around but I have not had any luck so far. I think we are just going to make our way toward Sublette Quad. The terrain looks good and I can see a little cut powder we can hit.
2:45 pm - Sublette lift. The snow isn't too bad. It has a little buck to it, but for the most part it's pretty fluffy. It's been pretty fun here so far. We went through some cool trees, got some cut powder. Not too bad for not knowing our way around this mountain. After coming out of the trees it opened up on to the run. It was really fun because there are all these soft moguls right now so I can go really fast and just bounce from mogul to mogul. It was really intense riding, but I handled it. From Sublette we are going to cruise over to the far right side of the mountain. It looks like the run is called Rendezvous Trail. We want to see what's over on that side of the mountain. I think we will end up in the trees or something just around that area.
3:20 pm - Wow, I don't recommend going through some of the ravines after all the powder is gone. We went through the trees and ended up underneath Cheyenne Gully. It was gnarly. We hit some ice, some bushes and some steep craziness. I know it would be so good when there is some snow, but when the pow is gone in that area I would recommend some of the other killer runs.
A run or so later - The day is winding down. So far we have had a good one. We hit some of the cut powder that was left, glided some of there groomed runs, hit the tram, and got to ride some of their steep and deep trees. Jackson is a crazy big mountain. I really like it here and I am super excited to spend the whole day out here tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers for the storm to dump over night.
5:20 pm - We just got out of our gear. Both of us are pretty beat from staying up late and road tripping all day then riding our asses off so we are going to go find something good to eat. We are just looking at the city map and there are a few places right next to us. We don't know what's what so we are going to just drive until we see something we like. We ended up at Jackson's Rout 89. I think I am going to order the baby back ribs. That sounds really good. Britt's getting a steak sandwich, that sound pretty good too. It doesn't compare to my ribs though. The waiter just came out with a huge rack of ribs. Britt doesn't think I can finish them. Its weird, she is my best friend and she still doesn't know how freaking much I have to eat to just be full. I'll show her.
A whole rack of ribs later - Britt said she feels like she has to keep up with me on this eating thing. Ha! I think that's pretty impossible for a girl to keep up with my eating. I really do eat more than any one else I know. It sucks, I spend more money on food than any other expense, and I still can't manage to gain a pound. What's up with that? Any how, Britt says her stomach hurts now and its all my fault. She is just making fun of me though.
We're done eating and on the way out to the car there is a liquor store right next to us. So we have to go in and get some Wyoming beer and something to loosen up these sore muscles. I am pretty sure we are just going to go to the hotel and pass out. We are both pretty beat and want to be rested up for tomorrow.
7:45 am next day - I'm up and rested. I am glad I didn't do too much partying because looking outside I can see about 6 inches on Britt's car. I seem to be having a hard time getting Brittany up. She doesn't do too well in the mornings.
8:15 am - I really want to make it to the resort for first tram. It looks like the powder is so light and fluffy so I am way excited to shred it up. We are running a little behind though, we still have to eat and get Britt some warm thick socks. Her boots are breaking down so they are kind of loose, We hope some socks will do the trick.
9:25 am - We are just pulling into the parking lot, it doesn't look like there is as many people here today… well at least not yet. It is still overcast and snowing here and there. It's about 28 degrees with a little bit of a wind chill. I guess I should have brought a face mask. I hate those though because I don't like feeling like I can't breath.
9:40 am - Gondola line! The tram line was a little too long for all this powder. I am sure it's quite worth it but I have to hit some snow. I'm really jonesin for it. I REALLY want to find a cool local to show me around. Britt and I are keeping our eyes out. I know there has got to be some good stuff today that only a local could find. In the gondola we just met this guy, Tim. He seems like a pretty cool guy and he is showing us all the cool places on the map to go that he thinks we could easily find. I think I am just going to ask if we can follow when we get to the top. I guess he has lived here for a few years and rides this mountain all the time. I am stoked to find out what he likes to hit.
While we are strapping in Tim says he is headed to Thunder lift. We decide to cruise that way and see where the powder is. We start out going through the trees next to Gros Ventre run. The pow is amazing. Someone told us it was suppose to be kind of wet when we were at Gart sports earlier, but this is amazing. I'm getting face shots just off the run!
10:15 - am We are at the top of Thunder and are making our way to Sublette lift. The tree runs are so good. It's quite steep with nicely spaced obstacles. I'm loving this. Tim is just cruising through these trees. I can tell he knows this run well. It's great, because sometimes it's hard for me to find someone to ride with that will push my skills like this. We are losing Brittany. I don't want to ditch her on a huge mountain we both don't know. It could be forever before we find each other.
Just riding up to the line on Sublette I am out of breath. Wow, that got pretty intense. We came shooting out of the trees and powder onto a huge run, I guess its flight point. Anyhow, it is kind of cut up and mogully, but not very steep at the same time. It was so fun because I got in this rhythm where my board was hopping from mogul to mogul going soooo fast. I almost ate it coming around the corner.
So Britt and Tim are talking in line. Tim seems like a pretty interesting guy. He is saying something about being around the snowboarding industry for a while and knowing some of the people in that circle. Normally I would say he is BSing just by what he was riding and his persona, but I can tell he is extremely passionate about snowboarding, so I'm not sure.
On the lift were talking about his involvement in the upbringing of Ride snowboards. He wasn't bragging or anything about it he was just talking about how it was. He said that he had a couple of partners in it that didn't see things the way he did and that's why K2 has it now. He said he got a bunch of money from it but that it wasn't about that but about being involved with snowboarding and its progression. I'm going to have to get this guys number. I have a lot of ideas and things I would like to do in this business as well.
At the top of Sublette we are traversing over Cheyenne Bowl and toward the Hobacks. The bowl looks sick and powdery, so I am excited to see what we are heading for. Tim says the Hobacks are one of his favorite spots sometimes.
11:05 am - We are standing at the top of what I can tell is going to be an epic powder field. No wait, let me rephrase that, epic powder fields! The Hobacks consist of three rolling ridgelines and everything through this area is so fresh still. We drop into this powder and everything goes quiet. I can't hear my MP3 player. I can't hear the noise around me. All my senses are all reset at the time. The powder has taken control of my brain. We are just flying down this field. I am just riding the tail of my board. Riding so hard I can tell I am blasting a huge wake. I am having so much fun.
At the bottom of the run we are regrouping. We all kind of let our minds take control and lost each other. I am so down to do that again, and again, and again. I hope that is where we are headed again.
At the bottom of Union Pass lift Tim says he has to go. Too bad, I wanted to see all the other sick stuff that I know this mountain has to have hidden away. Oh well, I could hit that last run all day so I think that's what we will work over too again. Too the gondola we go!
12ish - We are standing at the Hoback entrance again. We had to get a picture of this… it's a little cloudy out and some would say not the best conditions but I am loving it. We are going to tear this apart… again!!! I am so excited.
Dropping in I let Brittany lead. I love riding really close to my friends, it gives me an adrenaline rush. I let her get a couple of hundred feet in front of me so I can just point it. Making this huge airplane turn I come in from the side and pass to the front of her. I don't think I will ever forget this moment. Brittany is at top speed and shooting this huge wake and I am barely in control as I fly past her and make eye contact. I can tell she is having the same snowgasm I am just by the ear- to-ear smile on her face.
At the bottom I am just speechless. I don't know what to say… On the way back to the Gondola I am out of breath and all my muscles are burning. There isn't anything in the world that I have done that can make me beat myself up so much, but I love it. I love this feeling because you know you didn't stop when it burned, you didn't stop because it was so sick you didn't know it was burning. I LOVE IT!
All the runs are starting to blend together. Sickness after sickness, and my mind can't keep up. I love losing my mind snowboarding. It's like I ditch it in the trees for a bit and all that matters is the snow under my board. I feel so good it's amazing.
4:15 pm - My mind just caught back up with me. Sorry you missed out on all that but it just came to a point when all I could do was board. My mind wasn't there to fill you in on what was going on. Even if it were, it would freeze up like a computer when it has a massive overload. There are just some things that the mind can't interpret like the soul.
I am peeling off my gear in the parking lot. I am so tired I can barely stand. Looking in the mirror I look so beat. My face is red and numb, I have crazy beanie hair and the biggest smile.
At this point I just want to say thank you Jackson and Ski Bum News for this experience. I have had one of the best days of the season and it wouldn't have been possible otherwise. We are all loaded up, I think we are just going to stop somewhere and grab a bit to eat then head out. I don't want to be driving too late since I know I will be super tired if I do.
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