Saturday, April 16, 2016

El Niño Winter - Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson sucked us in again for another excellent winter of backcountry snowboarding.  When I say "another", I mean this happened once before waaaay back in 2003. That was so long ago, I remember using DIAL-UP internet with my pre-flip phone tethered to our computer to send emails.

Jackson, 2003: That winter we lived in our good 'ol 1990 E-350 van

Living in El Tigre is downright plush compared to that winter in 2003

Besides the most excellent backcountry-access to the Tetons, Jackson surprised us with so much more. Jackson Hole sits in a physical hole at the foot of towering hills and mountains, surrounded by National Park and National Forest. The wildlife right outside of town is phenomenal - moose, fox, coyote, big horn sheep, mountain goat, elk, deer, birds, ferret, otter, bison, the list goes on.

One morning, the local moose family showed up for a photo shoot perfectly flanked by the Tetons. Pictured below:

Jackson is getting crowded but I don't blame anyone for joining the hoards who visit and dream to live in the Jackson area. Winter is the off season, so I can't even imagine what it is like in the summer.

Even the whales are migrating to the Jackson area

The diversity in Jackson is a bit surprising. At first glance, you assume it may be a town dominated by absurdly rich people. Charles Schwab, Tiger Woods, Harrison Ford, and Dick Cheney are among those who either bought here or call Jackson home. But luckily that's not true. The locals in Jackson range from extreme mountain athletes to good 'ol cowboys and most surprising, a thriving Hispanic population. It was one of my favorite surprises about Jackson. Mostly, because I miss the Latino culture and all that it entails.

I would be lying if I acted like we did much more than backcountry snowboard almost everyday for the 7 weeks while we were there. We did try to diversify a little bit, like when Scott tried his hand at the "Songwriter's Alley" at one of the historic Hotel/Saloon's in town (The Silver Dollar Bar at The Wort Hotel). It made for good pictures, but the venue was frustratingly loud - people were not there to listen to the musicians.

Scott asked one of the other musicians, Andy, to play with him for one of his songs

And when it wasn't storming too hard or raining on us, this is what we did for 7 straight weeks:

Around the middle of March, we weren't quite ready for winter to end, but a warm dry-spell convinced us to head south. We only made it 30 miles though. An updated forecast the following morning called for a big storm so we returned to Jackson. We enjoyed an epic week that started with 4 feet of snow over 4 days! After that, our legs were done with winter, and we were too. Thank you El Niño!

New snow up to my knees and it continues to snow!

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