Monday, March 3, 2014

Sending it, EP 01: Jackson Hole

SENding it, a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whenever time permits, blogroll about traveling with the skimakers, skiers, friends and family of Seneca Boards.

Episode 1: Powder week in Jackson Hole;

After 10,000 vertical feet, backcountry faceshots, highfives, and lots of hiking, I had wandered into a tent that said "Private Event" on it in search of food. Instead, I found $100,000 worth of next years skis, all mounted with demo bindings...and a bunch of un-attended beer. Beer in hand, Seneca prototypes on shoulder (though not exactly prototypes for this event), I felt like I fit in enough to not get kicked out. This was Powder week, A week devoted to meticulously demoing 35 of the top brands equipment for the Powder Magazine buyers guide next year.


I actually ended up in Jackson over Powder week by accident. In fact, we had sold skis to a few friends in the 10th mountain division last month, and as soon as the custom skis were done I had decided to meet up with them in Jackson for delivery.

The trip began with camping out in the parking lot of Smiths, followed by eggs, bacon and coffee in the parking lot of Hoback Sports -- all while in the comfort of our 35 foot tour bus affectionately named chief. A quick lap on Teton Pass, followed by a little work and a few phone calls, and we had already nabbed some tickets to Jackson Hole courtesy of their marketing dept.

The tickets were well used on the second day. We caught an early (ish) tram, bopped out of the boundry and into spacewalk, a tight coulouir that usually has a mandatory air in the middle. The line was so filled in you couldn’t even see the cliff halfway down. Good friends Pat Owen, Leif Routman and Erik Bailly knew the area well, and we spent the rest of the morning exploring the Pinedale area. Once we were back at the resort, we mobbed into the Powder tent and found some energy bars, and it was back to the Tram.

We decided to head towards the park this time - by park I mean Grand Teton Park, not the terrain park. But first, pat and I couldn't resist dropping in on Corbets in front of some scared on-lookers. Pat sent it off the lip over the drop in channel, and I found a nice line on the lookers right. After a quick hike, we found ourselves at the gate to Granite Canyon, 3000 vertical foot runs, and no tracks since the last snow.

It was a real treat to ski such a renown and special place with such great friends. The best skiing of the trip, and just enough workout on the hike out to fully deserve the pitcher of beer at the end of the day. Leif and his band, Whiskey Morning/ Black Mother Jones, tore up the apr├Ęs at Whiskey Jacks Saloon.

After a pitcher of beer, I realized I had only eaten a few mini cliff bars all day...I decided to leave the tour bus in the parking lot and camp there. Fortunately, the Teton Mountain Lodge was only across the parking lot by a few hundred yards from where I parked. I mozied on over around 11:00 and found a nice and empty pool and hot-tub, and the perfect way to end Powder week and get back to the shop to build more skis!

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