Packed like a stuffed suitcase, we teeter back and forth as the tram heads straight into a white blur of nothingness. With each passing of a steel tower, we rock back and forth like an amusement park ride designed to make someone hurl, which my wife almost did.
“I’m just gonna keep on staring at the ceiling and I’ll be ok,” Michelle says, getting more nauseous as we gain in altitude. If we could make out the scenic Teton mountains below us, perhaps the sensation would be different. But a thick coat of fresh white paint was being applied to Jackson Hole and we were right in the middle of it, floating uneasily in zero visibility.
The turned stomach was a small price to pay for the fresh powder that awaited us at more than 10,000 feet. Heading down Rendezvous Bowl, the snow softly tumbled under the weight of our skis all the way through powdery Laramie Bowl and onto the Sublette Chair for another round.
It snowed all three days we were in Jackson (and for five straight days after), giving us an up-close look at its Steep and Deep reputation. The trails here are unceasing; few catwalks or level terrain to break up a hastily carved run. With a miserable year of snow in Colorado, this was our first time on the mountain this ski season. By the end of my first day at terminal velocity, my legs were as hard as cinderblocks ready to burst from the weight of another downhill cruise. Despite every effort to enjoy the immaculate Four Seasons Resort located slopeside, my body shut down that night. I passed out by 8:30pm.
That’s too bad; Teton Village is a place I wouldn’t mind staying for weeks, months…years? It’s where simplicity meets luxury, with a side dish of big mountain scenery at its doorstep.
On our second night in town, with legs fully adapted and body not so worn out, we tried the Handle Bar, one of the newest apres ski options in town. Still in start-up mode, the food is finding its flavor, but the bar scene is lively and specializes in local taps (as well as promoting handle bar mustaches). There are also Spur and the well known Mangy Moose, the latter an iconic option entertaining skiers since 1967.
But let’s face; we didn’t drive eight hours from Denver so we could go to apres. We did it so we could spend eight hours a day on the mountain for world-class skiing. Mission accomplished.
Know Before You Go: Those driving from the Front Range take note. Save yourself a half-hour of driving by taking US 287 from Fort Collins to Laramie, cutting off a section of I-25 and I-80.