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Video of crazy windstorm at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on 3-30-2010
Skiing JH Backcountry 1-19-2011:
My intent with these blogs is to include reports about some of the activities that my wife and I and our friends love to do. I hope you'll enjoy browsing through these as much as I enjoy putting them together:
I learned a new word today. We have been skiing with two skiers from Germany for the last couple of days. They were really going crazy as we were riding the Union Pass chair after one of our runs. The word "UNGLAUBLICH!" kept coming up. I had to ask what it means, of course. Here's the reply:
"You have the word 'unbelievable', yes?"
Yes, we do.
"Well, 'unglaublich' is unbelievable only way more."
A few photos from today...
The run that inspired the word:
This is my business partner, former World Cup downhiller Andy Chambers. We were, ahem, working.
Here's Andy showing that racers never really get away from making racing turns, even in deep powder:
Without giving names, here's the first German again:
And the second German:
And getting boisterous:
Well, our ski resort closed two days ago with a bazillion inches of base on the hill, more snow falling, and some of the best skiing of the year, all because so few people want to go on destination ski trips in the spring. I'll be hiking up to ski a whole bunch this year, but I've also started cross-country skiing out to the Snake River each day.
This is the time of year when waterfowl and migratory birds start showing up again. The river corridor is a major draw for birds of all kinds. Here are a few photos I've taken lately:
And this is the same group. Trumpeters don't turn fully white until they reach maturity. The two grayish ones on the right are adolescents that were born last spring. This is probably a family group, with the two white ones being the parents and the two grayish ones being their chicks from last year:
I'm not sure, but I think these are mergansers. If they are, they're a different species from the ones I normally see around here. This pair was across the river and there was a lot of snow falling, so they looked pretty cold:
A pair of Canada geese getting ready for mating season:
And of course, I can't resist fishing even though the weather has been pretty miserable for being out on a stream. I caught this 22" rainbow trout on the New Fork River in the midst of a howling snowstorm:
This is a video that Tristan Greszko posted on Vimeo. It's a really fun film about Jackson Hole and backcountry skiing. It's best if you let it stream for a couple of minutes before you view it because it's high definition and will take a couple of minutes to load.
I've spent the last couple of months doing early-morning walks through the woods near our house and along the Snake River. April and May are transition times for the wildlife here in Jackson Hole. The snow typically is starting to diminish in the valley while it's still deep up in the mountains. The birds and big mammals start to snow up again as springtime approaches.
Here is an osprey. There are many osprey nests all around our valley, mostly up and down the Snake River. The ospreys nest here and then migrate away around the end of the summer. For a really fascinating article about the travels of some Jackson hole osprey, see this article in the Jackson Hole News & Guide. This osprey showed up on the third of April.
These are two elk running along the river bottom on March 28. Most of our "neighborhood" elk spend the winter in a State of Wyoming-run feedground on the other side of the river about six miles south of us. Once the snow in the valley starts to diminsh, they move out of the feedground and spread up and down the river valley. Once the snow in the mountains starts to melt (who knows WHEN that's going to happen this year), a good share of the elk move up into the mountains flanking the valley. For about a six-week period from March to May, though, we see lots of them in the yard at home. The elk behind in this picture has been fitted with a radio-tracking collar:
This is a mating pair of bald eagles perched in a cottonwood tree not far from their nest. Some of the eagles spend the winter here in Jackson Hole, but I'm fairly sure this pair had migrated somewhere because they just showed up around the second week of April:
This is a mother moose and her "baby". The young one is probably a yearling born in 2010. The youngsters stay with mom until just before she has the next calf, which is sometimes one year and sometimes two. While the calf is still with the mother, you almost never see them more than a few yards apart:
Everybody here in Jackson Hole has a "favorite" critter. For most people here, it's wolves or grizzlies or moose. Mine is the coyote. They are smart, adaptable, beautiful mammals. I've never gotten a good photo of one hunting a mouse in a meadow through the in the winter, but I did get some good photos of a group of three of them in the woods in late April. This one stuck around awhile to try to figure out what I was doing in "his" (or her) woods:
I'll post more photos as time permits.
The calendar might give one the impression that summer is arriving, but the weather in Jackson Hole resembles winter more than summer.
The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort at Teton Village is famous for its amazing ski terrain and abundant snowfall. Skiers and riders come from all over the world to experience our mountain while the lifts are open from December to April. A less-known fact is that when the resort opens the aerial tram for summer sightseeing on Memorial Day weekend, skiers and riders are allowed to hit the mountains all over again. The only restriction is that the resort requires skiers to go outside the ski area boundaries as there are no ski patrollers or snow safety activities during the summer.
I've been riding the tram each Memorial Day weekend since they started allowing skis over ten years ago. What used to be a pretty solitary ride has morphed to the point where last Saturday there were about 70 skiers and snowboarders on the tram with me.
With over 700 inches of total snowfall this winter, there was plenty (putting it mildly) of snow to choose from this weekend. Here are a few photos from Saturday vmorning, 5-28-2011...
Here's the line at the tram a few minutes before they opened:
This is the scene at the top of the tram. It literally looks like a photo taken in January:
Here's what one of our group found in Cardiac Bowl:
And here's the lucky couple hitting the jackpot:
It seems kind of silly to use the word "summer" in conjunction with these photos, but there you are.