bə-lō'nē mō'gəls(n.pl.) 1. A group of drinkers with a shredding problem. 2. The combination of snow, booze, and metal.


10+ Inches (Jackson Hole Day 5)

“First box on a pow day. How’s that feel?”

It’s 8:55 A.M. and the tram driver calls that out. Quite the cheer comes out of the 100 person packed out tramcar. Miserable weather for a few days and the promise of a true Jackson Hole pow day put a buzz and energy through the car that couldn’t be imagined. As a goof, the driver put on the MGMT song “Kids” because it is so brutally overplayed since T Rice’s segment in That’s It, That’s All, but quickly, everyone’s heads were bopping and the sight of deep untouched snow at 10,000 feet got everyone pumped.

Off the tram, the first wave of riders were like the troops landing on D-Day. This is what we’ve all trained for; this is what we’ve all waited for. Brown, Dong, and I clipped in, headed to the Rendezvous bowl in howling winds and dumping snow and pointed down.

For a moment we thought the snow didn’t stick. So high and so windy, the cusp of the bowl was icy and rocky. But 25 feet deeper into the bowl and consistently deep and untouched snow launched up on every turn. Perfection. The rock hard ice bumps of the last few days were gone and replaced with soft light snow.

Cheers and hollers went out and pure bliss oozed out. Dong became quite irritated by my supposed “5-year old” attitude, but we don’t all get epic pow days.

One run made the whole trip worth it. But down at the Sublette chair, it was only 9:30. A long day of riding was still available and pow was everywhere.. Soon, Tim and Dan caught up and the riding continued. Lots of snow, lots of powder slashes, and face shots galore. If there were 10 inches on the top, there must have been double that in some of the wind-pushed tree runs. Goodness.
The truth depth and possibility of this mountain truly came alive and opportunities abounded. Cliff drops, rock jumps, random kickers and tree stomps became the norm. Every feature was now doable and every run could be done faster and harder.

By 10-11, the top of the mountain started becoming clearer and clearer but the storm sat between 9000 and 7000 feet. Dropping from the higher chairs down into the bowls was like going into the great abyss. On the Cat tracks around the top of the bowls you would look down into a white nothingness. But we knew what was there. Yummy pow pow. Very nasty.

So turns out Jackson is epic. The only thing I want now is to come back, as fast as possible. With more pow and more time, so many more dangerous situations will present themselves. Till then.

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