Rather than go on one of our club trips in the winter of 1984, Jim and I decided to head off on our own. After some consideration we picked Jackson Hole as our destination. Our friends Roy & Malda Elrod had skiied here for many years and recommended it highly. They were members of the 100,000' vertical club. I'm not sure what their lifetime total was. It turned out to be an interesting choice, although we didn't fall in love and never went back. And we didn't make the 100,000' vertical in one week. I don't remember how in those pre-internet days we found a condo to rent, but we did. Perhaps we used a travel agent (remember them?). I expect that is also the way we got our airline tickets.

We relied on public transportation to get around. I remember the not-very-long walk from our condo to and from the ski lifts. I had a brand new pair of Lange boots and this was the beginning of a love-hate relationship with them. As long as I was actually skiing, they were great. For walking - forget it. When I eventually replaced them with another pair of Lange boots, I had to be reassured by the salesman that it was ok -- even though they didn't hurt, they would ski fine. He was right! They lasted many years and I replaced them with trepidation, but my most recent pair works fine too.

Picture

Narrative

Jackson Airport

The airport bus.

Condo View

I think I somehow expected a room with a view. We could look out, to be sure, but there wasn't much to see!

At least it was an indication that there was plenty of snow.

View over Jackson, WY

The view from the slopes at Jackson Hole toward Jackson. The town is on the other side of the low hills. The ski area runs in the distance belong to Snow King, which is where the locals ski and play.

The flat valley floor surrounded by mountains is the source of the name Jackson Hole. An explanation of how this developed can be found at this National Park website.

Tram

When we were there the old tram was still in service. It was replaced in 2008 by a new, faster, better tram.

I only took the tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain once and I'm not sure Jim ever did. Most of the time we stayed on the lower slopes for a variety of reasons, but to be honest, I think the biggest reason was that all the runs off the top are black.

I recall that you had to buy timed tickets for the tram, but if so, that is no longer the case.

Jackson Hole slope

If memory serves, our first day was spent largely on Apr├Ęs Vous mountain.

This is the view looking across the "hole."

Rendezvous Mountain

Looking up to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. You can just see the red towers for the tram.

Jackson Hole

One of the runs.

While we were at Jackson Hole, I decided that I wanted to take some lessons to learn to ski bumps - slooooly. I didn't take my camera on any of the lesson days, of course, because I had other things to think about.

Instead of signing up for group lessons I hired a private instructor. He was quite good and taught me techniques that I use successfully to this day.

In fact I raved so much about what I was learning that Jim signed up as well for the second day with the same instructor. It started well, didn't end quite so happily. We had gotten to the top with the instructor and were standing looking down a steep, killer (to us) bump run. He glanced at his watch, exclaimed that he was late for his next lesson, and vanished in a flash of powder!

Jim and I looked at each other. Then at the bumps. Then at each other again. Had to get down somehow and we did. I don't think Jim ever willingly skiied a bump run again. Luckily we found a number of mountains that had a groomed run side-by-side with a bumpy section so we could both have fun.

Teton Village

I expect Teton Village has grown considerably since we were there.

It was a pleasant place with a number of good eateries, although we also cooked in our condo. I did NOT sample the Rocky Mountain Oysters! It seems to me that this may have been the first place we discovered craft beer.

Condo

Our home away from home. We were on the lower floor of the left-most building here.

Antler Arch, Jackson

One day we took the bus into downtown Jackson. There are four antler arches framing the town square. The first arch was built in 1953 and the others followed over the next ten years. The local Rotary Club was responsible for the original arches and their maintenance. In 2013 a full replacement project was completed.

No elk were killed to built the arches. Local Boy Scouts collect naturally shed antlers from the National Elk Refuge.

War Memorial

Looking online I finally verified that this is a war memorial. Why a bucking horse on a war memorial? Good question! Haven't yet found a definitive answer.

Is this the same bucking horse and rider as the one shown on the Wyoming license plate? Another good question. And no definitive answer.

Who is the rider? Another good question. Opinions differ.

The bucking horse & rider as a symbol of the state of Wyoming dates back to the early 20th century. Wikipedia has an interesting discussion that provides some rationale for the image being used on a war memorial.

Snow King

The Snow King area has been much improved since our visit there.

The Grand Tetons

The Grand Tetons viewed from Jackson Hole slopes.

When I traveled to Grand Teton National Park in the 1960s with my family, I thought it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen.

Grand Tetons

Another view of these glorious mountains.

Grand Targhee

We took advantage of an excursion that was offered to Grand Targhee, on the other side of the Tetons.

This mountain is noted for great snow and small crowds. It is also noted for visibility problems that clearly were not a problem this day. It has the nickname of "Grand Foghee." Given that much of it was wide open, it would be intimidating in poor visibility.

At the time of our visit there was little lodging in the area, which explains the lack of crowds. There has been much more development since.

Avalanche Control

Back in Jackson Hole we passed by the cannon that was used for avalanche control.

Over the years we've seen lots of different kinds of percussion tactics to bring down avalanches: mortars, howitzers, explosive charges, even supersonic aircraft in Switzerland!

Elk Refuge

I mentioned the National Elk Refuge earlier as the source for the antlers around the square in Jackson. We are passing through it here. The dark dusting in front of the hills are elk.

Jackson Hole

Our last view of the mountains from the airport as we were leaving. Looks like we timed our visit well for blue skies!

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