2013 is dead, long live 2014!
And all hale Martin, who did not wake up at 6 am on New Year’s day, and eating bacon and eggs and home made biscuits (but not drinking the coffee) at the local diner and watching men with fantastic mustasches and cowboy hats, and eating ice cream before all that. Come to think of it, it was my first chilled New Year’s day morning since 2003, and we still got to ski cold smoke. A very good start of the new year indeed.
Since Matt and Alyssa were driving back to Lander, we decided to ski Togwotee pass again, and since we are we, we once again refused to go where you are supposed to go and instead just charge up the mountain, in knee high and wind packed snow. I am very happy I wasn’t the one breaking the trail…
It seems as if Togwotee is the Borgafjäll of Wyoming. There is always pow and there is always wind. Tons of it. We didn’t see a single ski track in the forest, but we did see lots and lots of wind affected snow. Heck, there was even cornice like features in the trees!
As we got higher up, the stability of the snow rapidly deteriorated so we decided to play it safe, stay low and do multiple laps instead. Play is actually a very good word for it.
We didn’t get that many verts that day, but it didn’t matter much. It was a very good start of 2014. Very, very. We celebrated the day by haling ourselves, and, apparently the sun :).
To add some cream to the mashed potatoes (totally Swedish chef phrasing, I know), we ran into a traffic jam on the way back to Jackson. BISON!! Yeah yeah, I know, to the locals this is old news, they are everywhere, but to me, this is like being in a fairy tale. BISON!!!
Apparently the bison migrate from Yellowstone to the National elk refuge in the winter since they know that they will find food there. Thank you coincidence for letting me be in the right place at the right time. During our drives to and from the park, we have also seen hundreds of elk and about 8 moose, each day… Wyoming is truly amazing. Oh, oh, and I got a message from the friend whose house we rented in Centennial that they had found tracks of a mountain lion, on the porch! That is both like the most exciting and frightning thing ever. I love the wild west.
Anywhoo, after our lazy day up at Togwotee, I and Martin were on our own again, and ready for new adventures. Bearded Ben had recommended going to Shadow peak, and since Bearded Ben is a Ben, we knew that this was a good advice. Shadow peak has a slightly shorter approach than Disappointment peak, but I would still characterize it as substantial. I think it took us about an hour to reach the foot of the mountain. However, as with the Mavericks, once you are there, the way uphill is straight forward and really efficient. And, of course, someone will have been there before you so you just have to follow the tracks.
That day, the clouds were hanging low over the valley floor, but as we climbed higher the sky became lighter. As we approached the summit (hrm, not really the summit, to get to that, you first have to climb down and then up again) the view was amazing.
From the top of the run of Disappointment peak, you have a perfect view over Sliver, the colouir going down from Nez Perce. This particular day, there were actually two snowboarders in it, first climbing up and then riding down. They did it really well, really really well. We couldn’t help ourselves from clapping and cheering. Very impressive.
After the show, we were oh-so-ready for our own descent. Not at all as rad as doing Sliver, but oh so fun. The run from Shadow peak offers tons and tons of steep trees and jumpable features. And the snow, that snow… I think it may have been the best we had during our entire stay in Jackson.
After 12 days of skiing over a period of 14 days, my body was not very cooperative. My biggest problem was not that my pinky toes was twice their normal size and scarlet red, or that I had three huge blisters on my feet, or the corns between my toes, I was just out of energy. But, but, I just had one day left. And it had snowed, and we were doing Shadow. One step at the time, baby steps.
The thing is, I know that all the tiredness that I feel when going up, will magically turn into a delirious happiness as soon as I’ve ripped off my skins, so I just have to persuade myself to keep on walking.
Of course, that is exactly what happened.
I think the others were quite happy too..
Then, we just had to drive home to Laramie again. We accidentally took the wrong way and so got an hour detour, but then we got to see red canyon and that wasn’t too bad.
Now we are about to leave Wyoming and head back east. It feels both sad and good at the same time. Sad because we once again have to leave all the great people who live here, and because of the snow that is dumping over Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. And good, because this was a pretty damn fantastic start of 2014 and since the snow fall in the Swedish mountains has just started to pick up, and since I get to ride that snow with the pretty fantastic people back home. Yes. I have high expectations of 2014.