It had been a long and busy week at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Salt Lake City but now the fun could start. Leaving Martin to catch his long flight back to the UK, we picked up our hire car and began the 5 hour drive North to Wyoming’s Teton mountains.
We had arrived into Salt Lake City earlier that week to be greeted by the worst snow conditions in 30 years, dry conditions had resulted in less than half the snow they would have usually had by mid January, but as we made our daily pilgrimage to the tradeshow, the weather patterns were finally changing. The North West was readying itself for a winter storm.
And so by the time we began the long drive north on I89, the Teton had been ravaged by a winter storm that had dumped more than 55 inches of fresh snow. Even now, as the storms intensity had tailed off, there was little to see of Wild Wyoming as another front tracked across the Rockies. We passed through rolling hills on high plains, and drove through one tiny settlement after another, each settlement proudly displaying its population on the road sign, each no more than – few hundred.
Approaching Snake River and the Bridger National Forest, the snow returned. There was little in the way of traffic except for the occasional snow plough and the odd pickup parked by the road, ramps down and snowmobile tracks disappearing off into the backcountry.
Some 5 and a half hours later, we arrived in Jackson. There was still nothing to see through the falling snow but somewhere out there was the Teton.
The following morning we awoke to a very different scene. The temperature gauge on the car was reading 4 degrees Fahrenheit or Minus 15 degrees celcius. It was cold. And so we made our way to Teton Village. Today was a day to get back on the skis and make the most of the sun before the snow returned.