Glory Christmas Powder

Last time Molly and I came to Jackson for Christmas, there was zero snow. None. Nada. This year is thankfully much different — when we arrived, a nice string of snowy days followed by a little storm brought 30 inches of new snow…

Keith, Meagan and I headed up to the Teton Pass on Christmas morning at a leisurely 10:30am. The nice thing about living in a mountain town is that you can head up to the hills at any time of day… We hiked up the worn bootpack on Mt. Glory and enjoyed the amazing views over Idaho and Wyoming. We played it very safe on the way down, sticking to low angle slopes and trees along the west ridge. The powder was incredible, especially on the Voile V8 skis I was demoing…  🙂  they’re 112 underfoot! Very fun. Keith and I followed the Glory run with a descent down to the old Wilson road with some really fun turns in the trees.

looking from across the road from Glory — lots of ski tracks from the day before

bootpack up Mt. Glory

skiers approaching the summit of Mt. Glory

inside the Mt. Glory “hut”

Keith and Meagan gearing up for the down

Keith flying
cruiser slopes

Meagan in the trees

Pa-pow!

Keith exiting… backcountry runs always end so quickly

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Jackson, Wyoming (on mountain bikes)

Molly and I visited Jackson for a little while and while there one of my main wishes was to go mountain biking… this is where I tasted real mountain biking for the first time a few years ago and I was hooked immediately. The trails are incredible, and many of them start straight from town. 

Ditch-Creek to Horsetail Creek trail

We rented some sweet 29ers from Fitzgerald’s who have now actually moved to Victor, ID — we’re loyal customers I guess. Our first ride started right from Keith and Meagan’s in Kelly and across some flatlands onto the Ditch Creek road on the east side of Shadow mountain. We thought the ride would be relatively easy, if fairly long, because of not much elevation gain… but once the singletrack started we were faced with meadow after meadow full of snowmelt mud and mosquitoes. The going was tough… the temps were pretty high but luckily Keith remembered to bring a water filter (and bug repellent!) so we could refill the bladders. The Ditch Creek trail transitions into Horsetail Creek trail where the fun starts — amazing downhill section of perfect, smooth singletrack with some steep bits to grab your attention. It weaves through beautiful forest and you quickly forget the mosquito-infested mud holes of just 1 hour or so before… jacked up on adrenaline, the beer, which magically appeared from underneath Keith’s truck, tasted better than ever. Here’s the track:

http://www.smartrunner.com/pages/DisplaySmartRunnerGadget.aspx?id=7ac53743-7364-418b-9e19-de56a6e013ea

riding out from Kelly with the Tetons in the background

Beautiful wilderness…

fun little trail to connect to Ditch Creek 

We were pretty sure that fun was just around the corner… oh how wrong we were

Pleasant little trail through the meadows

amazing view of the valley — we were pretty sure fun was just around the corner

finally, the downhill singletrack we were promised!

Sink-or-Swim to Hagen to Putt-putt trail

We had a 2-day rental so the next day I devised an “easy” loop for me and Molly, stringing together three different trails right out of the town of Jackson. We basically traversed the entire north side of Snowking, starting with the Sink-or-Swim trail, linking into the Hagen trail and ending up on the Cache Creek road to get to the start of Putt-putt trail to return to town. After the previous day’s 20-miles we wanted to do something easy so I put together a long-ish route that had multiple bail-out options if we got tired. These trails are amazing given how close to town they are and how much they get used — really fun singletrack essentially the entire way! The trails meander through sage brush, pine forest, and the putt-putt trail even goes through an occasional aspen grove or two. Halfway through I had the unfortunate experience of having my rear wheel pop off (!?) — I didn’t even think that was possible. Next time, I’ll definitely double-check the quick-release when using a rental bike… luckily nothing really happened (i.e. I didn’t break my face) except that I mangled the chain pretty badly so the gears kept skipping for the rest of the ride (Fitzgerald’s also didn’t charge me for anything… not that it was my fault, but still a lesser shop could have been stupid about it). Still, the flowy single-track on Putt-putt was as awesome as I remembered (it was one of the first mountain bike trails I had ridden) except this time I was going much faster (full-suspension) and didn’t fear for my life (I’ve gained some skill since the first time I guess).

http://www.smartrunner.com/pages/DisplaySmartRunnerGadget.aspx?id=a5e72174-19a2-4e35-ad70-f980a503379c

Molly on the way up to Sink-or-Swim

Molly cranking through the beautiful forest on the sink-or-swim trail

coming down Hagen

One of the taxing uphill sections on Putt-putt

great trail with great views