Wow, I can’t believe a couple weeks have flown by since I’ve last written! It is clear I failed to deliver weekly as promised, however I have gotten the ball rolling by introducing JP into the blog. I have also been doing a lot of work on the backend of this site and on social. Who knew running a blog could be so time consuming!
On top of all that I have been traveling quite a bit these last couple weeks. It’s been pure madness since my first trip of the season, the holiday road trip. Originally I wanted to title this post “Mountain Collective Holiday Road Trip” but with the lack of snow our plans got derailed right before heading out as you will find out.
I was on Open Snow every day leading up to our holiday trip only to be continually disappointed. If you are a winter lover and avid snowboarder, skier, or even snowmobiler you’ve probably been just as frustrated as I have this season with the lack of snow in the Rockies. Whistler has been blessed with amazing snow this season along with a handful of other northern resorts, but majority of the resorts I ride have been very dry.
After each of our individual Christmas Morning festivities Ben, Jerry and I would hop in the Jeep and begin our drive out to Utah. From our homes in Minnesota this is approximately a 20 hour drive. With three of us, one can easily sleep in the backseat to get good rest before becoming the next driver so we can drive through the night without stopping.
I found a wonderful airbnb in Salt Lake City Utah for a slammin’ deal that we would stay at three nights while we used our Mountain Collective Pass to ride at Snowbasin and Snowbird, one of them twice pending which we liked best. We would take a day off of riding to give our legs a rest and begin the journey to Colorado.
I had reserved hotel room in a small town between Telluride and Aspen which are both included on the Mountain Collective Pass. None of us have ridden Telluride yet but have heard amazing things! After riding each resort for a day we would begin our journey home with a pit-stop at Loveland Pass. Our trip was perfectly timed to get a moonlight ride in, taking advantage of the full moon from the night before.
Days before the trip we made the call, we will no longer be dipping into Colorado. With the detrimental lack of snow the resorts were barely open. Instead, with a big storm rolling in at the end of the week and 22″ of fresh snow predicted up in Jacksonhole we decided we would be going up into Wyoming.
On the drive out, the weather starts to turn on us. The wind picks up and visibility gets low and I pull over. I am no longer comfortable driving in the weather so Ben takes the wheel while Jerry sleeps in the back. We could see maybe 10 feet in front of the car and the next thing we know we’re getting passed by a semi tanker. Immediately after he gets around another semi starts to pass us then backs off as we all watch the tanker literally drive right into the ditch! Clearly he could not see the road. The drive out to Utah ended up taking us a total of 23 hours.
Utah also had a lack of snow, but thankfully more than Colorado was receiving. Our first line up we decide to take the tram at Snowbird. After a slight mishap with my water bottle in my pack spilling at the top I am ready to go.
As I was snowboarding my feet started falling asleep. I was very uncomfortable and having trouble controlling the snowboard also causing my emotions to be a bit on edge.
This season I decided to try out JP’s board, the Neversummer Funslinger. I was in search of new boots as well and he happened to have a new pair in my size. Don’t forget about upgrading my bindings too. It’s a whole new setup for me this season!
Turns out, it was not the right setup for me. I struggled hard on the slopes while Ben and Jerry slayed. I was struggling just to keep up on the groomers even, I felt like I had no control. This was much worse than my trip last winter where I failed at riding in deep powder, at least that was comical and fun.
After that first day of riding I decided to purchase new boots. I was ready to turn a new leaf the next day and start shredding again. We hit up Snowbasin for our second and third days in Utah, the terrain there is awesome! Unfortunately my snowboarding is not much better with the exception my feet aren’t falling asleep.
Have you ever seriously struggled with something you know you can do? It’s a confidence breaker. Needless to say, my boarding just went downhill as my confidence was shattered.
By the third day I switched to the extra board JP brought, the Neversummer Evo and decided to go out on my own for a bit while I felt out the new board. It felt closer to my style than the Funslinger, but my heart was yearning for my GNU B-Pro which I absolutely love riding.
It’s crazy what a difference the right gear can make. Everything I had was amazing quality, unfortunately it was just not my ride. It was clear that as soon as I got home I was switching back to my old board.
ROLLING INTO JACKSON
After a few days in Utah and not much snow to be had we finally have some good news. A huge storm is rolling into Jacksonhole over the weekend which is our new next destination. With a shorter drive, we decided to take our time and check out the area as I have never been there myself. The boys are showing me around town, driving through Wilson and Teton Village as well as Teton Pass too.
We arrived a day before the storm was supposed to hit so we decided that we would hike Teton Pass to try and grab some fresh lines. That next day turned out to be crazy windy. The Jackson Airport shut down and so did The Tram at Jacksonhole Resort due to the gusts. The struggle was real on this climb, for multiple reasons. Before the trip I did not properly workout in preparation, I didn’t expect to be hiking mountains. The strong winds made it extremely difficult, I swear my feet left the ground for a moment. Due to the conditions we did not summit, instead we took shelter to strap in and ride down.
The rest of the trip was rough. JP ended up coming down with the flu so Ben and I decided to have a night out in Jackson. We started at Bin22 for dinner which had amazing food! A bit spendy, but worth the experience and the taste buds will thank you. Afterwords we decided to check out a few other local places for drinks as well including the infamous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
The next day was spent laying around the hotel either ill or recovering from the previous nights festivities. That night Ben and I headed over to Snow King for their Glow Worm and Fireworks event for the New Years Eve celebration. It was a unique and fun experience, if you happen to be in the area at that time next year definitly check it out. Unfortunately later that night I started feeling ill as well with the shivers and an entire body ache so we headed to bed pretty early that evening.
We must go out with a bang before heading home to Minnesota so we decided to hike Mount Glory once more. The boys say they had their best line of the trip that day, I ended up riding down after about a third of the way up due to being nauseous from whatever bug I had.
Looking back, it definitly wasn’t the greatest trip in the books. Honestly, I’ve never gotten so ill on a trip before or had such struggles. If you’ve been following my Instagram too you will notice I did take away many beautiful photos from that trip. It goes to show how deceiving social media can be. I did have great moments though. We got to see a lot of Wildlife while out in Wyoming and while we were in Utah we checked out a few local spots that were delicious and went to the Temple. I can be such a tourist at times, I like learning the history of things and the Temple was a pretty sweet stop.
Hopefully I can sneak in one more snowboarding trip later this season. Check out the Upcoming Adventures page to keep tabs on what’s to come.
I wanted to give a shoutout to our hosts Anna & Michael. They were wonderful hosts who would come and chat with us in the evenings. The setup of their airbnb space is a finished basement and can I just say I’m obsessed with the shower! It’s a girl thing. Check out their space here: Sugar House Entire Basement Unit