A Teton Adventure by Mike Lucas
Feb 19, 2021
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the promised land for Ryan, Jason and I. For the past few years, we have talked and joked about taking a week and heading North West to experience the skiing, views, new people and the general feel of this hidden little ski town.
The morning of departure, we all met up at Jason’s house bright and early, way before the sun was even awake, packed up the car and set off on the eight and a half hour drive. As usual, we brought everything from camera gear and ski and snowboard gear, to snacks and a guitar. You might be wondering, how was the drive? Full of old country music in the Waylon Jennings generation, simple as that. We were just three rambling men cruising down the open road.
Eight and a half hours later, we rolled into town as if we owned the place. Jason had been to Jackson a few times and knew all the best spots to stop in, one being the classic KeepItFvn favorite, Moe’s Original BBQ! All the driving left our bellies empty and ready for real food, not just snacks. There was just one more obligation we had to take care of before we were let loose to explore. The Mountain Modern Motel right at the beginning of town was kind enough to host us on the condition of shooting a short and goofy promo video of showcasing the motel in all of its glory. That being said, we knocked this out faster than two shakes of a lamb’s tail and just in time for sunset over the Grand Teton.
Setting eyes on this beaut of a mountain range for the first time is sweeter than any fresh baked cookie you have ever dipped in milk on a snowy winter day. Standing tall and proud, the Grand Teton towers over the valley floor, making sure everyone knows who is the real boss of the area. Jason was beyond stoked to share such a site with Ryan and I as it was our first time there. This sunset photo shoot was the true start to our adventure.
To talk about and share every moment of this trip with you would necessitate in writing a novel, so let’s keep it to the overall top moments and memories of the week. First and for most, this week felt like two weeks. Every day we woke up before the sun and stayed up till at least two in the morning, so every day felt like two. Ultimately we had no expectations of what we were going to do or want to do, and only one day of snow in the forecast made it easy to not fall into riding the resort every day, leaving time to cruise town or hike for some turns off Teton Pass.
One of the top days during the trip was for sure the first whole day the crew had in Jackson. We had scoped out some turns to be had on Blacktail Butte the day before, so we decided to start the trip off with a long and cold hike up a mountain to take photos and make some turns. As we got geared up to start hiking up the ridge, we were welcomed by two moose in the field at the foot of the mountain. As majestic and wild as these two were to watch and take photos of, we didn’t want to cross paths with them, so we kicked it into high gear and made it up the first face to get above the moose family. Originally we were just going to hike the first maybe 300 vertical feet to ride, but as we continued up, we decided to summit Blacktail Butte by the end of the day and have one long run down to the car. Being the three guys we are, we stopped at every spot possible for some fun photos overlooking the Tetons and really enjoying the trek for all it had to offer. We eventually made it to the top, fresh out of breath and legs barely holding us up, but we made it. This was the first time Jason and Ryan rode in the backcountry, open field of soft snow waited for their descent like a blank canvas of snow for their lines to paint the face.
Near the bottom, we had once again run into the baby moose we had been greeted by at the start of our hike. There was no better way to end the day. Exhausted and beat up form our loop, we peeled out of our gear, laughing and talking about how incredible the first day had been. Ryan said that it was the most badass thing he had ever done. This is what our trip was all about.
Before diving into another long and physical day, we took the next day to relax and just cruise the little shops in the town, keeping an eye open for any little mementos to bring home from the trip. Jason being our tour guide, he pointed out all the best restaurants that we eventually stopped into. One of the first we checked out that night was the Silver Dollar bar, where we met one of the friends we then hung out with every night the rest of the trip. Mars, a local who worked at The Rose bar had invited us to join him there after dinner. Each night from then on, we hung out at The Rose having a couple drinks, joking around and just having a grand old time meeting all his friends along the way. I think that becoming friends with Mars was a good highlight from the whole week that allowed us to feel as close to being locals as possible. Needless to say, each night was unmatched and brought a different event from the last.
One of the nightly events that stayed pretty consistent was poaching the little ice rink in the center of town. Streets empty, not a soul around, we goofed around on the ice just being a bunch of goons having a grand old time, once again as if we owned the place.
If I am talking about only the most memorable moments of the trip, there is no reason to not include the day we all got to ski and ride Jackson Hole resort. Planning it to happen the only day the area was supposed to receive any snow, we experienced one of the best snow days of the season together. Low visibility and high winds were no match for our intent to have the most fun possible on such an amazing ski resort. The day was full of soft, steep turns, lots of laughing and hollering, and fast and loose ripping.
Unfortunately, the resort had closed early due to high winds. When we got back to the car, the wind continued to terror our crew, as we opened the roof box to stuff skis and boards up there, the wind ripped apart the top half of our box, leaving a useless plastic object on the roof of the car. With no words to be had except condolences for the loss of storage, our only option was to find a dumpster at the resort we could use to throw the box away. Luckily, we found a guy from the base tune shop that was understanding and showed us where to find their dumpster. In good ‘ol KeepItFvn fashion, we made the best out of the situation and had fun making a ruckus smashing it into pieces, documenting the process on Instagram stories and making fun of the situation. I believe this act had helped filter out the frustrations that had been present when the wind tried to bring us down. What a day full of laughs, good memories and mayhem.
The last day of the week was once again a dream come true for our crew. We woke up, stopped at the hardware store, bought a shovel and salt and headed towards a pin location that our friend Laura sent us for a jump spot on Teton Pass. A cold gear up and short hike brought us to where we proceeded to study the snow pack and found a spot to build a jump into untouched snow. The day was starting to come to an end, so we had a pretty short window to build a jump and hit it a few times, but just a few jumps made the whole process worth it. Nothing beats being in the mountains, listening to music, digging in snow and doing it all with two of my best friends.
Having a camera everywhere we went and trying to document every moment still has no way of explaining the exact feel and experience that the week held for us. These few memories are only a fraction of what we had all experienced within the week. Trips with friends like this are what keeps us all going through life. Always talking about and trying to plan the next trip that we can share these memories with our friends. I think it is safe to say that the three of us will forever reminisce on this week in Jackson, Wyoming. Hopefully our stories and experiences inspire others to go out and visit a new place, or take friends to their favorite location and have have as much fun as possible along the way.
- Mike Lucas
Special Thanks to:
Mountain Modern Motel, The Wort, JuneShine, and the boys for the endless smiles and laughs.