Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Everyone's a Meterologists...

When you hear the saying "talk about the weather," you generally think of someone making small talk. right? Well, here in Jackson talking about the weather is a serious conversation. No one relies on a single weather source, many are armature meteorologists with barometers and tools to predict weather patterns on their own.

On my bookmarks bar, for instance, I have three different weather sights. The Weather Channel (is quite generic), the Jackson Hole Avalanche Sight and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association). the JH Avie sight updates twice a day with all kinds of numbers about pressure and jet streams etc etc. Everyone has their own take on the weather.

With the drought we've had here (and ONLY here it seems!) the weather has become one of those things that if you bring up, you may end up in an argument... Snow is something we, as a ski town, rely on! The conditions on the hill are sub-par and people (i.e. Josh) are starting to get very frustrated and antsy. Tourists have booked their condos/rooms and flights and are not getting the prime ski vacation they had hoped for. What little poweder we do get is skiied up quickly. Locals are getting frustrated because we've been having days with temps as low as 22 BELOW with no snow to insulate our pipes. I never thought a winter drought was that big of a deal, being from Alabama- but snow is how we fill our rivers in the spring and keep fresh water in our wells throughout the summer. This isn't the first time in Jackson Hole's history this has happened. In 1976-1977 only 128 inches fell at Rendezvous Bowl (summit) all season (jackson averages 450 inches annually). Right now we are recording 142 inches fallen, with a 32inch base at the summit. But only 79 inches total mid-mountain (where I'm skiing) and a 25 inch base, most of it man made. Because of the lack of snow, we only have 45 or 116 trails open!

Luckily, today, we have experienced a steady stream of light snow. Two to three inches expected to accumulate. Apparently there is another system on its way, hopefully blessing us with another four to six inches by 2010.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas in the Tetons!

Christmas is always hard when you're not around your family. We've been doing Christmas in a pretty certain way for a very long time. I got grumpy when I was a teenager and my first cousin got married, bringing in new folks was kinda strange... then babies then worst, meals started changing. We no longer did Christmas Eve dinner, we did lunch... I digress. This year was a WHOLE 'NOTHER world! It turned out to be fabulous!

Josh and I did our Christmas present-exchanging on C'mas Eve. In addition to the Wii Fit Plus (complete with Wii ski and the snowboarding game!), I received a stocking. My boyfriend knows me too well...

The big bottle is dark, but it's a "Howling Wolf" from Grand Teton Brewing Company.
SO... in addition to opening presents we "conference called" Josh's family, his mom read the Night Before Christmas- quite possibly the most epic reading of that story ever! We also watched my favorite Christmas movie of all time "Emmit Otter's Jug Band Christmas"

Christmas morning we slept in, then skiied (together!) for about an hour, then headed back tot he house to prepare for our Christmas FEAST!!! We had ten friends, two turkeys, plenty of booze, and a chocolate fountain (thanks Mom! Josh LOVES it!). Here's some shots of our fabulous party!

we started the day with a tribute to Choo-Choo and his famous milk punches!

Josh prepped the bird(s)...

Took a second to get a picture from our balcony

Played a rousing game of Wii Bowling

Enjoyed Appetizers

Then enjoyed a delicious meal...

the aftermath...

So in conclusion:
Christmas is never as good as it is when you are with your family. Luckily, friends are the family you choose- so none of us were without!
Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I look forward to Saturday all week long! Not only is it my day off, and my day to spend the whole day snowboarding, but also it's my day to shred with Christen!
Yesterday was the first Saturday that the Gondola was open (and the Tram... but I'm not ready for that just yet). So, I met Christen at 11 and we hit up the Gondi. We turned on my JHTapped App to log our runs for the day. We rode straight down from the Gondola Summit on Sundance first, then we hit up a second lap, this time going from the G.S. to the Casper lift via the Amphitheater Traverse (all the yellow lines on the trail map are traverses- "cat tracks" and they are a bitch!) We rode the Casper lift a few times, had a beer at the restaurant (okay, three) then rode down via the Southpass Traverse- where I was graciously helped along the flats by a skier's pole pull. Then down Werner and onto Teewinot.

My log said we did three runs totalling 2,074 vertical feet- but I don't think it logged all of it.

Apres at Nick Wilson's (where Josh bar-backs) was stellar! Santa dropped out of the bottom of the tram. I left my camera inside, but here's a pic from the web (last year)

We watched Santa, had some beers, had some shots and called it a night at 7 or 8. Josh came home several hours later... we were some of the more tame ones leaving so early.

In short: Saturdays are fun!

cannot wait to see what next Saturday will bring. Hopefully some POWDER and a full day of making turns! And, hopefully I'll remember to get some action shots! and some Board shots! Maybe I'll even get saucy before the season's over and get some video. Stay tuned...

Just a few shots of winter...

Sunday, December 13, 2009


snow snow snow snow snow!!!

I experienced my first *powder day of the season today. (For my southern readers that means the first day with lots of fresh snow on the hill.) And now I totally get it! The combo of my new snowboard (pictures to come very soon) soft, fluffy pow and a bit of a daredevil attitude got me up Apres Vous (a lift that only services blue trails).

I rode by myself with my iPod blaring K'naan (check him out!) and took it very easy, just cruising. There was so much soft snow that I wasn't as afraid to make turns. Being on my toe-side edge was not nearly as scary because when I fell it was like falling into a ton of pillows! I caught speed, I floated and I LOVED IT!

I rode until noon, ate some food, cleaned the house, then took Elu on a walk, then went climbing at the gym. I'm pooped, that's all I can give you for now. Pictures and more details to come.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dear Santa (love Elu)

My feet are cold. I am a pretty tuff little husky dog, but still, 8 Below (one of my favorite movies by the way) is pretty hard my tootsies. I think I need some booties like the dogs in the movie have. I saw all the sled dogs wearing them last year and they seemed pretty beneficial. I mean, those dogs run for days in sub-zero temperatures! Anyway... I think I need some of these:

I also really like food. Treats of any sort will gladly be accepted. I will make sure to leave the reindeer plenty of yummy goodies.

(I can't wait to go on-line shopping for Mommy! I'll let you know what I get for her!!)

Also, Santa, I just wanted to wish you a Very Merry Christmas! Mommy and I are both a little sad to not be with our family again this year, but we are also pretty excited to be together and maybe take a nice, long hike in the backcountry (with my new booties!?) and take pictures of the white Christmas. Hope your Season is great!

Lady Elu Ireland

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dear Santa:

In case you are low on ideas...

UGG Smithfield Boots: in black, size 6. They are a tad pricey, so I won't cry if you can't afford to get these beauties in the sleigh... But won't they look SO CUTE with stripped tights and a wool skirt?!?!
Speaking of wool skirts... I'm a size 2 and like the colors blue, green and black...