Jason Slezak and I meet up with Jason McCaffery, Fletcher Chouinard, and Curtis Tolmie for a snowkiting adventure in Jackson Hole Wyoming last February. We set up home base out of Yvon’s home acrosee the river from the base of the Teton Mountains. It was an amazing week of adventures, snowkiting and snowboarding. Thanks for the incredible hospitality and great times.
Below are the notes from the weeklong trip to Jackson Hole on our snowing adventure:
Day 1: In the biting cold of the East Coast we packed the trucks and headed to the airport. Salt Lake City was expecting over a foot of snow the following day, which will made the 5.5 hour drive to Jackson Hole, WY pretty time critical.
This trip started off amazing as we arrived to the airport with a near red carpet experience. Somehow, Jason and I qualified for the your bags fly free option from the nice ladies at the check in counter. Jason had two over weight roller bags and I had a roller bag, regular bag and a 70lbs pelican case.
Two planes, a book and a movie or two down and we arrived in Salt Lake City with all our gear ready to hit the road to Jackson. We had tentative plans to grab Tekkoâs RV for our adventure. We got all the details from him except the actual location of where to pick it up. So we rented a car and headed south the only direction Jason got, we randomly pulled off the highway about to grab food when we got Tekkoâs text with the address. I quickly plugged it into the GPS and over 2:03 away really!?!?â¦. Wow this day just got longer, thatâs when we looked at the distance that read 1.5 miles, YES! That whole time zone thing will get you. Crisis #1 averted. We arrived to the house where the RV was gated in and with a watchdog, the RV started with no problem and we were off to beat the snowstorm on our 5 hour drive North East to Jaskson Holeâ¦
After a few hundred miles, snow rabbits, deer, an owl and a moose we arrived in Jackson Hole. Fletch and Jason came to pick us up as the RV wasnât going to made it down the narrowly plowed back road with 10-15 foot snow piles on either side. Exhausted after a full days travel the beer was a simple yet rewarding end to the day.
Day 2: After a slow morning of gathering gear and packing the trucks we made our way into town for breakfast. It was dumping outside, which was great to see but not so great for shooting. We hit up a couple errands before heading to the base of the mountain to take our first snowkiting session. It was a bit light but we decided to go anyhow. Getting out to the field through thigh high snow was, well difficult without snowshoes. The guys rigged up and headed out for a half hour or so before the wind became funky and kites started falling from the sky. We packed it up and headed for dinner and drinks.
Day 3: Plan A, was to go find wind, but that was quickly cancelled as the snow continued to fall lightly from the sky. We switched to plan B, which turned into an amazing day. We headed over to the Village and bought tickets to ride Jackson Hole Mountain. I have wanted to ride here since I first started snowboarding. It was a little gray out but the snow was spectacular. Jessie and Duca meet up with us for the afternoon. Fletch friend, Pete, who is a ski patroller took us around the mountain for a few hours to hit some great spots. After riding our legs off, we were invited to go to the ski patroller bar. And that was a start to a very long and fun night.
Day 4: So day 4 started off a little slower than yesterday. After some logistical errors, we pumped up and grabbed a session outside the Chouinard house. Jason rode in the waist deep powder with an all time view of the Tetons in the background. With a solid session under our belts we moved locations to get everyone up and riding. By the time we got to the new location the wind had lightened up a bit. Everyone still got a halfway decent session in with a surreal background which made everyone more than stoked with the days sessions. We headed into town for a terrific dinner and a couple drinks at the Silver Dollar.
Day 5: With the entire crew a bit battered for the past few days of riding we slowly traveled south in the UAV (urban assault vehicle aka the LF RV) to a new location to chase the winds. We found a great field with access to an open-faced mountain. Jason rigged up and traversed the field and over/through 2 creeks and 2 barbed wire fences to reach the base of the mountain. He then climbed nearly straight up it and did a few turns and a huge boosting glide on the way down. It was game on!
Jason and Fletcher explored the sides of the mountain before the wind lightened up and Fletch ripped his kite and had to hike all the way back to the RV in waist deep snow. It was so cool to see the guys practically ride straight up the mountain and then back down, again and again.
Day 6: Today was supposed to be the day! We packed up the RV early and headed in a different direction 45 minutes away. We made it through another pass in the RV on the icy roads to find not a breath of air. Bumming, we cruised back towards home base to find the wind howling. The only place we could find to ride near the house turned out to be rather gusty on this wind direction. Nonetheless we all grabbed a session before getting back to the house. Jason M, Fletcher and Curtis all headed back West that evening, so they packed gear and then headed to the airport.
Slezy and I headed into town for a quick bite to eat. It was dark but still windy when we returned to the house. We had been joking about how cool it would be to session the back of the house where there was a massive pile of snow from the roof. We set up the gear and equipment and made it happen. We just session Yvon Chouinard house!
It was a heck of a week. After the FCD crew headed home Jason and I continued our adventure to Utah for a few days before headed back to the East Coast.