Last Thursday, I flew out to Jackson Hole to meet up with my boyfriend and two of our married friends. He went out the previous Saturday and skied Jackson Hole and Big Sky (and got stuck in Idaho Falls due to snow for two days, too). Quite the adventure!
I’m always down for a ski trip. Even though I didn’t learn until a few years ago, I really do enjoy skiing. But because I learned as an adult, I have a good sense of fear with it. I’m not a little five-year-old with a low center of gravity who doesn’t realize the injuries that could happen on a mountain. Everything I had heard and read about skiing in Jackson Hole pointed to one direction: this is a mountain for expert skiers and expert skiers only. (I read one article titled something like “Everyone Should Ski Jackson Hole Even If It Scares You to Death” and I almost canceled my flight.)
I went in feeling pretty apprehensive and rightly so. I did a couple of runs down the bunny slope to make sure I remembered how to ski, haha, and felt comfortable enough to jump right to a blue. I’ve never skied a black, but I have done all kinds of blues, including an insanely hard one in Snowmass because I followed Little V up the chairlift. Every blue at Jackson Hole was harder than that. Maybe not harder necessarily, but steeper. Which to me is harder. I was terrified pretty much the whole time I wasn’t on a green. (And I was pretty bored on the greens… so it was tough.)
Despite the difficult skiing, this was my favorite ski trip ever. Jackson Hole was a BLAST. It’s such a special place and you can tell within minutes just how cool it is. This is a photo heavy post, all from my iPhone. I couldn’t narrow down the selection because everything there was just so picturesque.
We stayed in an Airbnb right in downtown Jackson. The mountain is actually by the Teton Village, but I really loved being in the Town Square. It was so nice to be able to walk to and from dinner or to run down the road to grab a little snack.
Our Airbnb was amazing. I usually prefer to stay in hotels, but this was so great, especially with another couple. The kitchen was HUGE and I could have stayed in for every meal quite honestly.
It was about a 20 minute to the drive every morning and we’d hit “traffic” right as we approached the mountain, but it was worth the extra hassle of traveling. Parking was a bit limited, but as long as we were showing up to the mountain before the lifts officially opened, we found a spot. We might have had to walk a bit with our skis, but it really wasn’t too bad.
On my first day there, I had to wait about three hours to check into the Airbnb. I lugged my luggage through the snow and parked myself at a Starbucks to tie up some loose ends with work so I could take Friday completely off. Once I could check in, I lugged my bags back to the Airbnb and then went out to explore downtown Jackson.
It felt like I was in a western version of Gilmore Girls. That’s the best way I can describe it. Perfectly quaint with a cowboy spin on things. I’m not going to lie, I could totally see myself embracing the west and living there. I LOVED IT. I definitely want to find time to go out there this summer if possible, too.
There are a ton of stores and shops and bakeries to pop in and out of. Pictured above is Roam, a cute, well-curated gift shop. Below is Persephone Bakery where I had a divine piece of coconut bread.
Friday was my first full day of skiing and it was a beautiful bluebird day!! Again, the beauty really shines. The views are breathtaking everywhere you turn.
Smiling even though I was way, way out of my league skiing this mountain. But, you know what I excelled at? The apres skiing. We popped into The Handle Bar, which is connected to the Four Seasons in the Teton Village and right at the base of the mountain. I really love the idea of hot chocolate but always end up hating it. For whatever reason, I loved this hot chocolate. I ended up getting it twice during my trip I liked it that much! Felt like that had to be documented!!
We went to the Million Dollar Cowboy, a must stop in Jackson Hole and then we headed over to the Wort Hotel for live music and dancing!!
Day two was my favorite day of skiing. We had periods of clouds and snow, but good bits of sun too. I was too nervous and uncomfortable on the mountain to take a lesson, so I made my own “ski school.” I did my own little drills pretty much all day and even forced myself down a giant blue that I wasn’t totally comfortable on but made it down without falling, so that was a positive.
I mean, can you believe this??? It was SO STUNNING.
We ended the ski day with a little more apres. Nachos and more hot chocolate. We got insanely lucky with this table at The Handle Bar. First of all, the sun came out right as we sat down. And we had a 50/50 chance of having an outdoor/indoor table and we scored what I think was the best seat in the house. I think we sat there for two hours before wrapping things up and going for one more run down the bunny slope all together. (Which was hysterical.)
When we got back into town, we did a bit of shopping and then ended up going to a later dinner that we didn’t love.
Jackson Hole has a giant tram that fits 100 people and it takes you straight to the top of the resort. Most everyone skis down, the bravest going down Corbet’s Couloir which is a near straight drop off the mountain. We decided to get right in line (it took about 30 minutes of waiting before we could load into the tram) first thing in the morning. Knowing my ski level, I didn’t even bother bringing my skis up. Instead, I went for the waffles in Corbet’s Cabin.
Well, it was almost whiteout conditions and since we were packed in with 100 people I couldn’t see that well out of the tram. Well, I caught a glimpse of Corbet’s Couloir and my stomach dropped. By the time we reached the top, I was in a full blown panic. (I haven’t had thatmany panic attacks in about two years, so now it’s an extra strange feeling that somehow makes the panic that much worse.) I couldn’t see what we were walking out onto and in my mind, we were being dropped off right onto the edge of the mountain. Turns out there was a platform, but my brain wasn’t buying it. I eventually “recovered” but felt on edge for the rest of the day. I couldn’t shake the feeling and the waffles only sort of helped. Honestly? I should never have gone up there in the first place. Apparently, I have a much bigger fear of heights than I realized. 🤷🏻♀️
Since I couldn’t shake the nerves, my skiing was a bigger struggle all day Sunday. I had the best intentions of skiing this teeny tiny black diamond, smacked right in between two blues, but I chickened out. And then on my way back down, I got hit by a snowboarder who came flying out of the trees. I could hear him trying to avoid me and I sort of braced for it. He went right over my skis and bumped me but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. But between that, being bored on the greens + terrified on the blues, and my morning panic attack, I was done. So I took off my boots and switched into something more comfortable for the rest of the afternoon.
We ultimately ended up at the Mangy Moose– an awesome bar right at the bottom of the mountain. It was a blast and just what I needed to shake the residual stress of skiing. And as we were walking out to collect our skis, we spotted two moose! So beautiful.
One last sunset!