This weekend I visited a ski area just over the border in Wyoming called Grand Targhee. When I told anyone who doesn’t live in Sun Valley that I was going to ski somewhere else for the weekend, the response was typically something like, “why?” But, when I told people in Sun Valley that I was visiting Targhee for a few days, the response was something more like, “Oh that’s great, have fun!”
Why the disparity? To people who don’t live in a ski area, it probably doesn’t make any sense to pay expenses and travel to another ski area. Yet, to those of us who live in such remote places where you truly have to remind yourself of the big world that exists beyond the mountains and desert, leaving town for a few days is a healthy means of rehabilitating, gaining some perspective, and getting away from what can become an overwhelmingly snobby crowd of people who are spoiled by living in Sun Valley. In short, it’s nice to remind yourself that the rest of the world is not Sun Valley. Plus, you come back quite refreshed and able to truly enjoy the wonderful place where you live.
Grand Targhee is just a few miles over the Wyoming border, which for geography nerds means that it is located on the western slopes of the Teton range (for non-geography nerds, if you’ve heard of Jackson Hole–which is on the eastern slope of the Tetons–this is an equally amazing place to ski, just much smaller). On a nice clear day skiing at Targhee can look like this:
…if you’re really adventurous. But truly, the views are that stunning–with a clear shot of Grand Teton itself–or at least so I hear. For the few days that I visited it of course snowed quite relentlessly. I won’t complain, though, because with so much snow the skiing looked a little more like this:
Yes, it’s true, I couldn’t see anything most of the time. At the top of the mountain I truly feared for my life a little bit. There was so much snow and such little visibility that I wasn’t sure where any of the runs were going beyond the next 10 feet in sight. And on this mountain, it’s very important to know where to go when you are planning to stay on the green and blue runs (for non skiers, those are the ones you can handle if you’re an ok-medium good skier). Otherwise, you’ll end up heading down a black diamond, or double-black diamond, which at Targhee means you are jumping over cliffs….not for me.
All in all, this was a very nice little trip, and although I’m sad to not have any pictures of my own, this will only be an excuse to go back!