Monday, January 9, 2006

Guide class day one and an epic day on the hill

My AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) Ski Guiding course started today. Our instructor is Rob Hess, CEO and owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. Our morning session was in the classroom. We got oriented, did a course overview, discussed navigation a bit and reviewed what happens at a morning “guides meeting”. A typical morning for a ski guide obviously starts with a review of the weather, avalanche danger and current conditions. Rob took us into an office to show us some of the data. Turns out it was Doug Coomb’s office, as he strolled in later. I've also seen Olypic Gold medalist Tommy Moe, more confirmation that this is the best place on earth to ski.

Sunday was one of the best days of skiing I’ve had in my life.. quite possibly THE best. Without some local knowledge there is only so much you can do, and skiing the backcountry alone is not even an option. So I asked my classmate Bryan from my level II avy course who works at the JHR to show me around on his day off. Well his day off was Sunday. We discussed options and he said if the storm drops a foot or more we’ll ski the resort, if not we tour into the backcountry. I knew right then this was a good guy to ski with. Turns out he and his boys are pretty sick, hard chargin’, cliff droppin’ freaks. Just the way I like it. The storm dropped a foot and we skied perfect powder all day. The best runs were in the afternoon when we climbed the headwall to ski the Crags, 10-20 foot pillow drops into perfect snow.. unreal. I think I now know why people give up everything to become ski bums. I wish I had taken some photos but there are no friends on a powder day and apparently no cameras either.

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