Thursday, 31 January 2008


We decided against Solitude today instead we went to Deer Valley. The resort is spread out over four peaks its very pretty and has been voted the best ski resort in America to me it is a bit to well manicured almost every run is groomed to perfection, not much of a challenge but nice nevertheless. It boasts some of the most expensive property in the USA some homes as much as $24 million hence the size 10s were out in force and of course his and hers matching skis.

We are dead lucky,being held here this weekend are the world championship Aerials, Freestyle Moguls ( what Tim was into ) and Ski Moto this is when 4 skiers barrel down the same track simultaniously great fun, most of the events are in the evening so we will get a chance to go, we watched them today practicing they must be barking mad, but they have got a good excuse their young and it keeps them off the streets.
What we never seem to get used to is the portion sizes in America, tonight we ate in a Mexican restaurant not being over hungry ( living at altitude kills appetite) we ordered chicken fajita for 2 the amount we got was unbelievable apart from at least one and a half chicken breasts there was mex rice, black beans,onions,peppers,re-fried beans,lettuce, soured cream, guacomole, cheese and salsa all on a hot skillet accompanied by six tortillas now here's the killer we had one each!!!!!! needless to say we barely dented them.

Its now been snowing for 7 hours, it is highly unlikely that we shall travel tomorrow so Park City here we come its a good ski area and with this much powder should be fantastic.





Wednesday, 30 January 2008


The snow stopped for a while today the sun came out and we had a fantastic days skiing we went all over the mountain, everywhere there was fresh powder snow ( 32" in 3 days ), uncrowded slopes, no queues something a skiers dreams are made of. There is a great variety of terrain much of which is ungroomed. We have another 5 or 6 first class resorts within a short driving distance and it is our intention to visit as many as we can I think Jon, Trevor, Bill and Mick ( Skiing nuts like us especially Jon ) would love this area.
Park City is so different from what I imagined the ski area and mountain are much as I thought, but the town is much bigger and certainly more sophisticated, it has some top quality restaurants and shops as well as the usual bars and fast food establishments. We ate last night at The Wasaach Brewhouse their beers are actually brewed on site and very good they are, combine this with a menu full of choice it made for a nice evening out.

The one thing we have noticed out here is certain types of American women most are like you would find in any country dressed and presented well, but there are two types at either end of the spectrum and they appear to come in two sizes 10 or 24.
The 10s generally seem to have more brilliantly white teeth than they can actually fit in their mouth , they are able to talk without one part of the face moving including their lips, wear top designer clothes, and are accompanied by a male who insists on wearing his Bogner all in one ski suit that was bought 20 years ago inVail, has a tan as false as his hairpiece, and obviously visits the same dentist as his wife.
The 24s however seem to favour blue jeans the sort that are hiked up so as the waist band ends up half way up their back and seem to have an urge to dress up as cowgirls at every opportunity,
their men without exception wear base ball hats, old Nevica ski suits and drive a pickup with an over size cab. All joking aside we have had great fun just people watching, but what I would say I have found the Americans we have met to be nothing less than charming and courteous.

No photos again today camera seized up as a result of the cold so you can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Its snowing again now our plan is to visit Solitude tomorrow weather permitting.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


Today started badly first it was still snowing and the prospect of a 300 mile drive seemed a bit daunting I checked the national road conditions most of the route was designated slick oh oh !!

Well I thought we've got all day take it easy and all should be well.

After breakfast we had all the gear packed I went out to the car started it up closed the door went to the back to load up but the back door would not open I thought it was frozen then I realised the car had self locked with the keys inside and the engine running, What a day for this to happen the very day we are moving on, I contacted the hire company who said they could guarantee getting us going by 8pm that was a 12 hour wait you can imagine how I felt, then out of the blue a chap that works at the hotel contacted a locksmith friend (bearded of course) who arrived in flash and within 5 minutes we were in, and 15 minutes later we were on our way $60 bucks lighter.

The trip I'm glad to say was uneventful but once again we saw some fantastic sights this really is some country mountains, plains. small towns we passed a train which was pulling 97 trucks ( The Goose counted them) best part of three quarters of a mile long. We must come back someday in the summer I am sure it would be equally as breath taking.

What is suprising is the last 2 states we visited have populations of 900,00 and 500,oo0 respectively, Utah has a population of 2,500,000 and you notice how much busier it is the minute you cross the state line its as if there is an invisible wall that only a few will cross.
We arrived in Park City at 4.30pm and yes it started snowing looks like good skiing tomorrow Park City was were the 2002 winter Olympics were held and has got a fantastic infrastructure which we shall be exploring over the next week.
Finally thanks to everyone who has left comments its nice to know that there is someone out there, and Peter yes you should do it.







Monday, 28 January 2008


A bit of an anticlimax today the snow was that bad the mountain was closed as was most of the roads so no skiing or anything else.
To sum up Jackson in a few words would be impossible, first impressions as I said early is what is this? but after a while the spirit of the place seems to come through. Its name Jackson comes from a trapper who lived and worked in this valley the word hole equates to glen or valley, its hard to imagine living up here alone through a winter the isolation and cold must have been hard to bear, but I suppose what those early pioneers had which we still have today is the beauty of the place, the scenery changes daily on a sunny day fantastic, a day like today and yesterday menacing. After being here a few days I can understand why people came and stayed even today its still wild with all our technology its barely tamed.
Jackson has been a good experience and I am glad we came here. Tomorrow all being well we are off to Utah.

Sunday, 27 January 2008


We were not going to ski today but getting up this morning and seeing a beautiful clear sky with a forecast of snow late afternoon we thought Grand Targheee, we must go we may not get another chance so off we set.
It has amazed me the sort of towns you pass through like Wilson population 850, Driggs pop 1068 it always seems there are more properties than people and how is it they have their own post office,gas station,general store, restaurants!!!! and bars!! we keep saying in England we have become Americanized we have'nt we have become Tesconized or Sainsburynized the difference is these people still have a great sense of community something we are in great danger of losing.
That said our trip toTarghee, a nice mountain small challenging in parts, but not somewhere you could ski for week but OK for a day or so. We had a good day until about 2.oopm when we noticed the sky changing dramatically it was apparent time to go. To get back to Jackson we had to negotiate the Teton Pass this is the highest part of route ID 32 and WY 28 and it is seriously high and prone to closure with that in mind we made for the Jeep the drive off the mountain was slow which only increased the anxiety to the question will we reach the pass before they shut it, and if we do get there in time are we up to the crossing.
You know in America when driving conditions are bad when the locals stop trying to overtake you, today was one of those days. We arrived at the pass and it was still open I am not sure now weather that was a good or bad thing however on we went. To say it was a tough drive would be an under statement the photos may give you some idea, once over the peak there is the feeling your on a home run in fact thats when the fun starts going down hill on ice is a great deal harder than going up anyway we made it, we were one of the last over, on arriving at Wilson we found the pass had been shut.
Once back in Jackson the first port of call was the Wort Silver Dollar Bar 3 pints of Bud made the journey a piece of cake and making us local hero's for getting through.
I have posted a photo of one of the bearded locals and to say his was just average gives you some idea how popular facial hair is here. This phenomina could be that you can collect enough food from over stuffed sandwiches in them ,so if your ever stuck on the Teton Pass you would be able to survive for a good few days.
We're now off to Bubba's for our evening meal ,waitresses with every thing a man wants, broad shoulders and a big moustache lap dancing is definitely out of the question I'm not sure anyones knees could take it.





Saturday, 26 January 2008


More snow today, the skiing conditions are superb all it lacked was sun and that turned up this afternoon to put the final touches on a great days skiing, the mountain endeared itself to a bit more to me today I was'nt sure about it yesterday, but with the sun this afternoon I have been won over. It is a skiers mountain you cant take anything for granted, once its realised that you have to think about every move the mountain then opens up to you.
I have added some photos of Jackson just to show what a diverse place this is how so many buildings so wildly different stand cheek by jowel and are not unpleasing to the eye which makes you question the term not inkeeping, in fact if you look at many of the fishing villages in Cornwall they are not disimilar
Something I had never noticed before out here was that if you are on foot and are waiting to cross the road vehicles stop and wave you across no matter if your on a crossing or not, all very civilised.
Did'nt make the Wort tonight they finally sussed that Angus was there after 6pm so all very sad but it was a no go.
We are having a day off skiing tomorrow and going up to Yellowstone Park (no thats not where Yogi lives) weather permiting, if not there the Elk refuge.

Friday, 25 January 2008


It snowed again today its great to have this much snow but it is better if comes in overnight.
We skied the mountain at Teton village today and it is a real challenge certainly somewhere you would'nt bring a new skier on the whole mountain there is less than 10% beginner runs most of the terrain is advanced and I have never been anywhere in America or Canada where they have double blues( a blue being equal to red in europe) never the less a good place the only drawback is that Jackson town is a 16 mile drive , I did not realise this at the time I was organising where to stay if I had known I would probably have ended up with something at the bottom of the slopes and missed the uniqueness of Jackson I am glad I did'nt know.
Jackson is a fascinating place it would make any english council planning department wake up in a cold sweat, its as if someone took all the properties pieces on a monopoly board shook them up then threw them down and where ever they landed a property was built to suit the piece, hotels next to breweries, houses stations shops pubs car parks town hall restaurants all thrown together combine that with every building being different it makes for a an interesting perspective and somehow it works. At first I thought this is awful but now having walked round and had a good look its not awful its just not what i'm used to and thats strange coming from someone who was brought up in London where practically every building is different. Unfortunately my camera seized up today as a result of the cold so I can't show any pictures maybe tomorrow.
We ate this evening in The Wort Hotels silver dollar bar which is legendary locally and has a history nearly as old as Jackson itself, the place was packed with people wearing stetsons, cowboy boots, bootlace ties, Roy Rogers shirts and full beards ( only a few of the women had beards). We had'nt realised until the band struck up that Friday night is music night we were treated to an extravaganza of country & western from Tammy Wynette to Kenny Rogers and back again culminating with dueling banjo's the Whooping and Yeehaaaing really got going at that point to, a degree that I could'nt resist the odd whoop and yeeehaa myself. All in all we had a great evening and I just can't wait for the line dancing tomorrow!!!!!!!!. My brother in law would have loved it.

Thursday, 24 January 2008


Big Sky is in Montana and Jackson Hole Wyoming although both states have common border the quickest way for us to get there was to go via Yellowstone park and Idaho we were hoping to go to Yellowstone but it was closed due to the snow although highway 191 passes through it, and that in itself gives you some idea of the whole magnificence of the place. Given America has a population of circa 260 million whats suprising is that in the entire state of Montana the population is only 900,000 which would explain that apart from the towns we saw no more than 30 cars the entire way maybe the weather had something to do with it the roads were real skating rinks especially going over the Teton Pass.

My first impression of Jackson Hole is that if you don't wear a cowboy hat and have a beard and moustache that you could stuff a mattress with, your underdressed, it seems every American takes on the persona of the old west the moment they arrive we've heard plenty of whooping already, I'll be interested to see how they cope with the sandwich fillings given the amount of facial hair there is about.

Just before we arrive in Jackson I fueled the car it took on a tad over 16 gallons ( approx 72 litres) for $48.35 ( about £25.00 ) makes you sick does'nt it.

Well we are off out now to get fitted up with our 10 gallon hats or in Angus's case a 7 gallon we've also booked for whooping lessons so eeyaaa later.



Wednesday, 23 January 2008


We finally made it to Moonlight Basin a nice place some good runs but it is north facing no sun and today was really sunny so we only stayed a couple of hours before we made our way back to Big Sky.
The weather was so good we decided to go up to the peak. the only way to get up there is via The Lone Peak Tram in Europe we would call it a cable car. The ride up is spectacular almost vertical for the last 100 metres the views from the top are breath taking well worth standing in the only queue we have seen this week unfortunately the photos don't give you the full impact however they give you the idea of scale.( getting down was the hard bit)
We skied our final run at Big Sky this afternoon and I have got to say this is a really great resort and I am glad to say it has lived up to all its publicity,and has some of the most challenging terrain I have seen, so this one will go down as good choice.
The nice thing about having a car is that packing becomes less important so we should be off sharp. Tomorrow we are hoping to stop off at Yellowstone Park but I am not sure because of the weather any way we'll see.
So this is the end of my mutterings on Big Sky thanks for a great experience B S.




Tuesday, 22 January 2008


Guess what it snowed all day today, the skiing has been superb its been warmer about -8c much better than minus 17c yesterday we decided against going to Moonlight Basin as the snow was bad on the mountain roads we will probably go tomorrow.

Its been a great day one of the wonderful things about skiing is the amount of different people you meet. Today whilst having a hot chocolate we met a chap from Sydney who is a pharmacist and owns a whole chain of discount pharmacies around Australia he is the same age as me and it turns out he is doing much as I am he's still got 23 days to go and is off to Colorado tomorrow. We had a good chat Cricket he boasted, Rugby I boasted, Football we both looked at one another enough said, now any time I'm in Sydney I've got somewhere to stay. Amazing I've only known the bloke half an hour and we exchanged our details ( not a bad bunch the Aussies).

Later riding a lift we met an old couple from Oregon who asked what we were up, to when told they could'nt stop telling us what we should see and where to go in the places we are off to, did you know that in Jackson Hole at this time of the year there are 1000s of migrating Elks (one for you Mike).

Tonight we popped out for something light to eat I decided on a pulled pork sandwich(what ever pulled pork is) with all the fillings anyway after taking the first bite I was wiping the mayonaisse off my left ear lobe and I noticed the chap opposite cleaning cranberry sauce off his glasses, eyebrows and wifes jumper this got us all laughing they were from Florida and after chatting for about half an hour we now have somewhere to stay the next time we are in Florida.

The one thing I always forget about when you live at altitude there are a few side affects sleeping is difficult, there's loss of appetite (which in my case is not an all bad thing) and your nose seizes up but the plus side is you must take on plenty off fluid so on that note I'm off to the hydration station COME ON ANGUS!!!!!!.


Monday, 21 January 2008


We finally skied today and it was great Big Sky is one hell of an area, today was cold but beautifully sunny the locals were telling us that they have not had so much snow over such a short time for many years lucky for us. It seems every where we have been so far people keep saying the last time it was like this was 1963 etc I hope it keeps up. The photo's below show how cold it was but also how beautiful check out the view from the restaurant window.
We ate out last night and I have come to the conclusion that within the next 10 years the Americans will have forgotten how to use a knife and fork. Virtually everything on a menu is designed to be picked up and is generally so big that the moment the first bite is taken 50% of the contents shoots up towards your right ear down the chin and fills the palm of the hand. The only places that offer a proper sit down meal seem to be very expensive, but overall the food is good albeit a bit samey( is this a real word).
The one thing I could'nt beleive is that I can't use my mobile here there is only one mast and my provider and their partners are'nt so I am relying on email and this blog to keep in touch with Lindsay and the girls .Tomorrow we are off to Moonlight Basin hopefully it will be it bit warmer.
Just read Mike's message very interesting can't wait to get to Utah and let loose all those facts in a bar somewhere your right about Janice maybe me and the Goose could get her out for a drink.





Sunday, 20 January 2008


So this is the final leg from England and you would think to be the quickest and simplest so did I but what I over looked was US customs, immigration, homeland security and finally the weather. The first three were a real pain, forms you really had to start on the last question and fill them in backwards, but they were nothing in comparison with the weather a two hour delay in the flight and when we landed in Bozeman snow up to the gunnels with sixty mile drive in prospect. Fortunatley we had picked a good car to hire and that really got us to Big Sky tonight with no hassle, however it is seriously cold here but the forecast is sun tomorrow.

So now we start to do what we came for ski , Angus and I cant wait now it really gets going.

Its hard to believe that the journey we have just taken took up to four months for those that came here to pioneer the West and that does.nt include their passage from Europe ( stout hearted folk) amazing.



Saturday, 19 January 2008


Well the big day has arrived after a week of gales rain and plane crashes not that we were nervous of take off and landing, although when we stopped next to the stricken plane at the end of the runway waiting to go, a few things crossed our minds. As can be seen by our photos you can see we were pretty cool about the flight, our 1st stop is Calgary overnight and tomorrow we head down into Montana to Big Sky the weather here in Calgary is very cold and snowy hopefully we will get off ok. A short entry tonight cos I'm cream crackered and we have an early start.