Landscape: Skate Skiing along the Teton Range

I hopped on a really last-minute trip last week…to Jackson/Teton Village/Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A new friend of mine simply said: “I’m going to Jackson.” Pause. “You want to go?” Hello? Of course I wanted to go. So I went. The good thing about going on a last-minute trip (that someone else has already planned) is that it’s sort of a worry-free affair. And when you don’t expect anything, it’s hard to be disappointed. So I can’t say that I have many regrets about this one. We drove out of Vail on Sunday evening, stayed at a motel in Rock Springs, Wyoming for the night, and showed up in Jackson on Monday with an itch to play. Sunny skies and low wind made it a perfect day for skate skiing along the Teton Range (above view from the Taggart Lake trailhead).

I’ve never been here, right? So seeing the Grand Teton (13,770 ft) in winter conditions was spectacular, as was watching the peaks unfold along the seemingly endless track we were skiing—an out-and-back trail that goes northeast through the Grand Teton National Park.

To the east, the white, wide-open snowfields provide a nice contrast to the Teton Range, which dominates the western portion of the trail.

I hadn’t skate skied for at least three years, so I was thankful for a wide, flat, fast track. It took me a while to get my legs under me on these skinny skies (sans edges), but I couldn’t complain: the Teton Range was mesmerizing, and skiing behind these two cute guys wasn’t too bad, either.

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